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Arts Beat

Made in the Berkshires: Kate Maguire of Berkshire Theatre Group,actors Corinna May and David Adkins, and director Kristen van Ginhoven of WAM.

Made in the Berkshires: Kate Maguire of Berkshire Theatre Group,actors Corinna May and David Adkins, and director Kristen van Ginhoven of WAM.

by Mark G. Auerbach

Made in the Berkshires

Made In The Berkshires showcases the visual and performing arts that are Berkshires born and curated every year in a three-day festival, hosted by the Berkshire Theatre Group at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield and the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. There’s music, dance, theatre, performance art, film, visual art, spoken word and more.

A salute to Berkshires actress Karen Allen opens the festival on November 11. Other highlights include a Saturday performance of a play, Kate and Bill by Larry Zingale, directed by Barbara Sims, featuring David Adkins, Corinna May and Rudi Bachs;  a dance performance showcasing works by Berkshire Pulse, Cantarella School of Dance, Berkshire Dance Theatre, and Albany Berkshire Ballet. The Sunday line-up is a series of local films, followed by a wrap-up party at The Hotel on North.

Some of the films of note include: Goodbye Alan, the third in a trilogy of short films called Public Speaking, written by Richard Dresser; directed by Joe Cacaci and starring Treat Williams; The Paper Trail by Kelly Carty and Jonathon Bee, which profiles authors, booksellers and editors who live or spend time in the Litchfield Hills literary belt; and Bob and The Trees, a full-length film by Diego Ongaro and Chris Teague about Bob, a logger into gangsta rap who’s trying to survive a Berkshires winter. The latter has won awards at many film festivals.

For details: 413-997-4444 or http://www.berkshiretheatregroup.org/on-our-stages/theatre/646-made-in-the-berkshires-festival-2

“Hillary Clinton”  in The Capitol Steps’  “Deleter of The Facts”. Photo by Ross Lewin

“Hillary Clinton” in The Capitol Steps’ “Deleter of The Facts”. Photo by Ross Lewin

“Donald Trump”  in The Capitol Steps’  “Shut Up and Vote for Me”. Photo by Ross Lewin.

“Donald Trump” in The Capitol Steps’ “Shut Up and Vote for Me”. Photo by Ross Lewin.

Road Trip: The Capitol Steps Return to Boston With “A Once in a Lifetime Election Show”

Well, the election’s finally over, and whether you’re pleased with the results, or not, you’ve got to admit that both sides of the aisle have provided lots of material for late-night TV, Saturday Night Live, and The Capitol Steps. If you saw The Capitol Steps during the summer at Cranwell, you know how zany their musical political satire is. They’ve got a brand new show, which plays Sanders Theatre on the Harvard campus in Cambridge on November 26. Expect both Clinton, Trump, and other world leaders to face the music. For Capitol Steps details: www.capsteps.com. For performance details: 617-496-2222 or https://www.boxoffice.harvard.edu .

Jeannie and Mark Gionfriddo, authors of “Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night”. Photo by William Eagan.

Jeannie and Mark Gionfriddo, authors of “Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night”. Photo by William Eagan.

Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night

You may know Mark Gionfriddo as the creator and music director of the annual The Big Broadcast at Mount Holyoke, or as music director of the Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College and The Berkshire Theatre Group productions of Beauty and The Beast and Mary Poppins. You may know Jeannie Gionfriddo as a former food columnist for the Holyoke Sun. Mother and son have authored a new book about Hart Lester Allen, the tenant in the house that The Gionfriddo Family owns in Holyoke. Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night is the true story of Hart Lester Allen, a woman who lived quietly in Springfield and Holyoke. Her husband, Joseph C. Allen was the Massachusetts bank commissioner who brought down the infamous financial criminal Charles Ponzi.

Good Night, Dear Hart, Good Night launches its national tour with a reading/booksigning at The Odyssey Book Shop in South Hadley on November 16. For details: http://goodnightdearhart.com/

Keep in Mind…

The Anthony Davis/Jason Robinson Duo appear on the UMass Solos & Duos Series, produced by the Fine Arts Center in Bezanson Recital Hall on November 13. With Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and the post-60s jazz avant-garde as central reference points, saxophonist Jason Robinson and pianist Anthony Davis bring together their formidable experience in many different music worlds.  For details: 413-545-2511, 800-999-UMAS or  www.fineartscenter.com

Love, Loss, & What I Wore, an insightful comedy by acclaimed authors Nora and Delia Ephron, plays The Majestic Theater in West Springfield, MA through December 11. Winner of a Drama Desk Award, the play features female characters, some in multiple roles, who tell stories about what certain clothes really mean to them, and those moments when they have tried to find their identity through them. There are tales of wardrobe malfunctions, first date outfits, lucky underwear, prom dresses, favorite boots, irreplaceable shirts, dressing room experiences and the occasional disorganized purse. For details:413-747-7797 or www.majestictheater.com

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Springfield Museums

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Springfield Museums

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Samurai Heroes draws from the collection of local TMNT enthusiast Elias Derby, and from the Springfield Museums’ own world-famous collection of Japanese artwork, arms, and armor to provide visitors with a rare glimpse of the real-life inspiration for the popular cartoon and graphic novel series. The exhibit includes 80 original illustrations including examples by Eastman, Laird, and over 20 renowned graphic novel and comic book artists.on view at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum on the Quadrangle in Springfield, MA through May 14, 2017. For details: 413-263-6800 or www.springfieldmuseums.org

The UMass All-University Orchestra performs their Autumn Sunshine concert at Grace Church on the Amherst Common, 14 Boltwood Avenue, on November 16. The program includes: Schubert’s overture in C, Grieg’s In Autumn and Bizet’s Symphony in C. The program is free.

Mark G. Auerbach studied theatre at American University and the Yale School of Drama. He’s worked for arts organizations and reported on theatre for newspapers and radio.

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