The title “Songs By Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don’t Know But Should” is not only an enticement, but incredibly descriptive as well.
As promised by that extremely lengthy moniker, this upcoming show, featured at Barrington Stage Company, pairs emerging composers and lyricists, gives them quirky parameters for their end-product, and sends them away to produce something that will delight, surprise and entertain a live audience.
Woven into the process are critiques by William Finn – known to theatre fans as the 1992 Tony Award Winner for Best Music and Lyrics, and Best Book, for his show, Falsettos. He is a composer and lyricist, and annually hosts this incubator for new work, on Labor Day Weekend at Barrington Stage Company.
Tickets for this compelling, entertaining, and likely hilarious show are $25 and $35 and are available through the Barrington Stage Company website. Dates are August 30 and 31, show time is 8 p.m.
The Barrington Stage Company, in Pittsfield, is home to many fine theatrical performances throughout the year. Their mission is “to produce top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways of bringing new audiences into the theatre, especially young people.” This production clearly demonstrates their mission to develop new plays and music – and it reinforces the special nature of this place, the Berkshires, that a Tony-Award winner would host a yearly incubator for aspiring composers and lyricists.
Come, witness the future in the making!
Now is the time to get the Williamstown Film Festival on your radar. This is a perfect late fall event, hitting at the end of October/beginning of November, and it’s a wonderful way to enjoy the great indoors, in a variety of notable Berkshires venues. This is also an excellent year to take in the festival, because 2013 is their 15th Anniversary Season.
Williamstown Film Festival was founded in 1998 to fill a cultural gap in a culturally rich region. Other genres of art and culture were celebrated, and enjoyed in the Berkshires – the founders of the festival felt that the Berkshires should offer a home to film as well. The current festival cultivates independent spirit, in addition to drawing film industry notables. WFF’s artistic partners – the venues that host the festival – include the Clark Museum, Mass MoCA, Images Cinema, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
The 2013 list of films has not yet been announced, because submissions are still being accepted. A summary of last year’s films and events, however, provide a tantalizing preview of what you can expect from the event.
Enjoy the Berkshires, and indie cinema, at a warm, friendly event, surrounded by film lovers. Keep your eye on this season’s films and events, so you can plan ahead, and make your trip to the Berkshires an experience.
Stockbridge, MA is home to Chesterwood, the country home, studio, and gardens, of sculptor Daniel Chester French. You may be familiar with his work – French is the sculptor who created the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Exhibits on the Chesterwood property showcase Chester exhibits both near and far, as well as the work of contemporary sculptors.
However, the artistic treasures are not just visual at Chesterwood. Currently in progress, the Chesterfest American Music Series at the estate, celebrates live American music. Every Friday night for the rest of August, this ongoing music series showcases American music styles, including folk, bluegrass, and country, from 5-7pm. Tickets are $10/person or $20/carload and children under 13 are free. Craft beer, snacks, and non-alcoholic drinks are available for purchase. The shows are rain or shine – if it rains, the show moves indoors, and the number of tickets sold is limited to 60.
This is a terrific addition to this destination – named a 2012 Best Of New England destination by Yankee Magazine. You can make your visit to Chesterwood a day trip. Soak in the history of the property, experience contemporary sculpture, then kick back and relax to the sounds of American music.
Photo by: I, Daderot [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
It may still be summertime, but the time is right for planning a fall trip to the Berkshires. New England is a region that experiences a full four seasons, and is known the world-over for its spectacular fall foliage and festivals. Add the mountains of the Berkshires into the mix, and the “wow” factor multiplies.
September offers “What’s Out There Weekend” – a weekend of expertly guided tours, including exclusive deals on tee times at some of the region’s significant golf courses. The still-beautiful weather of fall’s first month is a great time to take in historic landscapes.
The Fall Foliage Festival in North Adams and Pittsfield was started over 50 years ago to celebrate the commencement of the fall season in the Berkshires. The 58th Annual Fall Foliage Parade, a centerpiece of the festival, is scheduled this year for October 6th – prime leaf-peeping time. Additional events, including an outdoor barbecue, fill out the week of the festival (the festival begins the week before the parade).
