Wednesday, May 22, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Mollie Kellogg at The Marketplace Café; Sandisfield Arts Center to open new exhibit; Lyle Lovett and Lisa Loeb at The Mahaiwe; ‘Star Wars’ at The Mahaiwe; Crescendo concludes season with Gilbert and Sullivan; Staged readings at Milne Library; Dalton Democratic Town Committee ‘go green’ meeting

Creative Sorceress Mollie Kellogg conjures a magical world on canvas.

The Marketplacé Cafe Pittsfield presents Mollie Kellogg’s magical realism paintings 

Pittsfield— Through May 31st, The Marketplace Cafe Pittsfield presents works from figurative artist Mollie Kellogg’s “Magical Realism” period (2004 to 2007.)

Mollie Kellogg, ‘Dropping Keys.’

Creative Sorceress Mollie Kellogg conjures a magical world on canvas. The metallic pigment underpainting and thick, mixed-media (primarily acrylic) application, enables a three-dimensionality to the surreal worlds from which Kellogg’s figures emerge. Kellogg’s messy process was first utilized in the creation of Magical Realism paintings in 2004, and is still used today in her Incognito Witch Project.

The show runs through May 31st at The Marketplace Café at 53 North Street in Pittsfield. There is a reception with the artist on Friday May 3rd from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. held in connection with First Friday Artswalk. More information can be found online. 

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Sandisfield Arts Center to open ‘After the Thaw’

Sandisfield— Through May 31st, Sandisfield Arts Center hosts “After the Thaw,” its second annual Guild of Berkshire Artists exhibit. 

From Sandisfield Arts Center’s ‘After the Thaw.’

“After the Thaw” is a theme derived from the anticipatory time of year when New Englanders joyfully greet the burgeoning signs of spring, blooming flowers, green grass emerging through softening ground, and increased visitations of the sun. The selected artists all have a unique interpretation of the theme, from the literal to more abstract. A variety of media will be included and sure to delight every viewer.

The show runs through May 31st at the Sandisfield Arts Center at 5 Hammertown Road in Sandisfield. There is an opening reception on Saturday, May 4th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. More information can be found online. 

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Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center presents Lyle Lovett and Lisa Loeb in conversation and song

Great Barrington— On Friday, May 10th at 8 p.m.,  Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center presents Lyle Lovett and Lisa Loeb in conversation and song. 

Lyle Lovett. Courtesy The Mahaiwe.

A singer, composer, and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel, and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. Since his self-titled debut in 1986, Lovett has evolved into one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers. Among his many accolades, besides the four Grammy Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award, and was named Texas State Musician.

Lisa Loeb. Courtesy The Mahaiwe.

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb started her career with the platinum-selling number one hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film “Reality Bites.” A trailblazing independent artist, Loeb was the first pop musician to have a number one single while not signed to a recording contract. Lisa continues to craft irresistible pop songs for the 21st century, while designing eyewear, writing children’s books, and supporting non-profit causes. Lisa’s recent television appearances include “Orange Is the New Black,” “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” and “AP Bio.”

The event is on Friday, May 10th at 8 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington. Tickets are $15 to $125. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center presents ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ (1983)

Great Barrington— On Saturday, May 4th at 7p.m., the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center presents “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” (1983 | PG | 2h, 11min.)

Experience the triumph of the Force in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.” In the epic conclusion of the original trilogy, the Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion with a more powerful Death Star, while the Rebel fleet mounts a massive attack on the space station. Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader in a final climactic duel before the evil Emperor.

Image: © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd. Courtesy The Mahaiwe.

The showing is on Saturday, May 4th at 7p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington. Tickets are $5 to $8; Card to Culture accepted. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Crescendo concludes 20th anniversary season with Gilbert and Sullivan

Lakeville, C.T. and Great Barrington— On Saturday, May 4th at 6 p.m. at Trinity Church in Lakeville, C.T. and Sunday, May 5th at 4 p.m. at Saint James Place in Great Barrington, the award-winning chorus Crescendo concludes its 20th anniversary season with two performances of light opera compositions by the famous English librettist/composer duo Sir W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.

