Bits & Bytes: ‘Guitar’ exhibit; ‘Art from Farm to Table;’ FilmWorks Forum; ‘True West’ at Ghent Playhouse

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By Tuesday, May 16 Arts & Entertainment
The Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar is featured in the Berkshire Museum exhibit 'Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World,' opening on Saturday, May 20. Photo courtesy National Guitar Museum

Berkshire Museum to host ‘Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World’

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Museum will host “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World,” a touring exhibit from the National Guitar Museum, Saturday, May 20, through Monday, Sept. 4.

Strummed or picked, acoustic or electric, playing a hard rock anthem or gentle folk tune, the guitar is the most popular instrument in the world. The exhibition covers the science, sound and cultural impact of the guitar in a family friendly installation that contains more than 70 instruments, from the rare and antique to the popular and innovative, as well as performance videos, audio stations, hands-on interactives, models, touchscreens and photographs.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to play the world’s largest guitar (43.5 feet long, 16 feet wide and certified by Guinness World Records); see examples of the oud, sitar and lute; handle and hear wood and string samples, from maple to catgut, that give each guitar a distinctive sound; enjoy audio and video presentations of music written to be played on the guitar; and challenge their memories by playing riffs on a virtual fretboard that tests the ability to remember complex patterns

A debut party for the exhibition will be held Friday, May 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and feature live music with the Berkshire Jazz Collective featuring Andy Wrba, food, wine, beer, a signature cocktail and other surprises. Tickets for the party are $15–$40. For more information, contact the Berkshire Museum at (413) 443-7171.


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‘Art from Farm to Table’ at Spencertown Academy Arts Center

'Rooster on the Rocks,' collage by Maj Kalfus

‘Rooster on the Rocks,’ collage by Maj Kalfus

Spencertown, N.Y. — Spencertown Academy Arts Center will present “Art from Farm to Table,” an invitational multimedia exhibit featuring works by 15 regional artists, Saturday, May 20, through Sunday, June 18. An opening receptin will take place Saturday, May 29, from 4 to 6 p.m.

“Art from Farm to Table” includes depictions and interpretations of landscapes, buildings, farm life, flowers, vegetables, insects and animals–everything found in an agricultural environment that might, or might not, end up on a table. The exhibit was curated by Norma Cohen, assisted by Barbara Lax, and includes work from area artists April Aldighieri, Deborah Bayley, Arlene Boehm, Jim Brearton, Jerry Freedner, Carl Hetherington, Linda Horn, Caroline Kaars Sypesteyn, Maj Kalfus, Marybeth Ketz, Maria Kolodziej-Zincio, Joan Palmer, Georgia Ranney, Marlene Wiedenbaum and Jacqueline Wilder.

“Art from Farm to Table” is the kick-off event for Spencertown Academy’s 13th annual Hidden Gardens fundraiser, which will include the Twilight in the Garden cocktail party on Friday, June 16, and an array of events for garden enthusiasts on Saturday, June 17, including the Garden Market on the Green; a Hidden Gardens tour with the theme of “Artful Landscapes;” and a presentation by horticultural consultant, writer and lecturer Ron Kujawski titled “Vegetable Gardening: It’s Never Too Late to Start.” For more information, call (518) 392-3693.


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The Moviehouse to offer FilmWorks Forum

Stephanie Castillo. Photo courtesy the Moviehouse

Stephanie Castillo. Photo courtesy the Moviehouse

Millerton, N.Y. — On Sunday, May 21, at 11 a.m., the Moviehouse will present a free community screening of “The Thomas Chapin Story: Night Bird Song” as part of its FilmWorks Forum series.

A versatile multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and composer, Chapin was also an iconoclast who liked to push musical boundaries. He was Lionel Hampton’s musical director and lead saxophone player for seven years in the early 1980s. In 1989, he formed the Thomas Chapin Trio, which quickly became a fixture of New York City’s thriving downtown jazz scene. In 1998, at the age of 40, Chapin died of leukemia. The film was written, produced and directed by Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Stephanie Castillo.

Musicians Peter McEachern and Mario Pavone, who both played with Chapin and are featured in the film, will lead a community discussion and question-and-answer session with Castillo immediately following the film. Admission is free and tickets are not required. For more information, contact the Moviehouse at (518) 789-0022.


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Ghent Playhouse to stage ‘True West’

Nathaniel Drake and Kevin Kilb. Photo: Kelly Mackerer

Nathaniel Drake and Kevin Kilb. Photo: Kelly Mackerer

Ghent, N.Y. — The Ghent Playhouse will present Sam Shepard’s dark comedy “True West” Friday, May 19, through Sunday, June 4.

“True West,” which made its made its Broadway debut in 2000, takes place at the California desert home of Austin and Lee’s mother, where the two brothers are reunited after five years. When Lee’s pitch of a screenplay idea is accepted by a film producer over the script that Austin has long been developing, the play explodes in verbal and physical violence, as the two fight for possession and control. The Ghent Playhouse production is directed by Patrick White and will introduce Nathaniel Drake to its stage as Lee. The production also features Kevin Kilb as Austin, Rob Weber as the Hollywood producer and Stephanie Sloane as the brothers’ mother. The show is produced by Kelly Mackerer, Ghent Playhouse’s president, with set design by Sam Reilly, lighting design by Isabel Filkins and costume design by Joanne Maurer.

Tickets are $20 for the general public, $17 for Ghent Playhouse members and $10 for students with ID. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call 1 (800) 838-3006.


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