Monday, July 15, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Boston Early Music Festival; ‘Out in the Berkshires’ panel discussion; ‘Children of a Lesser God;’ ‘Citizen Jane’ screening; Open Days garden tours

In 1960, Jane Jacobs’ book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds

Boston Early Music Festival to present comic operas

Great Barrington — The Boston Early Music Festival will return to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 25, at 3 p.m. at with a double bill of “La serva padrona” and “Livietta e Tracollo,” Neapolitan comic operas by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

Originally written as interludes to be performed between acts of a more somber production, Pergolesi’s light-hearted comedies quickly enchanted audiences with their farcical humor and engaging romance. “La serva padrona,” which had its premiere in Naples in 1773, tells the tale of a haughty yet cunning maid who conspires to wed her testy employer. “Livietta e Tracollo” debuted a year later as part of festivities for a royal birthday, and features a con artist who meets his match in a peasant girl out to avenge her wronged brother. For this production, and in a nod to the original presentations of these operas, stage director Gilbert Blin will alternate between scenes of the two works.

Joining Blin as members of the directorial and production teams will be BEMF musical directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, concertmaster Robert Mealy, costume designer Anna Watkins, movement coordinator Melinda Sullivan, lighting designer Kelly Martin, and executive producer Kathleen Fay. Soprano Amanda Forsythe will sing the role of Serpina in “La serva padrona” opposite bass-baritone Douglas Williams in the role of Uberto, while Erica Schuller and Jesse Blumberg will perform the respective title roles in “Livietta e Tracollo.” The soloists will appear alongside the 13-member BEMF Chamber Ensemble and five members of the BEMF Dance Company.

Tickets are $25–$85. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

*     *     *

‘Out in the Berkshires: A Conversation With the LGBTQ Community’

Pittsfield — The Pittsfield Human Rights Commission will present “Out In The Berkshires: A Conversation With the LGBTQ Community” on Thursday, June 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum. The public is invited to join with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities, to discuss what it means to be ‘out’ in the Berkshires.

In rural communities, it can be challenging to find access to education, employment, housing and healthcare and, for members of the LGBTQ population, the challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming. The sense of social isolation adds to the difficulty many LGBTQ individuals find in living in the Berkshires. The event will include discussion on where LGBTQ organizations and support groups in the Berkshires are and what they are doing to make communities safer, more inclusive and more supportive of minority populations; the ways in which LGBTQ individuals are finding to live openly and authentically; and how the community can support the struggle for full inclusion and equality. Panelists will include representatives from the Elizabeth Freeman Center, Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County, Berkshire Trans Group, the Live Out Loud Youth Project and others.

For more information contact Drew Herzig at drewherzig@yahoo.com.

–E.E.

*     *     *

Berkshire Theatre Group to stage ‘Children of a Lesser God’

Lauren Ridloff. Photo courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group
Lauren Ridloff. Photo courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group
Joshua Jackson. Photo courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group
Joshua Jackson. Photo courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group

Stockbridge — Berkshire Theatre Group will present the Tony Award-winning “Children of a Lesser God,” directed by Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon (“A Raisin in the Sun”) Thursday, June 22, through Saturday, July 22, at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage.

At the core of “Children of a Lesser God,” written by Tony Award-winner Mark Medoff, is a story about human communication, connection and compromise. After joining the staff at a school for the deaf, speech therapist James, played by Joshua Jackson, becomes infatuated by Sarah, a vivacious yet delicate deaf woman played by Lauren Ridloff. Yearning to understand each other yet set in their ways, a romance unfolds as the two attempt to communicate their hearts’ desires to one another and the world around them.

Open captioning is scheduled for every performance and a section of the orchestra will be reserved to provide the best sight line for those wishing to use the service. American Sign Language interpreted performances will take place Saturday, June 24, at 8 p.m.; Monday, June 26, at 7 p.m.; Wednesday, July 12, at 2 p.m.; and Friday, July 21, at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $45–$65. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.

–E.E.

*     *     *

Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire to screen ‘Citizen Jane’

Citizen Jane posterGreat Barrington — The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire will present a screening of the newly released documentary “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City” on Sunday, June 25, at 4 p.m. at the Triplex Cinema. The film will be followed by a discussion and refreshments.

In 1960, Jane Jacobs’ book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds with its exploration of the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’ reconfigurations of cities. Jacobs was also an activist who was involved in many fights in mid-century New York to stop “master builder” Robert Moses from running roughshod over the city. As urbanization moves to the very front of the global agenda, “Citizen Jane” retraces the battles for the city as personified by Jacobs and Moses and sets out to examine the city of today through the lens of one of its greatest champions.

“This film illustrates the importance of thoughtful, creative and collaborative planning that is inclusive and offers an opportunity for communities like Great Barrington and the Berkshires as a whole to consider these values in a rural setting,” said Tim Geller, CDCSB’s executive director.

The event is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat, contact CDCSB at (413) 528-7788 or holly@cdcsb.org.

–E.E.

*     *     *

Garden Conservancy to present garden tours

Good Dogs Farm
Good Dogs Farm

Sheffield — On Saturday, June 24, the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program will share two private gardens with the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Having undergone a transformation in recent years, Good Dogs Farm is now a place for peace and contemplation, though the paths through the gardens still lead to the follies and eccentricities of the owners including an outdoor bake oven, an outdoor shower, a distant sleeping room, a viewing tower and a large vegetable garden contained by a cedar fence. The paths also lead to mini donkeys, horses, a barn and paddocks, grazing pastures and a riverwalk carved from bramble. The gardens have been featured in Cottage Living, Berkshire Living, the Litchfield County Times, Oprah’s O at Home and Gardenista Daily, among others.

Visitors to the Barnum Street property will be greeted by the “Rabbit Garden,” so named for the wooden rabbit in its midst, one of many chainsaw-carved animals on the property. Under the crab apple tree is a primrose garden. From the deck of the main house, a series of stone steps and landings lead down past a rock garden to the patio and pond, home to goldfish and frogs. From the screened-in porch, the pond and waterfall can be seen and heard. The woodland garden behind the house with its winding paths and many shade plantings is a cool retreat and the garden on the pool side of the house has a variety of butterfly and hummingbird plantings.

The tours will take place rain or shine and reservations are not required. Admission is $7 per garden and free for children age 12 and under. For more information and detailed descriptions, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Garden Conservancy at (888) 842-2442.

–E.E.

spot_img

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

THEN & NOW: The first railroad in Berkshire County

West Stockbridge also holds the honor of welcoming the first railroad into Berkshire County.

BITS & BYTES: Madou Sidiki Diabaté and Salif Bamakora at The Foundry; Ximena Bedoya The Clark; The Funky Fiber Artist at The Little Gallery;...

Experience the history, power, magic and guidance of the West African Kora with world renowned 71st-generation virtuoso Madou Sidiki Diabaté, accompanied by his longtime student Salif Bamakora.

BITS & BYTES: ‘The Comedy of Errors’ at Shakespeare & Company; Heard World Jazz at New Marlborough Meeting House; ‘Iodine’ at Adams Theater; James...

“The Comedy of Errors” is set in the seaside Vaudeville of New York City, 1912, a mystical and sometimes strange place filled with as much magic and mischief as sailors and sea captains.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.