PHOTO BY NAN LINCOLN

‘MAC’ still back in town



PHOTO BY NAN LINCOLN

Brittany Parker and Andrew Simon have extended the Mohawk Art’s Collective Season into October.

TREMONT — This is the time of year when the pace of entertainment offerings slows on Mount Desert Island. Oh, we still have some great amateur and school events to look forward to, and Improv Acadia has a couple of more weeks to do their zany thing, but the music festivals are gone, the final curtain has dropped at Acadia Rep, chorales have stopped harmonizing, and most of the galleries have launched their last receptions of the season.

But over at the little red barn in Bass Harbor, Andrew Simon and his partner, Brittany Parker, of Mohawk Arts Collective are still going strong. They are the folks who, along with local filmmaker Peter Logue, brought us that inspired Gott’s Store video on YouTube.

The couple plans to continue putting on shows in the barn and around MDI through the first three weeks of October.

“Normally, we rather reluctantly head back to New York to various jobs and to recruit more artists for the next season,” said Simon. “But the work we did with the groups who came this summer is an ongoing project. We are planning to perform more evolved versions of our summer shows in New York for a December fundraiser, and then if everything works out OK, maybe take it on a national tour for part of next summer.”

In the meantime, in addition to some new offerings, they hope to perform their excellent “Fight for Our Right,” interactive kids’ shows “We Run The Ship and the new “The Unknown Adventure Crew,” and their introduction to Shakespeare,“Shakespeare is my Hero,” at various area schools.

MAC launched its fall season last weekend with one of their popular concert parties, featuring a variety of local talent including a man who calls himself “Yo.” Barefoot and dressed all in red, Yo sang original songs including a ballad to “Funky Rockland” and the 1960s-style Buffalo Springfield-ish protest tune “Tribal Man.”

If Yo’s singing and guitar playing were a bit rusty, his commitment was 100 percent.

There were several new talents as well, including Ben Moniz, who accompanied himself on several guitars and the piano, singing very tongue-in-cheek versions of “Desperado,” “Happiness is a Warm Gun” and “Hey Jude.” While his voice sometimes warbled off to unexpected places, the young man’s personality was so engaging no one seemed to mind.

Nicole Cardono performed the steamy Peggy Lee song “He’s a Tramp” and an emotion packed country tune. Carl Ferm and a young man named Uriah teamed up for a country duet with some excellent “O’ Brother Where Art Thou” harmonizing.

A fetching young woman named Lucy playing the cutest ever, little, red ukulele sang several very long, but tuneful original pieces, the best of which was a calypso-ish ditty called “Banana Land.”

And Brendan O’Keefe, who apparently had never performed in public before, did a fine job both instrumentally and vocally with the Iron and Wine tune “Cinders and Smoke.”

Interspersed throughout the evening were Simon and Parker singing together and solo. They finished up the evening with a wonderfully spine-tingling duet of Radioheads’ “I’m a Creep.”

It was all terrifically entertaining, and the cozy atmosphere of the MAC barn was the perfect setting for the intimate performances.

“We just love the opportunity to feature not only our guest artists from New York,” said Mr. Simon,” but our friends and neighbors from MDI.”

This all bodes well for their planned October events, which include the multi-media interactive children’s show “The Unknown Adventure Crew,” on Sunday, Oct. 5, at 5 p.m. The show will feature a little rock music, some exploring and plenty of fun, Simon and Parker promised.

More adult fare will be served up Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. for the “Incredible Dinner Show,” which will offer a five-course dinner with five acts. This event is by reservation only, and space is limited, so folks should call 244-3745 for a seat at the table.

The final planned MAC event of the season on Oct. 19 will be the unlikely merging of the mile-18 water stop of the MDI Marathon, the MDI Historical Society (which happens to be located at Mile 18) and performance art. Like so many MAC offerings, this one defies description and simply has to be experienced.

“All we can say at this point,” Parker said, “is that it should be motivational for the runners, fun for the spectators and just may involve a puppet.”

The couple said they still have dates open for booking their “Fight for Our Right” show, which combines the Peter Logue documentary “The Search for the White Rose” about the ill-fated student resistance group in Nazi Germany with “Swing Time Fun Club,” a live performance piece about young German swing music buffs of the same era.

The couple and their cinematographer, Logue, are also available for more commercial work.

“Although the Gott’s ad was a labor of love because we like the store so much,” Simon said, “we’d be willing to do it for money, too.”

For more information, visit www.mohawkartscollective.com.

Editor’s Note: Nan Lincoln has taken to the stage at MAC from time to time to share her vocal talents.

Nan Lincoln

Nan Lincoln

The former arts editor at the Bar Harbor Times writes reviews and feature stories for The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander.