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Hampton Terrace Innkeeper Blog: Deals and Things to Do in Lenox and the Berkshires

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Berkshire Secrets: The Dream Away Lodge


Dream-AwayIt is no secret to the locals....and probably not to a large percentage of second homeowners.    And judging from the crowd last night:  a dreary, cold, April Saturday night, maybe it is no secret at all.

What is indisputable, though, is that it is in the middle of nowhere.  Their website asks you to ignore your GPS (although mine got me there last night just fine).  Located in the woods near Becket, the Dream Away is tucked somewhere on October Mountain.  Their history...according to the website:

Dream-Away-LodgeThe Dream Away Lodge has been a Berkshire legend for more than 90 years. Rumored to have been a brothel and speakeasy during the great depression, this two hundred year old farmhouse at the edge of October Mountain State Forest is renown for its larger than life founders, Mamma Maria Frasca and her three musical daughters, and a colorful history, rich in music and local mythology.   
The 1975 visitation by Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg and the Rolling Thunder Review, led to the Dream Away's prominent role in Part Two of Dylan's epic film Dream-Away-LodgeRenaldo and Clara - enhancing an already unmatched reputation as one of Berkshire County's best loved and most closely held hilltown secrets.  Since the lodge's purchase by former actor and theater maker Daniel Osman in 1997, the lodge's legend has been rather spectacularly reborn. Part restaurant, part bar, part music venue and all theater, the Dream Away features locally grown and sourced food, an imaginative and affordable menu in its own inimitable style, and a wide range of music, art, theater, cabaret and spoken word events.

"We make it out there a couple of times per year.   Last night, Susan I took Susan's sister, Lynn for her first visit.  The food has always been "part of the experience" but last night, the food stood on its own.  We had a great meal.   In the past, the food has been more "family style," price fix, with several choices in each category.   Now there seems to be an effort to upscale the menu choices and the wines. 

So what did I mean "part of the experience?"   I got off subject because last night's meal blew us away.

Dream-Away-LodgeThe "experience" starts with the fact that you have to be a Boy Scout to find the place.   Once you see the neon Coors sign in the distance you know you have found it.   Then there is always a campfire in the front yard, attended by the parking lot guys.  Walk in and you are greeted with a collection of kitch that does not end.   It really does not end.  The place is a rambling set of room after room...most of them extensions of the original Dream-Away-Lodgehouse, and every wall and shelf offers something to ponder....including the interior's first impression:   a framed copy of Marilyn Monroe's nude Playboy centerfold (along with a disclaimer asking children to avert eyes).  Not that children come here....this is an adult playground.

And by playground, I get to the main reason for the Dream Away's reputation and repeat business.   The entertainment.

Dream-Away-LodgeAs you enter the Dream Away, you go left for the bar and the dining rooms.   But if you go right, you are in the living room.  Old couches, pillows on the floor.   Roaring fire.   And music.   Every night there is music.    Some nights are professional entertainers.   Some nights are open mike...which really consists Dream-Away-Lodgeof people who bring their guitars, or sit down at the piano.   On those nights you will hear a professional musician just passing through...or a 12-year-old kid making his first attempt to perform beyond his bedroom.   All get the same respect from the patrons who bring their wine and after-dinner-drinks into the living room for the third act of their "experience."   For a list of upcoming performers at the Dream Away.

2011 Berkshire Theater and Stage Overview


berkshire-theaterThe Boston Globe has proclaimed the Berkshires "an aggregation of performing arts unmatched anywhere in the country."

So I would be irresponsible if I did not spend considerable energy letting you know the details.

Yesterday I covered the summer plans for Shakespeare and Company.   But in doing my research, I ran into a website called "Berkshire on Stage" which essentially does much of my work for me.  In that particular post, blogger Larry Murray was touting the line-up at Barrington Stage Company this summer.  

But I noticed his blog several days ago which presents an overview of the summer.   Since "going viral" is the dream of every blog, I am sure Larry will not mind if I lift directly from his post and share his research and opinions:

A Berkshire First-Timer Primer

berkshire-theaterYou don’t need a theatre ticket to soak up the food, natural beauty, history, night life and fabulousness of the Berkshires during the summer. The Berkshires have plenty to offer, and are not only family friendly, but also nature friendly, gay friendly, pet friendly, vegan friendly and meditation friendly. In fact, the rural diversity of the area is surprisingly welcoming to all – both urbane and down to earth at the same time, a winning combination. There is no app for it. You have to come here to experience it.

