Local Calendar: Monday 7/16 – Wednesday 7/18
Jul16

Local Calendar: Monday 7/16 – Wednesday 7/18

MONDAY 7/16 MUSIC AMHERST JAZZ ORCHESTRA: July 16, 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. With vocalist Ethel Lee. Great food. Union Station Grand Ballroom, 125A Pleasant St., Northampton. 413-253- 1607. info@amherstjazzorchestra.com. Bang on a Can Summer Festival 2018: July 16, MASS MoCa, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams. STAGE/FILM/DANCE Artney Jackson: July 16, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. TUESDAY 7/17 MUSIC Bang on a Can Summer...

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Pick of the Day 7/13: Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest
Jul12

Pick of the Day 7/13: Next Wave Stage at Green River Fest

My buddy Chris Goudreau made this his Staff Pick, so take heed: “Signature Sounds Recordings will continue its Next Wave Stage this year at the 2018 Green River Festival, highlighting up and coming teenage bands across the Pioneer Valley and northern Vermont. The lineup this year includes Amherst-based classic rock influenced band Glass House, indie pop/rock outfit Moxie from Brattleboro, VT, indie rock band Raspberry Jam from...

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Pick of the Day 7/12: Artney Jackson at Williamstown Theater Festival
Jul12

Pick of the Day 7/12: Artney Jackson at Williamstown Theater Festival

Obie Award winning actor Ray Anthony Thomas brings life to the world premiere of Artney Jackson at the Williamstown Theater Festival through July 22. Artney Jackson is about an African American man who is a respected employee at the local cable company. After 25 years, he has a chance to be manager, but his world is turned upside down when events at home and at the job threaten to derail his ambitions. Will Artney succeed? You’ll have...

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Local Calendar: Thursday 7/12 – Sunday 7/15
Jul12

Local Calendar: Thursday 7/12 – Sunday 7/15

THURSDAY 7/12 MUSIC Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival 2018: MASS MoCa, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams. David Krakauer’s Acoustic Klezmer Quartet: 8 p.m. Yiddish Book Center Members: $45, General Admission: $50. Delight in a performance emphasizing the beauty of traditional klezmer dance tunes, ritual songs, and reflective melodies. Yiddish Book Center, 1021 West St., Amherst. 413-256-4900. programs@yiddishbookcenter.org. Greenfield...

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Pick of the Day 7/11: The Closet at Williamstown Theater Festival
Jul11

Pick of the Day 7/11: The Closet at Williamstown Theater Festival

Matthew Broderick was, of course, Ferris Bueller, but he’s done a lot more than that.  He’s a Tony winner and he’s got nominations for Golden Globes and Emmys.  He has some cred.  So seeing him in The world premiere of The Closet is a HUGE treat!  Here’s the plays synopsis from the mouth of those who know best –WTF:  “Martin O’Reilly (Broderick) is stuck in Scranton in a dead-end job, his marriage...

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Stagestruck: Exciting new ideas from well-worn material
Jul10

Stagestruck: Exciting new ideas from well-worn material

A new thriller, a boundary-breaking dance form, a classic tragedy, and a dramatic sequel, all on area stages this month, illustrate the creative urge to mold existing materials into new forms. In the Valley, Silverthorne Theater Company presents White, Black and Blue, a new play by Steve Henderson and Will Chalmus. It’s a thriller with a sense of humor, a different kind of mistaken-identity adventure involving an unlikely trio. In the...

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Local Calendar: Monday 7/9 – Thursday 7/12
Jul09

Local Calendar: Monday 7/9 – Thursday 7/12

MONDAY 7/9 MUSIC Monday Night Music – Robert Speth and Jay Letourneau: 7 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Tilton Library, 75 N Main St., South Deerfield. STAGE/FILM/DANCE The Closet: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance.  1000 Main St., Williamstown. TUESDAY 7/10 MUSIC Northampton Jazz Workshop: 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. $5. NYC and Boston based guitarist Sheryl Bailey will be the guest soloist...

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Stagestruck: Compromises and Contradictions in Chester
Jul07

Stagestruck: Compromises and Contradictions in Chester

A poster hanging in the lobby at Chester Theater Company points out common roots and themes connecting Islam, Judaism and Christianity – for example, the Archangel Gabriel figures in all three religions’ core legends. It serves as prelude to the current production, which prowls around issues of faith and heritage in a fractious world. Director Kristen van Ginhoven and a superlative cast have created an arresting rendition of Ayad...

