Mahaiwe Announces December Events


John Pizzarelli Big Band, Selected Shorts for the Holidays, and More
Great Barrington, Mass.— The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will celebrate the holidays in December with John Pizzarelli Big Band and Selected Shorts for the Holidays. In addition to these two major live events, the theater will present special Met Opera in HD and Bolshoi Ballet in HD broadcasts, plus two classic movies.

“For the tenth year—and seventh during the holidays—the Mahaiwe will host John Pizzarelli with classics from the Great American Songbook and more; this year also marks our ninth partnership with Symphony Space and their dramatically compelling short story readings,” said Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly. “We’re excited to see John perform with his 16-piece big band this year. Selected Shorts will feature actors Parker Posey and Teagle F. Bougere for the first time, and we look forward to welcoming back James Naughton and Jane Curtin to the Mahaiwe stage. We’re happy, too, to once again share our annual holiday tradition of a free screening of It’s a Wonderful Life, as well as an additional family movie with The Polar Express.”

John Pizzarelli Big Band will perform on Saturday, December 7 at 8:00pm. In this rare evening of big band music, the 16-piece band will play arrangements from Pizzarelli’s one-of-a-kind band book. With charts from arrangers Don Sebesky, John Clayton, Torrie Zito, Dick Lieb, and others, and songs from the catalogues of Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Frank Sinatra, and the Great American Songbook, this promises to be a swingin’ evening. Pizzarelli charms audiences with his warmth, sense of humor, and musical chops. Through his multi-faceted career as a jazz guitarist and vocalist, he has become one of the most recognizable faces and voices in contemporary jazz for his interpretations of classic standards, romantic ballads, and the cool jazz flavor he brings to his performances and recordings. While maintaining a busy touring schedule, he also founded “Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli,” a nationally syndicated radio program co-hosted with his wife, Broadway star Jessica Molaskey. Tickets are $44 to $124.

The Mahaiwe will present Selected Shorts for the Holidays on Sunday, December 15 at 2:00pm. The afternoon will feature holiday stories filled with love, laughter, and nostalgia. Written by Thomas Beller, Italo Calvino, John Cheever, and Molly Giles, the stories will be performed by Teagle F. Bougere, Jane Curtin, James Naughton, and Parker Posey. Selected Shorts, a hit series that is often broadcast on public radio, has a simple approach: great actors read great fiction in front of a live audience. The acclaimed national radio program airs on 150 public radio stations in 29 states, attracting over 300,000 listeners each week through the live show and podcast. It is produced by Symphony Space and distributed by Public Radio International. Tickets are $30 to $40.

Met Opera in HD will present an encore broadcast of Philip Glass’s transcendent contemporary creation, Akhnaten, on Wednesday, December 4 at 1:00pm. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo headlines, with Karen Kamensek conducting. Phelim McDermott’s production employs a virtuosic company of acrobats and jugglers to conjure a mystical reimagining of ancient Egypt. Met Opera in HD will also present The Magic Flute on Sunday, December 8 at 1:00pm. Julie Taymor’s kaleidoscopic 2006 production returns this holiday season in an encore presentation of the company’s first-ever Live in HD transmission that includes tenor Matthew Polenzani, baritone Nathan Gunn, and bass René Pape in this abridged, English-language version of Mozart’s classic fable.

Bolshoi Ballet in HD will broadcast The Nutcracker on Sunday, December 22 at 1:00pm. The Bolshoi’s magical production, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, captivates audiences of all ages and brings them on whirlwind journey of enchantment with rising star Soloist Margarita Shrainer embodying Marie’s innocence and joy along with the elegant Principal Dancer Semyon Chudin as her Nutcracker Prince.

Tickets to Met Opera in HD and Bolshoi Ballet in HD broadcasts are $17/ $10 ages 21 and under.

The Mahaiwe will offer its traditional free screening of It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on Friday, December 20 at 7:00pm as a gift to the community, plus screen The Polar Express (2004) on Saturday, December 21 at 4:00pm. The theater partners with Only in My Dreams Events to enrich each screening with a movie-themed treat. Sponsored by Buchwald, movie tickets (general admission) are $8 for adults and $5 for children.

A limited supply of $15 youth tickets to John Pizzarelli and Selected Shorts is available for everyone ages 30 and under on a first-come, first-served basis via the Mahaiwe box office only (not online). The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 4:00pm and three hours before show times. For tickets and information, see www.mahaiwe.org or call 413.528.0100.

About the Mahaiwe

Located in downtown Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is the year-round presenter of world-class music, dance, theater, classic films, Live in HD broadcasts, and arts education programs for the southern Berkshires and neighboring regions. The intimate jewel box of a theater opened in 1905. Since 2005, the performing arts center has hosted over 1,500 events and welcomed over half a million people through its doors. More than 22,000 students from 73 different schools have benefited from the Mahaiwe’s school-time performances and residencies. For more information, see www.mahaiwe.org.

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