The Beerhunter: Shake Your Cabin Fever with a Taproom Day Trip 
Feb19

The Beerhunter: Shake Your Cabin Fever with a Taproom Day Trip 

It is right about now, during the shortest month of the year, that I have sat through some of the longest evenings of my life. Cabin fever is no joke, even if your cabin comes equipped with a fire, good books, and a stockpile of craft beer (plus some loved ones, I guess). February is cold, wet, and boring enough to make you pine for a quick spring thaw. It will come. Until then, remember that most breweries are open, and those valiant...

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Book Bag: ‘Enchantée’ by Gita Trelease; ‘Seven Full days’ by Ferris Shelton
Feb19

Book Bag: ‘Enchantée’ by Gita Trelease; ‘Seven Full days’ by Ferris Shelton

ENCHANTÉE By Gita Trelease Flatiron Books gitatrelease.com In Paris in 1789, as poverty grips most of the populace, and the aristocrats’ indifference to people’s suffering breeds growing anger, 17-year-old Camille Durbonne is struggling to provide for herself and her younger sister, Sophie. The girls’ parents have died from smallpox, and their dissolute brother, Alain, is busy gambling away what little money they have. Camille, the...

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Cinemadope: Natural Causes: The strange beauties of Rosamond Purcell
Feb19

Cinemadope: Natural Causes: The strange beauties of Rosamond Purcell

The photography of Rosamond Purcell is work that often feels plucked from another period. Her artistic impulse — what filmmaker Errol Morris described as “the contemplation of things that other people would normally just ignore” — harkens back to a time when many artists were also de facto naturalists, dealing with cadavers, carcasses, and the process of decay in the service of creating a new way of seeing the world around us. But...

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Wellness: Workouts that actually work out
Feb18

Wellness: Workouts that actually work out

It’s a month and a half into 2019, and what may have seemed like an easily obtainable fitness resolution on New Year’s Day might not seem that way anymore. To encourage those who may need a boost, we asked readers and fitness experts to share their best fitness advice. Siobhan Tripp of Hatfield says she seeks out fitness activities at the gym that she enjoys. “For me, it’s going to classes,” she said. Tripp schedules and tracks her...

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V-Spot: How Do I Stop Faking My Orgasms?
Feb18

V-Spot: How Do I Stop Faking My Orgasms?

Dear Yana, I’m in my early 30s and have been faking orgasms for about a decade of a colorful, explorative — if not straight up hyphy — sex life. I had my first orgasm about 13 years ago with a partner, who helped me discover simultaneous clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex. In the decade since, I’ve gotten down with all kinds of exciting and talented lovers, some of whom I’ve also definitely loved — none of whom got the job...

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Letters to the editor: Passing the volunteer baton
Feb18

Letters to the editor: Passing the volunteer baton

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject.   Limousine Liberals — a rebuttal What makes those right wingers think that right...

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Stoner Will & The Narks on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Feb16

Stoner Will & The Narks on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Stoner Will & The Narks play slacker rock with a biting satirical bent. Check out the band’s Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Stoner Will & The...

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Advocate Staff Picks: Feb. 15 – 23
Feb15

Advocate Staff Picks: Feb. 15 – 23

Ch’CHUNK! at Luthier’s Co-op // FRIDAY, Feb. 15 Ch’Chunk is self-described as “a modern take on classic swing.” The band plays great original songs as well as Tin Pan Alley classics that instantly transports your mind to a dimly lit speakeasy. So, with that in mind, let guitar bar Luthier’s Co-op on Friday be your mind speakeasy this week from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Plus there’s two other great local bands that have performed on...

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Bizarro Briefs: Nazi Art Not a Winner
Feb15

Bizarro Briefs: Nazi Art Not a Winner

Nazi art not a winner Adolf Hitler can’t seem to catch a break. First, his quest for world domination hit a snag in the 1940s when the Allies defeated him in World War II, and now, no one wants watercolor paintings attributed to him. None of the five paintings believed to be painted by him received a bid at a German auction this week. Some believe that this is because the paintings are suspected fakes. But others just don’t think they...

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Free Will Astrology: There are more galaxies near the big dipper than you think, Gemini
Feb15

Free Will Astrology: There are more galaxies near the big dipper than you think, Gemini

ARIES (March 21-April 19): When directors of movies say, “It’s a wrap,” they mean that the shooting of a scene has been finished. They may use the same expression when the shooting of the entire film is completed. That’s not the end of the creative process, of course. All the editing must still be done. Once that’s accomplished, the producer may declare that the final product is “in the can,” and ready to be released or broadcast....

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Stagestruck: Big Apple Bites
Feb15

Stagestruck: Big Apple Bites

At first glance, you’d think the two plays I saw in New York City last week have little in common. One is an international import from London to Broadway, the other an Off-Broadway transfer from a small regional theater in Vermont. One is twice as long as the other and fields a cast four times as large (and costs more than twice as much to see). One is set in Northern Ireland in 1981, the other in eastern Massachusetts in the present...

