Back Talk: West Mess, readers respond to ‘West Mass’ tourism video
Mar13

Back Talk: West Mess, readers respond to ‘West Mass’ tourism video

‘West Mass’ Responses on Facebook… We had some questions about the ‘West Mass’ video, an effort by the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts to re-brand the area and attract tourists — and you had some thoughts about this dud, too. Here are some comments left on the Advocate’s website and Facebook page in response to “We Have Questions About That ‘West...

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Cold Fingers at the Iron Horse: Vanessa Carlton Calls for Boycott of Northampton Venue
Mar13

Cold Fingers at the Iron Horse: Vanessa Carlton Calls for Boycott of Northampton Venue

Vanessa Carlton may be best known for playing piano on the back of a truck while singing her hit song “A Thousand Miles,” but that doesn’t mean she’ll play just anywhere. The artist has standards — and they’re apparently higher than at least what one Northampton venue offered.Carlton was quick to voice what those standards were during her performance last week at the Iron Horse in Northampton, tweeting out her grievances with the...

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Between the Lines: Is Science Under Attack?
Feb06

Between the Lines: Is Science Under Attack?

The Trump administration’s order that all presentations and publications by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency be vetted by political appointees before their release to the public sent a shot of pain down my neck.Doug Ericksen, the EPA’s communications director during the transition, explained the policy in a Jan. 24 NPR interview. “We’ll take a look at what’s happening so that the voice coming from the EPA is one that’s going...

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Stagestruck: Changing Lives, One Play at a Time
Jan24

Stagestruck: Changing Lives, One Play at a Time

When I was in California last month, I saw two plays by a small, adventurous professional theater company in Berkeley that I’d never heard of. They’re called Shotgun Players, and they’ve gone straight to the top of my Bay Area must-see list.The shows I saw were riveting, in quite different ways, but more than that, the company’s core mission and key policies are, for me, what theater is – or should be – all about. In addition to...

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Stagestruck: Defying God … and Trump
Jan09

Stagestruck: Defying God … and Trump

Partway through last Friday’s performance at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater, something unscripted, overdue, and quite wonderful happened.The show was Peter Shaffer’s brilliant examination of genius and envy, Amadeus. The title refers to Mozart, but the protagonist, if we can call him that, is Antonio Salieri, a man blessed by fortune but despised, as he sees it, by God. Court composer to Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, he is the...

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