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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
Classical 'High Season' Approaches Its Zenith
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:42PM / Wednesday, July 26, 2017
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During late July, the classical music festival "high season," anchored by concerts and special events at Tanglewood, approaches its zenith, with sure-fire programming. Offerings this week include great chamber music featuring the renowned Takács String Quartet with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, a unique and highly engaging piano recital celebrating birdsong, Beethoven's Violin Concerto, with soloist Pinchas Zuckerman and much, much more, including the all-encompassing Tanglewood On Parade festivities. Read below for the details.

Not to be outdone, concerts at Tannery Pond and the Sevenars Festival also present unsurpassed and diverse chamber music.

As always, the place

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Shire City Sessions Returns to Pittsfield on Monday
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:04AM / Sunday, July 23, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Shire City Sessions are back.   The weekly concert series takes place over the next three Mondays at the First Street Common. The concerts bring original live music to the Berkshires, and fills up what tends to be an uneventful night of the week.   "There is a little bit of a hole in the cultural scene when it comes to original music," said Alan Bauman, who founded the concert series in 2015 to bring in national and regional music talent to tackle that issue.   It began in the parking lot of the Shire City Sanctuary the first year. Last year, it moved to the Common and worked in tandem with the Shakespeare in the Park, using the same

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'The Big Sick': Has a Healthy Outlook
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:23PM / Friday, July 21, 2017
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Director Michael Showalter's "The Big Sick," based on Pakistani-born comedian/actor Kumail Nanjiani's real-life story, is often hilarious proof that in jest there is truth. While gleefully verifying that in dedicated hands the classical romantic comedy remains a viable entertainment, this convivial foray into whether or not love conquers all also asserts a humanistic message that is of late egregiously absent from our national consciousness. Nanjiani's tale sagely solicits art to fill this vacuum.   On the surface it plays rather simply. Kumail, who Ubers for a living when he's not trying to "kill" the audience at a Chicago comedy club, one night

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Tanglewood and Sevenars: Classical Music Heaven
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:35PM / Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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Tanglewood enters its third week, and the highlights are many; indeed, every concert will be memorable. The legendary Emerson String Quartet present a musico-theatric "Russian Fantasy," followed by an all-Schubert evening. Deeply moving symphonies by Bernstein and Tchaikovsky ensue, with heroic piano concertos by Beethoven and Prokofiev to follow. Orchestral masterworks by Kernis, Britten and Sibelius, and a celebration of early-20th century French vocal music conclude this week's listing of stellar performances of great and amazingly diverse musical offerings.

If, for whatever inexplicable reason the bounteous musical fare at Tanglewood isn't enough to pique your

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'Baby Driver': Runs on Hi-Test
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:54PM / Thursday, July 13, 2017
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Ansel Elgort, who plays the title character in director Edgar Wright's "Baby Driver," stylishly employs an entrancing balletic flair in his hip, post-millennial interpretation of what his generation's consummate getaway man might be like.    Using flashbacks interspersed throughout the action-packed drama to inform just what goes into the making of this rare bird of the crime world, Wright, who also wrote the script, pens his protagonist's character study in the fashion generally reserved for superheroes. It's all environment, inner genius and je ne sais quoi.   The implied question that serves as subtext of this quick-moving, smart-alecky glimpse

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Region Hosting Variety of Classical Musical Offerings
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires.com
08:53PM / Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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It's here: the summer concert season is upon us. With programs across the region, concertgoers will have a wide range of classical music to enjoy in venues large and small: from solo piano and orchestral to opera and musical theater in concert; from chamber music to a thrilling Bach Brandenburg Concerto. 

This week I'll showcase three presenters that offer the best in chamber music, symphonic music, opera and musical theater.

Taconic Music

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ariel Rudiakov and Joana Genova-Rudiakov, co-founders and co-artistic directors of Taconic Music, the stimulating and innovative Manchester, Vt.-based music presenter, about their new concert

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Berkshire Museum Unveils 'Reinvention Plan'
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:49PM / Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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Architect Christopher Parkinson shows off a model he created of the renovated museum, which will have much more open space inside. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum was faced with a choice: change, move or die.   For the last decade, the museum has faced a $1.1 million deficit in its budget, setting a course for failure. Executive Director Van Shields called it a threat to the museum's future.    In response, the century-old institution has crafted a bold $60 million plan to not only get its financial house in order but also modernize the museum and how it operates.   "When a species is threatened, they either adapt, migrate, or go extinct. In

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Classical Beat: Great Music Abounds at Tanglewood, Taconic & Tannery Pond
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
09:16AM / Friday, July 07, 2017
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Tanglewood, the nation's largest and most prestigious summer music presenter, officially opens its 77th classical festival season. Here's a rundown of the concerts and performers from July 5-11.

As if that's not enough, don't miss out on the brilliant offerings at Taconic Music and Tannery Pond – two additional stellar venues in Manchester, VT. and New Lebanon, NY.

Great performers interpret iconic music from across historical eras – much of it beloved favorites of audiences worldwide. Read below for the details.

• The Cleveland-based Baroque chamber orchestra Apollo's Fire will present a program entitled "Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'

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First Annual 'Mastheads' Writers Residency Kicks Off In Pittsfield
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
02:01AM / Wednesday, July 05, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Mastheads have launched.   Five writers will be spending the month of July working out of small studios placed throughout the city. The studios are all inspired by 19th-century authors as part of an art, history, and architectural project headed by Tessa Kelly and Christopher Parkinson.   The program, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, is in its inaugural year and on Monday the architects, the authors, and the community launched the program at Hotel on North.   "Our project became a means to find common ground with other thinkers in the Berkshires, many of whom are here and who share an interest in exploring ways that the

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Artist Creates Explorative Sculpture Based on Hoosac Tunnel
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
05:51AM / Saturday, July 01, 2017
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The mountain peaks are made from connected triangles. Sambruce began assembling the pieces in April for the mid-June opening. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Artist Wesley Sambruce brings his reflections on the Hoosac Tunnel to life in Kidspace with an interactive sculpture that asks children and adults alike to explore courage.   Lofted in Kidspace in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Sambruce built a portal into another world. Flipping back the tunnel's heavy veil opens to meandering pathways paved with poetry, crawlways dropping off into unexplored caverns and open vestibules with hanging tendrils — all inspired by the 4.75-mile Hoosac

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