Friday, July 12, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: ‘West Side Story’ at The Mac-Haydn Theatre; PS21’s Juneteenth Celebration; NAACP Berkshire County Branch Juneteenth Celebration; Berkshire Theatre Group presents ‘Abe Lincoln in Illinois’; Berkshires Jazz presents The Django Festival Allstars; Father’s Day at The Adams Theater; Father’s Day at The Clark; Sheffield Historical Society gala rescheduled; TriTown Connector free transit for Veterans; Dalton Democratic Town Committee meeting

Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the greatest love story of all time, “West Side Story” follows Tony and Maria’s star-crossed struggle through a groundbreaking message that still rings true, 67 years after its creation.

The Mac-Haydn Theatre’s 55th summer season opens with the six time Tony-winning musical ‘West Side Story’

Chatham, N.Y.— The Mac-Haydn Theatre’s 55th summer season opens with the six time Tony-winning musical, “West Side Story,” running June 13th through June 23rd.

Often regarded as the greatest love story of all time, this landmark Broadway musical returns to the Mac-Haydn. With a powerful, poignant book, and unforgettable music and lyrics by iconic team Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, “West Side Story” changed musical theatre forever.

Shakespeare’s most beloved Romeo and Juliet takes a new life in 20th Century New York City. Tony and Maria, two young, idealistic lovers, find themselves caught between warring street gangs, and the prejudice, hate and grudges between their two communities. Follow their star-crossed struggle through a groundbreaking message that still rings true, 67 years after its creation.

The Jets. Photo by Ann Kielbasa.

Led by Director/Choreographers Bryan Knowlton and Elizabeth McGuire, and Musical Director Eric Shorey, the performances run June 13th through June 23rd at The Mac-Haydn Theatre at 1925 NY Route 203 in Chatham, N.Y. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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PS21’s Juneteenth Celebration with The Legendary Ingramettes

Chatham, N.Y.— On Sunday, June 16th at 6 p.m., celebrate Juneteenth at PS21’s with the roof-raising harmonies of The Legendary Ingramettes, Richmond’s “First Family of Gospel.”

The Legendary Ingramettes. Courtesy PS21.

Inspired by the Black male gospel quartets of the 1940s and 50s, the all-woman group boasts six decades of music, sixty-five years of song, and generations tied together through the force of will of a matriarchy of powerful women. The group has shared stages with Clara Ward, Shirley Caesar, and other luminaries; toured the US and Europe, and recorded for the storied gospel label Nashboro Records.

The celebration is on Sunday, June 16th at 6 p.m. at PS21’s Pavilion Theater at 2980 Route 66 in Chatham, N.Y. The event is free to the community with optional ticketing option. There is free bus transportation from Hudson to PS21 and back for anyone interested. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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NAACP Berkshire County Branch hosts its annual Juneteenth Celebration at Durant Park

Pittsfield— On Sunday, June 16th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., NAACP Berkshire County Branch and R.O.P.E. will host their annual Juneteenth Celebration at Durant Park at 30 John Street in Pittsfield.

Juneteenth, also known as Black Independence Day, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19th in various parts of the United States since 1865.

NAACP Berkshire County Branch Juneteenth Celebration.

This year’s event will include a Juneteenth flag raising at Pittsfield City Hall, a Freedom Walk from Pittsfield City Hall to Durant Park, a community worship service, and a day-long festival at Durant Park with food trucks, vendors, and community partners, the reading of the Juneteenth Proclamation, and prevention of student scholarships for Black-identifying Berkshire County high school students.

This year’s entertainment includes a 3-on-3 basketball tournament fundraiser, performances by rapper and musician Mari Flave, African dance with Noel Freeman, local rock band Sample the Cat, and singer/songwriter Wanda Houston. Music will be provided by DJ YoungChamp. Family-friendly activities include a bouncy house, games, crafts with TG’s Clubhouse, face painting, and story time with Dr. Alana Harte.

Free ice cream will be available to the first two hundred people and free meal tickets are provided to all Fathers in attendance. This event is accessible, free, and open to all. More information can be found online. 

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Berkshire Theatre Group presents ‘Abe Lincoln in Illinois’ at the Unicorn Theatre

Stockbridge— From June 13th through July 14th, Berkshire Theatre Group presents Robert E. Sherwood’s Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘Abe Lincoln in Illinois’ at the Unicorn Theatre.

Step into the life and evolution of one of America’s most iconic figures, Abe Lincoln. Charting Lincoln’s extraordinary journey from humble beginnings in New Salem, Illinois, to his historic inauguration as President of the United States, the play presents an intimate and stirring narrative of the man behind the legend.

Brandon Dial as Abe Lincoln (Act 1); Kelli Simpkins as Abe Lincoln (Act 2); and Robert G. McKay as Abe Lincoln (Act 3.) Courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group.

This compelling three-act play offers an intimate portrayal of Lincoln’s evolution, capturing Lincoln’s complex character and presenting a multifaceted figure, a humble man grappling with self-doubt and haunted by premonitions of the Civil War and his own tragic fate. The play delves into Lincoln’s relationships, from the selfless yet elusive Ann Rutledge to his wife, Mary, portrayed with an edge that forewarns her descent into madness. Lincoln’s romances, debates with Stephen A. Douglas, and his journey to the presidency are vividly brought to life, showcasing the complexities of his character and relationships.

