Monday, July 22, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: ‘High School Musical’ at MMRHS; CATA at Good Purpose Gallery; ‘Fill the Pantry’ dance party; OLLI open house; jazz night at Herberg

On Friday, March 31, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Lenox Community Center will host a Fill the Pantry dance party to benefit Project Milk, an emergency food fund of Community Health Programs’ Women, Infants and Children program.

MMRHS to present ‘High School Musical’

The cast of 'High School Musical.'
The cast of ‘High School Musical.’

Great Barrington — Monument Mountain Regional High School will present “High School Musical” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 30, through Saturday, April 1; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 2. A special performance for senior citizens will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 27.

With a plot described as a modern adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” “High School Musical” is the story about two high school juniors from rival cliques who audition for lead roles in their high school musical and, as a result, divide the school. More than 50 students from all grades and academic interests have been rehearsing the musical after school over the winter. The actors will be accompanied by a pit orchestra comprised mostly of student musicians. Directed by Linnea Mace, the show also features musical direction by Cindy Gutter and choreography by Tom Truss.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the front desk of MMRHS or at the school before performances. For more information, contact MMRHS at (413) 528-3346.

–E.E.

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CATA artists to exhibit at Good Purpose Gallery

CATA artists at a 2016 exhibition at Good Purpose Gallery.
CATA artists at a 2016 exhibition at Good Purpose Gallery.

Lee — Community Access to the Arts will exhibit a collection of paintings by artists with disabilities at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee Friday, March 31, through Monday, May 15. An artist reception will take place Thursday, March 30, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The exhibit will feature work created by CATA artists from Berkshire County Arc and Berkshire Family and Individual Resources in A.R.T. (Artistic Realization Technologies) painting workshops. A.R.T. is an adaptive painting technique developed by artist Tim Lefens that allows individuals with significant physical disabilities to precisely execute their creative visions with the assistance of a tracker acting as their hands.

For more information, contact CATA at (413) 528-5485 or info@cataarts.org.

–E.E.

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‘Fill the Pantry’ dance party to benefit CHP’s Project Milk

JoAnne Spies.
JoAnne Spies.

Lenox — On Friday, March 31, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Lenox Community Center will host a Fill the Pantry dance party to benefit Project Milk, an emergency food fund of Community Health Programs’ Women, Infants and Children program. Music will be provided by the Rev Tor Trio, consisting of Tor Krautter on guitar and vocals, Dan Esko on bas and Andy Crawford on drums. Singer/songwriter JoAnne Spies will also participate and perform songs from her recent album “Ecstatic Dances.”

Said Spies, “I had written a song about mindful eating, and it brought home the disparity between those who need to slow down to eat and those who have not enough to eat. The need for food for more families in the Berkshires is growing and coming together to dance feels like a good way to have fun and help our neighbors at the same time.”

Entrance to the dance party is a suggested donation of $10–$15 for adults and $5 for teens and seniors. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under. For more information, contact CHP at (413) 528-0457.

–E.E.

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OLLI to hold spring open house

Pittsfield — More than 20 classes exploring everything from Berkshire wildflowers and the kingdom of Nepal to criminal justice and the history of Lenox will be offered this spring by OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College. OLLI’s spring semester begins Wednesday, April 12, and OLLI will hold a free open house on Wednesday, March 29, at the Colonial Theatre from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to provide an introduction to its programs.

OLLI’s spring semester of classes will feature offerings throughout the Berkshires, with classes held in Pittsfield, Lenox, Williamstown, Great Barrington and Stockbridge. In addition, several classes including Wildflowers of the Berkshires, Getting Hooked on Flyfishing, and Birding in the Berkshires will include springtime fieldtrips. The open house will comprise refreshments, free catalogs and information about membership and upcoming special events, speakers and classes, along with brief course previews from many of the spring instructors who will be attending, including Rabbi Josh Breindel on Elemental Power: Tales of the Golem; Richard Matturro on Shakespeare’s Tragedies; Janice Toran and Bob Bogomolny on Criminal Justice, Public Policy, and the Individual; Katherine Kidd on Russia in the 21st Century; and Herb Diamond on Abstract Art in America 1910-1942. The open house will also include a sneak preview of Berkshire Theatre Group’s coming attractions with artistic director Kate Maguire.

For more information, contact OLLI at (413) 236-2190 or olli@berkshirecc.edu.

–E.E.

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Herberg Middle School to host jazz concert

Richard Boulger.
Richard Boulger.

Pittsfield — The jazz programs of Herberg and Reid middle schools will be on parade in a free presentation on Wednesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. at Herberg Middle School as their student musicians pair with professionals for a jazz artist-in-residence concert. The program will also feature the work of clinician and trumpeter Richard Boulger backed by Berkshires musicians Aaron Dean on alto saxophone, Andy Wrba on bass, Bill Chapman on drums and John Sauer on keyboard. The concert is the culmination of the Berkshires Jazz Inc. inaugural artist-in-residence program, through which Boulger has made four trips to Pittsfield, working with the jazz ensembles of Pittsfield High School as well as Reid and Herberg.

Boulger was born in North Adams and has been playing trumpet since the age of 6. At 18 he moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where he enrolled at the Hartt School of Music and studied with alto saxophonist and jazz master Jackie McLean. In 1996 he made his debut recording with his Hartt School associate and trombonist Steve Davis.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Berkshires Jazz at (413) 442-7718 or web@berkshiresjazz.org.

–E.E.

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