July Best Bets in and around the Berkshires


During the Summer, it seems the lions share of attention goes to the big cultural draws like Tanglewood, Jacob;s Pillow and the four dominant theatre companies Barrington Stage, Berkshire Theatre Group, Shakespeare & Company and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The Colonial and Mahaiwe Theatres keep on chugging along.

Still, many wonderful events from companies large and small are sure to please the discerning ticket buyer. Some are local favorites, others hidden gems. And of course many have already written about, like the Berkshire Fringe Festival, Chester and Dorset Theatre Festivals. Check out our home page for them.

Here you will find additional events that are of equal interest, but for one reason or another didn’t get a full story by themselves. In chronological order they are:

July 1 – Tea and Talk with Sherill Tippins at Ventfort Hall, Lenox

Author Sherill Tippins gets us past the front desk when she presents “The Chelsea Hotel: New York City’s Dream Palace” at a Summer Tea & Talk at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Tuesday, July 1 at 4:00 pm. A Victorian tea will follow, during which she will autograph copies of her new book titled Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel. Info and reservations: call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206 or click on to info@gildedage.org.

July 3 – Mixed Company Theatre opens “Table Manners”, an Ayckbourne comedy

Mixed Company presents a comedy by Alan Ayckbourne, opening on Thursday, July 3.

Directed by Joan Ackermann and Gillian Seidl, the cast for “Table Manners” features Dana Harrison, Josephine Williams, Ryan Marchione, Patrick Toole, Gray Simons and Stephanie Hedges. “Table Manners” is from “The Norman Conquests,” three plays depicting the events of a single weekend from the perspective of three locations (dining room, living room and garden) as assistant librarian Norman tries to bring happiness to the lives of the three women present at the house with varying results.

The show will run for five weekends from July 3 through August 3, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 and will be available at Crystal Essence on Railroad St. Mixed Company is located at 37 Rossetter Street in Great Barrington. To make a reservation, please call 413-528-2320.

July 3 – Apollo 13 at Harriman-West Airport in North Adams

Blast off into Independence Day with a screening of Apollo 13 on Thursday, July 3, at 8:30pm, at Harriman-West Airport. Continuing its annual tradition of projecting flight-themed movies on an airplane hangar, Ron Howard’s nail-biting dramatization of the ill-fated 1970 mission to the moon is projected outdoors on a 2,000 square-foot screen. This family-friendly event was the brainchild of small-craft pilot and MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson. “It’s one of the most anticipated events of the year.” BYOB (Bring your own blanket, or lawn chair.) Gates for the event will open at 7:00pm at North Adams’ Harriman-West airport on Route 2. The movie will start at 8:30 PM. Tickets are only sold at the gate, and are $14 per car or $7 for adults and $3 for kids under 12. The rain date for the event is July 6.

July 3-6 Tuesdays with Morrie at TriArts Sharon (CT) Playhouse

Tuesdays with Morrie is an autobiographical story of Mitch Albom, an accomplished sports journalist driven solely by his career, and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor who is battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Based on one the top-selling memoirs of all time, critics have hailed the stage adaptation as more humorous, more shattering, and equally as powerful as its literary counterpart. TriArts Sharon Playhouse is located on 49 Amenia Road (Rte. 343). Performances of Tuesday with Morrie will take place at Stage 2 in the Bok Gallery. Showtimes are July 3 at 7pm, July 4 at 8pm, July 5 at 3pm & 8pm, and July 6 at 5:30pm. Tickets are $35. For more information about the theatre and 2014 season, please visit www.triarts.net or call (860) 364-SHOW (7469).

July 4-5-6 Music Mountain Celebrates the 4th in Falls Village, CT

Music Mountain, America’s Oldest Continuing Chamber Music Festival, is preparing for their 85th Anniversary Celebration with a weekend of music featuring Beethoven and Broadway! The weekend begins on Saturday, July 5 (6:30PM) with The Sharon Playhouse performing the greats of George M. Cohen, plus a pre-concert dinner followed on Sunday, July 6 (3PM) by Alexander Fiterstein, Clarinet; Nicholas Canellakis, Cello; Michael Brown, Piano; and Miranda Cuckson, Violin performing Messiaen and Beethoven – with a pre-concert discussion of Messiaen. For details and a complete summer schedule, special ticket prices, visit www.musicmountain.org or call 860-824-7126.

