Not Your Mother’s Bartok
The musicians of Bella’s Bartok are purveyors of a highly danceable brand of pop that borrows from many a direction and incorporates everything from mandolin and horns to accordion and unhinged facial hair. Theirs is a manic, Old World-tinged onslaught of sound that’s not like much of anything else. In May, the large crew of musicians packs into Northampton’s Parlor Room for a hoedown.
May 17, Parlor Room, Signature Sounds, 32 Masonic St., Northampton, (413) 923-2800.
Hampshire College professor Marty Ehrlich has performed with big names in both jazz and classical circles, and his compositions have won him a Guggenheim fellowship. The Village Voice even called him “the jazz dream musician.” This spring, he brings his saxophone and his Large Ensemble to UMass for a performance of his new composition “A Trumpet in the Morning.” The performance wraps up the twenty-fifth season of UMass’ Magic Triangle Jazz Series.
April 17, 8 p.m., $7-12, Bezanson Recital Hall, UMass-Amherst, (413) 545-2511 , fineartscenter.com.
Mettling with Feist
She has taught Muppets to count on Sesame Street, sung on Saturday Night Live, and done a duet with a sequined jumpsuit-clad Stephen Colbert. Now Canadian singer/songwriter Leslie Feist—aka Feist—is traveling in support of her new album, Metals. Her solo Mettle Tour brings her back to Northampton, where she’s played gigs both as headliner and with Broken Social Scene. The evening’s set list could include “Mushaboom,” “Look at What the Light Did Now,” and everyone’s favorite furry tune, “1234.”
April 9, 8 p.m., $25-$45, Calvin Theatre, 19 King St. Northampton, (413) 586-8686, iheg.com.
Seasons of Love
Jonathan Larson’s rock musical Rent opened in New York in February 1996, almost exactly 100 years after its inspiration, Puccini’s opera La Bohème, premiered in Italy. The musical went on to a nearly 13-year run on Broadway, finally closing in 2008 just before Puccini’s 150th birthday. As the opera depicted a group of bohemian artists in Paris’s Latin Quarter, dealing with poverty and TB with slapdash insouciance, Larson’s young East Village artists and musicians confront poverty and AIDS with an equally carefree and raucous “fuck you, Fate” defiance. The production at Mount Holyoke College features a guest-star cameo by the college’s president, Lynn Pasquerella, herself “a huge fan of the musical,” who plays the meddling voicemail mother in two performances.
April 3-6, 11-13, Rooke Theatre, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley. $5-$10, reservations 538-2406 or e-mail email@example.com. Info at mtholyoke.edu/acad/theatre/season.
Princesses on Ice
One princess on ice would be aristocratic enough, but Springfield will bear witness to a rink full of them when the Disney on Ice show Princesses and Heroes hits town. The full complement of skating royalty includes Ariel, Belle, Cinderella (pictured), Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White. And the proceedings are led by pixie Tinkerbell, from whom we can only hope to see the fabled Triple Lutz.
April 16-20, $15-62, MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield, (800) 745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
Beards and Binaries
Aimee Joy Ross, a 20-year resident of the Pioneer Valley known locally as “The Bearded Lady,” has brought BUTCH, an exhibition of photographs that honor “the beauty, power and diversity of women who transgress the gender binary” to the Valley. The images were taken by S.D. Holman, whose photos have been widely exhibited. Ross (pictured) is also a subject in the exhibit.
On this week's cover: Paradise City Arts Festival
When the spring installment of the Paradise City Arts Festival comes to Northampton May 24-26, the exhibitors will include Lowell’s Tracy Levesque, whose “Summer Birches” is pictured on the cover. For more info, check paradisecityarts.com.