Bits & Bytes: ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’; Sohn Gallery art show; Belle Fox at Lauren Clark; Canon Booth at Lenox Library; iconography at St. Nicholas

The environmental health of the Berkshires and what people can do to maintain it will be the emphasis when Canon Stephen Paul Booth discusses if there are any green spaces left in his talk, “Culture, Community, and Conservation in the Housatonic Valley” on Sunday, April 19, 4 p.m. at The Lenox Library.

Berkshire Waldorf High School performs ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’

Stockbridge — Berkshire Waldorf High School seniors will present Joseph Kesselring’s 1939 comedy classic Arsenic and Old Lace at the Unicorn Theatre on Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18, at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m.

Arsenic and Old Lace takes place in the Brooklyn apartment of the Brewster family, descended from Mayflower colonists. The family consists of two old ladies who murder old men with poisoned wine — out of sympathy for their lonely lives: their son Mortimer, a theater critic; his fiancé, Elaine; Mortimer’s mad brother who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt; an alcoholic plastic surgeon named Dr. Einstein; and some local cops.

This is the first senior play for the Waldorf High School, which produces two plays annually at the Unicorn Theatre, part of the Berkshire Theater Group. According to Director Beth Robbins, “The Senior Play will bring the graduating class together in a bonding experience shortly before they graduate.”

The Waldorf High School presented Much Ado About Nothing in February, a first collaboration with Shakespeare & Company. Last year, the school presented Michael Frayn’s Audience and Mary Chase’s Harvey, both at the Unicorn Theatre.

Tickets are $15 person or $40 per family, available at the door but seating is limited. Seats can be reserved in advance by calling the Berkshire Waldorf High School at (413-298-3800).

— H.B.

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Poet Belle Fox-Martin reading at Lauren Clark Fine Art

Belle Fox bookGreat Barrington — Poet Belle Fox-Martin will read from and sign her latest book, Misplaced Day on Saturday April 18 from 4-6 p.m. at Lauren Clark Fine Art, 25 Railroad Street.

This engaging collection is read front to back and back to front (known as tête bêche), enhancing the physical juxtaposition of resonant poetry at one end and quirky, often prose at the other.  Belle Fox-Martin’s poetry has been likened to the work of Frank O’Hara and her prose would be at home on NPR’s Selected Shorts.

Belle Fox Martin writes as witness to a wide sweep of themes: embracing old love, peace, nature, solitude, revenge, aging and even fantasy as in the Isle of Bloat written in five parts about a one-armed community. Then, there is the soliloquy of a pet pig (Couchon Noir).  Some prose pieces are like linear conversations, charming in their own right. There is imaginative imagery throughout, and then the surprising play on words in the story The Organ Recipient. 

The poetry section read from the other end is very different from the prose pieces; more abstract, metaphorical and often playful. Some may remind the reader of a lengthy dream sequence as in Retrospective. Then there is A Fist Full: a prompt that leads to streams of consciousness that actually texture the page.

This is Belle Fox-Martin’s fifth book to date and it most certainly reflects her eclectic experiences as a Licensed Congregational Minister, artist, social worker, and writing teacher.  She lives in Stockbridge with her wife Cheryl Hutto and their two standard poodles.

Misplaced Day, published through Troy Books in hardcover and soft cover is also available at The Bookloft in Great Barrington, as well as Troy Books and

 — H.B.

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Juried exhibition at Sohn Fine Art to benefit Berkshire Creative

Lenox — A reception Saturday April 18 from 4-6 p.m. at Sohn Fine Art Gallery on 69 Church St. will celebrate the winners of 4th Annual Juried Exhibition to benefit Berkshire Creative, which showcases photographic work by 20 finalists, judged by Julia Dixon (Director of Berkshire Creative), Susan Cross (Curator at MASS MOCA) and Lisa Dorin (Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Williams College Museum of Art).

This collaboration is in line with the innovative spirit of Berkshire Creative and Sohn Fine Art’s commitment to integrate community, arts and education. It is Sohn Fine Art’s mission to promote broader understanding of, and community engagement with, photographic mediums through collaborations with cultural organizations and nonprofits.