July 5 – Two Truths and a Lie at Mass MoCA

A time-tested parlor game hits the stage for an evening of tall tales and torqued realities with Two Truths and a Lie on Saturday, July 5, at 8pm. Led by a hilarious troupe of Brooklyn storytellers, the audience has to decipher truth from lies-and the prize goes to the most successful tricksters.

Blending fiction with memoir around an American history theme, Mitra Bonshahi and Sylvie Lubow bring the deceptive game Two Truths and a Lie to Club B-10, setting up two treacherous narrators among four matter-of-fact raconteurs to trick trusting listeners into believing something that’s simply not true. At the night’s conclusion, the frauds are revealed, and the most duplicitous tall tale-teller is rewarded. Tickets are $20 reserved seating, $12 advance, and $16 day of. Members pay $5. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org.

July 6 – Zappa plays Zappa at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington

Zappa Plays Zappa, Accept No Substitutes is slated for Sunday, July 6 at 7:00pm as the Grammy-winning group led by Frank Zappa’s son Dweezil, makes history performing the music of Frank Zappa. Since 2006, Dweezil Zappa has led his highly acclaimed group through more than 500 worldwide performances and over 275 compositions spanning the breadth of his late father’s deep catalog. “We’re thrilled to welcome back Dweezil Zappa, who last played at the Mahaiwe in 2010, and we’re delighted that this year he’s offering a special guitar master class before sound check,” said Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly.

Concert tickets are $30 to $65. Admission to the 90-minute master class is $75 (and does not include admission to that night’s Zappa Plays Zappa concert). To register for the class, visit or call the Mahaiwe box office during box office hours.

The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6:00pm and three hours before show times. A limited number of $15 tickets are available for patrons ages 30 and younger through the Mahaiwe ArtSmart Tix program, sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union. For tickets and information, see www.mahaiwe.org or call 413.528.0100.

Sundays in July – Images Williamstown plans Family Flicks under the Stars

mages Cinema will present FAMILY FLICKS UNDER THE STARS on Sundays in July. Films will be screened outside, on Morgan Lawn (at the top of Spring Street, Williamstown), at sundown (approximately 8:15pm). It is free to attend. Concessions will be available on site. Please bring your own chairs, blankets, bug spray, etc.
Sunday, 7/6: A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
Sunday, 7/13: CASABLANCA
Sunday, 7/20: MARY POPPINS
Sunday, 7/27: JURASSIC PARK
Summer Sundays also offers street fairs, which will have arts activities, kids activities, street performers, and live music. Local restaurants will be offering to go dinner specials.The rain location for FAMILY FLICKS UNDER THE STARS is Images Cinema at 8pm. Images Cinema is located at 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. Check for up-to-date happenings at www.imagescinema.org

July 7 at 2pm -Irving Berlin on Broadway and in Hollywood

From the stage to the screen, “Irving Berlin on Broadway and Hollywood” features many of the hits from Berlin’s 60-year career in which he wrote over 1,500 songs and penned scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films. Berkshire Theatre Group Acting apprentices will perform nearly 30 of Berlin’s greatest classics including: “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better),” “Blue Skies,” “Cheek to Cheek,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “Sisters.” At the Colonial Theatre, $10 donation suggested.

July 8 – How Subways arrived – Tea and Talk at Ventfort Hall in Lenox

“New York & Boston: The Whitney Race Underground” is the focus of this Summer Tea & Talk at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox on Tuesday, July 8 at 4:00 pm. Presiding will be Doug Most, deputy managing editor for features at The Boston Globe and author of the new book, The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that Built America’s First Subway. He will have copies of the book to autograph at the succeeding Victorian tea.

The Problem. In the late 19th century, as cities like Boston and New York grew more congested, the streets became clogged with plodding, horse-drawn vehicles of all kinds. When the Great Blizzard of 1888 crippled the entire Northeast, a solution had to be found. The answer: subways. Tickets for the Most Tea & Talk are $20 for advance reservations and $25 day of the event. We stronly advise eservations – call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206 or click on to info@gildedage.org. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.

July 11 – Buddy Guy at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington

Blues pioneer Buddy Guy arrives in the Berkshries on Friday, July 11 at 8:00pm. “We have been working to bring Buddy Guy to Great Barrington for several years and I’m thrilled the opportunity has come to fruition,” said Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly. “Also, Buddy is bringing blues wunderkind Quinn Sullivan as his opening act, which will be another special treat.”

