Friday, July 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Swing dancing at Dewey Hall; ‘Springside After Dark’; health lecture at Fairview; ‘Gem of the Valley’

'Nutritional Strategies to Treat Acid Reflux' will include the impact of diet on acid reflux and also cover foods that are helpful and those to avoid.

Dewey Hall to host swing dancing with the Fabulous Versatones

Sheffield — Oldtone Native will present a night of swing dancing Friday, July 19, at Dewey Hall, beginning with a lesson with Harry Pisila at 8 p.m. Dancing to live music from the Fabulous Versatones will begin at 9 p.m.

Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, the Fabulous Versatones combine guitars, sax bass and drums to create a timeless sound of finger-snapping swing. The band features Chris Kendall on tenor sax, Josh Connors on lead guitar, Pete Tenerowicz on drums, Otto Gardner on bass and Peter Jung on rhythm guitar.

The cost is a sliding fee of $10–$20. Beginners are welcome, partners are not necessary and refreshments will be available. For more information, contact (413) 429-1176 or


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A recent ‘Springside After Dark’ event at Pittsfield’s Springside Park. Photo courtesy Springside Park Conservancy

‘Springside After Dark’ to raise funds for Springside Park

Pittsfield — The Springside Park Conservancy will once again bring late-night fun to Pittsfield’s largest park Saturday, July 20, from 8 to 11 p.m. with “Springside After Dark,” at which attendees can dance the night away to DJ BFG under a massive tent on the lawn of the park’s historic Springside House.

Event attendees will be able to dance; relax in a special lounge area amid the blooming gardens; and enjoy beer, wine and specialty cocktails at the outdoor bar by Methuselah Bar and Lounge. Barbecue is available for purchase from Smokey Divas, and a dessert buffet will also be provided.

Tickets are $35–$240. All funds raised by the Springside Park Conservancy will go to improving the Springside Park experience for the community and its visitors. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Lisa Tully at (413) 499-7505 or


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Fairview Hospital to offer lecture on acid reflux

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital will host a lecture on “Nutritional Strategies to Treat Acid Reflux” Thursday, July 18, at 4:30 p.m. in its ground floor conference room. The program will include the impact of diet on acid reflux and also cover foods that are helpful and those to avoid.

Program presenter Robert Hoechster, LD, is a nutritionist at Fairview and a member of Fairiew’s Life Enhancement Program team. Hoechster also leads Fairview Hospital’s Eating with Awareness Program.

The program is free and open to the public, but registration is requested due to limited seating. For more information or to register, call Fairview Hospital’s Community Relations Office at (413) 854-9609.


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Chester Theatre Company to produce immersive theater experience

John Bechtold. Photo: Jerrey Roberts/Daily Hampshire Gazette

Chester — Chester Theatre Company will present the immersive theater experience “Gem of the Valley” Thursday, July 18, through Saturday, July 20. The town of Chester is the focus of the piece, which pays homage to the village and the theater that has called it home for 30 years.

“Chester Theatre Company is celebrating its 30th anniversary and was interested in supporting a piece that could commemorate the town and theater’s enduring relationship in a new and interesting way,” said creator and director John Bechtold. “With that as the starting point, ‘Gem of the Valley’ has been designed as an hour-long guided walk through the middle of Chester for groups of six audience members at a time. This group of audience members will be navigating the show, often together, with a pair of headphones and pre-recorded soundtrack. The soundtrack will blend with live performances that will put audience members in direct engagement with the 20-plus performers scattered across the show.”

Bechtold has been devising original immersive theater productions since 2010, often working in collaboration with Eggtooth Productions. He is a consultant on immersive projects, most recently working with the UMass Amherst theater department on “A Dream Play,” and he is leading the collaboration between Eggtooth Productions and Punchdrunk in the UK to produce Punchdrunk Enrichment‘s U.S. debut of “A Small Tale” in spring 2020. Bechtold is the head of the performing arts department for the Amherst Regional Public Schools and the director of the Deerfield Academy Summer Arts Camp.

Tickets are $30. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Chester Theatre Company at (413) 354-7771 or



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