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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
Classical Music High Season is Ablaze
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:42PM / Wednesday, July 25, 2018
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During late July into early August, with concerts at Tanglewood and at other celebrated regional venues, the classical music festival high season lights up with sure-fire programming. Major orchestral offerings at Tanglewood this week include Mozart's groundbreaking Symphony No. 40 and Brahms' poignant Symphony No. 3, along with solo star turns by the world-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the sublimely poetic violinist Gil Shaham.

Adventurous listeners take note: Add to the above the Festival of Contemporary Music from July 26-30 in Ozawa Hall, directed by composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès. The musical palette broadens to present a gallery of newly composed works,

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Barrington Stage Youth Theatre Presents 'James and the Giant Peach'
11:49AM / Wednesday, July 25, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Barrington Stage Youth Theatre presents "James and the Giant Peach" from July 26 through Aug. 12 at Berkshire Museum.

"James and the Giant Peach," book by Timothy Allen MdDonald, based on the book "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl, is a brand new take on this "masterpeach" of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this is an adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery. When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions.

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'Leave No Trace': Makes Its Mark
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:14PM / Thursday, July 19, 2018
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It would be silly not to give a full, 4-popcorn rating to "Leave No Trace," Debra Granik's trenchant, contemporary drama about a PTSD sufferer who lives off the grid in the Portland, Ore., woods with his teenage daughter. However, when movies are this good, there is a tendency on the critic's part to judge them against other superb examples of the filmic art, and to cautiously rein-in the ebullience that can't help accompany the welcome rush of provocative truths. The personal tale is devastating, the larger implications, haunting.   So, when quibbling between a 3 or 3 1/2 and a 4, I invoke the Goldberger Rule of Cinematic Significance to tip the balance: Is the

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Concerts at Tanglewood, Sevenars Are Not To Be Missed
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires columnist
02:48PM / Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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Tanglewood in Lenox is the place to be this week for unforgettable music. Why go? To experience the symphonic and solo concerto masterworks of Mozart, Sibelius and Aaron Copland in the Shed, as well as stirring, not-to-be-missed, stellar performances in Ozawa Hall. Fabulous guest artists – the masterful pianist Emanuel Ax, brilliant violinists Pamela Frank and Christian Tetzlaff and the phenomenal Emerson String Quartet – will take center stage.

For something uniquely special and just as eagerly anticipated, consider attending Sevenars Concerts in South Worthington, Ma., for an exhilarating program of cello/piano masterpieces by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Prokofiev. This

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'Lempicka,' 'Anthracite Fields' Roll Into North County
By Grace Lichtenstein, Special to iBerkshires
02:09PM / Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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Our focus this week shifts to north county — Williamstown and North Adams. While that might require a bit of a drive for those coming from farther south, I believe it will be worth it as you discover a brand new musical and a masterwork that combines elements of folk, rock and classical.

 

Williamstown Theatre Festival

At the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which always has treats in store, the world premiere of "Lempicka" opens its run Thursday, July 19, on the Main Stage, at the '62 Center on the campus of Williams College.

The music is by Matt Gould, with book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer. It is inspired by the life of the artist "who transformed herself

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Painted Pianos on Display Across Berkshire County
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:37PM / Monday, July 16, 2018
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Keith Bona's 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' installed at the front of the North Adams Public Library. The celestial theme ties in with the library's summer reading program.  ADAMS, Mass. — Big, beautiful and artfully crafted, the Painted Pianos began arriving at parks and libraries, galleries and restaurants on Monday.   It wasn't long before they attracted crowds who began tinkling the ivories.    The summerlong collaborative celebration of the Berkshire Summer of Music and famed conductor and pianist Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday will be making music in the community beginning Wednesday through Aug. 25. The melding of visual arts and

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Save The Art Continues Opposition to Berkshire Museum Art Sale
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
01:18PM / Saturday, July 14, 2018
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Some are calling for a whole new board of trustees to take over at the museum. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tom Patti considered it a compliment to have his art in the same building as Norman Rockwell and Alexander Calder.   The Berkshire Museum had commissioned his work at the entrance, the foyer, and in three other locations. But now, Patti doesn't feel that the museum values local artists.   "I felt a part of the original mission of the museum and its responsibility to the community. I think that's changed dramatically. It was something very special to the region, not just in Pittsfield," Patti said. "It took over 100 years to invest in the museum and

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'Ant-Man and the Wasp': Going Molecular
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:01PM / Thursday, July 12, 2018
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Y'know how in organic chemistry they show you a molecular construction and then ask you to identify it from another angle? Well, I can't do that, which is why I'm a film critic and not a dermatologist. And it's worked out pretty well, except until now, when I'm faced with trying to explain the pseudo-scientific ins and outs of director Peyton Reed's "Ant-Man and the Wasp."   You see, a good deal of this adventure yarn is concerned with rescuing Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet Van Dyne aka Wasp from the Quantum Realm, and I have absolutely no idea where that is.   I only know that whether it is to the left, right, up, down or somewhere sideways, it

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Bernstein, Bang on a Can, and Everything In Between
By Grace Lichtenstein, iBerkshires.com
01:38PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018
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All varieties of popular music blanket the Berkshires in mid-July. At Tanglewood, it's Bernstein. At Mass MoCA, it's singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett and the start of the 17th annual Bang on a Can Festival. At Jacob's Pillow, it's a remarkable group of musical theater dancers plus Dorrance Dance.

Yes, I'm stretching the word by calling the upcoming shows "pop." But they are popular in the best sense of the word —they appeal to everyone. For me, great music knows no boundaries.

 

Tanglewood

How about a zesty lesser-known Bernstein? Thursday evening, July 12, at Ozawa Hall, catch the semi-staged version of Leonard Bernstein's "Trouble in

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Review: 'Hair' is a Must See
By Nancy Salz, iBerkshires columnist
01:12PM / Wednesday, July 11, 2018
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It didn't have to be this good.

Just hearing one or two songs from the 1968 rock musical "Hair" – like "Let the Sunshine In" or "Good Morning Starshine" – would have been enough to bring tears to our eyes and a longing for a time when the youth of America could and did change our country.

That's what happened when Kate Maguire, artistic director and CEO of the Berkshire Theatre Group, heard a young woman sing the above songs at an American Theatre Wing event not long ago. She told us in a talkback that on the spot she decided to bring a revival of the show in the intimate space of the Unicorn Theatre, where the audience could be a part

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