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Purging Plastic: The quest to break the addiction to single-use garbage
Feb14

Purging Plastic: The quest to break the addiction to single-use garbage

Eight billion metric tons. According to Industrial Ecologist Roland Geyer of the University of California, Santa Barbara, that is the amount of plastic that has been produced since the 1950s, and almost half of that, was created after the year 2000, causing plastic pollution and its environmental impacts to explode as well. Many argue that it is our societal addiction to convenience and a lack of forward thinking that has allowed...

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Valley Show Girl: And The Kids’ Whimsical Indie Rock
Feb14

Valley Show Girl: And The Kids’ Whimsical Indie Rock

Signature Sounds recording artists And The Kids from Northampton have made a name for themselves throughout their active musician years in the Valley. They’ve been locally and nationally covered and very recently had a live set at Paste Magazine that was streamed through social media. They are about to release their latest masterpiece on Feb. 22. Guitarist and vocalist Hannah Mohan and drummer Rebecca Lasaponaro first met in junior...

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Editorial: Back in the Weekly Swing
Feb14

Editorial: Back in the Weekly Swing

Excitement. Elation. Eagerness. Those were the emotions that bubbled up when I got the news that the Advocate would be returning to a weekly schedule, and that after six months performing other roles in the company I was being asked to return as its editor. What you now hold in your hands (online readers will have to imagine this) is the last of the Advocate’s biweekly issues. Also, after a stint going purely arts and entertainment,...

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Cinemadope: Movies for winter vacation
Feb14

Cinemadope: Movies for winter vacation

Listen, I love my kids. I do. But it’s been a long winter around here. The holiday season was a terrible round-robin of stomach bugs, the heat went on the fritz in their bedroom, and a cold snap kept us cooped up in the house on days when their energy level could have powered the whole of the Eastern Seaboard for a holiday weekend. Things were just getting back to normal (though let’s be honest, fellow parents: this has all in fact...

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Stagestruck: Mashups in Makeup
Feb11

Stagestruck: Mashups in Makeup

How’s this for genre mashups: Brontë gothic in which two of the characters are animals. Wildean romcom in which all the actors are women. Golden Age Spain in which a woman lives as a man. Multidisciplinary invention in which diversity seeks community. Renaissance tragedy in which the title character uncannily resembles a certain megalomaniac of today. Such are the parameters of upcoming productions on Five College stages this month...

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Electrio on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Feb09

Electrio on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Electrio combines blues rock with progressive rock, funky grooves, and experimental stylings. Check out the band’s Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with...

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Stagestruck: Hi, Honey, I’m Home!
Feb04

Stagestruck: Hi, Honey, I’m Home!

When Nora Helmer famously slammed the door on her empty marriage at the end of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, she changed the course of theatrical history, and social history as well. But shutting the door on one story implicitly opened another, and thus left a question hanging. What became of Nora after she claimed her freedom, leaving her husband and children to plunge into a world where women were largely defined by their marital...

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Raspberry Jam on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Feb01

Raspberry Jam on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Raspberry Jam plays catchy progressive indie rock that’ll get you on the dance floor. Check out the band’s Valley Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Raspberry...

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Stagestruck: Conversations and Conflicts
Jan27

Stagestruck: Conversations and Conflicts

Theater, Sheryl Stoodley firmly believes, “can be the starting point for conversations – much-needed at this point in our United States and in the world.” To that end, Serious Play, the theater Stoodley leads, “works toward reshaping society’s conversation on prominent social issues through the art of ensemble theater.” Her new initiative, under the umbrella title Conversations For Our Times Through Theatre, aims to involve...

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No Lens on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jan25

No Lens on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

No Lens combines reggae rock with acoustic folk and funk grooves. Check out the band’s performance on Valley Advocate Sessions in the video below. Interview with No...

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Stagestruck: Found and Lost
Jan22

Stagestruck: Found and Lost

In a program note for The Engagement Party, Samuel Baum says his play is “an exploration of secrets and lies.” Which puts it right in his wheelhouse, as his credits include the TV psycho-crime drama Lie to Me and the movie Wizard of Lies. He says he’s also interested in the notion of “how in relationships it takes years to build trust but only seconds to destroy it.” Those seconds quickly count down in this brief, absorbing play,...

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The V-Spot: Sex Drives Are Slacking & I Feel Lacking
Jan21

The V-Spot: Sex Drives Are Slacking & I Feel Lacking

Hi Yana, I’m a junior in college and I’ve been dating my boyfriend since our freshman year. Initially the relationship was steamy and passionate. I was his first sexual partner so we did a lot of experimenting and discovering together. As is perhaps inevitable, that steamy passion gradually decreased. Sophomore year his sex drive experienced a sharp decline and mine remained constant. In the first year of our relationship, things felt...

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Dicey Riley with Zoe Darrow on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jan18

Dicey Riley with Zoe Darrow on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Dicey Riley with Zoe Darrow is a Celtic-folk influenced rock band with virtuoso fiddle and electric bagpipes. Check out the band’s full Valley Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Dicey Riley and Zoe...

