Books

BITS & BYTES: Review of ‘The Shot’; Kids 4 Harmony Concert; children’s book illustrator exhibit; waste-reduction presentation; Eddie Brill comedy; Lenox seeks community input; Hawthorne Valley accepts BerkShares

This just in from reviewer Peter Bergman:

“Having seen the dress rehearsal of Great Barrington Public Theater’s play “The Shot,” starring Sharon Lawrence, directed by Michelle Joyner, written by Robin Gerber, I would encourage all theatergoers to hurry and buy tickets for this moving and exceptional work only in performance this week. There seems to be availability for some of the five performances, including Saturday night, and this is one dramatic piece you should not miss. I was blown away!”

* * *

Kids 4 Harmony 10th Anniversary Gala Concert

Pittsfield — 18 Degrees’ Kids 4 Harmony 10th Anniversary Gala Concert will be held on June 23, 5:30 pm at Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood, Lenox, MA. The celebration will kick off with a reception followed by performances starting at 7 pm from 35 Kids 4 Harmony students, including a performance by eminent pianist Emanuel Ax with our Elayne P. Bernstein Ensemble. Ax is a celebrated Grammy-Award-winning pianist who has appeared with some of the world’s greatest orchestras, and is a long-standing supporter of the young musicians of Kids 4 Harmony. The program consists of pieces by Shostakovich and Mozart as well as a piece composed by one of the Kids 4 Harmony student musicians.

Kids 4 Harmony, an after-school program both at Morningside Community School in Pittsfield, MA and Brayton Elementary School in North Adams, MA, is inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, a music education program with a social justice mission that has produced classical music giants like Gustavo Dudamel. A decade after its inception, Kids 4 Harmony engages sixty students from third through twelfth grade with intensive music instruction, family support, and abundant performance opportunities — at absolutely no cost to participants. Many students have been selected to prestigious youth orchestra programs, including the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and the Sistema Side-by-Side at the Longy School of Music. Kids 4 Harmony opens opportunities for children to grow their academic skills, self-confidence, citizenship and widens their aspirations.

The Kids 4 Harmony 10th Anniversary Gala Concert is the only fundraising event for the program, which relies primarily on private support for its operations. Tickets for the Gala, which includes a catered reception at the Tanglewood Tent Club, and concert-only tickets are available here: www.18degreesma.org.

For more information or to make a donation please contact Sarah Frederick at 413-448-8281 ext. 233. For general questions about Kids 4 Harmony and 18 Degrees, please contact Erin Sullivan by phone or text message at 413-822-6272 or email info@18degreesma.org

—AJ

* * *

CREATE Gallery to host series of children’s book illustrator readings

Catskill, NY — A significant number of prestigious children’s book illustrators call The Hudson Valley home. A new exhibit at CREATE Council on the Arts gallery, “Picture This! From Painting to Page”, spotlights just a sample of these internationally renowned artists. On Saturday, June 18 from 4-6 pm, an opening reception will celebrate this new exhibit. Artists will read from their books and discuss their work in person during talks to be held every Saturday from June 25 to July 30, 11:30-12:30am.

Featured works include those by illustrators such as Meryl Learnihan, Laura Rader, James Ransome, Esme Shapiro, Hudson Talbott, and Rodney Alan Greenblat. Seeing the illustrations in the context of the gallery will allow viewers to look anew at the artistry involved in creating picture books.

CREATE Council on the Arts is a non-profit, arts service organization whose purpose is to support and advance the arts and cultural community by broadening and enriching creative resources and economic growth in the region. CREATE serves as the Statewide Community Re-grant arts organization for Greene, Columbia and Schoharie Counties in New York.

—AJ

* * *

Waste-reduction presentation at Pittsfield Green Drinks

Pittsfield — Self-proclaimed waste-reduction nerd Mary Stucklen will speak at the June Pittsfield Green Drinks event next Tuesday, June 21, at 6:00 PM on Zoom. Pittsfield Green Drinks is an informal gathering on the third Tuesday of the month sponsored by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team.