Many who visit remark on the less frantic change of pace, one which lends itself for the one thing that distinguishes the area above all others, its wealth of arts offerings. Mention the Berkshires and most people automatically think of Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, when they think of this area. Or Jacob’s Pillow, the magnet for dance in America. And lately the Solid Sound Festival and Chicago’s Wilco at the mammoth Mass MoCA museum.

But quietly the Berkshires has become a buzz word among a new crowd, the serious theatre-goer. Not that theatre is new to the Berkshires, all of our companies have distinguished histories. But lately they have been creeping into the national news as the companies have been flourishing, expanding, and drawing ever-bigger crowds.

Once the theaters were thought to be for the summer crowd, but then , the locals discovered them too. These days you’ll find more residents than ever in the lines to get tickets for the really hot shows.

And local audiences can be tough audiences to please. They set the bar pretty high. Perhaps that is because the year-rounders, who endure the bitter cold winters, are hardy old souls, but once engaged by a play or musical, their hearts can melt like snowflakes under the spring sun. It happens a lot, and it is wonderful to see their smiles and hear their laughter. Makes living here year round even more enjoyable.

The Four Major Theatres and their Ten Stages

Located on the hilly and mountainous Western edge of Massachusetts, Berkshire County has a modest population of 130,000 hardy souls who benefit from being just a few hours from the bright lights of Broadway. In fact, many New Yorkers consider the Berkshires their summer hideaway, including dozens of performers, directors and playwrights. Even Bostonians, with their nearby siren call of Cape Cod are heading West to revisit the sometimes forgotten treasures of their own home state. I would gladly sign a petition to change the nickname from the Bay State to the Cultural State.

The four resident professional theatre companies contribute ten of the Berkshires’s two dozen stages to the culture count, with the balance at Tanglewood, the Pillow and three “presenting” organizations talked about below. And just behind this lineup are many more organizations who keep the Berkshires hopping from January to December.

Berkshire Theatre Festival (BTF) of Stockbridge and Pittsfield

berkshire-theatreThe BTF is the granddaddy of the theatre companies, having been founded in 1928 and operating continuously since then, with the exception of 1942-45 which were the years when America fought WWII. Their main stage is a repurposed old casino which was dragged by oxen from Main Street Stockbridge, MA and has seen America’s greatest actors on its stage. It holds about 400 people. It is just a short drive from the famed Norman Rockwell Museum.

This summer the Fitzpatrick Main Stage will host Sylvia by A.R. Gurney, Period of Adjustment by Tennessee Williams, and the world premiere of In the Mood by Kathleen Clark.

The smaller Unicorn theatre only holds about 120, so every seat is close to the stage and because of its stadium seating angles, has excellent sight lines. Moonchildren will open the season there, followed by Dutch Masters and Finian’s Rainbow. Two plays will get world premieres at the Unicorn – the aforementioned Dutch Masters by Greg Keller and Birthday Boy by Chris Newbound.

The BTF recently merged with the Colonial Theatre and will share programming back and forth with it for the first time this summer. Thus three stages will be lit by this company.

The Colonial Theatre has its own extensive calendar of events and provides state of the art technical and production support for musicals and large dramas, like A Christmas Carol, while the Unicorn is being viewed as an ideal location for cabaret and jazz offerings, as well as solo performers.

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox

berkshire-theatreAlso with three theaters, ShakesCo offers its usual mix of classics and contemporary plays in its 33rd Season. When not bringing Shakespeare back to life, they offer hilarious comedy and farce. So the Founder’s Theatre is where you will find the doomed lovers Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It, but their main house will also welcome the return of The Hound of the Baskervilles, a hilarious sendup of all things Conan Doyle with breakneck costume changes and cross-dressing spoofery.

The Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre is a smaller “flex space” where crowds will flock to see Red Hot Patriot: the Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivans alternating with two other shows. The outdoor Rose Footprint Theatre is a destination for families, and this year the commedia dell’arte includes The Venetian Twins and the brand new Everyman/EveryActor.

