Stagestruck: Eight Shows for the Price of Two
Sep24

Stagestruck: Eight Shows for the Price of Two

This weekend and next, two theater companies demonstrate, once again, the breadth and variety of Valley stages. In Greenfield, Silverthorne Theater Company opens a two-week run of “six unruly comedies” by America’s cheekiest stage satirist, Christopher Durang. In Northampton, Serious Play Theatre Ensemble makes a triumphant return from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with a pair of pieces that marry words and music in unique ways....

Read More
Eva Cappelli on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Sep21

Eva Cappelli on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Eva Cappelli is a local songwriting queen who plays everything from blues and country to jazz and rock. Check out her Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Eva...

Read More
Stagestruck: Play by Play by Playwrights
Sep20

Stagestruck: Play by Play by Playwrights

Before a play hits the stage, it goes through several other stages. The first is the opposite of public performance – the writing, solo and in private. Then, for the members of the Northampton Playwrights Lab, it’s shared with a small circle of fellow dramatists, who offer insights and suggestions to the work in progress. Then, usually after several revisions and further feedback, it’s put on its feet for the first time in a reading....

Read More
Stagestruck: Hometown Tales & Terrors
Sep19

Stagestruck: Hometown Tales & Terrors

Walk down Main Street in any small American town and look around. There are the unassuming shopfronts and placid homes, holding private, ordinary lives. But behind the doors lie extraordinary secrets and dreams. Three plays this weekend in our not-so-ordinary Valley take us down some increasingly twisty side streets, from Thornton Wilder’s deceptively tranquil village, to a high school that hides the portal to an underworld of...

Read More
Cinemadope: The Informant – A drug war casualty
Sep17

Cinemadope: The Informant – A drug war casualty

In regional conflicts around the world, the use of child soldiers has become a sadly common phenomenon. Boys and girls — some still under ten — are pulled or forced into violent, dangerous situations far beyond anything they are prepared for physically or emotionally. When Americans hear these children’s stories, they are usually set in far-off jungles or forests, where charismatic and threatening leaders create a self-contained world...

Read More
Stagestruck: Puppets in the Green Mountains
Sep15

Stagestruck: Puppets in the Green Mountains

For two decades, Sandglass Theater, the justly world-renowned puppetry troupe headquartered in Putney, Vermont, has produced an international festival that serves as a gathering and showcase for masters of the form. The tenth biennial “Puppets in the Green Mountains” festival, Sept. 20-23 in Putney and Brattleboro, offers a variety of cross-disciplinary performances, some “for all ages” and some primarily for grownups. The performers,...

Read More
Riley Godleski on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Sep14

Riley Godleski on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Riley Godleski is a local singer-songwriter who perfroms indie pop mixed with bittersweet melodies and melancholy alternative folk. Interview with Riley...

Read More
VIDEO: Riley Godleski on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Sep12

VIDEO: Riley Godleski on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Check out a teaser video for Riley Godleski – indie pop mixed with bittersweet melodies and melancholy alternative folk.

Read More
Stagestruck: Women in the Saddle
Sep12

Stagestruck: Women in the Saddle

Hot on the heels of my recent rundown of women’s representation in the area’s summer theaters comes more encouraging evidence from some of the fall season’s first shows. The Majestic Theater is playing a cowboy musical in which the lead is not a boy. WAM Theater, which provides on- and offstage opportunities for women, continues its popular staged-reading series. And Pittsfield’s Whitney Center for the Arts revives the classic...

Read More
Austin & Elliott on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Sep07

Austin & Elliott on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Austin & Elliott are an acoustic folk duo who write ballads about love and death. Check out their complete Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Austin &...

Read More
Stagestruck: An Extraordinary Ordinary Man
Sep06

Stagestruck: An Extraordinary Ordinary Man

Two years ago I reviewed A Fiery and Still Voice, a living-history performance at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, Mass. The delightfully engaging show by Enchanted Circle Theater is back for four Saturdays this fall – Sept. 8th & 15th and Oct. 13th & 27th, two shows a day, 11 and 1. Info and tickets here. Here’s what I wrote about it at its premiere. If you’re like me, you studied William Cullen...

Read More
Stagestruck: Minority Report — Women and people of color on summer-theater stages
Sep05

Stagestruck: Minority Report — Women and people of color on summer-theater stages

Readers of this column will know my practice of periodically reporting on the progress (or not) in the representation of women and people of color in area theaters. The summer season has recently ended, so I’ve been making a tally of this summer’s shows. The news is good. My usual accounting falls into three categories — plays written by, directed by, and centrally featuring women and/or “minorities.” This year the results are better...

Read More
Mike Spector on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Aug31

Mike Spector on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Mike Spector is a local singer-songwriter who writes soulful folk ballads about love and heartache. Check out his complete Advocate Sessions performance in the video below. Interview with Mike...

