Great Barrington's Mahaiwe Announces 2009-10 Season

A Diverse Array of Events in Next Twelve Months

By: - Jun 10, 2009

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The Mahaiwe's New 2009-2010 Schedule

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Executive Director Beryl Jolly announces the schedule of events for July through February. "We at the Mahaiwe are delighted to have lined up a stellar variety of acts that will entertain residents and visitors of all ages. We're presenting a dynamic mix of jazz, opera, bluegrass, rock, world music, modern dance, theater, literature, acrobats, and more. We're proud to continue our ongoing partnerships with the Met Opera and Symphony Space, to bring back popular favorites, and to introduce new artists on the Mahaiwe stage."

The season kicks off on Sunday, July 5 at 3pm with a concert by the ever-popular Dan Zanes & Friends. Newsweek calls this Grammy Award-winning artist "the reigning Pied Piper of family music" and Zanes's last performance at the Mahaiwe sold out in 2007.

On Thursday, July 9 at 8pm, the freewheeling bluegrass jam band, Yonder Mountain String Band, brings its signature progressive sound to the Mahaiwe stage. One of the most popular bands on the festival circuit, Colorado's Yonder Mountain String Band is known for its high-energy, improvisational live shows. Band members play banjo, bass, mandolin, and guitar. Rock producer Tom Rothrock (Foo Fighters, Elliot Smith, Beck) produced their last studio release, creating a sound for the band that bridges the gap between bluegrass and rock.

The Metropolitan Opera just announced a new Best of the Met: Live in HD Encore Presentation broadcast series. The Mahaiwe is pleased to present the 2007 Met production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, with Renée Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, on Saturday, July 11 at 1pm.

The Mahaiwe welcomes back Symphony Space's Selected Shorts for a second Great Barrington season on Sunday, July 12 at 3pm and Sunday, December 6 at 3pm. Hosted by Symphony Space Artistic Director Isaiah Sheffer, this acclaimed series features some of the finest artists of the American theater reading contemporary and classic short fiction. The July performance focuses on stories about summer pleasures— from baseball to a beach romance. The December performance, presented in cooperation with the National Yiddish Book Center, highlights Yiddish writers.

Singer and songwriter Don McLean, best known for his hit, "American Pie," performs on Saturday, August 8 at 8pm.

On Sunday, August 23 at 1pm, the Mahaiwe hosts a talk with New York Times City Section Editor Constance Rosenblum about her new book, Boulevard of Dreams -- Heady Times, Heartbreak and Hope along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Designed by a French engineer in the late nineteenth century to echo the elegance and grandeur of the Champs Elysées in Paris, the Concourse was nearly twenty years in the making and celebrates its centennial in November 2009. Over that century, it has truly been a boulevard of dreams for various upwardly mobile immigrant and ethnic groups, yet it has also seen the darker side of the American dream. Rosenblum brings to life the street in all its raucous glory.

America's favorite little big band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, performs on Friday, September 11 at 8pm. This contemporary swing band from southern California specializes in tunes from the 1940s and 1950s and has sold more than three million albums, performed at Super Bowl XXXIII with Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan, and had their music used in over 60 film and TV trailers.

The Emmy and Peabody Award-wining series Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD returns to the Mahaiwe on Saturday, October 10 with Puccini's Tosca. This live cinema telecast of  the 2009-10 Met season will continue with Verdi's Aida on Saturday, October 24, Puccini's Turandot on Saturday, November 7, Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann on Saturday, December 19, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier on Saturday, January 9 at 1pm, Bizet's Carmen on Saturday, January 16, Verdi's Simon Boccanegra on Saturday, February 6, Thomas's Hamlet on Saturday, March 27, and Rossini's Armida on Saturday, May 1. All of the Met broadcasts begin at 1pm.

Using robotic cameras and state-of-the-art technology, Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD captures the action from interesting angles and heightens attention to the narrative elements of both performance and production. Behind-the-scenes features, live interviews with cast and crew, insightful short documentaries, and bird's-eye views of the productions offer an unprecedented look at what goes into the staging of an opera at one of the world's great houses.