Photographic work in the exhibition includes Marsden Epworth’s “Shell Game,” a striking still-life with a polysemous play on “shell” objects. Bill Wright’s, “Dependence” is part of a larger series called “The Answer is Never the Answer.” This body of work is an exploration of his mother’s life as a part of the “Hog Farm,” the beginning stages of Woodstock and the “Haight Ashbury” of the San Fran crew. The photographs mimic original paintings from the Masters of the 18th century.

Artist Gene Elling, shows work for the third year as a finalist in the Annual Juried Exhibitions, with a first place win in 2013. His image “Red Again” is an exploration of strong geometric composition in the “built” environment (similar his previous work), but packs a punch of color this year. Sally Eagle’s portrait of a Grave Digger in Cuba is both refined and gritty, while Michael Bufis makes a figurative portrait out of a mountainous landscape. Linda Pagani plays with light and quiet moments in a subconscious, abstract scene of white-on-white called “Stillness.” Eric Levin, first place winner in last year’s Juried Exhibition, has again been chosen as a finalist. His piece, Checks Cashed Caboose, Wallington, NJ, is from the same body of work, “Unscheduled Stops,” as his 2014 winner.

Twenty percent of all sales will be donated to Berkshire Creative, a partner in 1Berkshire, the county’s economic development and marketing collaboration with the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau..

Featured artists: April Aldighieri, Lee Backer, Scott Barrow, Stephanie Blumenthal, Michael Bufis, Sally Eagle, Gene Elling, Marsden Epworth, Susan Geller, Julian Grey, Anne Harris, Janet Hetherwick Pumphrey, Eric Levin, Catherine Noren, Benjamin Mancino, Linda Pagani, Gilbert Rios, Giuseppe Santagata, Bill Wright, Chris Young.

— H.B. 

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Culture, Community, and Conservation: Canon Booth talk at Lenox Library

Lenox — Berkshire County residents treasure the area’s rural nature and natural beauty. Its natural resources are constantly competing with residential and commercial interests. The environmental health of the Berkshires and what people can do to maintain it will be the emphasis when Canon Stephen Paul Booth discusses if there are any green spaces left in his talk, “Culture, Community, and Conservation in the Housatonic Valley” on Sunday, April 19, 4 p.m. at The Lenox Library.

Canon Booth recently served as rector at Trinity Church in Lenox, and is a former board member of the Housatonic Valley Association, an organization dedicated to conserving the Housatonic watershed area. The HVA will offer free refreshments following the talk.

The Housatonic River encompasses 149 miles of waterway, much of it scenic. The Appalachian Trail runs alongside it for one mile in Sheffield and five miles in northwestern Connecticut. Many rare and endangered species of plants and animals call its banks home. The Housatonic Valley Association works to assess the river’s quality, create shoreline land for public recreation, and educate the public on the importance of conservation. The river and surrounding valley support kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, and camping along much of its length for some 750,000 residents and visitors. More information about the HVA can be found at

This lecture, part of The Lenox Library’s Distinguished Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. For further information, contact Executive Director Sharon Hawkes at 637-2630.

— D.S.

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Art at Bagels Too: Iconography presentation at St. Nicholas Church
Icons in St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Pittsfield will be the subject of a talk by icon artist Nicholas Bobrovsky on Saturday, April 18, at  2 p.m.
Icons in St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Pittsfield will be the subject of a talk by icon artist Nicholas Bobrovsky on Saturday, April 18, at 2 p.m.

Pittsfield — Learn about icons and iconography as a religious art form at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, 1304 North Street (upper North Street) on Saturday April 18 at 2 p.m. with icon artist Nicholas Bobrovsky, whose icons hang in the Church.

Bobrovsky will talk about how he creates icons and explore their meaning, history and veneration, their use and placement, as well as techniques, styles, and subjects both historically and in the present. He will also talk about iconographers’ rules and responsibilities, and show examples of his own iconography as well as his father’s.

A retired engineer, Bobrovsky has been an iconographer, a painter of Russian religious icons for the last 35 years, although those who create icons refer to themselves as writers, not painters, of iconography. Bobrovsky’s father was an architect, and an iconographer as well.

The event is sponsored by The Art Gallery at Bagels Too.

— H.B.