Read More
Cinemadope: Starman – the undeniable talents of David Bowie
Aug31

Cinemadope: Starman – the undeniable talents of David Bowie

For all his undeniable talent as a musician and songwriter, the late David Bowie was always an incredibly visual creature. His many guises onstage and off told the story of an artist completely comfortable with the process of reinventing himself, and while some might see it as mere resurfacing — the suit and tie that gave way to the glam of Ziggy Stardust that morphed into The Thin White Duke — Bowie never let it stop at skin-deep....

Read More
Bizarro Briefs: A Mammoth Hat
Aug31

Bizarro Briefs: A Mammoth Hat

If you suddenly came into possession of a bag of woolly mammoth hair, the first thing to come to mind likely wouldn’t be a hat. A man in Yakutsk, the capital of one of Russia’s eastern provinces, created a traditional style hat, usually reserved for horse hair, from woolly mammoth hairs. The bag of ancient fur had been sold to the man from a relative in need of funds after it was discovered on a permafrost melt hunt. Now, the man is...

Read More
Back Talk: Support for Eric Nakajima and thanks to the League of Women Voters
Aug31

Back Talk: Support for Eric Nakajima and thanks to the League of Women Voters

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.  Vote for Eric Nakajima on Sept. 4  As a longtime local progressive activist, and Democratic Party leader and friend in Hampshire County and beyond, I strongly encourage residents of Amherst, Pelham, and...

Read More
Free Will Astrology: Unleash your bravado without getting yourself kidnapped, Leo
Aug31

Free Will Astrology: Unleash your bravado without getting yourself kidnapped, Leo

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” our heroine encounters a talking caterpillar as he smokes a hookah on top of a tall mushroom. “Who are you?” he asks her. Alice is honest: “I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” She says this with uneasiness. In the last few hours, she has twice been shrunken down to a...

Read More
VIDEO: Mike Spector on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday
Aug30

VIDEO: Mike Spector on Valley Advocate Sessions Friday

Check out a teaser video of this week’s Advocate Sessions performer – soulful folk singer-songwriter Mike Spector. His full Valley Advocate Sessions video and interview will be released this...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/29: Betty: They Say I’m Different
Aug29

Pick of the Day 8/29: Betty: They Say I’m Different

Betty Davis was more than just Miles Davis’ wife; she was a funky musical force who was a head of her time when it came to demanding control over her image and her recordings. In the early 1980s Betty disappeared from public life.  In 2012 filmmakers discovered Betty living in Pittsburgh and eventually captured her story. Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity St.,...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/28: Mama Caught Fire, Kimaya Diggs, and Emma June at the Iron Horse
Aug28

Pick of the Day 8/28: Mama Caught Fire, Kimaya Diggs, and Emma June at the Iron Horse

 Minneapolis trio Mama Caught Fire heads a line up of girl power tonight! Kimaya Diggs and Emma June complete the trifecta. Iron Horse Music Hall, 10 Center St.,...

Read More
Stagestruck: Physick and Physics at Shakespeare & Company
Aug25

Stagestruck: Physick and Physics at Shakespeare & Company

A few years ago, when I told my brother I was directing a production of As You Like It, he said, “That’s the one about Beatrice and Benedick, isn’t it?” Well, no, but the confusion is understandable. Several of Shakespeare’s comedies have interchangeable titles: As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing (the one my brother was thinking of), All’s Well That Ends Well, and for that matter, Twelfth Night. As You Like It is the one about the...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/25: BSO celebrates Bernstein Centennial at Tanglewood
Aug25

Pick of the Day 8/25: BSO celebrates Bernstein Centennial at Tanglewood

The great conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein would be 100 this year! Happy birthday, Maestro! Celebrate with the BSO at Tanglewood tonight. 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Shed. 297 West St., Lenox.

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/24: RPM
Aug25

Pick of the Day 8/24: RPM

Three days of metal, punk, and rock? Could it be? Yes! And it happening NOW!!  RPM Fest is New England’s biggest heavy music and camping festival, featuring 50 bands including Black Tusk, Tombs, Whores, Acid Witch, Child Bite, INCITE, Against the Grain, S.N.A.F.U. , Dead Empires, BARISHI, Heavy Temple, Worshipper, and more!  Performances on three stages, beer, food, vendors, games, and more.  Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club. 210...

Read More
Stagestruck: At Barrington Stage, a revival and a premiere
Aug24

Stagestruck: At Barrington Stage, a revival and a premiere

Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield is ending its impressive summer season with a pair of productions, one celebrating a 50-year-old milestone, the other confronting our troubled present. On the mainstage, a lovingly rendered revival of West Side Story, running through Sept. 1st, honors the musical’s half-century along with the 100th birthdays of its prime creators, composer Leonard Bernstein and director/choreographer Jerome...

