Monday, July 22, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Finn Wittrock in ‘Hamlet;’ Pittsfield CityJazz Festival; Berkshire Coaching Weekend; Plein Air event at Olana; college fair at BCC; rain garden maintenance

Most recently Finn Wittrock, who grew up in Shakespeare & Company, was seen in the Oscar-nominated film “The Big Short” opposite Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carell.

Shakespeare & Company to present Finn Wittrock in staged reading of ‘Hamlet’

Finn Wittrock.
Finn Wittrock.

Lenox — Shakespeare & Company will present a staged reading of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. Featuring Finn Wittrock of “American Horror Story” and “The Big Short” as well as other special guests, the reading will be directed by Kevin G. Coleman, Shakespeare & Company’s director of education and a 2016 Tony Award nominee.

Actor Finn Wittrock grew up with the Company. Most recently Wittrock was seen in the Oscar-nominated film “The Big Short” opposite Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carell. Wittrock has been a part of the critically acclaimed series “American Horror Story” for two seasons and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance. This fall, Wittrock will be seen with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in the Lionsgate film “La La Land.” Wittrock’s upcoming theatrical productions include a Sam Gold-directed “Othello” with Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo and “The Glass Menagerie” with Sally Field. (For Edge profile of Finn Wittrock, click here.)

“Hamlet” features a cast of Company actors, many of whom are a part of Wittrock’s history, including Jonathan Epstein (Claudius), Elizabeth Aspenlieder (Gertrude), Malcolm Ingram (Polonius), Rory Hammond (Guildenstern), Dylan Wittrock (Rosencrantz), Kate Abbruzzese (Ophelia), Caroline Calkins, David Joseph, and others.

Tickets range from $24.50 – $84.50. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Shakespeare & Company box office at (413) 637-3353.

–E.E.

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Berkshires Jazz to present Pittsfield CityJazz Festival

Karrin Allyson.
Karrin Allyson.

Pittsfield — Berkshires Jazz Inc. will present the 12th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival Friday, Oct. 7 – Sunday, Oct. 16. The lineup will be headlined by the Scott Robinson Quartet, the Karrin Allyson Trio, and the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors big band. The Festival will also include the annual “jazz crawl,” a discovery in the organization’s Jazz Prodigy series, and a new exhibit of jazz photography.

The Festival will kick off on Columbus Day weekend with Jazz About Town, the annual “jazz crawl” featuring local musicians in restaurants and lounges throughout Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. A month-long exhibit of more than 20 works by award-winning photojournalist Ken Franckling will hang at the Whitney Center for the Arts and will open with a recpetion from 5 – 8 p.m. at the First Fridays Artswalk on Friday, Oct. 7. Franckling will be present at the reception and will sign copies of his book “Jazz in the Key of Light.”

Scott Robinson.
Scott Robinson.

The festivities will continue with the Jazz Prodigy concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, with alto saxophonist Nathan Farrell and an all-star trio of Berkshires jazz musicians at the Berkshire Athenaeum. The creative sounds of saxophonist Scott Robinson will fill Flavours of Malaysia Restaurant on Friday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. Robinson graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1981. He has appeared on more than 200 LP and CD releases, including 11 under his leadership.

Vocalist, pianist and five-time Grammy Award nominee Karrin Allyson will perform with her trio at the Colonial Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. After Allyson’s set, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors will take the stage and Allyson will return for some numbers. Opening the concert will be the Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble, which is in residence at Herberg Middle School. Under the direction of Chris Nelson-Unczur, the ensemble mainly comprises the student musicians in the Herberg Middle School Jazz Ensemble and is augmented by graduates and visiting students.

Though the headline concerts are ticketed, most of the Festival’s events are free. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact web@berkshiresjazz.org.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Coaching Weekend: Reliving the Gilded Age

A coach and car near the Stockbridge Cemetery during the 2014 Berkshire Coaching Weekend.
A coach and car near the Stockbridge Cemetery during the 2014 Berkshire Coaching Weekend.