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Stagestruck: Masters of Melody, Onstage at BTG
Jul06

Stagestruck: Masters of Melody, Onstage at BTG

What happens when your music goes out of style? – when the teenagers are swooning over Elvis Presley instead of Frank Sinatra? If you’re Irving Berlin, and it’s Christmas Eve 1956, and the song at the top of the Hit Parade isn’t “White Christmas” but “Hound Dog,” you invite a couple of fellow songwriters over to your Manhattan townhouse to drink, kvetch, and reminisce. That’s the premise for Lee Kalcheim’s charming and tuneful...

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Pick of the Day 7/8: Asleep at the Wheel
Jul06

Pick of the Day 7/8: Asleep at the Wheel

Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel is swinging through Northampton tonight! The Iron Horse is playing host to the Austin based band that’s been in existence in some form or another since 1970.  In that time, they’ve won 9 Grammys.  Check them out and close out your weekend with a bang.  Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St.,...

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Pick of the Day 7/7: Valley Show Girl
Jul06

Pick of the Day 7/7: Valley Show Girl

You know her, you love her, and you want to support her!  Jen Levesque, aka the Valley Show Girl aka the Valley Advocate graphics guru, hosts The Valley Show Girl premiere tonight at 13th Floor Music Lounge.   Everybody who’s anybody will be there; she’s lined up a slate of bands sure to please!  Check out From The Woods, Arc City Angels, Flathead Rodeo, and Hannah Rose tonight in Florence!  13th Floor Music Lounge at 9...

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Local Calendar: Thursday 7/5- Sunday 7/8
Jul05

Local Calendar: Thursday 7/5- Sunday 7/8

THURSDAY 7/5 MUSIC Drop-in Traditional Music Sessions: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $5. Friendly traditional music sessions. Moderate swingy pace. Adults and teens of all skill levels welcome – and not just fiddles. Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., Northampton. fiddlewesternmass@gmail.com. Greenfield Coop Concerts: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Featuring Sheryl Stanton, Jim Eagan, Charlie Conant. Energy Park, 50 Miles St., Greenfield....

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Stagestruck: Weekend Update
Jul04

Stagestruck: Weekend Update

For your consideration – four shows playing in the region this weekend, two that hark back to the ’60s/’70s and forward to tomorrow, plus a Shakespearean comedy and a jungle adventure. The Ko Festival of Performance opens its five-weekend season with The Radicalization Process, a multilayered piece from the The Hinterlands ensemble. Performances are Friday to Sunday, July 6-8, in the Holden Theater on the Amherst College campus. The...

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Wedding Belles – Gay marriage is a hot topic in this bake shop
Jul03

Wedding Belles – Gay marriage is a hot topic in this bake shop

These days, fiction can hardly keep up with real life. Take The Cake, playing at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield through July 15. It opened last month, just days after the Supreme Court upheld a Colorado baker’s refusal, on religious grounds, to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Bekah Brunstetter’s play concerns another baker, who likewise declines to make such a cake for another such couple. It handles this hot-button...

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Stagestruck: WTF is going on
Jul02

Stagestruck: WTF is going on

Two world premieres kick off the season at Williamstown Theatre Festival, one a raucous comedy, the other a brief, intimate tragedy. The Closet holds forth on WTF’s Main Stage through July 14th, while The Sound Inside plays through the 8th on the smaller Nikos Stage. Both feature bona fide stars in roles that fit them well. Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside, unfolding over an intermissionless 90 minutes, is is a rather bleak...

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Local Calendar: Monday 7/2 – Thursday 7/5
Jul02

Local Calendar: Monday 7/2 – Thursday 7/5

MONDAY 7/2 STAGE/FILM/DANCE The Closet: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. The Sound Inside: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. TUESDAY 7/3 STAGE/FILM/DANCE The Closet: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. Make It Funny Open Mic Comedy: 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. Make-It Springfield, 168 Worthington St., Springfield. The Sound Inside: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown. WEDNESDAY/ 7/4 MUSIC 49th Season...

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Stagestruck: Hip-Hop Hybrid — Ephrat Asherie Dance at Jacob’s Pillow
Jun29

Stagestruck: Hip-Hop Hybrid — Ephrat Asherie Dance at Jacob’s Pillow

The dance companies that opened this year’s season at Jacob’s Pillow epitomize the festival’s enduring mission. This week the mainstage hosts Pilobolus, one of the pillars of modern dance and still innovating after 45 years. And in the Pillow’s intimate Doris Duke Theatre, Ephrat Asherie Dance exemplifies the festival’s ongoing commitment to stylistic and thematic boundary-pushing. Both shows run through Sunday July 1st. I was at...

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Pick of the Day 6/28: The Road to Mecca
Jun28

Pick of the Day 6/28: The Road to Mecca

Silverthorne Theater opens its production The Road to Mecca this evening.  Helen is a South African widow and has been working on a sculpture garden, which is a dream trip to “Mecca.” Her pastor is urging her to move into a senior retirement home, but a Capetown school teacher enters her life and she is encouraged to continue pursuing her art.  The play is based on a real person, Helen Martins, and it’s set in her...