Also on their bill of fare are The 39 Steps, The Learned Ladies and Women of Will with Tina Packer.

Barrington Stage Company (BSC)

berkshire-theatreThe ingenue in our cast of great theaters is the Barrington Stage Company, founded just fifteen years ago by Julianne Boyd, and attracting nationwide attention for its excellent work. It has already sent several shows to Broadway, including William Finn’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Whipping Man and Freud’s Last Session. With a special knack for musicals, this summer includes the evergreen Guys and Dolls and The Game on the Main Stage. Also on the main stage is the premiere of Mark St. Germain’s The Best of Enemies. Stage 2 will host the premiere of the musical Mormons, Mothers and Monsters as well as Going to St. Ives, My Name is Asher Lev and Zero Hour, a one man show about Zero Mostel.

Their youth company also attracts numerous fans, this year presenting All Shook Up, a celebration of Elvis Presley at St. Joseph High School plus another location TBA.

At several points during the summer they will have three stages lit at the same time. And in October they will present a staged version of Lord of the Flies.

berkshire-theaterWilliamstown Theatre Festival (WTF)

While the first three companies are year-round residents and offer programming in the September-May slot, the WTF is only able to perform during the summer when it avails itself of two new theaters at Williams College. In essence it was a company begun 56 years ago by the college, and its friends, and it has grown and prospered as a visionary company with impeccable quality.

Two classic plays will light the Main Stage at the 62 Center this year: George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take it With You and Oliver Goldsmith’s rowdy comedy, She Stoops to Conquer. Closing the main stage season will be the Revue-sical Ten Cents A Dance, celebrating the music of Rodgers and Hart.

The recently announced Nikos Theatre season is one in which two classics, A Streetcar Named Desire and A Doll’s House can be seen in the intimate confines of this smaller theatre, as well as several new works, Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch, the East Coast Premiere of Bess Wohl’s Touch(ed), and The Civilians’ production of You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents’ divorce.

Other Berkshire Venues

You will find a trio of “presenting” theaters in the Berkshires as well. Down south, in Great Barrington is another glorious restored theatre, The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, whose marquee will feature names like Joan Rivers, Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Wailers, Peter Yarrow and soprano Deborah Voigt.

berkshire-theaterAt Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre there is not only The Who’s Tommy, but Tommy Tune and Tom Paxton plus far too many others to detail here.

In North Adams the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts has more than visual appeal, it has the Hunter Center performing space and Club B-10 for cabaret sized offerings. During the summer it also schedules things outdoors, from their walk-in open-air cinema to the multiple stages and excitement of the Solid Sound Festival featuring Chicago rockers Wilco. They also play host to the Bang on a Can week long contemporary music festival.

Jacob’s Pillow

berkshire-theatreWith three stages, Jacob’s Pillow is the place to be if you love dance. The array of dance offerings is breathtaking. The Ted Shawn Theatre is their main stage, where dance companies from around the world show off their latest works. In the Doris Duke Studio Theatre, emerging companies, and those who are working on complicated new pieces allow audiences a preview of what will soon be hot, and what might not.

Families love the Inside/Out stage and its free late afternoon performances most summer days. Set in the open air in the woods, the stage is being completely rebuild for 2011 and offers both samples of the companies performing there, and showcases the students at its school. The quality is high, the experience magical.


berkshire-theaterThe BSO’s summer home is the place that began it all in the Berkshires. SInce 1936 the small orchestra encampment has grown, with the famous Shed also playing host to such well known artists as James Taylor, though this year he will be performing in the more intimate Ozawa Hall. There is also a theatre where opera and other staged works can be performed. It took us four articles to detail everything happening there.

Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four

berkshire-theaterThe great lawn, meticulously maintained, offers concert-goers the delightful experience of a picnic with live classical music, overlooking the beautiful Stockbridge Bowl. The only question on some people’s minds is whether the BSO’s Music Director, James Levine, who has been struggling with back problems, will be able to fulfill his scheduled performances. Even so, the BSO has one of the most impressive rosters of alternate conductors I have ever seen, so while missing the maestro might be a disappointment, the joy of discovering a fresh and upcoming conductor makes the gamble irresistible.

