Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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THEATER REVIEW: ‘2.5 Minute Ride’ plays at Hartford Stage through June 23

I don’t always recommend solo performances, but this one is that rare exception. It is a must see!

CONNECTIONS: Trophy homes

One similarity between the island mansions and the Berkshire cottages may be the reason they were built: They were status symbols. No one claims, not even the owners, that 20,000 square feet is necessary.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Meritocracy Trap’: The rich and the rest

But despite the one-in-a-million, up-from-the-bottom stories we all know and love, equal opportunity was never real. We’re not united by this new system any more than we were under aristocratic rule.

Who knew? The Gilded Age Berkshires were ‘Well Wheeled’

Thanks to a new book by local historian Bernard Drew, we know that there were automobile storage facilities, road competitions and even innovative car manufacturing operations in the Berkshires. And we know that the cottagers embraced the industry with considerable gusto.

Author Roxana Robinson to discuss new biographical novel in conversation at The Mount

Set in Charleston, South Carolina, and based on the life of her great-grandfather Frank Dawson, Roxana Robinson’s use of published accounts, family journal entries and letters tells a compelling story of one man’s attempts to navigate the country’s new political, social and moral landscape.

CONNECTIONS: Elm Court and Wharton’s ‘The House of Mirth’

Amy Bend and her dire economic and social circumstances were the model for Edith Wharton’s Lily Bart in "The House of Mirth," published in 1905.

CONNECTIONS: Is America becoming an oligarchy?

Today, 1 percent controls 90 percent of the wealth. Will there be an unstoppable shift away from democracy?

CONNECTIONS: Berkshire road trip! Part II

Lenox is known as a Gilded Age resort and many of the mansions are restored and open.

CONNECTIONS: The unspeakable climate

It is interesting to contemplate that weather is blamed for the demise of the Vikings, the French Revolution and the bubonic plague. It is also interesting that the founding of this country, the creation of our Constitution, the Civil War, American industrialization and our Gilded Age all happened against a backdrop of extreme cold and global climate change.

CONNECTIONS: A tribute to Ellen Greendale, lover of gardens

The wedding present Irene Botsford Hoffmann received from her father was a house. It was built on her 43-acre property and named Overbrook.

PART II: The politics of W.E.B. Du Bois – a commitment to equality and racial justice

Du Bois not only accepted and advocated the principles of human equality and natural rights embodied in America’s Declaration of Independence. He actually sought to apply them worldwide.

CONNECTIONS: A ‘goodie’ woman rebels

By 23 years old, Julia Ward Howe was dancing and talking, although neither was sanctioned, and testing the waters of whatever else might shock.

CONNECTIONS: A sense of place

It is interesting that what draws many to Berkshire today is no different than what drew people in the 18th century: land. If we value our unique Berkshire communities, how do we protect and maintain them in this modern world?

CONNECTIONS: Coaching and driving in the Gilded Age

During the Gilded Age, the equipage, the livery and the horses as well as the skill in driving were sources of great pride. A local newspaper even gave a whole column for the length of the page to recounting the teams and mounts of local cottagers.

CONNECTIONS: Nostalgia for trappings of royalty

Genuine or ersatz, the desire for a coat of arms was rampant in this country. A hundred years after ejecting the king, apparently, we wanted it back.

Bits & Bytes: Lenox Tub Parade; Imani Winds at Saint James Place; ‘Where the Wild Things Are;’ ‘Asian-Americans: No More Perpetual Foreigners;’ gravestone art

Panelists Helen Haerhan Moon, Deepika Shukla, Setsuko Winchester and K. Scott Wong will address what it means to be Asian-American in the U.S.

CONNECTIONS: Beauty and the beast

They say changing your story is an indication of guilt. Mr. Beach attracted the attention of investigators by changing his story no fewer than three times.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.