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Pick of the Day 6/27: The Naked + Famous
Jun27

Pick of the Day 6/27: The Naked + Famous

The New Zealand indie electronic band Naked and Famous just played a sold out show in DC and they’re bringing their Stripped tour to town tonight at the Iron Horse.  The band has been around since 2007 and has produced three albums.  Tonight they’ll strip their hits and favorites down to the acoustic bone, which should be delightful; it will allow Alisa Xayalith’s voice to really shine. 7 p.m. Iron Horse Music Hall,...

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Stagestruck: At a Crossroads on “The Road to Mecca”
Jun25

Stagestruck: At a Crossroads on “The Road to Mecca”

Silverthorne Theater Company has come a long way since its founding five summers ago. Struggling at first with difficult venues and miniscule audiences, the company, under the leadership of Lucinda Kidder, is now celebrating the half-decade mark with a permanent home and full houses. It’s the resident theater in Greenfield’s cultural hub, the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center. (Full disclosure: I’ve worked there as a director.)...

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Local Calendar: Monday 6/25 – Thursday 6/28
Jun25

Local Calendar: Monday 6/25 – Thursday 6/28

MONDAY 6/25 MUSIC A Very Intimate Acoustic Evening with Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo: June 25, 8 p.m. $71 – $141. Experience special arrangements from two rock and roll icons during A Very Intimate Acoustic Evening with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle St., Great Barrington. 413-528-0100. info@mahaiwe.org. Jazz Bones Music Concert: June 25, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Free. Town Common, East...

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Pick of the Day 6/25: Summer Concert in Turner’s Falls
Jun25

Pick of the Day 6/25: Summer Concert in Turner’s Falls

Let’s dance! That’s what the Montague Community Band wants you to do tonight.  A concert on the lawn at Peskeomuscut Park in Turner’s Falls will give you a dose of summer in New England. This week’s theme is, indeed, “Let’s Dance” so I suspect you’d better be prepared to move.  If you’re wallflower, however, that’s OK; you’re encouraged to bring a blanket and relax....

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Stagestruck: A lawyer walks into a rabbi’s office…
Jun23

Stagestruck: A lawyer walks into a rabbi’s office…

Bar Mitzvah Boy is a comedy that looks seriously at faith, community, and loss. Its premise contains the seeds of sitcom: A middle-aged Jewish lawyer who hasn’t set foot in a synagogue since he was a boy is suddenly in a rush to have his way-overdue becoming-a-man ceremony. He convinces (or rather bullies) the rabbi, who has her – yes, her – own more pressing needs, to be his personal tutor. Chester Theatre Company’s season opener, by...

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Local Calendar: Thursday 6/21- Sunday 6/24
Jun21

Local Calendar: Thursday 6/21- Sunday 6/24

THURSDAY 6/21 MUSIC British Dance Invasion: 7 p.m. Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main St., Northampton. Colorway Album Release with Easy Weasel, Featuring Chris Collingwood: 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. $10 advance, $12 at the door. Colorway has been keeping the spirit of rock music alive in the valley for five years. New album release party with Easy Weasel opening. New City Brewery, 180 Pleasant St., Easthampton. Drop-in Traditional...

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Pick of the Day 6/21: Vilray at the Parlor Room
Jun21

Pick of the Day 6/21: Vilray at the Parlor Room

There’s a lot going on tonight: Junior Reid at Hawks and Reed and Liz Longley at the Iron Horse. But I thought I’d let Vilray (pronounce Vil-ree) give his own shout out for today’s pick. He posted this back on 6/11. You can see him up close and personal at the Parlor Room tonight. He describes his sound as a mix of  jazz and country-swing. The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St, Northampton. I am at @ParlorRoomMusic 6-21 and...

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Stagestruck: “Tight Pants” and strong bonds
Jun20

Stagestruck: “Tight Pants” and strong bonds

A six-week workshop for first-time playwrights taught by the Majestic Theater’s Danny Eaton has borne unexpected fruit. It has not only brought forth a full-length play, but has inspired Eaton to establish an annual “new works” week at the theater. Betel Arnold’s Tight Pants, which grew out of that workshop, inaugurates the projected series this weekend. Arnold’s play is set in the Dominican Republic, her mother’s homeland. It’s an...