Tanglewood remains the Berkshires best known attraction, but the crowds who are arriving for other events are – in aggregate – beginning to outnumber those of the reigning diva for the first time. These new audiences are younger, more adventurous and who knows, they may take a night off from theatre to take in a concert. Now that would be a switch to the conventional thinking, wouldn’t it.

With so much on the calendar, the Berkshires offer as much culture in the summer as you will find in most major cities, and in an idyllic setting that still is pretty tough to top.

Who Are You? Berkshire Visitor Facts!



I thought it might be fun to tell you who you are!   Ready?

  • Even though Berkshire County has only 139,000 residents, it hosts 2,500,000 visitors annually
  • The average age is 52
  • 80% of you are married....but 65% travel as a couple (no jokes, please)
  • Median household income is $100,500
  • You will spend $319 million annually in the Berkshires, employing 11,000 people directly, resulting in $86 million in local wages.   You spend, on average, $1,190 while here.
  • 55% of you are college graduates, and 45% have post-graduate degrees
  • 80% visit historic sites, 60% cultural venues and 38% participate in outdoor recreation
  • 59% of you are professional and 18% are retired
  • 29% are from Metro New York (6% other New York), 22% from Metro Boston (8% other MA), 8% from other New England and 12% from other Mid-Atlantic.

Berkshire-visitorResearch also shows that you come back to the area year after year.   This is certainly true of our Hampton Terrace guests...well over 50% of our annual summer crowd has stayed here before.

And here at Hampton Terrace, we are very fortunate to fall exactly in step with travel trends caused by recent economic events.   People are still taking trips....but they are driving, looking to spend a long weekend a couple of hours away, and are wanting an "experience."   "Turn Back the Clock to the Gilded Age," we say at Hampton Terrace.  



Berkshire Secrets: James Taylor, Meryl Streep, Sonny Rollins, Jacob's Pillow


James-Taylor-BerkshiresShhhh...   Yesterday, Barack Obama gave the National Medal of Arts....the nation's highest arts 10 recipients.    Four of them, James Taylor, Meryl Streep, Sonny Rollins and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival reside within a 25-mile radius of us...   40%!

And they join Yo Yo Ma, John Williams, Pete Seeger and James Levine, who also have Berkshire homes.   Frankly, that could be the tip of the iceberg....which is also why I am asking you to keep this between us.

There are LOT of other famous people here.   But unlike The Hamptons, Beverly Hills, Aspen.....these "celebrities" live here because they can actually have a life.   And a life that is rural and authentic...but also possessing world-class natural surroundings, culture (art, music, theater and dance), museums, Gilded Age historic homes, restaurants (my last blog pointed out that 2 of the 4 James Beard nominations from Massachusetts this year live in the Berkshires), health and wellness (Canyon Ranch, Kripalu and Dr. Mark Hyman.)

I have stood in front of James Taylor in the grocery store line.   Sat next to him in an empty coffee shop.   He's hanging with his twin boys.   Reading a paper.   People are leaving him alone.

So here is my pitch to you.  Come to the Berkshires to find out WHY people like James Taylor and Yo Yo Ma make this home.

But  SHHHH!   This stays between you and me.   Our SECRET!


Celebrity Guests: Ray Abruzzo - The Sopranos "Little Carmine"


Hampton-Terrace-Celebrities...."It was the first of December, all covered in snow..." Those words from James Taylor will forever bring me back to your place and the wonderful, warm time spent there. We arrived in the Fall (Nov. 30), when I awoke the next morning from a very restful sleep and looked out my balcony window, I knew the beauty James sings about. Quiet, white, home...the Berkshires did seem dreamlike on account of that frosting! The entire stay from beginning to end was full of wonderful images enhanced by your family's warmth and hospitality.

The ride back to New York City with Peter Reigert and Ylva Edlestein was dominated with talk about how we all felt we had just experienced a very special, magical few days, thanks in large part to your generosity. That is saying something coming from a bunch of jaded actors.

This thank you note from Ray arrived one day, along with this photo, taken from the front window of the Bonner Room.

Hampton-Terrace-celebritiesRecognize Ray Abruzzo?   Of course you of those faces that seems to be all over television:  Well, tonight he is on Law and Order:  Special Victims Unit.