Berkshire County — For three days beginning on Saturday, Oct. 8, Lenox and Stockbridge will host a unique gathering of meticulously turned out historic coaches and four-in-hand horses, which will travel the roads of the Berkshires as members of the New York Coaching Club and other notable drivers from as far away as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, and New Jersey participate in Berkshire Coaching Weekend.

The coachmen came to the Berkshires in the Gilded Age to enjoy the perfect fall weather and foliage. Due to the large opulent “cottages,” the Berkshires became known as the “Inland Newport” and was the place to bring coach and horses and be seen.

The drives will begin on Saturday, Oct. 8, by going to Elm Court in Lenox, leaving Orleton Farm in Stockbridge at 11 a.m. The public is invited to bring a picnic lunch to Elm Court at noon and greet the coaches as they enter the estate. Upon arrival, coachman John Richards will give commentary on the coaches and horses. The coaches will return to Orleton Farm at 1:30 p.m. On Sunday, the coaches will travel through Stockbridge on the way to Southmayd Farm and will return to Orleton Farm at 1:30 p.m. On Monday, Oct. 10, the coaches will travel through the campus of Shakespeare & Company and arrive at the Mount in Lenox at noon. The public is again invited to bring a picnic lunch and hear commentary on the coaches.

For more information, call Harvey Waller at (413) 441-4682.

–E.E.

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Olana to host plein air painting event

Hudson, N.Y. — The Olana Partnership’s fifth annual Plein Air Celebration will beheld at Olana State Historic Site Friday, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 9. Over the Columbus Day weekend, Olana will offer a number of free participatory programs to encourage painting outdoors, landscape tours, and viewing artists at work.

Twenty-two artists from across the country have been competitively selected to participate in the celebration, which will kick off on Friday, Oct. 7, when visitors will be able to engage with the artists as they seek to capture spectacular vistas on canvas from sunrise to sunset. On Saturday, Oct. 8, artists will continue to paint, and be available to visitors until 4 p.m. before a closed judging. Landscape painter Jane Bloodgood-Abrams will be on hand as guest judge to award cash prizes for Best in Show, and second and third places. Visitors can cast their votes for the coveted “Viewer’s Choice Award.” At 6 p.m. the public is welcome to join the artists for a wine and cheese reception to see the outcome of the competition at the Wagon House Education Center. Plein Air will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. with a tent sale in downtown Hudson, and a Quick Draw contest from 2 – 3 p.m. for cash prizes and which is open to the public. An artist appreciation reception at Caldwell Gallery from 5 – 7 p.m. will act as the weekend’s finale. The top three paintings from Plein Air and Quick Draw will be exhibited during the reception.

The event is free and open to all ages. Proceeds from the sale of the art will benefit the artists and support education programs at Olana. For more information, call Olana’s education department at (518) 828-1872 x105.

–E.E.

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BCC to host college fair

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College (BCC) will host a New England Association for College Admission Counseling Fall Fair on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 9 – 11 a.m. at its Paterson Field House. The free event, which will feature more than 100 colleges and universities, is open to BCC and high school students as well as students seeking information about transfer opportunities. An online list of attending colleges and universities is available.

–E.E.

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Joined forces for rain garden maintenance

Pittsfield — Pittsfield Beautiful volunteers and Miss Hall’s School students will join the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. to perform fall maintenance on the environmental rain gardens on North Street and to prepare the gardens for the winter.

More than 20 sophomores in Miss Hall’s School’s Horizons program will work with the HVA and Pittsfield Beautiful volunteers to care for the nine rain gardens that were installed in 2012 as part of a reconstruction of North Street. Maintained by HVA, the gardens collect surface stormwater—as well as road salt, sand, trash, and other contaminants carried in the stormwater—and prevent it from reaching the Housatonic River Watershed.

–E.E.

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