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Bits & Bytes: First Fridays Artswalk; Litchfield Jazz Festival; Berkshire Comedy Festival; Lenox 250th art show; staged reading auditions

The Richmond-West Stockbridge Artists' Guild will hold an art show celebrating the 250th anniversary of Lenox Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5.

First Fridays Artswalk features artist from Pittsfield’s Italian sister city

Pittsfield — The First Fridays Artswalk from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, will encompass more than a dozen art shows featuring over 20 regional artists in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. The August First Fridays Artswalk will kick off with opening receptions and artists present throughout, plus a free guided walking tour beginning at 5 p.m. at the BRTA Intermodal Center.

Throughout the month of August, Downtown Pittsfield Inc. will feature an exhibit by Adriana Sgobba, an artist from Pittsfield’s Italian sister city of Cava de’ Tirreni. Sgobba has studied with painters such as Alberto Chiancone, Roberto De Robertis and Francesco Spizzico and has shown her work in Naples, Salerno, Amalfi, Padua, and other cities. NUarts will be open to the public during the artswalk and will feature the work of Kathy Gideon, Ellen Joffe-Halpern, Karen S. Jacobs, Caroline Kelley, Sophie Lee Lane, Martha Peskin, Sally Tiska Rice and Marney Schorr. Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men is exhibiting the latest oil paintings of Marilyn Cavallari through Saturday, Aug. 26. The Kinderhook Group Real Estate features a group show for the month of August with photography by Michael Bufis and works in watercolor, pastel and colored pencil by Esther Budnick.

New shows from local artists will also be displayed at the Brothership Building window, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Berkshire Medical Center, the Marketplace Café, Berkshire Paint and Sip, the Funky Phoenix, the Whitney Center for the Arts and Dottie’s Coffee Lounge.

For more information, contact Downtown Pittsfield Inc. at (413) 443-6501.

–E.E.

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Litchfield Jazz Festival highlights up-and-coming artists

Michael Mayo. Photo courtesy Litchfield Jazz Festival
Michael Mayo. Photo courtesy Litchfield Jazz Festival

Goshen, Conn. — The 22nd annual Litchfield Jazz Festival will take place Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6, at the Goshen Fairgrounds. The theme this year is “Discovering Genius,” the concept of which is to add talented young musicians to the familiar stars on the roster in order to give audiences the chance to make new musical discoveries. Highlights of the festival will include vocalist Michael Mayo, the Joe Alterman Trio, Ken Peplowski and John Pizzarelli. The festival will also feature artist talks by Peplowski and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa in conversation with DownBeat Magazine publisher Frank Alkyer. Tickets are $37–$500. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Litchfield Jazz Festival at (860) 361-6285.

–E.E.

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Mahaiwe to host Berkshire Comedy Festival

Carie Karavas. Photo courtesy Long Island Comedy
Carie Karavas. Photo courtesy Long Island Comedy

Great Barrington — Long Island Comedy will present the third annual Berkshire Comedy Festival on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 8 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

Andy Pitz. Photo courtesy Long Island Comedy
Andy Pitz. Photo courtesy Long Island Comedy

This year’s festival will feature an all new line-up of top comedians from around the country including Paul Anthony, the host of the event, who is part of the New York City comedy scene, the Long Island Comedy Festival and the 50+ Comedy Tour; Andy Pitz, also part of the New York comedy scene, who has performed at Caroline’s on Broadway, the Late Show with David Letterman and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut; Rich Walker, who has performed in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and was voted Long Island’s favorite comedian; and Carie Karavas, who is active in the New York comedy scene and has also performed in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In adition, a few surprise guest comedians will make appearances.

Tickets are $35–$40. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

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Artists’ guild to hold art show celebrating Lenox

Lenox — The Richmond-West Stockbridge Artists’ Guild will hold an art show celebrating the 250th anniversary of Lenox Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lenox Town Hall, 6 Walker St. A reception will take place Saturday, Aug. 4, from 3 to 5 p.m.

The public is invited to participate in the show and all artwork inspired by Lenox is welcome. Youth under age 18 may show their work for free and may have as much as 4 feet of linear space in which to do so. Lenox residents over age 18 may show photos and artwork for a fee of $20 and have as much as 6 linear feet of display space. Nonresidents who are not members of RWSAG are asked to contribute $30. Large works should be accompanied by easels; smaller works will be shown on tabletops or padded chairs. Works may be for sale or not depending on the artists’ individual preferences, and 20 percent of sales will benefit the Lenox 250th celebration committee. Artwork must be delivered to the show between 3 and 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3. Prizes will be awarded during the reception.

Registration is required for artists participating in the show. For more information, contact Karen Carmean at (617) 868-7082.

–E.E.

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Town Players hold auditions for staged reading

Pittsfield — The Town Players of Pittsfield will hold auditions for a staged reading of “Kindred Spirits” by Rick Whelan from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, and Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Whitney Center for the Arts.

“Kindred Spirits” tells the story of a local New England newspaper, the Moseby Spirit, struggling to stay relevant in a rapidly changing media landscape. Editor Rose Dwyer must come to grips with her beloved newspaper being bought out by a large investment firm. Matters get stranger when the ghost of Charlie Treadwell, founder of the Moseby Spirit and Rose’s former lover, returns to the newsroom.

Directed by Dylan A. Turner, the cast will consist of three men age 20–70s and five women age 20–80s. Prior acting experience is not required. The reading will be performed Sunday, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m. at the Whitney Center for the Arts.

For more information, contact the director at dylanaustinturner@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.