The program showcases some of their most beloved choral numbers, and a few of the most famous solo roles from several of their fourteen operettas, loosely tied together by brief narration, plus the complete one-act operetta “Trial by Jury.” “Trial by Jury” is a satirical setting for a “breach of promise” trial, ridiculing the British judicial system and the double standards of Victorian society. The second half of the program will feature popular selections from “The Mikado,” “Patience,” “The Pirates of Penzance,” “H.M.S. Pinafore,” and more. 

Co-directed by John-Arthur Miller and founding artistic director Christine Gevert, the chorus is composed of 18 amateur and 12 professional singers joined by soloists and actors from New York City to Europe who specialize in this genre.

Baritone Stephen Quint. Photo by Garry Gold.

Among the principal soloists is comic baritone Stephen Quint as The Learned Judge. Quint is a long-time New York Gilbert and Sullivan performer, described as “a comedian: elfin, waspish, agile, and blessed with a pleasantly lean-textured voice that articulates notes and words with absolute clarity,” in a review by New York Magazine.

“It seems that we all need a bit of levity and just plain fun in our lives,” says artistic director Gevert. “The music is lighthearted, lyrical, sometimes martial, and always melodious.”

The two performances are Saturday, May 4th at 6 p.m. at Trinity Church at 484 Lime Rock Road in Lakeville, C.T. and Sunday, May 5th at 4 p.m. at Saint James Place at 352 Main Street in Great Barrington. Tickets are $10 to $75. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Milne Library presents two staged readings of ‘The Book Club Play’

WIlliamstown— On Saturday, May 4th at 10:30 a.m. at the Milne Library and on Sunday, May 5th at 2 p.m. at Sweetwood, Milne Library presents two free staged readings of ‘The Book Club Play,’ a comedy about the meltdown of a book group by Karen Zacarias.

The play looks at the great national pastime of book clubs as both a salon and occasional war zone. Six local actors will take a seat in America’s imaginary living room as their characters, members of a book club, uncork the wine and roll up their sleeves to tackle the evening’s book. When their club is selected as the subject of a documentary film, their discussions about life and literature take a turn for the hilarious under the inescapable lens of the camera. The arrival of an unexpected guest armed with eyebrow-raising book titles sends the group into pandemonium. Sprinkled with theatrical references to novels ranging from classics to beach reads, this playful study of contemporary culture shows what can happen to life, love, and literature when friends start reading between the lines.

The play, directed by Deborah Burns, features an ensemble of actors from our community who, for this production only, have named their troupe “The Library Cards.”

Courtesy Milne Library.

The performances are on Saturday, May 4th at 10:30 a.m. at the Milne Library at 1095 Main Street and on Sunday, May 5th at 2 p.m. at Sweetwood at 1611 Cold Spring Road. More information can be found online. 

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The Dalton Democratic Town Committee will meet to learn how town residents can save money by ‘going green’

Dalton— Tonight, Tuesday, April 30th from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Dalton Democratic Town Committee will meet to learn how town residents can save money by “going green.”

Guest speakers for the evening will be Sherdyl Fernandez-Aubert from the Berkshire County Regional Planning Council, who will discuss the financial and environmental benefits of a MassSave audit and review the financial incentives available through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act; Steve Marantz from the Green Dalton Committee who will present suggestions to homeowners before signing work contracts; and Tom Irwin from the Green Dalton Committee who will talk about how his Paint Stewardship initiative will protect homes and the environment at large.

Information will also be provided regarding the importance of voting at the May 6th town meeting, May 13th town election, September 3rd state primary, and November 5th presidential election.

The meeting is at the Community Recreation Center at 400 Main Street in Dalton. It is free and open to the public.

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