Buddy Guy is a Rock and Roll Hall of famer, a six-time Grammy winner, and Rolling Stone named him as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Tickets are $30 to $105. The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, MA. A limited number of $15 tickets are available for patrons ages 30 and younger through the Mahaiwe ArtSmart Tix program. For tickets and information, see www.mahaiwe.org or call 413.528.0100.

July 12-13 Music Mountain offers Dover String Quarteet and Vince Giardano and Nighthawks

The ever-popular Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks return to Gordon Hall in Falls Village, CT on Saturday, July 12 (6:30PM) with a special pre-concert dinner at The Falls Village Inn (5PM), followed by the remarkable Dover String Quartet, with guest artist Jonathan Yates, piano on Sunday, July 13 (3PM) offering an impressive program new to Music Mountain. The Dover String Quartet returns with guest artist Jonathan Yates, piano performing Beethoven: String Quartet in D Major, Opus 18 # 3; Viktor Ullman: Quartet # 3; and Mozart: Piano Quartet in G Minor, K. 478. This will be the first time that Ullman’s quartet will be played for Music Mountain audiences. Visit www.musicmountain.org or call 860-824-7126.

July 13 – Music from Salem at Hubbard Hall, Cambridge, NY

Here’s a rare opportunity to hear the french horn in chamber music with string instruments and piano. On Sunday, July 13 at 2pm Hubbard Hall Projects will present Music from Salem’s concert “Dynamic and Noble: featuring the French Horn”. This concert includes Mozart’s unusual Horn Quintet, originally written for the valveless natural horn, as well as Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro for horn and piano. Admission is pay what you can, ($20 suggested). Advance tickets can be purchased for $20 at www.hubbardhall.org or 518-677-2495.

July 14 at 2pm BTG’s Very Good Eddie at the Colonial

Join the Berkshire Theatre Group’s apprentices for Jerome Kern’s vaudeville-style, farcical musical, “Very Good Eddie” was one of the most popular musicals in the early 20th century. Kern and lyricists Schuyler Green and Herbert Reynolds bring this Tony award-winning music to life through the very funny story of two mismatched couples who soon match and mix with each other as they sail away on a Honeymoon cruise to Poughkeepsie. At the Colonial Theatre, $10 donation suggested.

July 16 – Aug. 3 ERC at The Mount with Beethoven Love Elegies

The Ensemble for the Romantic Century (ERC) returns to Lenox July 16 with 12 performances thru August 3 of the fully staged theatrical concert, Beethoven Love Elegies. With a script drawn from Beethoven’s letters and diaries and accounts by his contemporaries, interwoven with performances of some of his greatest music, this poignant, humorous, and emotionally intense production dramatizes Beethoven’s young years in Vienna and his search for the perfect wife. Actor Kire Tosevski as Beethoven heads an outstanding company of five esteemed actors and four musicians (violinist Rachel Lee Priday, cellist Sebastian Bäverstam, pianist Eve Wolf, and baritone Chad Sloane).

Wednesdays 7/16, 7/23 + 7/30 at 8:30pm
Fridays 7/18, 7/25 + 8/1 at 8:30pm
Saturdays 7/19, 7/26 + 8/2 at 8:30pm
Sundays 7/20, 7/27 + 8/3 at 4:00pm
at the Stables Theatre at Edith Wharton’s The Mount, 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA

Tickets: $55. To purchase, please visit romanticcentury.org or call 800-838-3006.

July 17-27 Shakespeare in the Park in Pittsfield

The cast has been announced for these free outdoor performances, July 17–27, in Springside Park. The 20-member cast ranges in age from 7 to 75 and hails from across the Berkshires.

The cast features Pittsfield-bred actor Jerome Spratling, who plays the double role of Oberon and Duke Theseus opposite Shakespeare & Company’s Elizabeth “Lily” Cardaropoli as Titania and Hippolyta. Pittsfield residents Christopher Brophy (as the bombastic actor Nick Bottom), Maizy Scarpa (as the mischievous sprite Puck) and Gail Ryan (as the indignant parent Egeus) round out the cast alongside Main Street Stage’s Alexia Trainor, Shakespeare & Company’s Renée Margaret Speltz, Seth Keyes, and Robert Griefeld.