Probably best known as "Little Carmine" on The Sopranos, he has also had leading roles in House MD, NCIS, Boston Legal, Shark, Bones, Murder 101, CSI NY, Law & Order, The Practice, Touched by an Angel, NYPD Blue, Diagnosis Murder, Murder She Wrote, Doogie Howser, Night Court, Dynasty, L.A. Law, 21 Jump Street, Trapper John MD, Riptide and Falcon Crest.

He also starred in the movie, House of Sand and Fog.

So you think you've seen him?  

Ray spent a long weekend here, with several other actors, while appearing at Shakespeare & Company in a reading of David Black's "An Impossible Life."   The thing about Ray...and other actors we have hosted that without exception, these people are humble, unassuming, and appreciative.   They are workers.....they just work in front of a camera, or on a stage, rather than driving nails or selling insurance.

Hampton-Terrace-celebritiesThe highlight of the weekend was the party that S&Co threw at Hampton Terrace after the performance.

Wow.  Over a hundred people here from 11 pm bar...desserts, fireplaces going.   Locals and famous actors mingling.    That is worthy of a blog in itself!  Stay tuned!






Celebrity Guests: Lauren Ambrose from "Six Feet Under"


Lauren-AmbroseBefore I get into this....congrats to our last featured Celebrity Guest, Ken Jennings, for his excellent but probably futile showing against "computer overlord" Watson.  Given that Watson can understand questions without hearing or reading...and can push his button at the speed of is not surprising that both human contestants found themselves vainly punching their button for questions Watson was already answering.

But I am already off the subject:  interesting and/or famous people who have walked into our inn.   And that is exactly the story behind Lauren Ambrose.

One day a young redhead and her taller brunette husband came in, asking for a room.   They introduced themselves as Lauren and I signed them up.   As this was happening, my daughter Lauren walked down the main staircase...and I introduced her..."Lauren, this is Lauren."

Lauren-AmboseShe went out the front door...and no more than 60 seconds later my cell phone rang.  "Dad!  Do you know who that is?"   I admitted I had no idea, and she told me that the girl at my front desk had starred in "Can't Hardly Wait," "Party of Five," and other shows my 20-something daughter would know.  

At that point in time (2002), she was a main character, Claire, in HBO's  "Six Feet Under," which had finished its first season.  So she was not on my radar.

Lauren-AmbroseBut she and Sam stayed a couple of nights and we really got along well.   And she came back twice more.   During those visits they expressed a love for the Berkshires and a desire to have a second home here.   They had been married on the grounds of Tanglewood, and she is originally from New Haven, just a couple of hours away.   At some point later, they called us to come see a house they had found in South County...east of Great Barrington.  It was an 1800's era "eyebrow" colonial..meaning the roof slopes forward reducing the second floor front windows to slits, resembling eyebrows over the first floor windows.

The house needed a lot of work.  As it turned out, my brother-in-law, Mike, was in the area helping us renovate portions of Hampton Terrace, so Mike went to work for Lauren and Sam.   Upon completion, we dropped in with a bottle of house-warming champagne.

Lauren-AmbroseOver the years, Lauren and Sam have often run into my daughter Lauren again...and her husband Brad, who spent a couple of years as the bartender at Allium...a favorite Great Barrington hangout.  Susan and I have seen them occasionally as well.

Lauren continues to do a LOT of film, tv and stagework, including Broadway.   I won't go into that..but click on her link in the second paragraph and you will see her latest projects.   She also sings in a band which performs frequently in Great Barrington.   I guess in some respects she has become a "local."   And we had a chance to be a bit involved in that.  A perk of our jobs.







Chocolate-BerkshiresIs it possible to make a visit to the Berkshires even better?   Apparently.   Add CHOCOLATE!

From the top to the bottom of Berkshire County, scores of businesses are featuring chocolate in a hundred different ways, to draw more visitors to the area.

A special CHOCOLATE BERKSHIRES website has been created to showcase all we have to offer.

Of course, Hampton Terrace is thrilled with any promotions that bring more people to our area, and here is how we will participate:


Any two-night stay at Hampton Terrace includes

  • A warm, romantic room with a fireplace and Jacuzzi or antique soaking tub
  • Full breakfast buffet by candlelight, including our Chocolate French Toast...featured in USA Today!
  • A $30 Gift Card to either (1) Nejaimes, Lenox's wonderful wine/gourmet food shop, or (2) Chocolate Springs Cafe, featuring hand-crafted chocolate in many forms.
  • #1 Rated on Trip Advisor and all for less than $189/night, mid-week or weekend.