The celebrated innovative dance company, Pilobolus, performs on Sunday, October 11 at 7pm. Pilobolus began, in 1971, as an outsider dance company, and quickly became renowned the world over for its imaginative and athletic exploration of creative collaboration. Nearly 40 years later, it has evolved into a pioneering American cultural institution of the 21st century.

On Friday, November 13 at 10am & 8pm, the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats perform their trademark acrobatics, balancing feats, martial arts displays, and more. A show for all ages, the grace and precision of the acrobats are the triumph of years of dedicated training and discipline, but their art has been formed by centuries of tradition. The morning performance will be a special field trip presentation for local school students; the evening performance is open to the general public.

Since being first runner-up in the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition at the tender age of 20, sultry jazz vocalist Jane Monheit has taken the jazz world by storm. She performs at the Mahaiwe on Sunday, November 15 at 3pm.

On Saturday, November 28, the Mahaiwe celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz (1939) with screenings of the classic film at 1pm and 4pm.

Internationally known cool jazz singer and master guitarist John Pizzarelli performs on Friday, December 18 at 8pm. He has recorded 23 albums of his own, as well as other joint recordings with his father, Bucky Pizzarelli. Pizzarelli has recently established himself as the consummate entertainer and radio program host with "Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli," a nationally-syndicated radio program co-hosted with his wife, Broadway star Jessica Molaskey.

Grammy Award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo performs on Sunday, February 7 at 3pm. This legendary a cappella group represents the traditional culture of South Africa and is regarded as the country's cultural emissary at home and around the world. They have recorded with numerous artists, including Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, and Dolly Parton.

The all-female collective Cherish the Ladies performs on Saturday, February 27 at 7pm. One of the most sought-after Irish-American groups in Celtic music, they are known for their musicianship, breathtaking singing, and lively step dancing, and they have shared the stage and studio with such performers as Joan Baez, James Taylor, the Clancy Brothers, the Chieftains, Arlo Guthrie, and Pete Seeger.

In addition to events produced by the Mahaiwe, the theater hosts events presented by Berkshire Bach Society, Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Boston Early Music Festival, Close Encounters with Music, Empire Brass, Fairview Hospital, FODfest, Harvey Robbins, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and Deborah Zecher. Details about these events are listed in the full calendar that follows below.

The Mahaiwe Theater opened in September 1905 and is one of the oldest surviving theaters in the country. Currently celebrating its fifth season and newly listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is a unique year-round cultural destination presenting music, dance, theater, opera, and classic films in the southern Berkshires. The Mahaiwe strives to welcome the broadest possible community, of all ages, interests, and income levels, into the theater on an ongoing basis.

The Mahaiwe gratefully acknowledges the major support of Lola Jaffe and The Jaffe Foundation, Dena and Felda Hardymon, Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation, Ursula and Walter Cliff, Maggie and Don Buchwald, Sally and Michael Gordon, Barrington Foundation, Louise Barzilay and Stephen Berenson, Howard Gilman Foundation, Lenox Foundation, Prospect Hill Foundation, Don Buchwald & Associates, Sharon Casdin, Appy and John Hoyt Stookey, Susan and Ward Belcher, Aso O. Tavitian, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Cain Hibbard & Myers PC, Greylock Federal Credit Union, and Allegrone Construction Company. The Mahaiwe receives organizational support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The Paul Taylor Dance Company presentation was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts' American Masterpieces: Dance initiative, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts,

Announcements will be made of additions to the schedule as bookings are confirmed. Tickets for all upcoming events, except Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD broadcasts, go on sale to Friends of the Mahaiwe on May 15, 2009 and to the general public on May 23. Tickets to the 2009-10 Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD broadcasts go on sale to Friends of the Mahaiwe and Met Members in late August and to the general public in September.

Friends of the Mahaiwe receive special discounts and benefits. Membership begins at $65 and all Friends receive priority ordering for first access to the best seats and discounts on tickets to most Mahaiwe Presents events throughout the year. To join, call the Mahaiwe Box Office: 413.528.0100, or visit