GREAT BARRINGTON — Jazz guitarist, bandleader and vocalist John Pizzarelli's Frank Sinatra centennial tribute Saturday evening kicks off a series of holiday season events at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center that includes screenings of two classic family films and HD broadcasts by the Bolshoi Ballet and London's National Theatre.
"Celebrating the holidays at the Mahaiwe is a beloved tradition for families throughout the region. We look forward to welcoming audiences of all ages to enjoy a range of fun seasonal events," Mahaiwe executive director Beryl Jolly says in a news release.
It all begins at 8 p.m. Saturday when Pizzarelli hosts his "Frank Sinatra Centennial Celebration" concert in honor of the late crooner's 100th birthday. Internationally known for classic standards, late-night ballads and the jazz flavor he brings to his performances and recordings, Pizzarelli has recently established himself as an entertainer and radio program host with "Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli," a nationally syndicated radio program co-hosted with his wife, Broadway star Jessica Molaskey.
As a special holiday gift to the community, the Mahaiwe will host a free screening of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20.
The Mahaiwe also will present a 25th anniversary screening of the Christmas family comedy, "Home Alone," starring Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern and Macaulay Culkin, at 4 p.m. on Dec. 26.
At 1 p.m. on Dec. 20, the Mahaiwe will screen the HD broadcast of the Bolshoi's "Nutcracker," with choreography and libretto by Yuri Grigorovich and music by Piotr Tchaikovsky.
Another HD broadcast — this one featuring London's National Theatre production of "Jane Eyre" — is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Dec. 27. This re-imagining of Brontë's masterpiece was first staged by Bristol Old Vic last year, when the story was performed over two evenings. Director Sally Cookson now brings her production to the National as one single performance.
In the music realm, the Mahaiwe will host Berkshire Bach Society's "Bach at New Year's" concert beginning 6 p.m. on Dec. 31.
Complete ticket and program information is available online at mahaiwe.org; by phone at (413) 528-0100; or in person at the Mahaiwe box office at 14 castle St.