Pick of the Day 8/10:Colorway at Luxe Burger Bar in Springfield
Aug10

Pick of the Day 8/10:Colorway at Luxe Burger Bar in Springfield

Colorway is awesome. They blew us away during their Advocate Sessions performance and I’ve gotten to see them here and there since then. Here’s a chance to catch them at a no cover, all ages show in Springfield. Luxe Burger Bar, 1200 West Columbus Ave., Springfield. 413-785-5893.

Read More
Stagestruck: End-of-summer shows in the Berkshires — food for fun and thought
Aug08

Stagestruck: End-of-summer shows in the Berkshires — food for fun and thought

When Shakespeare & Company first set up shop in the Berkshires, their mainstage was a greensward before a wooded glade at the Mount, Edith Wharton’s Lenox estate, with the audience seated on folding lawn chairs. That tradition has lately been revived, with outdoor performances at their present home in Lenox, as well on the grounds of the Mount, just down the road. The productions are generally the Bard’s comedies that have some...

Read More
Staff Picks 8/9- 8/15
Aug07

Staff Picks 8/9- 8/15

Punk Prom at the Flywheel Arts Collective // SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 It’s not an ordinary lame prom at the Flywheel. Western Mass punks unite wearing their best alternative formal wear as they jam to local favorites, pose in a photobooth, and stop by a temporary tattoo station. The musical lineup for the evening includes pop punk band Nanny, alternative fuzz pop group Kindling, math metal punk band OroborO, atl-country meets punk group...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/7: BSO at Tanglewood
Aug07

Pick of the Day 8/7: BSO at Tanglewood

One of the finest reasons to live in western Mass is our proximity to great art.  So get out there and lap it up! It’s a day of musical activities for the entire family at Tanglewood and the whole shabang ends with an 8 p.m. concert featuring all the festival’s orchestras performing together.  Tanglewood on Parade: 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tanglewood Music Festival, 297 West St.,...

Read More
Local Calendar: Monday 8/6 – Wednesday 8/9
Aug06

Local Calendar: Monday 8/6 – Wednesday 8/9

MONDAY 8/6 MUSIC 43rd Annual Vermont Jazz Center Summer Jazz Workshop: 4 p.m. The Putney School, 418 Houghton Brook Rd., Putney. Berkshire High Peaks Music Festival: $12 – $50. The Berkshire School, 245 N. Undermountain Rd., Sheffield. 800-843-0778. cewmusicinfo@aol.com. Plainfield Concert Series: 7 p.m. Free. Donations are accepted. Plainfield Congregational Church, 356 West Main St., Plainfield. 413-634-0025....

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/5: Dangerous House
Aug05

Pick of the Day 8/5: Dangerous House

The Williamstown Theater continues it summer run with a new play called Dangerous House. An aspiring black South African footballer named Noxolo moves to London for a fresh start. But she’s drawn back when Cape Town becomes host to the World Cup and she discovers her ex-lover (played by Emmy nominee Samira Wiley of Orange is the New Black) may be in danger. Will Noxolo risk everything to confront the secrets of a life she swore to...

Read More
Stagestruck: Dancing down Hubbard Street— 40 years young
Aug03

Stagestruck: Dancing down Hubbard Street— 40 years young

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is a frequent and popular visitor to the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. This year, celebrating its 40th season, the company presents a quartet of works showcasing its history and its current 16-member troupe, one of the most technically accomplished ensembles I’ve seen. The program, running through Sunday on the Pillow’s Ted Shawn mainstage, begins with “Decadance/Chicago,” excerpts from Israeli...

Read More
Local Calendar: Thursday 8/2 – Sunday 8/5
Aug02

Local Calendar: Thursday 8/2 – Sunday 8/5

THURSDAY 8/2 MUSIC Amherst Downtown Beats – Flathead Rodeo & Colorway: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free. The Amherst BID’s Downtown Beats Summer Concert series continues with a performance by Flathead Rodeo and Colorway.Kendrick Park, East Pleasant St., Amherst. 413-345-2945. ann@amherstdowntown.com. An Evening with Pat Metheny: 8 p.m. $45 – $95. Pat Metheny with Antonio Sanchez, Linda Oh& Gwilym Simcock. Mahaiwe...

Read More
Pick of the Day 8/2: The Amendments
Aug02

Pick of the Day 8/2: The Amendments

Thanks to the Northampton Arts Council,  The Cardboard Sea Theater presents The Amendments.  It’s a play about the sorrows of death and embattled family relationships. Judith and and her estranged brother Gabe’s father die; Judith just wants one thing from his estate.  Gabe, however, lays claim to what Judith wants and he’s got an amended will to back him up.  “As the night stretches on, Judith is forced to...

Read More
Stagestruck: Three in the Hills
Aug01

Stagestruck: Three in the Hills

A trio of two-character plays now running in the Hilltowns and Berkshires offer a summer-season variety of subjects, styles, and even venues – a black-box theater, a converted town hall, a church sanctuary. Pauline Productions is dedicated to “producing and creating theatre with a focus on strong roles for women onstage and behind the scenes.” The Roommate, running till Saturday on a purpose-built stage in the Ashfield Congregational...