Recent high school graduates Fiona Barnett-Mulligan (Chatham), Dylan LeSage (Taconic), Julius Reese (Taconic) and Julie Castagna (Taconic) play Shakespeare’s frazzled teenage lovers. Travis Hoose, Fiona Mathews, Nora Mathews, Claudia Maurino, Zoe Nadig, and Elliot Trainor (whose mother Alexia also stars) comprise the Fairy ensemble. Full info at pittsfieldshakespeare.org

The production is partly funded by a group of over 100 individuals who donated over $6,500 as part of an online Indiegogo campaign in April. $5,000 was raised in just ten days and generously matched by Lead Sponsor Berkshire Money Management.

Juy 17-26 Old Frankenstein in Old Deerfield

The play Frankenstein is a new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel, written and performed by Lindel Hart as the Creature, Court Dorsey playing the roles of Victor Frankenstein, Mr. DeLacey, Elizabeth and William, and with Jane Williams playing Mary Shelley. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/685438

July 19 – Intimate concert by African songbird at Mass MoCA

Zimbabwean contemporary folk star Netsayi is among the most captivating and original singer-songwriters to emerge on the world music scene in a decade. On Saturday, July 19, at 8pm, see her at MASS MoCA before you see her everywhere. Netsayi’s music combines some of our favorites: think Joan Armatrading meets Angélique Kidjo. Using handcrafted wooden instruments native to Africa, Netsayi’s enchanting vocals and insightful lyrics bounce playfully behind an energetic stage band. Tickets are $12 advance, $16 day of, and $20 reserved seating. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org.

July 19 – Linda Lavin at Helsinki Hudson

Helsinki on Broadway proudly welcomes back Two Time Tony Award and Golden Globe winner Linda Lavin backed up by her big band with musical direction and pianist, famed Billy Stritch. Lavin will be making her only Hudson Valley cabaret appearance this year at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, July 19 at 8PM. This all new concert will feature Linda Lavin doing what she does best–singing American songbook standards and telling some fabulous show biz stories. For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800. For the most up-to-date concert information, visit helsinkihudson.com

July 19 – Selected Shorts from Symphony Space at the Mahaiwe

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will present Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts: “Wishes and Dreams” on Saturday, July 19 at 8:00pm. Stage and screen stars Kate Burton, Jane Curtin, and Campbell Scott will perform comic, romantic, and magical short stories about love and obstacles and getting what you wish for, by Louise Erdrich, Robert Coover, and Maile Meloy at this taping for the hit public radio series. Note: Actress Parker Posey, who was previously announced to participate in this event, had to withdraw due to a schedule conflict.

“It will be a treat to see these three brilliant actors share such moving short stories in the intimacy of the Mahaiwe setting,” said Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly. “This is the 7th time Selected Shorts has performed at the Mahaiwe and we’re thrilled to be the company’s home away from home in the Berkshires.”

Tickets are $25 to $50 (the latter includes preferred seating and post-performance reception with the artists). The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington. For tickets and information, see http://www.mahaiwe.org or call 413.528.0100.

July 19-20 Music Mountain in Falls Village, CT Peter Serkin and Orion String Quartet

On Sunday July 19 at 3 MM will feature the master pianist Peter Serkin and the acclaimed Orion String Quartet performing a distinguished program including Haydn, plus works for piano and strings by Brahms, and Dvorak. Also appearing there is the audience favorite, Gunsmoke on Saturday noted for their Classic Country, Rockabilly, Western Swing and plenty of dancing on July 18 (6:30PM). Visit www.musicmountain.org or call 860-824-7126.

July 30 – Ed the Wizard at the Milne Library, Williamstown

Ed the Wizard and his Alchemy Laboratory will appear at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library in Williamstown, MA on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 at 6:30 p.m. Library patrons will learn, and help perform, magical transfigurations, vanishes, and other amazing feats using everyday household items. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and is part of Fizz, Boom, Read!, the Milne Public Library’s summer reading program. This program is free and open to the public. Please contact the library http://milnelibrary.org/ for more information.

July 31 – The Cherry Orchard in North Bennington, VT

Living Room Theatre celebrates its third season of site-specific theatre at the Park-McCullough estate at One Park Street in North Bennington, Vermont. The company of professional actors from New York City and Vermont have worked at many major theatre companies in America, as well as on film and in television. This summer we’re doing Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard on July 31, Aug. 1, 2, and August 7, 8, 9 @ 7pm. Matinees Saturdays Aug. 2nd and 9th at 2pm. Reservations and directions: 802-442-5322. Seating is limited due to the intimate nature of these productions, so reserve tickets now so you won’t be left out. $25.

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