GREAT BARRINGTON -- Soweto Gospel Choir, Cowboy Junkies, Ani DiFranco, The Four Tops, ETHEL string quartet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and authors Fran Lebowitz and David Sedaris are all part of the mix of 2014 prgramming at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.
The season also includes a variety of events produced by community organizations and the Mahaiwe's lineup of Met Opera and London's National Theatre "Live in HD" broadcasts, classic films, and multi-cultural family events.
"The season ranges from global celebrations such as the Soweto Gospel Choir's Valentine's Day concert dedicated to the memory of Nelson Mandela, to contemporary musicians to 60th anniversary performances by the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Four Tops, to the wry wit of Fran Leibowitz and David Sedaris," Mahaiwe executive diyrector Beryl Jolly said in a news release.
"We're also expanding our youth programming and we're looking forward to hosting shows by a variety of community organizations and partnering with Ski Butternut and Catamount on a screening of ‘Into the Mind.' "
Tickets for Mahaiwe Presents events go on sale to Mahaiwe members at noon today and to the general public at noon Jan. 31.
Among the highlights:
n Soweto Gospel Choir will present a musical celebration of the color and vibrancy of their rainbow nation while honoring the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. 8 p.m. Feb. 14.
n the alternative country-blues-folk-rock band Cowboy Junkies, 8 p.m. March 8. This Canadian group has released 16 studio albums, several live albums and a number of singles and built up a dedicated following in the alternative rock community.
n Indie singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco will take center stage on May 3 at 8 p.m. After 20 years in the music biz, self-described "Little Folksinger" DiFranco is still technically little, although her influence on fellow musicians, activists, and indie-minded people the world over has been huge.
n Since its founding in 1998, the string quartet ETHEL has been a musical pioneer using amplification and improvisation in its concerts of original music and works by contemporary composers. The New York City-based ensemble -- Ralph Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello), Kip Jones (violin), and Tema Watstein (violin) -- will perform a concert titled "Grace" that explores the idea of redemption through music. The program will include a suite from the score to the film "The Mission" by Ennio Morricone, and special quartet treatments honoring the 20th anniversary of the release of Jeff Buckley's "Grace," his acclaimed, and only, completed studio album.
n The Four Tops. 7 p.m. Aug. 3.
n The Paul Taylor Dance Company celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with performances on July 24 at 8 p.m.; July 25 at 8 p.m.; and July 26 at 3 and 8 p.m. The engagement will feature the New England premiere of "Marathon Cadenzas" (2014) with music by Raymond Scott.
n A conversation with author and journalist Fran Lebowitz hosted by Joe Donahue of WAMC, 8 p.m. Aug. 9.
n Humorist and bestselling author David Sedaris, 8 p.m. Oct. 10.
n The hip hop duo Black Violin will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 17. Since founding Black Violin a decade ago -- named after an album by preeminent African-American swing era jazz violinist Stuff Smith -- classically trained viola and violin players WilB and Kev Marcus have performed an average of 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries as far away as Dubai, Prague and South Africa. There will be a Black Violin school field trip performance at 10 a.m. Oct. 17 as well as an in-school workshop with the duo.
In addition to the remaining Met Opera Live in HD broadcasts, the Mahaiwe will present three London's National Theatre Live in HD broadcasts:
n Donmar Warehouse's production of "Coriolanus," with Tom Hiddleston in the title role and Mark Gatiss as Menenius, directed by the Donmar's artistic director Josie Rourke -- 7 p.m. Jan. 30;
n "War Horse," broadcast live from London's West End at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 with an encore broadcast on March 19 at 1 p.m.;
n and "King Lear" with Simon Russell Beale, directed by Sam Mendes, 7 p.m. May 1 with an encore broadcast on May 14 at 2 p.m.