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Andre Batanowski
Rays of sunshine catch the plants at Good Dogs Farm in Ashley Falls, one of several gardens to be featured in self-guided tours as part of this weekend's Trade Secrets gardening event.

Bits & Bytes: Trade Secrets; Escher String Quartet at the Mahaiwe; Ben Brantley at Salisbury Forum; ‘Henry V’ at Austen Riggs; adult/child tennis tournament

By Monday, May 13, 2019 Life In the Berkshires

Trade Secrets garden event to benefit Women’s Support Services

Sharon, Conn. — The annual Trade Secrets gardening and antique event, a fundraiser supporting Women’s Support Services, will take place Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19, at LionRock Farm.

The event will begin with a rare plant and gardens antique sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday that will include nearly 60 vendors. Saturday will also feature a book signing with Bunny Williams, Matt Mattus and Flower magazine publisher Margot Shaw. On Sunday, participants will be able to take self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. of four gardens in the area: the Trade Secrets signature garden of Bunny Williams and John Rosselli; Twin Lakes Landscape in Salisbury; Cooper Hill Farm in Sheffield, Massachusetts; and Good Dogs Farm in Ashley Falls, Massachusetts.

Tickets for Saturday’s sale are $125 for early buyers and $50 for regular buyers. Late Bloomer tickets are $25 from 1 to 3 p.m. and can only be purchased the day of the event. Garden tour tickets are $75 and available in advance only. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Women’s Support Services at (860) 364-1080 or info@wssdv.org.


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The Escher String Quartet. Photo: Sarah Skinner

Close Encounters With Music to present Escher String Quartet

Great Barrington — Close Encounters With Music will present the Escher String Quartet Saturday, May 18, at 6 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

Championed by the Emerson String Quartet, the Escher String Quartet has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia. They served as BBC New Generation Artists and gave debuts at the BBC Proms, are winners of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and perform as artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. For this program, they will bring their special sheen to Mozart’s String Quartet No. 23 in F major (third of the “Prussian Quartets”) and to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. They will be joined by CEWM artistic director Yehuda Hanani for the Schubert Quintet, regarded as one of the greatest compositions in chamber music.

Tickets are $15–$50. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 5288-0100.


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Salisbury Forum to feature theater critic Ben Brantley

Ben Brantley. Photo courtesy New York Times

Lakeville, Conn. — On Friday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m., the Salisbury Forum will present a conversation with New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley at the Hotchkiss School’s Walker Auditorium. Brantley will be interviewed by independent theater reviewer, radio host and Edge columnist Dan Dywer. A question-and-answer session will follow the interview.

Brantley has been co-chief theater critic of the New York Times since 1996. He is the author of two books of theater reviews and a recipient of the George Jean Nathan Award for theater criticism. Before joining the Times in 1993, Brantley was a staff writer for the New Yorker and Vanity Fair magazines. He also reviewed fashion for Women’s Wear Daily as the Paris bureau chief and European editor, and movies for Elle magazine. Brantley has been dubbed a “celebrity underminer” after expressing his ambivalence about the “unprecedented heights … of star worship on Broadway.” The website DidHeLikeIt.com uses a “Ben-o-meter” quick guide to Brantley’s current Broadway theater reviews.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Salisbury Forum at info@salisburyforum.org.


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Austen Riggs Center to stage Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’

Kevin G. Coleman. Photo courtesy Shakespeare & Company

Stockbridge — Austen Riggs Center will stage ‘Henry V’ by William Shakespeare Tuesday, May 14, through Sunday, May 19, in its Riggs Theatre, 37 Main St.

Part of Austen Riggs’ activities program and led by Kevin G. Coleman, who also serves as the education director at Shakespeare & Company, Riggs Theatre 37 provides an opportunity for patients to explore some of their strengths through involvement in twice-yearly productions. The immersive 10-week process includes reading scripts, selecting plays, working through rehearsals and staging public performances.

Tickets are $20 for the general public, and $10 for students and seniors. To reserve tickets, call (413) 298-5519 x5606.


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Berkshire Hills Tennis Association to hold first annual adult/child tournament

Great Barrington — The Berkshire Hills Tennis Association will hold its first annual Adult/Child Tennis Tournament Saturday May 18, at 9 a.m. at the Monument Mountain Regional High School tennis courts.

Tennis players ages 6 to 106 at any level of expertise are welcome. Children and adults can register individually or as a team. Each adult/child team will play another adult/child team. Balls will be provided, but participants are asked to bring their own rackets. Prizes and refreshments will be provided.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Berkshire Hills Tennis Association at info@bhtennis.org.


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