Keeping Tabs on the Arts: Happenings this week in the Pioneer Valley

  • Performers in the UMass University Dancers’ production of “Peril in Thine Eye”

  • Members of the UMass Trombone Choir Ben Barnhart

  • Flutist Cobus du Toit performs Monday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. COURTESY OF UMASS DEPT. OF MUSIC AND DANCE

  • Xinef D’Agnos wrote “The First Connection,” which will be performed Dec. 1 by the Multi-Arts Theater Company. COURTESY OF MULT-ARTS THEATER COMPANY

  • A scene from the film “Dark Night

  • Prints and paintings by Hillary Wilbur Ferro, including this one, are on view at the Leverett Library.

  • Rochelle Shicoff’s “Slowly, Silently” is among works on view in “Small Wonders” at Gallery A3. COURTESY OF GALLERY A3

Published: 11/23/2016 4:02:32 PM

What’s the question?

“The Answer,” a film made locally by Wade Wofford of Northampton, will have its U.S. debut Friday at 7:30 at the Academy of Music, 274 Main St. in Northampton.

The premiere is a thank-you to the Valley, Wofford said.

“Without a community like Northampton, a film like this doesn’t get made,” said Wofford, who added that the film was partially shot in the area, with locations in Northampton, Amherst and Holyoke.

In the film, after Gavin’s wife dies in a car accident, he begins to unravel. His younger brother is eager to help Gavin, so organizes four of Gavin’s oldest friends for a trip into the wilderness.

The movie is about real men the filmmaker said, “...the recognizable men of the world that are seldom depicted in film, and the friendships they form along the way.”

There will be a red carpet and a meet-the-cast-and-crew event at the theater, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The film is produced by Happy Wasteland Studios, run by Wofford with Mike Haas and Jake Hulse. You can view a trailer at

Tickets are available online at

Tiny treasures

“Little Gems,” an exhibit of 42 small works by painters Meg Bandarra, Martha Brouwer and Beverly Phaneuf, is on view through Dec. 7 at the Nash Gallery, 40 Cottage St. in Easthampton.

“Small works are a great way to start of build a collection of original artwork,” says Bandarra, who is the show’s curator.

And, she points out, small does not mean insignificant: All three artists have won awards for their work and have appeared in shows around the country. Bandarra says she considers some of her small pieces among her best.

“Large-sized art is fun to make and can have a lot of impact on the wall,” she said. “But there’s something special, almost intimate, about smaller works.”

Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

Let’s talk

Through her Oregon-based non-profit organization, Vision Quest, Cathy DeForest is promoting a nationwide dialog about gun violence. To that end, she holds workshops across the country where people of different viewpoints can come together to work through complex emotions about the topic. At the same time, they create quilt panels that address personal responses to the gun-violence epidemic. The panels are then added to a virtual quilt on the group’s website,

DeForest will hold a workshop Dec. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main St., Northampton. Quilt materials will be provided. To sign up, send an email to Ivy Vance at

At Leverett Library

“Of Land, Sea and Sky,” an exhibit of relief prints and paintings by Hillary Wilbur Ferro, will be on view through Dec. 31 at the Leverett Library art gallery, 75 Montague Road, Leverett. There will be a reception Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m.

Ferro, a Leverett artist and area art teacher, attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Music at UMass

“Welcome Cobus!,” a faculty flute and piano concert, will be presented Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall on the UMass campus. The concert, which features new faculty flutist Cobus du Toit and pianist Nadine Shank, was rescheduled from Oct. 25. Edward Arron, cello, will also perform.

On the program: Bohuslav Martinu’s “Trio for Flute, Cello & Piano”; Ian Clarke’s “Zoom Tube”; Joseph Schwantner’s “Black Anemones”; Albert Périlhou’s “Ballade”; Makoto Shinohara’s “Kassouga”; and Paul Taffanel’s “Grand Fantasy on Themes from ‘Mignon.’ ”

Tickets cost $10; $3 for UMass students; $5 for other students, children and seniors. To reserve, call the UMass Fine Arts Center box office at 545-2511 or visit

The UMass Brass Choir and Trombone Choir, under the direction of UMass trombone professor Gregory Spiridopoulos, will perform the first movement of Mahler’s 5th Symphony” Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall.

Also on the program: transcriptions and original music for brass and trombone choirs, including “Snapshot Variations,” an original composition by UMass alumna Renée Morgan; “Vertigo” by Greg Fritze; and “Oneida” by Allen Chase.