Directed by David Auburn, the performances run from June 13th through July 14th on the The Larry Vaber Stage at The Unicorn Theatre at 6 East Street in Stockbridge. Tickets are $60 to $75 with a variety of accessible ticket pricing available. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Berkshires Jazz presents The Django Festival Allstars at Shakespeare and Company

Lenox— On Sunday, June 16th at 4 p.m., Berkshires Jazz presents The Django Festival Allstars at Shakespeare and Company. 

The Django Festival Allstars are a brilliantly cohesive group of star musicians who have taken America by storm, performing at top concert halls and festivals to standing ovations. Spearheaded by the masterful accordion of Ludovic Beier, the quintet performs the unique music, often called “gypsy jazz,” which was created and made popular around the world by Django Reinhardt.

The Django Festival Allstars. Courtesy Berkshires Jazz.

Django Reinhardt’s unmistakable cool and jumpin’ joie de vivre made him an icon for an unlikely range of luminaries from Carlos Santana to Eric Clapton. Seventy years after his passing in 1953, he is still a household name, and his music is still the rage. Jimi Hendrix named his “big band of gypsies” in tribute, and Willie Nelson adopted his influence in country-swing. “Every mainstream jazz artist, and many who are known for other forms of music, has at least one number by Django in their repertoire,” said Berkshires Jazz, Inc. President Ed Bride. 

The concert is on Sunday, June 16th at 4 p.m. at Shakespeare and Company at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox. Tickets are $34 to $49. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Celebrate Father’s Day at The Adams Theater with Marty and Charlie Nadler, a father son comedy night

Adams— On Sunday, June 16th at 7:30 p.m., celebrate Father’s Day at The Adams Theater with longtime comedy writer Marty Nadler and his son, touring comedian Charlie Nadler.

Best known for his contributions to classic television programs such as “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “The Odd Couple,” and “Chico and the Man,” Marty Nadler has also made appearances in films like “Pretty Woman” and “Runaway Bride.” In addition to writing and acting, Marty has ventured into stand-up comedy, where he and son Charlie often perform together.

Charlie Nadler owes his existence to a TV show — his dad met his mom while writing together on “Laverne & Shirley.” In 10+ years of performing standup, he has released two albums and told jokes around the world. He also serves as co-founder of comedy startup LaughDealers.com.

Marty and Charlie Nadler. Courtesy The Adams Theater.

The show is on Sunday, June 16th at 7:30 p.m. at The Adams Theater at 27 Park Street in Adams. Tickets are $20 to $35. A-la-carte bites and drinks by Firehouse Cafe will be available starting at 6:30 p.m. and the house opens at 7 p.m. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Celebrate Father’s Day at The Clark

Williamstown— On Sunday, June 16th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the Clark Art Institute celebrates Father’s Day with free activities.

Decorate a special token of appreciation for the fathers and father figures in your life at a card-making station in the Clark Center’s lower level. After card-making, head outside and enjoy a walk around our 140-acre campus with the people you love.

Father’s Day at The Clark. Courtesy The Clark.

The event is on Sunday, June 16th  from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. More information can be found online. 

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Sheffield Historical Society Garden Gala has been rescheduled to June 15th

Sheffield— Please be advised. Due to rain predictions, the Sheffield Historical Society Garden Gala has been moved from Friday, June 14th to Saturday, June 15th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Sheffield Historical Society is hosting an enchanting garden gala fundraiser with delectable hors d’oeuvres and an exclusive signature cocktail served amidst the lush garden setting. Your attendance supports the society’s mission to preserve local history and enrich the community through engaging events, exhibits, and educational programs for youth.

Live music will be provided by the talented Mary Ann Palermo, an international singer-songwriter and Spotify artist who has shared her captivating stunning vocals with the Berkshires for many years as a multi-genre performer including with some of the best Jazz musicians who call the region their home. Joining her is Emmy award winner Dave Smith on the keyboard and Charlie Tokarz on the reeds for a performance that is not to be missed.

Sheffield Historical Society Garden Gala.

The event has been postponed to Saturday, June 15th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. More information can be found online. Don’t miss this opportunity to mingle, celebrate, and contribute to a worthy cause.

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TriTown Connector offers free transit for Veterans through August

TriTown— Through August 31st, Veterans in any of the TriTown member communities (Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Sheffield, Stockbridge, and West Stockbridge) may ride the TriTown Connector completely free of charge, including medical trips to Pittsfield.

Veterans simply must show their Veteran ID card once onboard a vehicle one time to receive a personalized Unlimited Summer Ride pass. If you are or have any veterans in your life, please share this exciting news and thank them for their service. More information can be found online. 

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Dalton Democratic Town Committee announces final meeting

Dalton— On Tuesday, June 18th at 7 p.m., the Dalton Democratic Town Committee will host its final meeting before the summer break. 

The guest Speaker will be Fire Chief Christian Tobin, who was sworn in as Chief on January 29th. Chief Tobin will speak about changes he’s enacted in the EMT service and the Fire Department as well as the possibility of future innovations. Chief Tobin wants to hear from the community, and a robust question and answer session will be encouraged.  

The meeting will begin with a brief business session that will include a report about the June 1st State Democratic Convention and a discussion of the November election. There will also be a tour of the fire house.

The meeting is on Tuesday, June 18th at 7 p.m. at the Dalton Fire Station at 20 Flansburg Avenue in Dalton. Invite your neighbors! 

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