And of course…the leaves. Yes, the leaves, one of the crown jewels of the Berkshires experience. Berkshires.org offers these suggestions for taking in some excellent leaf-viewing:
“In the Berkshires, there are several routes that are especially dramatic and well worth the trip. Start on the Mohawk Trail along Route 2 near Clarksburg, a route that includes the famous Hairpin Turn and magnificent views of extraordinarily vibrant foliage. Drive through Williamstown (a quintessential New England college town, with historic brick buildings and classic white churches) and turn south on Route 7 for views of farms and orchards nestled along a picturesque valley. Cloud formations cast moving shadows on the soft hills that rise to the right and left of the road, and there are several places to pull over, stop the car, and drink in the quiet beauty.
Choose to motor south on Route 8, from North Adams to Mount Greylock, at 3,491 feet, the highest peak in Massachusetts. From Lanesborough, take the winding road to the top of Greylock for a spectacular display of foliage, golden yellow to blazing orange to vivid scarlet…and there are options for your group to hike (including a section of the Georgia-to-Maine Appalachian Trail) through the end of October.
Continuing south and west, Route 41 winds through Richmond and West Stockbridge, past open fields and pastures, wooded lots and family farms. Or choose Route 183 between Lenox and Stockbridge, meandering between stately trees shading the road, and then coming around a bend to a spectacular view of the Stockbridge Bowl, also called Lake Mahkeenac.”
Stay tuned…we’ll have more suggestions on how to enjoy the Fall as it comes ever closer…
For those who prefer a “hands-on” vacation experience, the Berkshires have lots to offer. Workshops, classes, and events are held throughout the area that do not require weekly attendance, and as such, will fit perfectly into your vacation. These types of events give you a chance to experience something that you might never take the time to do when you are at home.
Embrace your inner musician: The Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center in Windsor, MA, offers an ongoing Afro-Caribbean & West African Hand-Drum Class – held right nearby to Hampton Terrace, in Pittsfield.
From the Berkshires.org website:
Join cultural educator, drummer and singer Aimee Gelinas M.Ed in a dynamic, hands-on participatory class focusing on folkloric and contemporary Afro-Caribbean and West African drumming, percussion and singing. Weekly Monday classes (no classes March 18 & June 24th).Beginner/Intermediate Class: 6pm; Intermediate/Advanced Class: 7pm. Visit website for class info & cancellations. Classes are drop in and cost $10 each. Traditional instruments provided for students use in class. See website or Email email@example.com for more information. Classes held at The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave., Pittsfield.
You can contact Tamarack Hollow for more information, by visiting their website.
Perfect your palate: Hops and Vines Beer Garden & Brasserie in Williamstown, MA, presents “Sommelier Summers at Hops & Vines” through the end of this month. Join them Wednesdays for this Wine Pairing Dinner Series at 8pm through the summer. Ruben Eduardo, Hops & Vines’ Sommelier and Wine Director hosts. Reservations are highly recommended, (413) 884-1372.
Walk in the shoes of a famous writer: The Melville Unplugged Writing Workshops give you a chance to experience Herman Melville’s Berkshires home as he did. Arrowhead, Home of Herman Melville is located in next-door Pittsfield, MA
“Come to Arrowhead with a notebook and a pen, quill or ballpoint and write the way Herman Melville did in 1850. Writer-In-Residence, Jana Laiz will lead this ”unplugged” writing workshop. No macbooks, no PCs, no iPads. With just paper, pen and inspiration we will write stories, essays, poetry – anything you feel inspired to put down on paper. We will share our stories (or not) and get the creative juices flowing in the place where it all happened.
August 1, 8:30-10 we will spend our time in Herman’s Study, writing where he wrote. August 8, 15, 22, 29, 10am-11:30pm. We will meet at Arrowhead, using the grounds and trails to gain inspiration, then get to writing. Registration strongly suggested.” – Berkshires.org website
You can contact the estate via their website, www.mobydick.org.