Free and open to the public.

The Barkada Quartet (Christopher Elchico, soprano saxophone; Shane Rathburn, alto saxophone; Steven Lawhon, tenor saxophone; and Justing Polyblank, baritone saxophone) will perform Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Bezanson Recital Hall. They will be joined by pianist Anastasia Antonacos.

The centerpiece of the program will be a new piece, Quintet #2 ‘Sierra Vita’ for saxophone quartet and piano by David Martynuik, an associate professor of music theory and composition at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The program will also include original works for saxophone quartet by Christine Delphine Hedden, Pedro Iturralde, David Salleras Quintana and Florent Schmitt.

The musicians will present a master class at 1:10 p.m. in the recital hall, and will hold a reception following the concert.

The concert, master class and reception are free and open to the public. For more information about the quartet, visit

Early music

The Five College Early Music Collegium, directed by UMass early music professor Robert Eisenstein, will present a concert Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Church, 14 Boltwood Ave., Amherst.

On the program: “Mass for Four Voices” by William Byrd; Motets and Anthems by Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Tallis; Fantasies for Viols; Italian music for wind band; and “Rounded with a Sleep” for viols, lute and choir, by Yumiko Matsuoka. Tickets are free.

UMass Dancers

“Peril in Thine Eye,” an immersive dance experience inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” will be presented by the University by Dancers Dec. 1, 2 and 3 at Totman Gym, 30 Eastman Lane on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.

Each evening’s performance will be looped in three cycles, beginning at 7:30, 8:15 and 9 p.m. Audience members are invited to attend all three loops in one evening, or to come as they please.

Under the direction of assistant professor of dance Paul Dennis, the performance, which will feature strong elements of theater, is set to contemporary arrangements of the score from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet about the star-crossed lovers.

The evening-length production, set in a moody nightclub in a city called Verona, explores themes of racial and cultural, sexual and gender, and political and economic tensions.

Tickets cost $14; $5 for seniors, students, and youth 17 and under. To reserve, visit

Children’s theater

“The First Connection,” a production by the Mult-Arts Children’s Theater Company based in Amherst, will be presented Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. in the Goodwin Room of Jones Library, 43 Amity St., Amherst.

In the comedy, an alien race has searched for a new planet to inhabit, and decides to target Earth. They send a representative, a female robot named Emma, to study humans in high school in preparation for world domination. Instead, the aliens find friendship and learn about human emotions.

The playwright, Xinef D’Agnos is an alumnus of Multi-Arts, and is a published author and writer. Admission is free.

There will be a second performance Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. at the Northampton Community Music Center, 139 South St., Northampton. Donations at this performance will benefit NCMC and the Northampton Parents Center. For information about the program, visit

At the Burnett Gallery

Landscape paintings by Susan Paju and Marie Welch will open with a reception Dec. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. and will remain on view through Dec. 31 at the Burnett Gallery at Jones Library, 43 Amity St., Amherst.

At Gallery A3

“Small Wonders,” a holiday show and sale, will open with a reception Dec. 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. and will remain on view through Dec. 31 at Gallery A328 Amity St., Amherst.

The annual exhibit of small, affordable fine art, will feature more than 50 works in painting, photography, collage and mixed media, all on panels measuring 5 inches by 7 inches.

The gallery will host “Artists in Conversation/A Night of Music” Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Gallery hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 7 p.m. For information, visit

Broadway at UMass

“Once,” winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, will be presented Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall.

The touring company production, featuring an ensembles of actors who play their instruments onstage, tells the tale of a Dublin street musician about to give up his dream when a beautiful young woman takes an interest in his love songs.

The musical is based on the indie film of the same name.

Tickets cost $65, $60, $25; $30, $25, $20 for Five College students and youth 17 and under. To reserve, call the box office at 545-2511 or visit

At Amherst Cinema

“Dark Night,” a film by Tim Sutton, will be shown Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity St., Amherst. Sutton will be at the screening.

In the film, a suburban landscape is the setting for unfolding events that culminate in a Cineplex massacre. Over the course of the day, from sunrise to midnight, six strangers — the shooter among them— share in this American nightmare.

Regular admission. To reserve, visit (Tickets are free to cinema members, at the box office only.) Tickets holders are invited to a reception with the filmmaker at 6 p.m. at the cinema.

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