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CATA Breaks Ground for New Art Center & Headquarters
02:23PM / Friday, June 14, 2019
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The 6,400 square foot center is designed by Clark & Green Architects. It's expected to take about a year to renovate the structure.  GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Access for the Arts broke ground on Wednesday morning for a new art center at 420 Stockbridge Road.   The center will be a permanent home for CATA and allow the organization to expand its innovative arts programs for people with disabilities.   The two-story, 6,400-square-foot facility will double the organization's existing studio space, with two studios — one for visual arts and writing, the other for dance and performing arts. CATA's new arts center will also embody the

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Summer Music Festival Season is About to Begin
by Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
12:24PM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019
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After a particularly severe and brutally cold winter, the upcoming seasonal musical offerings will be balm to both popular music and classical aficionados, who, each June, anticipate the feast of music these diverse festivals and series present.

These are the music festivals that make our locality a cultural capital, drawing thousands to hear great music – popular, classical chamber, symphony, choral, opera, musical theater, contemporary classical, et al – to experience legendary artists perform masterworks within the verdant hills and dales of the Berkshires and southwestern Vermont we call home.

For this first week of Classical Beat, here's a capsule preview of six of

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BBBBBzzz: Bombino, Berkshire Jazz Start the Pop Season with a Bang
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:57AM / Wednesday, June 12, 2019
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Summer is almost here, and so is pop, jazz, dance, musical theater and new music throughout the region. As before, I'll preview what's coming up each week to help you kick off your shoes.

Hopefully, I'll encourage you to attend a performance of music you know you love, or even music you don't know but that you might love. A great, varied season awaits from Great Barrington to North Adams.

 

Tanglewood Music Festival

Let's begin with Tanglewood, in Lenox, with its early season non-classical lineup in the Shed. On Saturday, June 15, at 5:45 p.m. it's an American Public Media "Live from Here" broadcast with Chris Thile. The show features not just

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'Rocketman': Godzilla vs. Elton John
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
07:25PM / Friday, June 07, 2019
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I actually wanted to see the new "Godzilla." Not that I'm a big fan of the franchise. Maybe it's the kid in me or perhaps because the early stuff was so hokey and so terribly dubbed that it was entertaining. Composed of poorly constructed miniatures and the barest of plots, it was probably the hypersuspension of disbelief engendered in us moppets that stirred our imaginations more than the calamitous perpetrations themselves. My curiosity was up.    Hence, as the time approached to decide if it'd be "Rocketman" or "Godzilla" this week, the Japanese nomenclature became my recurring word of the day. "Gojira! Gojira!" I repeated in

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'Aladdin': Wishful Thinking
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:07PM / Thursday, May 30, 2019
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Three wishes. It sure seems like a lot. One would think you could solve all the world's problems as well as a few of your own if a genie granted them to you. But after mulling director Guy Ritchie's adaptation of the "One Thousand and One Nights" Arabian folktale Disney first treated us to in 1992, I'm still not certain how I'd proceed.    Are you sure you can't wish for more wishes? Yeah, I know, I know. That's the way it has to be. You see, it's all part of a built-in lesson about hopes, aspirations and the human condition, brought to the silver screen here in fine fettle.   Rated PG and boasting a bevy of positive beliefs, with special

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'John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum': How Can I Kill Thee? Let me Count the Ways
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
01:27PM / Friday, May 24, 2019
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There are two things in this world that really confound me. Nope, it's not wondering what the secret of life is. I've got that figured. It's to get a Ferrari. And it isn't how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin, either. Fifty-six, I reckon, same as DiMaggio's hitting streak.    No, the first of my dual quandary is, how anyone in America isn't repulsed by the administration currently besmirching the sanctity of democracy down in Foggy Bottom? The second dilemma that really has me scratching my head is why on Earth someone would want to see director Chad Stahelski's "John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum?"    I concur with Hesh

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Long Island's Nine Days Performing at Drury High
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:33PM / Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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Nine Days is probably best known for their 2000 hit single "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)." NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Nine Days, writers of the hit song "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)," will be performing at Drury High School on Thursday night.   The Drury Performing Arts Management class will bring Nine Days to the stage in a completely student-driven production that Nine Days lead singer John Hampson said is an exciting change of pace for the group.   "We will play some small clubs, small theaters, amphitheaters, casinos, you name it," Hampson said in an email exchange. "We basically pick and choose the gigs that we all want to do. This

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'Poms': Something to Cheer About
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:07PM / Thursday, May 16, 2019
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The philosophical gist of "Poms," a rootin'-tootin' homage to Baby Boomer relevance about a former cheerleader who forms a cheer leading squad at her retirement community, reminded me of an illuminating exchange I had with my wife, Joanne, about 20 years ago.    We were driving across the Neversink River in New York's Sullivan County on the way to our daughter's summer camp when The Rolling Stones's "You Can't Always Get What You Want" came on the radio. Funny how you remember where you were during epiphanic moments. Well, it occasioned me to opine, somewhat resignedly, "Could you imagine, we'll be in the old age home someday

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North Adams Council Accepts Library Gift, OKs Arts Commission Ordinance
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:26PM / Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council accepted a bronze statue as a gift to the North Adams Public Library in memory of Judith Ann "Jody" LaFortune Gottwald.   MaryAnn Abuisi, Gottwald's sister and former city clerk, said she had been considering for some time how to give something back the city.    "I've given 28 years in my service, my dad was a firefighter from 1941 to 1969," she told the council. "And my sister had such an avid love for the public library."   Abuisi had already approached Library Director Mindy Hackner, who recently retired, and the library trustees, who have accepted the gift.    "My sister

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'Long Shot': Proves a Winning Bet
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:36PM / Thursday, May 09, 2019
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I'm giving director Jonathan Levine's "Long Shot" a three, even though by most of my film-criticizing parameters (pace, creativity, screenplay, blah, blah, blah) it rates a 2.5. But hey, it's such a convivial and much needed feel-good movie that I'm figuring why be a piker? It's not like I have to pay Microsoft a vig depending on how many popcorns I allot the film in question, although that day may indeed be coming.   Pulling no punches in its hardly veiled muckrake of the current four-flushers down in Foggy Bottom, this delightfully quixotic confection, heir to the screwball comedies directors Frank Capra and Preston Sturges buoyed Depression Era

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