Photo credit: André Karwath aka Aka. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
There’s no end to the creativity and talent that come through the doors here at Hampton Terrace and we’re happy to announce a brand-new novel from one of our long-time guests.
Death Never Sleeps, the debut novel from Hampton Terrace regular E.J. Simon, was releasedon July 19 and is now available at Amazon.com.
Death Never Sleeps mixes murder, intrigue, and technology in the tale of a brother seeking his brother’s killer. Will he solve the murder without placing himself in danger as well? You’ll have to read the book to find out…
But you can read more about E.J. Simon at his website but here’s a slice of the man himself, from his official bio:
“E.J. Simon received his BA in journalism from the University of South Carolina, and his MA in communications from Fairfield University.
He has worked as a consultant to many leading private equity firms and other organizations and held senior-level positions at prominent financial services companies.
Insights gleaned from his extensive travels and dining pleasures, his Greek-American heritage, and his experience in corporate America have influenced his books.
He lives with his wife and codependent dog in Westport, Connecticut.
His short story, “The Secret Apple,” appeared in the January 2012 issue of Forge.”
If you are in the Westport, CT area on August 13, you can catch the book launch party at Mario’s of Westport. Tickets are $50/person and include a family-style Italian dinner, , dessert, coffee and a fresh copy of the book. You can RSVP to the event by phone (to Gerri, at 203-226-0199) or online.
And of course, when you are in the Berkshires, book your room here at Hampton Terrace to absorb some of the creative energy that we have collected over the years!
The Berkshires is a region that experiences four distinct seasons. Each of those seasons offers sensory treasures to travelers.
New England fall is, of course, the stuff of legends, and here in the Berkshires, the mountains that make us great are lit afire with the vivid palette of fall leaf colors. There’s also plenty of time for hiking before the frostiness of winter sets in, and the weather is perfect for strolling, shopping, and more.
Winter offers its own gifts. Downhill and cross-country skiing, tubing, and other outdoor winter sports will keep you busy, and world-class restaurants will warm your belly. Museums, galleries and shops feed your soul when you aren’t on the slopes.
In the spring, the trees awaken from slumber and the hills come alive once again. The strong farm-to-table cuisine scene readies to serve you the freshest food available, while farmers are busy planting the local food that will delight you come summertime.
Ah yes, summertime.
Here are a few recommendations for feeding your senses as we enter this second half of the summer:
Tanglewood. Tanglewood is a legendary destination for so many reasons. Located right here in Lenox MA, for 75 years Tanglewood has attracted world-class talent, presenting world-class music throughout the summer. Tickets to excellent shows are still available through the
summer, but seats do fill, so it’s best to get your tickets in advance – and arrive early! Musical styles are diverse – Tanglewood is not just about classical music anymore. Harry Connick Jr. is among the upcoming acts that will take the Tanglewood stage later this season. This is a quintessential Berkshires experience that you should not miss.
Farmers’ Markets. Browse any of the several local markets for a taste of summer, straight from the tree, the vine, or the earth. Lenox’s Farmers’ Market is just a short walk from Hampton Terrace.
Dinner On The Patio. Outdoor dining – it’s what to do in the summertime. Café Lucia, here in Lenox, has a lovely outdoor garden for your fine dining enjoyment, and they intergrate local organic produce into their menu. Alta Wine Bar is another great place to enjoy the summer air and a delicious wine, while you dine. Check out their excellent reviews on Trip Advisor.
Trails and Views. Don’t leave the Berkshires without seeking out a spectacular view and soaking it in. Berkshires.org provides some suggested hikes of varying levels. Descriptions of these hikes also include suggestions as to which ones include a great view.
It’s not too late to book your late summer accommodations. Call or email us anytime with questions. We are happy to provide a personal rate quote guaranteed for 30 days.
Photo above, courtesy of the Cafe Lucia website.
Last week here at Hampton Terrace, we welcomed Academy Award-winning theatre and film composer Alan Menken.
Menken was visiting Lenox as part of Broadway In the Berkshires, a glamorous charity evening to support Shakespeare & Company’s training and education programs.
