Review: Art Stop(s) on Main Street, Springfield, from magnificent to meh
Apr10

Review: Art Stop(s) on Main Street, Springfield, from magnificent to meh

I love the idea of art galleries everywhere — in empty downtown storefronts, in the halls of hospitals and the community rooms of nonprofit agencies — but it’s always a bit awkward, at first, to enjoy them.There’s a buzzer to hit, or a camera to stare into, or a front desk administrator from whom you need to request access or directions.But we should all hang that wariness at home — more than ever art is everywhere and we should take...

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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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Artists of a Feather
Jan09

Artists of a Feather

The Hosmer Gallery at the Forbes Library is hosting exhibitions this month from three talented local artists. Janice Doppler blends a love of ornithology and wood carving to create stunningly lifelike sculptures of a myriad of bird species, while Patricia Dorr Parker captures moments in nature through her Close to Home series of paintings and drawings. Finally, the paintings and drawings of Miriam Wells focus on American labor and...

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Stagestruck: Turning the Screw
Dec17

Stagestruck: Turning the Screw

Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel Fingersmith is a gothic mystery-romance set in Victorian England. It’s a tale of devious crime, illicit love and cascading betrayals, with as many hairpin plot turns as a, well, as a Victorian novel. Alexa Junge’s stage adaptation, developed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and now playing at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge through January 8th, skillfully wraps the 500-page book into...

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Cinemadope: Cracking a Chestnut
Dec12

Cinemadope: Cracking a Chestnut

When my wife and I began seeing each other — a decade ago, now — one of our early big dates was an afternoon out for a December performance of The Nutcracker, put on by the Pioneer Valley Ballet at the Academy of Music in Northampton. It felt special and somehow grand, with both of us in clothes we didn’t wear so often, each done up a bit for the occasion. But it also felt sweetly innocent and profoundly local, seeing those kids...

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