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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
'Operation Finale': Crime & Punishment
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:44PM / Thursday, September 06, 2018
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Director Chris Weitz's "Operation Finale," a tension-filled historical drama about the Israeli Mossad's 1960 capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, reminded me of a turning point.   In my house when I was little, you didn't hear the actual word Holocaust. More often, the tragedy that had annihilated half of my family was referred to, in hushed tones, in terms of Hitler: before Hitler, during Hitler and after Hitler. Before was good, a seeming Heaven on Earth that maybe only we children would one day again realize. It was the unspoken hope.   But word that Eichmann, the architect of the Final Solution, had been captured, seemed to change

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'Puzzle': She's Come A Long Way, Maybe
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
07:38PM / Thursday, August 30, 2018
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We are reminded in Marc Turtletaub's "Puzzle," about an unappreciated housewife who finds meaning and identity in doing jigsaw puzzles, that if you want to find truth, look to fiction. We Homo sapiens have been doing it since time immemorial. No one's feelings get hurt, at least not until their misdeeds are exposed for what they are. So bless the metaphors — purveyors of honesty by illustration. Civilizations rise and fall by them, proving in their finest example that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.   Building his case from a sensitively adept script Polly Mann and Owen Moverman adapted from the Argentinian film "Rompecabezas,"

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Tanglewood's Bernstein Celebration Was a Spectacular Tribute
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
11:32AM / Monday, August 27, 2018
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Certainly by now, lovers of classical music know that this summer marked Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday. Celebrations throughout the world are legion, with Tanglewood at the epicenter for performances of the maestro's music – both his own and of the signature compositions of others for which he is beloved as America's greatest conductor.

And on the anniversary of the actual date of his birth - Aug. 25 - Tanglewood created a singular, spectacular event celebrating all the aspects of the musical life of the man known to all as "Lenny."

From "Fancy Free" to "On the Town" to the "Jeremiah' Symphony No. 1" and "The Age of

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'Crazy Rich Asians': Poor Little Rich Millennials
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
01:53PM / Friday, August 24, 2018
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There you are, standing on your porch, looking for either a pickup truck or a van to pull up, something a handyman might drive. It's just a little job: the repair and painting of the front steps. Twenty minutes pass, as do numerous workmen — none of them looking for your house.   "He said he'd be here," you grumble, steaming about the déjà vu of it all. More time passes.   Finally, as it becomes apparent he isn't showing, you issue the bourgeoisie lament: "If I were crazy rich he'd sure be here."   I mulled this example of class-influenced helplessness following a viewing of director Jon M. Chu's moderately

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Book Review: Mister E's Mysteries Are Great Fun
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
09:29AM / Friday, August 24, 2018
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Often, when we think of our greatest, we may assume that their lives are fully taken up by mastering their art. So, it may come as a surprise that occasionally, a maestro can find the time and passion to dedicate her/himself to a completely different art form – and to, over the years, excel equally at that "secondary" activity. Such is the case with former Boston Symphony violinist Gerald Elias.

A graduate of Yale University, Elias has also been associate concertmaster of the Utah Symphony, adjunct professor of music at the University of Utah, first violinist of the Abramyan String Quartet and music director of the Vivaldi Candlelight concert series.

Elias is also a

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Great Jazz, Super Musicals Wrap Up Summer Music Scene
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
03:04PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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The final days of August bring a rush of terrific jazz, a dance party and musical comedies to all corners of the Berkshires.

 

Berkshire Jazz Showcase

Head for the Pittsfield Common on Saturday, Aug. 25, for a brand new enterprise, the the first Berkshire Jazz Showcase. Between 1 and 6 p.m. five of the area's most popular bands will take the stage for an extravaganza: The Lucky 5, Gruppo Mondo, the Ben Kohn Quartet, the Jason Ennis Quintet with vocalist Natalia Bernal and Andy Kelly Gypsy Jazz.

Founder Ed Bride explains that the event offers a showcase for local talent and a signature jazz event with artists who "could easily establish careers in jazz havens like New York,

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Final Summer Tanglewood Concerts Honor Bernstein
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
02:28PM / Wednesday, August 22, 2018
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This week, Tanglewood concludes its 2018 classical programming, culminating with the always-anticipated traditional final concert, on Sunday, Aug. 26, featuring Beethoven's glorious and triumphant Ninth Symphony, which will be preceded by two brief works of Leonard Bernstein – a fitting tribute to cap this "Centennial Bernstein Summer" festival season.

Before the "Ninth," there are three exceptional programs you should consider attending in Ozawa Hall and in the Shed this week – most importantly the astounding lineup of talent that will comprise “Celebrating Lenny at Tanglewood” – an evening-long festival-within-a-festival, on Aug.

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First Berkshire Jazz Showcase Set for Aug. 25 on Pittsfield Common
01:56PM / Monday, August 20, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshires Jazz has announced the lineup and final schedule for the inaugural Berkshire Jazz Showcase, a free festival to be held on the Pittsfield Common on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 1 to 6 p.m.

The jazz extravaganza features five of the most popular regional bands: The Lucky 5 at 1 p.m.; Gruppo Mondo at 2 p.m.; the Benny Kohn Quartet at 3 p.m.; the Jason Ennis Quintet with vocalist Natalia Bernal at 4 p.m.; and Andy Kelly’s Gypsy Jazz Ambassadors at 5 p.m.

The showcase will also include food vendors, as well as a beer and wine garden. Consumables will be available from Assembly Coffee Roasters, Balderdash Cellars, Ernie's Hot Dog Cart, Lucia's

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Daughter's Book Celebrates Legacy of Leonard Bernstein
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
12:00PM / Friday, August 17, 2018
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It's hard to imagine the classical music world without Leonard Bernstein. His death, 28 years ago, left a void that will be very difficult, if not impossible, to fill. Yes, there are young, stellar conductors now on the scene who hold great promise – Ken-David Masur in Boston and the fiery Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles. Time will tell if they, or others, possess the potential of the mature Bernstein, who was blessed with unparalleled musical and communicative gifts as conductor, composer, pianist and mentor/lecturer - classical music’s, and America’s, emissary to the world.

There were three great composers who created and thus changed the course of early-to mid-20th

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'BlacKkKlansman': There's no Politics like Show Business
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:35PM / Thursday, August 16, 2018
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I doubt I've ever reviewed a movie more important than Spike Lee's "BlacKkKlansman."   Greater? Most likely. Although, in astutely fashioning his heartfelt SOS about America's burgeoning racist threat, Spike Lee is no slouch in the art department, either. This scintillating film based on a true story about how, via a white counterpart, Afro-American cop Ron Stallworth infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, wouldn't be nearly as shocking in its appeal to our better angels were it not such a fine achievement in cinema.   Will it win Best Picture? A mere bag of shells. If Lee's magnum opus proves to be this generation's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and

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