Keeping Tabs of the Arts: PaintBox Theatre’s ‘Tarzan’ and other arts happenings this week in the Valley

Last modified: Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Jungle story

PaintBox Theatre will close its summer season with a production of “Tarzan,” under the roof inside the Grandstand at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton.

The classic tale that’s been adapted and directed by Tom McCabe, will feature plenty twists: Audience members will be asked to imagine that they are in an elementary-school classroom when the teacher announces that they are about to go on the field trip of a lifetime — into the deepest, darkest jungle, where adventure awaits. Whenever there’s trouble, Tarzan will swing in to save the day.

The play for children and families will feature audience participation, including the opportunity to act like wild animals. The performance will include artwork by dozens of local children.

Final shows are Aug. 14-16 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets cost $10, available through BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door. Rain or shine; free parking. For more information, visit www.paintboxtheatre.com.

Pianist performs

Pianist Lynelle James will perform Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. in the final concert of the season at Sevenars Music Festival, the Academy, South Worthington.

James began performing at the age of 5 as a student of her grandparents, Sevenars founders Roland and Robert Shrade. An early performance at Lincoln Center in New York City led Bernard Holland of The New York Times to praise her for “real tenderness: and “the extroversion of a committed performer.”

She recently received a doctorate in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Michigan.

In addition to several performances at Lincoln Center, James has played at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, throughout the United States and in New Zealand, Canada and Italy, where she was awarded a prize at the International Music Festival.

On the program will be works by Rameau, Ravel, Debussy, Schumann and Liszt, including several duos with her brother, cellist Christopher James.

Admission: $20, includes refreshments. For information, visit www.sevenars.org.

Strong roles for women

“Collected Stories,” a drama by award-winning playwright Donald Margulies, will be presented by Pauline Productions Aug. 20-23 at the First Congregational Church of Ashfield, 429 Main St.

Ruth Steiner (Jeannine Haas) is a celebrated New York author with a dry wit and a distinguished career who mentors a young protégé, Lisa Morrison (Annalise Cain).

In six scenes that take place over six years, the tables inevitably turn. The audience is left to ponder the questions: Whose stories belong to whom? What is fiction and what is truth? What does it mean to mentor someone, and what is the cost?

It is Pauline Productions’ mission to support strong roles for women, onstage and behind the scenes.

Showtimes are Aug. 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 22 and 23 at 8 p.m.

Tickets cost $20; $15 for students 18 and under. The Aug. 20 performance is a preview, and all tickets cost $15. Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets will be sold at the door for an additional $5.

At Amherst Cinema

Roman Polanski’s neo-noir film “Chinatown” will be shown Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. and Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Amherst Cinema as part of the theater’s “Big Screen Classics” series.

“Chinatown” is part mystery and part psychological drama, inspired by the California Water Wars. It stars Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston and features many elements of film noir of the 1940s and ’50s. Rated R.

Tickets are available at the Amherst Cinema box office at 28 Amity St., Amherst, or online at www.amherstcinema.org.

At Elusie Gallery

An exhibit of recent paintings by Amherst artist Rhys Davies will be on view through Sept. 6 at the Elusie Gallery, Old Town Hall, 43 Main St., Easthampton.

Davies’ work is based on the landscape and history of his native Wales. Having lived for years in the countryside, he says he feels he can draw upon a “deep well” of subject matter and imagery. Sometimes his work is more literal than at other times, but he says he likes and encourages that ambiguity and tension.

Youth orchestra auditions

Auditions for the Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra will be held Aug. 21 and 22, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Artspace Community Arts Center, 15 Mill St., Greenfield. Instrumentalists 18 and under are welcome to try out.

Rehearsals will be Saturdays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 13, at Greenfield Middle School, 195 Federal St., Greenfield.’

The orchestra, directed by Jonathan Brennand, will present concerts on Nov. 23 at Greenfield Middle School and April 12 in a location to be announced. The latter will be a joint concert with the Worcester Youth Junior Philharmonic, which Brennand also directs.

Also, on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., youth orchestra members will join members of the PVSO at its annual family holiday concert at the Hess Center for the Arts at Deerfield Academy.

Creepy theater

“Bug,” a dark comedy presented by Ghost Light Theater, will run Aug. 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls.

Written by Tracy Letts and directed by Kevin Tracy, “Bug” takes place outside Oklahoma City in the late ’90s. Agnes, a down-on-her-luck divorcee who has shut herself off from the world in a motel room meets Peter, a veteran with a dark past who wanders the Midwest. Together they become increasingly isolated, going down a dark path of drugs and paranoia.

Tickets cost $10 and may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets. For information, visit ghostlightmass.org.

Music at Porter-Phelps

22 Strutis will perform August 16 at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, 130 River Drive, Hadley. The concert is part of the museum’s “A Perfect Spot of Tea” program.

22 Strutis is a cello and sitar duo, featuring Scott Halligan and Robert Markey, who use modal improvisation to explore the possibilities in the convergence of different music traditions from around the word.

Halligan studied classical jazz and North Indian music at the New England Conservatory. Markey studied classical and blues guitar and sitar in Boston and in India.

Pastries and Earl Grey tea will be served. Admission is $10. For information, visit www.pphmuseum.org .

Native pollinators

“Pollinate,” a collection of watercolors by Victoria Chapman that celebrate pollinating creatures in nature and agriculture, will be on view through Oct. 1 at the Chamber Gallery at the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, 33 Union St. in Easthampton. There will be an artist’s reception Sept. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Chapman is a western-Massachusetts artist, illustrator and designer. Her colorful and whimsical paintings depict creatures such as native bumble bees, butterflies, ruby-throated humming birds and humming bird moths. Each painting is exhibited with a description about the creatures and ways people can help them thrive and survive among humans.

A portion of sales of the artwork will go to CISA and the Kestrel Land Trust.

Gallery hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, visit EasthamptonCityArts.com.

Music at Old Deerfield

“Bella Voce,” a concert by Lisa Woods, mezzo-soprano; Teri LaFleur, soprano; and Jerry Noble, piano, will be presented Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. in the music room of the Memorial Hall Museum, 8 Memorial St. in Old Deerfield.

On the program: works by Christine Lavin; Zina Goldrich and March Heisler; and Zeke Hecker, and show tunes by Stephen Sondheim and others. The program will also feature three original works by Noble, one composed for each of the concert’s performers.

Admission costs $10; $5 for students and seniors. For information, call the museum at 774-3768, ext. 80.

Pub sing

The Valley Light Opera will hold a pub sing of music from the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera “The Mikado,” Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at Amherst Brewing Company, 10 University Drive in Amherst.

“The Mikado,” one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular operas, debuted in 1885 in London and ran for a record-breaking 672 performances. The opera continues to be performed worldwide.

The event will be “informal and inclusive,” according to VLO spokesman Jonathan Evans. VLO soloists will be on hand to tack the lead roles, and the audience will be the chorus. A few scores will be available, but bring your own if you have one. Non-singers are welcome, as well. For information, visit www.vlo.org.