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Pick of the Day 6/20: Junior Brown at the Iron Horse
Jun20

Pick of the Day 6/20: Junior Brown at the Iron Horse

Okay, honestly, I can’t stand new country music; it’s a horrible thing.  I absolutely despise it.  So when somebody like Junior Brown blows into town, it’s an opportunity  to hear country music done right.  Junior Brown’s a country guitarist and singer, and he’s not like Brad Paisley or Zac Brown or whoever else is hot in Nascar Nation right now.  No, Junior Brown’s been playing since the ’60s...

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Pick of the Day 6/19: Mutlu at the Iron Horse
Jun19

Pick of the Day 6/19: Mutlu at the Iron Horse

After last night’s wild and woolly weather, you need a de-stressor. Check out the smoothness of Mutlu at the Iron Horse tonight.  He’s a real deal, a soulful singer-songwriter from Philly and a proud first-generation American of Turkish descent. He’s shared the stage and studio with heavyweights Darryl Hall, Adele, and The Blind Boys of Alabama.  The good people in the City of Brotherly Love have shown Mutlu a lot of love,...

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Stagestruck: A Crisis of Faith, with Laughs
Jun18

Stagestruck: A Crisis of Faith, with Laughs

Church & State is the funniest play about a serious issue I have ever seen. The issue is gun violence, specifically mass shootings, and the humor is threaded into the storyline so organically that, far from cheapening the theme, it lends to it a richer, more deeply human heart. The central figure in the Berkshire Theatre Group’s thrilling production is North Carolina’s (fictitious) junior senator, Republican Charles Whitmore, who...

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Stagestruck: Barrington’s world premiere musical — not ready for prime time
Jun15

Stagestruck: Barrington’s world premiere musical — not ready for prime time

The “royal family” of Broadway in the early 20th century was the Barrymores – Ethel, “first lady of the American theater,” John the swashbuckling Shakespearean, and Lionel, best remembered now as mean old Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. The hit Broadway comedy of 1927 was The Royal Family, an affectionate sendup of the Barrymores and the showbiz aristocracy they embodied. Now it’s a musical, The Royal Family of Broadway, which...

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Pick of the Day 6/15: Hot Club of Cowtown at the Iron Horse
Jun14

Pick of the Day 6/15: Hot Club of Cowtown at the Iron Horse

The Hot Club of Cowtown is at the Iron Horse, swinging and twanging and doing their thing tonight.  They’re celebrating their 20th anniversary by releasing their first-ever CD format of their very first recording, Western Clambake. Western Clambake has only been available on cassette tape.  You may now party like it’s not 1999. You’re welcome.  Here’s what folks in the know say about Hot Club of Cowtown:  Their...

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Pick of the Day 6/14: Albert Lee at the Iron Horse
Jun14

Pick of the Day 6/14: Albert Lee at the Iron Horse

English guitarist Albert Lee is at the Iron Horse tonight. Lee is known for his fingerstyle and hybrid picking technique. A Grammy winner, Eric Clapton says Lee is “the ultimate virtuoso. His skill is extraordinary, his ear is extraordinary and he’s gifted on just about every level.” That’s pretty high praise from Slowhand, himself. The Iron Horse, 20 Center St.,...

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Local Calendar: Thursday 6/14- Sunday 6/17
Jun14

Local Calendar: Thursday 6/14- Sunday 6/17

THURSDAY 6/14 MUSIC Albert Lee: 7 p.m. Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton. Drop-in Traditional Music Sessions: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $5 at the door. Friendly traditional music sessions. Moderate swingy pace. Adults and teens of all skill levels welcome – and not just fiddles. Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St., Northampton. fiddlewesternmass@gmail.com. Greenfield Coop Concerts: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free....

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Stagestruck: At Shakespeare & Company, the Show Must, and Did, Go On
Jun13

Stagestruck: At Shakespeare & Company, the Show Must, and Did, Go On

A theater story: For three years in the mid-’70s, Anthony Perkins starred in the long-running Broadway production of Equus, playing the psychiatrist Dr. Dysart (pause for Psycho jokes). Just before one matinee came an announcement: “Anthony Perkins will not be appearing in this performance.” Groans of disappointment! “His role will be played by Richard Burton.” Buzz of excitement! At the time, Burton, who had played the part in...

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Staff Picks: Pub Sing, Mutlu, and Deus Ex Machina
Jun13

Staff Picks: Pub Sing, Mutlu, and Deus Ex Machina

Pub sing at McNeill’s // Saturday, June 16 There isn’t enough singing in our pubs around here. But McNeill’s in Brattleboro is working to fix that. Led by Tony Barrand and Amanda Witman, the bar is open for sea shanties, work songs, pub songs, and all the rest. Open to all. NcNeill’s Brewery, 90 Elliot St., Brattleboro. 3-5 p.m. Free. — Dave Eisenstadter   Mutlu // Tuesday, June 19 Mutlu is a soulful, singer-songwriter from...

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