Stucklen will talk about all things waste: reducing your waste, easy ways to reuse, as well as how to compost and recycle effectively. She’ll also give out some simple tips and tricks that everyone can do to reduce the amount of waste they’re producing.

Mary Stucklen is a local to the Berkshires and is an avid volunteer in the community. She has participated in various local green committees, waste-reduction programs, conservation commissions, and began BEAT’s Berkshire Zero-Waste Initiative. Most recently, Stucklen started a compost service named after her son (Tommy’s Compost) and is continually working to reduce waste in the Berkshires.

This event will take place on Zoom. Registration is required to join: https://tinyurl.com/June2022-Green-Drinks

—AJ

* * *

Comedy and conversation with Eddie Brill

Lenox – Berkshire Mountain Comedy Arts Festival and Shakespeare & Company present an evening of stand-up comedy and sit-down conversation with three-time Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) Award-winning comedian Eddie Brill, Sunday, June 19 at 7 pm. at the Tina Packer Playhouse.

Three-time Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) Award-winning comedian Eddie Brill will appear at Shakespeare & Company Sunday, June 19 at 7 pm at the Tina Packer Playhouse.

With BMCAF co-founder Kevin Bartini serving as Master of Ceremonies, the first half of the evening will feature Brill and his son Dan Madonia’s stand-up comedy in honor of Father’s Day, by a sit-down conversation between Bartini and Brill highlighting backstage stories, lessons, and advice from a life in the entertainment industry. The event is part of BMCAF’s Comedy & Conversation Series.

Brill will also lead Eddie Brill’s Building a Career in Entertainment Seminar on Saturday, June 18 at 6 pm, at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, during which he will talk about the entertainment industry from his position as a stand-up comedian, booker, host, writer, and producer. He will share insights gained in the course of a six-decade career that took him from the nascent days of the legendary Boston Comedy Scene through 17 years onstage and backstage at Letterman.

Tickets for The Comedy & Conversation Series are $40, and tickets for the seminar are $30; for more information, visit shakespeare.org or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

—AJ

* * *

Lenox seeks input on community planning documents

Lenox — The Town of Lenox beginning to update two community plans: the Lenox Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP), and the Lenox Housing Production Plan (HPP). These plans were last updated in 2015 and 2017, respectively, and are due for revision per statute and good practice. The previous iterations of these plans may be found on the town’s website.

The town is looking for community perspective and input through two surveys:

Housing Production Plan (HPP): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YKRJ3ZM

Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JTRSZJX

Throughout the summer and fall, there will be additional opportunities for community members to learn about these plans.

The town is also looking for community members who would like to volunteer to participate in the Open Space and Recreation Plan update as well as in the Housing Production Plan update.

Please direct any questions or comments to Gwen Miller, Lenox Land Use Director and Town Planner. You may reach her either by email, gmiller@townoflenox.com, or by phone, 413-637-5500 ext 1203.

—AJ

* * *

Hawthorne Valley Farm Store now accepting BerkShares

GHENT, NY – Hawthorne Valley Farm Store is now a part of the BerkShares network, allowing customers to purchase groceries with local currency.

Hawthorne Valley Farm Store is an organic/natural food and grocery store located in Ghent, NY

an image of a one BerkShare bill.
One BerkShare.

Since 2006, BerkShares has helped raise the profile of the region’s businesses while keeping money local. The new BerkShares scan-to-pay app makes it easy to shop local, and also pay local—simply connect any US bank account via the app, and pay with digital BerkShares as tender at participating merchants.

Digital BerkShares are accepted at many local sellers, and transacting in digital BerkShares spares sellers from steep credit card fees. Digital BerkShares remain valued 1:1 with USD, and all BerkShares are backed by dollars on reserve at community banks.

For more information, visit https://www.berkshares.org/. Hawthorne Valley Farm Store also accepts the Hudson Valley Current, a Hudson Valley-based local currency. For more information visit https://hudsonvalleycurrent.org/.

—AJ

Leave a Comment