We had the pleasure of hosting the VIP after-party for the event, here at Hampton Terrace. Exceptional chocolates from Joshua Needleman of Chocolate Springs, champagne and an impromptu sing-along with Menken extended an already sparkling evening, late into the night.
Alan played at least 10 of his many hits on our storied Steinway, with the Broadway In The Berkshires crowd singing at the top of their lungs.
The Academy is not the only institution that has honored his fine work with their recognition. Mencken is also a Golden Globe, Grammy, Tony and Drama Desk Awards winner, many times over. His career began in the late 70’s but really began to take hold in the early 80’s with his Drama Desk win for Little Shop of Horrors. Since then he has been a staple in the theatre and film industries – culminating (thus far) in his 20 years of compositions for the Walt Disney Pictures. An entire generation of children and families have loved classic Disney films including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and many more.
What a delight to have him join us – and leave this behind:
The name Rockwell looms large in the American consciousness as an icon of American illustration, but Norman Rockwell was just one member of a family of artists. His wife also experimented with sculpture, drew, and painted, his son Peter became a sculptor - and his son Jarvis has forged his own path of contemporary conceptual work. It is Jarvis’ work that is featured until October 20 at the Normal Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.
“Jarvis Rockwell: Maya, Illusion and Us” (http://www.nrm.org/2013/07/norman-rockwell-museum-presents-jarvis-rockwell-maya-illusion-and-us/) is a culmination of this Rockwell son’s life’s work so far, incorporating his fondness for concept, and his obsession with toys. Drawings and paintings from his early years are featured along with more recent constructed pieces. He will also work throughout the exhibit, on a drawing-in-progress, which will give visitors a chance to observe him at work.
Though his father was known for realism, the younger Rockwell says that reality is precisely what is explored through his own work, too – and that his father’s work was also, in its own way, a constructed reality.
An artist talk with Rockwell himself is set for August 15 at 5:30 at the Norman Rockwell Museum. His wife, Nova Rockwell, is an artist and educator and will lead a day of art exploration for children in conjunction with the exhibit, Monday through Friday, July 22 through 26, 10am to 3pm, for ages 7 to 12. Jarvis Rockwell will also be present for this event.
This is a unique chance to experience not only the work of Norman Rockwell, but also one facet the artistic legacy that he left behind.
A peek at the 2013 performance schedule for Shakespeare & Co. reveals a cornucopia-bursting bounty of classic riches. Shakespeare himself is well-represented, but he is in very, very good company indeed, in this dense, luxurious season of theatre.
Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II, and a Midsummer Night’s Dream are joined by Mother Courage And Her Children (Bertolt Brecht), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Martin McDonagh), and Moliere’s Les Faux Pas. The majority of these performances take place just a 9-minute walk from Hampton Terrace, at Shakespeare & Co.’s home base.
The setting for Shakespeare & Co’s production of Love’s Labors Lost has been updated, for this production from Shakespeare’s time, to the 1940’s. According to the Berkshire Eagle, director Lisa Wolpe has crafted, with her cast, a fresh production that takes pains to use the language, rather than rely solely upon physical comedy for laughs. This classic battle of the sexes runs until September 1.
Richard II is a far more serious play, full of politics, war, and shifting alliances, as a king seals his own fate. In an interview with the Boston Globe, director Timothy Douglas says “Richard was the first king in his family who practiced diplomacy first before going to war . . . so I consider him a visionary.” He also invites the audience to draw their own conclusions about who, in this broiling tale of succession, is right, and who is wrong. This show has a limited run, until July 21.
Another season highlight, and one that puts the “& Company” in Shakespeare & Company: Moliere’s Les Faux Pas. As is the case with all things Moliere, this show should be uproarious, clever and fun. According to Broadway World Boston, “With a recipe that includes pirates, clowns, sword fights, food fights, and hilariously-failed schemes, there is something for everyone in this madcap jaunt.” This saucy comedy runs through August 24.
For more information about these shows, and the rest of the S&C season, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit www.Shakespeare.org.
Photo via the Shakespeare & Co. website...