Read More
Staff Picks Week of 8/2 – 8/8
Aug01

Staff Picks Week of 8/2 – 8/8

Valley Show Girl Presents at the 13th Floor Music Lounge // SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 The Valley Advocate’s own Valley Show Girl columnist Jennifer Levesque is curating a lineup of local acts at the 13th Floor Music Lounge in Florence, which includes guitar and synth driven duo Fire Letters, progressive synth sorcerer John Trudeau, Grey Matter, led by ex Sebadoh member Eric Gaffney, and doom folk songwriter Celseigh. 99 Main St., (Above...

Read More
Local Calendar: Tuesday 7/31 & 8/1
Jul31

Local Calendar: Tuesday 7/31 & 8/1

TUESDAY 7/31 MUSIC Alceste: 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 12 Senior/$14 General. Opera based on heartbreaking story narrated by Euripides: King Admetus is dying and his wife, Alceste offers Apollo her own life in exchange for that of her beloved. $South Hadley’s Tower Theaters, 19 College St., South Hadley. 413-533-3456. info@towertheaters.com. Greenfield Military Band Concert: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Free. Energy Park, 50 Miles St.,...

Read More
Stagestruck Abroad: Shakespeare’s Haunts, Part 2 — Stratford
Jul29

Stagestruck Abroad: Shakespeare’s Haunts, Part 2 — Stratford

Nowadays, Stratford-upon-Avon feels not so much like a town as a gift shop. The once-sleepy hamlet where William Shakespeare was born some 450 years ago, which he abandoned for a life on the London stage, has become a mercantile monument to Stratford’s most famous son – which must seem ironic to the “anti-Stratfordians” in the Shakespearean authorship controversy, who can’t credit the notion that an uneducated bumkin from a provincial...

Read More
Local Calendar: Thursday 7/26 to Sunday 7/29
Jul26

Local Calendar: Thursday 7/26 to Sunday 7/29

THURSDAY 7/26 MUSIC A Little Night Music: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church will present “A Little Night Music” every Thursday during the month of July at 6:00pm. Free, donations accepted for all food items. Trinity United Methodist Church, 361 Sumner Ave., Springfield. 413-737-5311. Alex Johnson: 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Alex Johnson of Colorway, formerly of the Drunk Stuntmen. Luxe Burger Bar, 1200 West Columbus...

Read More
Stagestruck Abroad: Two plays in London show theater’s unique power
Jul25

Stagestruck Abroad: Two plays in London show theater’s unique power

When I was recently in London, I saw two plays with connections to my favorite (make that favourite) British venue, the National Theatre. One was an African-American riff on a 19th-century melodrama, the other a dramatic immersion in a migrant camp on the English Channel. Though quite different in style and content, both wrestle ingeniously with wrenching issues and engage their audiences in unorthodox ways. An Octoroon has just...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/25: We the People
Jul25

Pick of the Day 7/25: We the People

In this time of political chaos and division, it makes sense to go back to the beginning to determine exactly what the Great Experiment was all about. But We the People can’t be put in a box; not only because it’s outside on the farm in Ashfield Double Edge calls home, but because their vision is larger than an a mere examination of the meaning of democracy. Artistic Director Stacy Klein says in a Greenfield Recorder...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/22: The Southern Vermont Dance Festival
Jul20

Pick of the Day 7/22: The Southern Vermont Dance Festival

The Southern Vermont Dance Festival 2018 is all day today! From 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Take your pick of over “113 dance classes, two Galas at the Latchis, an outdoor Promenade Performance and picnic, two Informal Showings, and lots of free community events!”  The event includes both free and ticketed events. Now that sounds like a good day!  The River Garden, 157 Main St.,...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/21: Lempicka at the Williamstown Theatre
Jul20

Pick of the Day 7/21: Lempicka at the Williamstown Theatre

Williamstown is definitely one of the places to be this summer if you love the stage! And one of my favorite artists is the inspiration for Lempicka, a world premiere musical. Tamara de Lempicka was a war time painter who created beautiful (and frosty) portraits of aristocrats and others. Her Art Deco style is beautiful and her story is compelling. Lempicka and her husband fled the Russian revolution and she turned to painting to...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/18: Shakespeare Under the Stars: Othello
Jul18

Pick of the Day 7/18: Shakespeare Under the Stars: Othello

Shakespeare’s Othello is a remarkable play that hinges upon (gulp) racist stereotypes. Othello is, after all black, and his wife Desdemona is white.  Her father is none too happy and it doesn’t help that Othello’s standard bearer, Iago, is a master at stirring the racist pot.  There’s a lot of charged language in this play that sounds much prettier in Elizabethan English than in current slang, but the damage is...

Read More
Pick of the Day 7/17: Through the Looking Glass…and What Alice Found There at The Majestic
Jul17

Pick of the Day 7/17: Through the Looking Glass…and What Alice Found There at The Majestic

Probably the best thing about summer is there are no school buses to ruin my commute to work. With that said, that means all the little minions are pulling at somebody’s pants legs lamenting the lack of activity on a steamy July day.  I’m here to solve that problem: Majestic Theater in West Springfield has a children’s theater program. Yep, and today Through the Looking Glass…and what Alice Found There is on...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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.,...

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More