Read More
Wendy Eisenberg on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Aug24

Wendy Eisenberg on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

Wendy Eisenberg is a virtuoso guitarist who combines experimental songwriting with jazz and indie folk. Check out her full performance in the video below. Interview with Wendy...

Read More
The V-Spot: Is My BF Having Multiple Orgasms?
Aug24

The V-Spot: Is My BF Having Multiple Orgasms?

Hi Yana, My boyfriend and I have been together for six years but only recently discovered that he can have multiple orgasms. If he puts his penis back inside me or if I stimulate just the tip a few seconds after he has orgasmed he can ejaculate a second time. At first he was self conscious about the mess and didn’t want to do it again. But after reassuring him that I don’t mind a mess we have done it more than once....

Read More

Pick of the Day 8/23: Dick Dale

“King of the Surf Guitar” Dick Dale is at the Iron Horse tonight.  Dale  “pretty much invented the style single-handedly.” Just think of Pulp Fiction‘s reintroduction to “Misirlou.” He’s the precursor to Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. Catch him tonight,...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/22: Louise Dunphy’s “Celtic Crossing” at the Iron Horse
Aug22

Pick of the Day 8/22: Louise Dunphy’s “Celtic Crossing” at the Iron Horse

Louis Dunphy’s Celtic Crossings began in 2005 as a LIVE radio program on WMUA 91.1fm Amherst and now airs every Sunday morning @ 7am on The River.  The show focuses on Celtic music and often hosts nationally and internationally recognized performers with live studio interviews and performances.  Dunphy will celebrate a milestone birthday with headliners House of Hamill. Local musicians, John Coster and Friends will open. The...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/21: Transperformance 28: Amperbands
Aug21

Pick of the Day 8/21: Transperformance 28: Amperbands

Celebrate community and the arts with Transperformance 28: AmperBands! Featuring Colorway as Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Soul Magnets as Sly & the Family Stone, Fancy Trash as Paul McCartney & Wings, King Radio as Simon & Garfunkel, Eric Olsson and Free Range Cats as Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, and so many more!  4:00-9:30 p.m.  Pines Theater-Look Park, 300 N Main St., Florence.   Adults $10;...

Read More
Back Talk: Reactions to the Valley Advocate’s endorsement of Chelsea Kline
Aug21

Back Talk: Reactions to the Valley Advocate’s endorsement of Chelsea Kline

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.  Reactions to the Advocate’s endorsement of Chelsea Kline In response to “Vote for Chelsea Kline for State Senate on Sept. 4” (August 2 -15, 2018):  The Advocate’s choice for the replacement of Stan...

Read More
Bizarro Briefs: Have You Herd This One?
Aug21

Bizarro Briefs: Have You Herd This One?

A usually calm herd of cows became vigilantes when they began chasing a fleeing suspect in Sanford, Florida. The Sanford Police Department said officers attempted to make a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle. The driver took off and crashed into a ditch. The passenger fled the vehicle at which time the cows decided to make a citizen’s arrest. “A group of cows provided law enforcement a big assist, repeatedly following and helping...

Read More
Free Will Astrology: Don’t settle for too little, Taurus
Aug21

Free Will Astrology: Don’t settle for too little, Taurus

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “The prettier the garden, the dirtier the hands of the gardener,” writes aphorist B. E. Barnes. That’ll be especially applicable to you in the coming weeks. You’ll have extra potential to create and foster beauty, and any beauty you produce will generate practical benefits for you and those you care about. But for best results, you’ll have to expend more effort than maybe you...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/20: Michelle Malone at the Iron Horse
Aug20

Pick of the Day 8/20: Michelle Malone at the Iron Horse

The New York Times says Michelle Malone is “the kind of singer and songwriter who can jolt things into overdrive.” She’s been on the scene for decades and she’s  collaborated with artists like Steve Earle Malone,  the late Gregg Allman, ZZ Top, and The Indigo Girls.  She’s known for “explosive” live performances and she’s also released more than a dozen records.  Slings and Arrows is her...

Read More
The True Jacqueline on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage
Aug19

The True Jacqueline on the Valley Advocate Sessions Stage

The True Jacqueline are an art rock/ noise pop band from Northampton. Check out the band’s complete Advocate Sessions performance. Interview with the True...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/19: Runa at the Iron Horse
Aug19

Pick of the Day 8/19: Runa at the Iron Horse

Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups,” Runa prides itself on pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music by merging it with the Americana and roots music formats.  There’s a taste of Ireland and Scotland mixed with  jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues.  The group has won Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and four Independent Music Awards including Best Live Album, Best...

Read More