Chocolate-BerkshiresCHOCOLATE BERKSHIRES is SUCH A GOOD IDEA we will honor this special until June 15th!



What do The Matrix and The Berkshires Have in Common?


Berkshire Film and Media CommissionShocking. Why would anyone link Hollywood with the quiet Berkshire countryside..home to great estates, beautiful vistas, classical music, museums, live theater, notable restaurants, dance?

How about this: (and admittedly, I had trouble singling The Matrix out for the headline)

Movies filmed in the Berkshires:

Alice’s Restaurant, starring Arlo Guthrie, filmed in Great Barrington, Housatonic

Pretty Poison, starring Anthony Perkins filmed in North Adams & Great BarringtonBerkshire Film Commission

Cider House Rules starring Tobey Mcquire filmed in Lenox

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, starring Elizabeth Taylor, filmed in Northhampton

A Change of Seasons, starring Shirley MacLaine, filmed in Williamstown

Lethal Innocence, starring David Strathairn, filmed in Lee

Before and After, starring Meryl Streep, filmed in multiple Berkshire towns

Into My Heart, starring Rob Morrow, filmed in the Berkhires

Wilbur Falls, starring Danny Aiello, filmed in Lenox

Dinner and a Movie, starring Marianne HagaBerkshire Film Commissionn, filmed in the Berkshires

The Human Stain, starring Anthony Hopkins, filmed in the Berkshires

Movies Worked On By Berkshire Residents:
(Directors/Actors/Visual Effects Craftsmen)

Bladerunner – VFX by Local FX pro Doug Trumbull
Brainstorm - directed by Doug Trumbull
Berkshire Film CommissionSilent Running - directed by Doug Trumbull, effects by Doug Trumbull
Close Encounters of the3rd Kind - effects by D. Trumbull
2001 Space Odessy – effects by Doug Trumbull
The Matrix – effects done at Mass Illussion (in Lenoxdale)
Starship Trooper - effects done at Mass Illusion
What Dreams May Come – effects done at Mass Illusion
Stargate – effects by Keiser Walczak & Bob O’Haver
Judge Dredd - special effects done at Mass Illusion
Amazing Adventures of Spiderman- effects by Kleiser Walczak
Clear and Present Danger - effects by Kleiser WalczakBerkshire Film Commission
Honey I Blew Up the Kids effects by Kleiser Walczak
X-Men – effects by Kleiser Walczak
X-Men: The Last Stand – effects by Kleiser Walczak
Fantastic Four – effects by Kleiser Walczak
Disney’s Dinosoar – Production Manager Bob O’Haver
Judge Dredd – VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
Die Hard: With A Vengeance – VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
Eraser - VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
Event Horizon - VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
She Hate Me (spike lee)- Director of Animation Ben Hillman, VFX Producer Diane Pearlman
Last of the Dogmen – VFX Producer Bob O’Haver
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – effects by John Nugent (Pitts. Co. Sandbox)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring – effects by John Nugent
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – effects Berkshire Film Commissionby John Nugent
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – effects by John Nugent
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – effects by John Nugent
Jumper – effects by John Nugent
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – effects by John Nugent
Night at the Museum – effects by John Nugent
The Celestine Prophecy – effects by John Nugent

Ghost Dad - cameraman Eugene Mamut
Predator - camouflage co-developer Eugene Mamut
Predator2 - camouflage effects superviser Eugene Mamut

Dead of Winter - directed by Arthur Penn
The Missouri Breaks - directed by Arthur Penn
Night Moves - directed by Arthur Penn
Bonnie and Clyde - directed by Arthur Penn
Flesh and Blood - directed by Arthur Penn
The Miracle Worker - directed by Arthur Penn
Berkshire Film CommissionIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – starring Karen Allen
Raiders of the Lost Ark - starring Karen Allen
The Perfect Storm - starring Karen Allen
Starman - starring Karen Allen
Animal House - starring Karen Allen
The Uninvited – starring Elizabeth Banks & David Strathairn
W - starring Elizabeth Banks
Zack and Miri Make A Porno – starring Elizabeth Banks
Berkshire Film CommissonThe 40 Year Old Virgin - starring Elizabeth Banks
Seabiscuit – featuring Elizabeth Banks
Catch Me If You Can - featuring Elizabeth Banks
Spider-Man 2 - featuring Elizabeth Banks
Spider-Man - featuring Elizabeth Banks that you are wowed, what is this about? In the same way you would certainly seed a fertile field, the Berkshire Film and Media Commission has been formed to encourage more movie-making in the Berkshires.

