Sunday, May 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Free Fun Friday at the Mahaiwe; ‘Lincoln Speaks;’ WAM Theatre workshop; VIM gala; B’Shalom Chorale concert; Berkshire Opera Festival

Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM) will hold its gala event, “Knock Three Times and Whisper,” on Thursday, August 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Ski Butternut. The event will feature a Roaring 20s speakeasy theme, live music by the Wanda Houston Band.

Mahaiwe to host Free Fun Friday

David Grover.
David Grover.

Great Barrington – Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will host Free Fun Friday, presented by the Highland Street Foundation, on Friday, August 12, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

David Grover and Grover’s Gang will celebrate family favorite songs with a concert at 10 a.m. At 1 p.m., the Mahaiwe will screen the classic 1964 family film “Mary Poppins.” In addition, there will be face painting, chalk painting, arts and crafts in the theater, and some pop-up surprises throughout the day.

Admission is free to all Free Fun Friday activities. For more information, call the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

*     *     *

‘Lincoln Speaks’ at Chesterwood

Jayne Atkinson
Jayne Atkinson.
Harold Holzer.
Harold Holzer.

Stockbridge — The public oratory and private thoughts of Abraham Lincoln will come alive at Chesterwood on Wednesday, August 10, at 4 p.m. with the debut of “Lincoln Speaks,” a program of dramatic readings. The program will be followed by a wine and cheese reception on the studio piazza.

The program will feature readings by two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson (“House of Cards,” “Criminal Minds” and “24”); 4th Berkshire District Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli; and Dennis Krausnick, director of training at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, who wrote the program’s script, will serve as moderator. Performers will re-create portions of Lincoln’s speeches: the “new birth of freedom” Gettysburg Address, the “malice toward none” second inaugural, the “right makes might” Cooper Union Address, and the warning from his 1858 announcement for the U. S. Senate: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Lincoln will be also be heard in words from a rare surviving letter to his wife, Mary, who had left Washington during her husband’s brief Congressional term after failing to adjust to life in a crowded Washington boarding house.

Tickets for the performance of “Lincoln Speaks” are $35 for Chesterwood members and $40 for non-members. Seating is limited. For reservations and more information, contact Lisa Reynolds at lreynolds@savingplaces.org or (413) 298-2034.

–E.E.

*     *     *

WAM Theatre to present workshop

Stockbridge — WAM Theatre is teaming up with IS183 Art School of the Berkshires to offer a theatre workshop for girls ages 8-12 Monday, August 22 – Friday, 26.

Over the course of the week, participants will create a short theatre piece to share with friends and family on the last day of camp. Through improvisation, theatre games and writing prompts, the girls will explore themes that are important to them and devise a short performance based on those themes. Girls who act, sing, dance, play an instrument, write, draw, or want to explore those skills are encouraged to sign up.

The workshop will be led by WAM Theatre Teaching Artist Barby Cardillo at IS183 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The fee is $235.00 for IS183 Art School members and $250. Before- and after-care are available for an additional fee. Online registration is available. Registration ends Friday, August 12. For more information, call WAM Theatre at (413) 274-8122.

–E.E.

*     *     *

VIM to hold gala event

Wanda Houston.
Wanda Houston.

Great Barrington — Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM) will hold its gala event, “Knock Three Times and Whisper,” on Thursday, August 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Ski Butternut.

The event will feature a Roaring 20s speakeasy theme, live music by the Wanda Houston Band, and an auction of items such as dinners at Berkshire restaurants and tickets to major league sporting events. Food and beverages will be provided by Rita Welch Catering, Big Elm Brewing, and Domaney’s Liquors and Fine Wines. Berkshire Mountain Distillers will devise and serve a signature cocktail.

Attendees are invited to dress as “flappers and dappers” to complement the theme. For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, contact VIM at (413) 528-4014.

–E.E.

*     *     *

B’Shalom Chorale to perform at Hevreh

Great Barrington – The B’Shalom Chorale of the Berkshires will present a concert at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire on Wednesday, August 10, at 7 p.m. The concert will feature conductor Jack Brown, accompanist Joe Rose, and clarinetist Paul Green. Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, contact Emily Sleeper Mekler at (413) 531-8706 or bshalomchorale@gmail.com.

–E.E.

*     *     *

Berkshire Opera Festival announces debut season

Pittsfield — Berkshire Opera Festival (BOF) will launch its inaugural season with a production of Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” at the Colonial Theatre on Saturday, August 27; Tuesday, August 30; and Friday, September 2, at 7:30 p.m. The Festival will also include two recitals. The first, “Breaking Down Barriers,” will take place on Wednesday, August 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Ventfort Hall in Lenox and will feature songs by female composers of Puccini’s day whose music was largely overlooked during their lifetimes. The second program, “The ‘Unknown’ Puccini,” will occur Tuesday, August 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge and will present rarely heard songs Puccini wrote for voice and piano.

“Madama Butterfly,” which will be set in the 1960s against the backdrop of Japan’s economic boom, will feature an international cast of singers including Moldovan soprano Inna Los in the title role. Tenor Jason Slayden will sing Pinkerton. Reprising a favorite role, baritone Weston Hurt will star as Sharpless, the U.S. consul. Mezzo-soprano Sarah Larsen will take on the role of Suzuki, while Metropolitan Opera tenor Eduardo Valdes will sing Goro. Bass and Berkshire resident John Cheek will fill out the cast in the role of Butterfly’s uncle, the Bonze. The performances will also feature the Berkshire Opera Festival Orchestra and Chorus.

For tickets to and more information about the performances, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.

–E.E.

spot_img

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

THEN & NOW: ‘Gasoline Alley’ along Route 71

During the first half of the 20th century, there were five gas stations along a six-mile stretch from North Egremont, north along Route 71 to the Route 22 intersection.

BITS & BYTES: Willi Carlisle at The Adams Theater; The Victrollers at Race Brook Lodge; Ellis Paul at The Guthrie Center; Kathia St. Hilaire...

Willi Carlisle believes singing is healing, and that by singing together we can begin to reckon with the inevitability of human suffering and grow in love.

BITS & BYTES: Shanta Lee and Damon Honeycutt at Bennington Museum; Stories and crafts at The Dollhaus Berkshires; Close Encounters With Music presents ‘Café...

The audience is invited to walk between the timed and the timeless, between the sacred and profane, the authentic identities we create for ourselves versus what others place upon us, how we define who and what we see through those lenses, and how all of this is embodied in ways that create our reality.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.