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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
E-Book Review: 'Symphonies & Scorpions' by Gerald Elias
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
02:24PM / Wednesday, December 27, 2017
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Musician/author Gerald Elias is widely known by Berkshires classical music aficionados for living a double artistic life as a violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, performing at the BSO's Tanglewood Music Festival each summer, and also being the gifted author of six classical music-themed mystery "whodunits": "Devil’s Trill," "Danse Macabre," "Playing With Fire," "Death and the Maiden," "Death and Transfiguration" and "Spring Break."

Now, Elias has just released his first downloadable e-book, "Symphonies & Scorpions." A memoir, he has subtitled it "Ramblings of a Wand'ring

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Whitney Center for the Arts Taps New Director
05:20PM / Friday, December 22, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Monica Bliss has been appointed director of performing arts at the Whitney Center for the Arts, the arts center in the renovated historic Thomas Colt House, the former home of the Women's Club of the Berkshires on Wendell Avenue.

A resident of New Lebanon, N.Y., Bliss volunteered as president and chair of publicity for Town Players of Pittsfield, Pittsfield's own historic 98-year old community theater. Previously, she worked as a sales manager for Barrington Stage Company. 

Bliss studied opera at the Hartt School of Music and theater at both Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She graduated from Wahconah Regional

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'Wonder Wheel': Round and Round It Goes
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
12:17PM / Friday, December 22, 2017
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Woody Allen flummoxes us. I think it was Henry Miller who asked to be judged by his literary work and not his personal life. "Fat chance" said some; "OK" said others; and "Who's Henry Miller?" was doubtlessly the response by most.   While Allen makes no such plea, aloud or tacitly, the arrival of each new movie from this film genius is always a sticky wicket. We are put at odds by alleged misbehavior, objectionable proclivities and charges of sexual harassment never quite resolved in the cauldron of public opinion.   Thus, with the opening of "Wonder Wheel," sometimes dramatically brilliant, cleverly derivative in its homage to a gaggle

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'The Disaster Artist': No Soap, Radio
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
04:25PM / Friday, December 15, 2017
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Director James Franco's "The Disaster Artist" reminded me of a non-joke that popularly circulated when I was a kid. It goes like this: Two elephants are in a bathtub and, when one says to the other, "Pass the soap," the other elephant informs, "No soap, radio."   You tell it and then you laugh, intentionally flummoxing your little friend who, afraid he'll look stupid if he doesn't laugh, chortles despite wondering why it's funny. Several decades since, I question, just a little, if the joke was actually on the jester ... that somewhere there was humor in the put-on.   Such, more or less, is the territory into which "The Disaster

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Beacon Cinema Cuts Ribbon On Cushy New Seats
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:40PM / Friday, December 15, 2017
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Former Beacon Manager John Valente and Councilor John Krol discuss the partnership between the city and the theater. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Nov. 20, 2009, Eugene Mamut of Lee leaned back in the deep plush red seats the day the Beacon Cinema opened, and said, "I don't want to get up."   The $23 million project to bring an independently-owned movie theater had taken years to finally come to fruition. Former Mayor James Ruberto had the crowd celebrating the opening chant his favorite saying, "it is a great day for Pittsfield."   But it was the new stadium seating that was the talk of the town. Since then, things have changed in the movie theater

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'The Man Who Invented Christmas': The Dickens, You Say
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
10:06PM / Thursday, December 07, 2017
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Once upon a time, a woman at a party who learned I was a film critic crossed the crowded room and asked, "From whence do you get your inspiration?" So OK, she didn't really say "whence." But anyway, I was a bit flummoxed and, making it as clear as I could, answered, "Well, I see the movie that I intend to review."    That said, I belatedly thank her for the entrée to my review of "The Man Who Invented Christmas," director Bharat Nalluri's long-winded treatise on the alleged torment Charles Dickens suffered trying to conjure inspiration for "A Christmas Carol."   While Nalluri's mini biopic/fantasy may or may

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'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri': Signs of the Times
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:12PM / Thursday, November 30, 2017
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Director Martin McDonagh's compelling "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" features, among other things, misogyny, police brutality, racism, rape, child molestation, white supremacy, unrestricted gun possession, and anti-gay sentiments.    But no, it's not about Roy Moore's quest to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Rather, equally provocative and similarly chilling, the superbly acted film details a mother's rage over her daughter's unsolved murder to the backdrop of a small town rendered dysfunctional by the above-listed disgraces.   Frances McDormand, playing Mildred Hayes, the infuriated mom, is the beleaguered face of survival in

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'Justice League': Oh Superman, Where Art Thou?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
04:59PM / Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Prior to becoming one special effects-crammed battle scene after the next, director Zack Snyder's "Justice League" spends an inordinate amount of time detailing the difficulties of putting together the folks necessary to saving the world. Mind you, I'm not talking about the 20 or 30 influential U.S. senators and congresspeople it would take to flip their brethren in the noble pursuit of preserving America's currently endangered democracy, though that'd be a real good idea. Only the autocrats have fun in an autocracy. But no, this is just about superheroes.   All the same, this movie rendition about that gang of DC Comics crusaders who attempt to solve their

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Volunteers Prep For Third Annual Children's Extravaganza
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:35AM / Monday, November 20, 2017
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The bank purchased the bicycles from Plaines and donated them to the event. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Children's Holiday Extravaganza returns for the third year on Nov. 26 with a record high number of tickets reserved.   The extravaganza was the brainchild of Kathy Amuso, who three years ago reached out to Berkshire Theatre Group CEO Kate Maguire about throwing a free holiday party for the community.   Since then, the Colonial Theatre has hosted the family-friendly event each year and more and more people are attending.   "It is mirrored after the GE parties that GE and the union would put on. It would be free and there'd be Santa Claus and

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'Murder on the Orient Express': Has You Humming the Scenery
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:38PM / Saturday, November 18, 2017
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The beautiful romanticization of an era that in truth was only elegant for the well-to-do makes director Kenneth Branagh's version of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" a veritable feast for the eyes and imagination if not for the movie house detective in you.    Oh, there are wonderfully opulent appurtenances aboard the luxury train where famed Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot plies his craft with genius, whimsy and a gallantry too often eclipsed by humankind's less noble instincts.   Starring an all-star cast to match the assemblage of beautiful people in Sidney Lumet's 1974 adaptation of Christie's 1935 mystery, this group is also

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