Diane Pearlman is Executive Director, and her name appears in the list above - meaning she is an "insider," not someone hired to knock on the doors of strangers. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers incentives to film here....why do you think every film by Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck is filmed in Boston? So Diane is asking, "why not the Berkshires?"

Berkshire Film CommissionAnd judging from the turnout at the Commission's 2010 Gala last November, plenty of people are on board with her. The evening, held at a Masonic Temple, featured special effects icon Doug Trumbull pasting live shots of attendees into black-and-white footage of Casablanca. Each was given a chance to don a costume and make-up...and shoot a scene for insertion into the film. How many parties have come up with that idea?

So if you are a filmmaker or producer (television or film) ....considering a location shoot, click to the BFMC website.

But if you are someone like me.....looking to be affiliated with a good cause....that also offers a chance to rub shoulders with interesting and creative people, get on the BFMC e-mail list. See you at the next party!

Karen Allen Photo: Bess Hochstein for Rural Intelligence.

Find Dining Deals in the Berkshires


Recently, the New York Times did a full-page feature on dining inDining Deals in the Berkshires the Berkshires.   The article pointed out that the current "farm-to-table" trend sweeping Food Network programming and new restaurant development throughout the country, had roots in the Berkshires more than a decade ago.

This is also a major theme of Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" sequel.

So add "culinary tourism" to the list of reasons people come to Lenox and the Berkshires....beyond Tanglewood, theater, museums and other world-class culture and natural beauty.

But like any tourism...there are seasonal ups and downs.    From now until June....local restaurants are creating further incentives to spend an evening with them.    A few examples:

  • The Mill on the Floss, Williamstown:  three-course dinner for $29 all nights the restaurant is open.
  • Viva, Glendale:  four-course meal for $25 on Wednesdays and Sundays.
  • Trattoria Rustica, Pittsfield:  three courses for $20.
  • Cork n' Hearth, Lenox:  $17 mid-week "old favorites" entres.
  • Alta, Lenox:   Three courses for $25, Sunday through Thursday

Restaurant Deals ImageThis is the tip of the iceburg.   The Berkshire Eagle featured many of the specials in an article today, called Dining Deals.

A more comprehensive list is available:  Berkshire Restaurant Off-Season Specials.

Or, for a Printable Version of this list, CLICK HERE.

Additionally, save money mid-week at Hampton Terrace, where rooms are typically 40% less off-season and mid-week.

CLICK HERE to see our current SPECIALS and DISCOUNTS Features Hampton Terrace


WomanAroundTown.comLast week we were very pleased to host Michall Jeffers, a travel writer and New York City television personality.  She, and her husband, John were sent by to write a feature about the Berkshires, and describe Romantic Weekend Specials at Hampton Terrace., focuses on interesting topics in, and around New York City and Washington, DC.   They occasionally feature resorts or hotels the editors find interesting.   They will not recommend a place unless one of their writers has a first-person experience there...thus our excitement to be identified, and then our relief to be "recommended."

We spent considerable time with Michall and John describing why National Geographic Traveler rated the Berkshires the #7 destination in the world.  They did have a chance to do some exploring and they had two dinners in the area.   They agreed that having an innkeeper's insight can help a visitor maximize an experience.

WomanAroundTown.comHere at Hampton Terrace, we provide two valuable and "private" lists to our guests:   "A List to Help You Plan Your Stay," and a "Dining List."   Usually, it takes an actual "booking" at Hampton Terrace to receive these insights - which come with the confirmation e-mail.    But the editors of felt that access to our lists would a great value for readers of their website.

If you have run into this blog entry, and would also like to learn what the Berkshires can offer for a weekend escape, CLICK HERE.


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