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Cinemadope: Superhero overload
Jan18

Cinemadope: Superhero overload

In the last decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has cast a long shadow over the rest of the filmmaking world. Beginning with the surprisingly wide-reaching hit that was 2008’s Iron Man, the series of interconnected films — now up to twenty titles and about as many billions — has redefined today’s blockbuster. Where comic book heroes were once scoffed at, they’re now the biggest box office draw in the world. Before you write...

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Cinemadope: Star Gazing – A Celebrity Tells Her Tale
Jan18

Cinemadope: Star Gazing – A Celebrity Tells Her Tale

Some years back, one of my many day jobs had me working a small newsstand. Mostly, it meant selling local papers and coffee, and, once a month or so, packing up all the glossier magazines that hadn’t sold during the previous weeks. Those days were like spending hours in the check-out line at the supermarket, surrounded by the suntanning flesh of celebrities caught (sometimes literally) with their pants down. I don’t read much of those...

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Stagestruck: Having a Go, Script in Hand
Jan17

Stagestruck: Having a Go, Script in Hand

Allyn Burrows, Shakespeare & Company’s artistic director, calls it “a great way to get out in the middle of winter … a great opportunity for the audience to let their imaginations just run wild.” It’s the theater’s annual Studio Festival, a weekend of bare-bones readings of plays brand-new and not-so-old, performed by company members and guest artists. This year’s lineup, Saturday and Sunday Jan. 19-20, reflects the...

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Stagestruck: Happening New Year — Valley stages ring in the 2019 season
Jan13

Stagestruck: Happening New Year — Valley stages ring in the 2019 season

Barely two weeks into the new year and already my theatergoing calendar is crowded with upcoming shows. From an operatic Sweeney Todd to a historical fantasy to a “pseudo-historical psycho-romance,” to pick three for this month, 2019 is off to a promising start. The Mountaintop is already playing at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, and runs through February 10. It takes place on an April midnight in 1968 in Martin Luther King...

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Cinemadope: A city, one step at a time
Jan11

Cinemadope: A city, one step at a time

One of the best things about The New Yorker magazine — other than the cartoons, of course — has always been the attention it pays to the oddball stories of the city. For this writer’s money, it will always be Joseph Mitchell who set the bar; have a look at his classic New Yorker pieces, collected in book form as Up in the Old Hotel, and marvel at the multitude of eccentrics and peculiar personalities that form the beating heart of the...

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Moving Day on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jan11

Moving Day on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Moving Day is a an indie rock duo in the spirit of 1960s pop music. Check out the band’s Valley Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Moving...

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Monte Belmonte Wines: Could Monte Love A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc?
Jan08

Monte Belmonte Wines: Could Monte Love A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc?

Liz: “We’re really a nation of innovators and I think it shows in our wine industry.” Monte: “Plus, you’ve got penguins, right?” Liz: “Right.” Monte: “New Zealand is one of the top places people looked up as to how to move there after the election of Trump. It it hard to defect? Are you married right now?” Liz: “We could continue talking about the wine, if you like?” Monte: “Look, it would just be a marriage of convenience…” Two...

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The V-Spot: Help! NRE Feels Bad to Me!
Jan08

The V-Spot: Help! NRE Feels Bad to Me!

Dear Yana, How do I stay chill when I’m interested in somebody new? Getting too excited (read: obsessed) with new people is no good for any of my relationships, regardless of how well the new connection is going. I’m a polyamorous person with a wonderful, supportive long-distance partner and several other fantastic people sprinkled throughout my life. My relationship style should theoretically offer up a very low-pressure...

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Valley Show Girl: The Gift of Music – A 2018 Local Music Retrospective
Jan07

Valley Show Girl: The Gift of Music – A 2018 Local Music Retrospective

The gift that keeps on giving is always the gift of music. You can go all out and get someone you love a new record player with a handful of vinyl for them to christen the needle with. You can pick up a CD or even a cassette, and you can purchase the album online to receive the download code to upload to your electronic device. So many options! Here are some of my recommendations with the newer albums I’ve been listening to nonstop,...

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Uncle Brothers on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Jan04

Uncle Brothers on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Uncle Brothers is a a progressive jazz metal band with electric trumpets and heavy distorted guitar riffs. Check out the band’s Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Uncle...

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Stagestruck: Six Degrees of Connection – The Berkshires’ Year in Theater
Dec30

Stagestruck: Six Degrees of Connection – The Berkshires’ Year in Theater

Six theater companies form a kind of chain across the southern and western Berkshires. From the closest to the Valley to the farthest, they are the hilltowns’ Chester Theatre Company, then westward (passing dance mecca Jacob’s Pillow) to Shakespeare & Company in Lenox and its neighbor, the Stockbridge campus of the Berkshire Theatre Festival, now headquartered to the north in Pittsfield, which is also home to Barrington Stage...

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