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A Concert for Loved Ones in Haiti

Valentine’s Day is viewed, probably by most, as an intimate event: the expression of affection in a romantic unit, usually fewer than half-a-dozen people, give or take. But we see no reason not to take a more inclusive approach. This Valentine’s Day (Sunday), the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Mass., is hosting a concert of local and regional talent to benefit those currently suffering in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake.

Performers from throughout the Berkshires will perform, donating 100 percent of the net take to the United Nations Foundation’s Help Us Help in Time fund. Among those contributing their time and talents: Martin Sexton (pictured), Tift Merritt, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, the Guthrie Family, Bobby Sweet, Meg Hutchinson, Vetiver, Kris Delmhorst, Jay & Molly, and the Mammals. They’re showing their love; we’re sure you’ve got enough to spare, as well.

A Concert for Loved Ones in Haiti will take place at the Colonial Theatre (111 South Street, Pittsfield, Mass.) on Sunday (Feb. 14), beginning at 7 PM. Tickets are $15-$25. For more information, call (413) 917-4444.

Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet

Troy Chromatics Concerts return tonight (Thursday) with this esteemed wind ensemble from Germany. The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet will be performing works by Pliss, Schuller, Hindemith, Barber and Nielsen.

How are the reviews for their current tour? Glowing. The Cleveland Plain Dealer critic wrote, last week, that the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet’s Groundhog Day performance in the city by Lake Erie was “a model of sophisticated collegiality.” Pliss’ Serenade was “enchanting.” Gunther Schuller’s Suite was marked by “jocular playfulness rubbing shoulders with bluesy wailing.” Barber’s Summer Music “emerged with elegant freshness in the ensemble’s alert account.”

This sounds promising, does it not?

Troy Chromatics Concerts will present the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet tonight (Thursday, Feb. 11) at 8 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (2nd and State streets, Troy). Tickets are $35, $30. For reservations and info, please call 273-0038.

Spring Awakening

Though the name might suggest to you a musical on the, shall we say, genteel side, Spring Awakening is hardly that. The title comes from the 19th-century German novel on which the play is based, a novel banned for its frank discussion of the tumultuous emotional and physical lives of adolescents: masturbation, rape, bondage, depression, suicide—Oklahoma, this ain’t.

Thematically, Spring Awakening follows in the recent, gritty tradition of musicals such as the insanely popular Rent; musically, too, the play reflects an up-to-date sensibility (despite its period costumes). The lyrics by Steven Sater (who also wrote the show’s book) draw heavily from rock tradition and vocabulary (i.e., “The Bitch of Living”), and the score by Duncan Sheik (yep, that Duncan Sheik) spans folk-rock to Weezer-esque alterna-rock. Now, does this seem like it might be an odd match for German schoolboys in knee pants? Well, yeah—but odd cool. (Check the “springawakening bway” channel on YouTube, if you don’t want to take our word for it, hater.)

Spring Awakening opens on the Mainstage at Proctors (432 State Street, Schenectady) at 8 PM on Tuesday (Feb. 16), and runs through Feb. 21. Shows are Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM; Saturday-Sunday at 2 PM; and Sunday also at 7 PM. Tickets are $65-$20. To buy tickets or for more information, call 346-6204.

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