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

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Berkshire Theater Highlights for Summer 2012

summer season 2012Recent announcements by the Berkshire Theatre Festival and Berkshire Actor’s Theatre are worth noting, as you make your plans to travel in our direction.

According to the Hartford Courant, the line-up for the upcoming Berkshire Theatre Festival includes no less than three world premiere productions, and a revival of the beloved Broadway classic A Chorus Line.

The three premiers: A Thousand Clowns by Herb Gardner, Edith, by Kelly Masterson, and Brace Yourself, by Tony-award winning writer James Naughton.

A Thousand Clowns and Brace Yourself are both comedies – Edith is a drama, which focuses on an episode from the life of first lady Edith Wilson, as she took control of the White House following her husband’s stroke in 1919. Interesting trivia: Mr. Naughton, writer of Brace Yourself, grew up in nearby West Hartford.

You’ll want to check out their website to learn even more about this shiny, new summer season.

Also of note: the announcement by Berkshire Actor’s Theatre that they will include two plays by John Patrick Shanley. Doubt: A Parable and Four Dogs and A Bone are set for performance between June 21 and July 15 at the Berkshire Museum. Information and tickets can be had at their website.

John Patrick Shanley
is a prolific and multi-award-winning American playwright and screenwriter. Moonstruck, Joe Versus The Volcano, and many more are among his works. Doubt, in particular, was an Academy-award-winner for Best Adapted Screenplay. Check out this New York Times article, which gives some very interesting background info on Mr. Shanley that you may enjoy and which most likely sets the dark, comedic tone that infuses much of his work.

So many reasons to visit the Berkshires this summer. Let us add to the allure: come during the week and take advantage of our Midweek Special.

Guitar Jam IV: local bands ready to rock your world

Voting begins NOW for Guitar Jam IV at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. The Berkshire Eagle reports that Guitar Jam IV, a showcase of local bands, is scheduled for May 19, and this year’s event has a twist: the public gets to vote on the participating bands!

The first round of voting allows folks to vote for their favorite Berkshires bands by email or by snail mail to the paper, now through April 7. After that date, they will take votes via Facebook (that link will be published in the  paper on April 8).

Guitar Jam IV Colonial Theater“But I’m not from the Berkshires,” you say! “I’m a visitor! Why are you telling me this?”

What better way to get a sampling of the local music scene, than to check out a show that features local fan favorites, at a cool, restored historic theater? Of course, you could also do some online research and get in on the voting, too.

The show itself hits the stage May 19 at 8 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre, 111 South St. in Pittsfield.

Speaking of the Colonial, you should absolutely check out their full calendar of events. They are home to the Berkshire Theatre Festival and feature a wide selection of performances. Jazz, comedy, American roots music, Irish music, country, and more can be found on their calendar of upcoming events.

Coming soon: Ahmad Jamal, jazz pianist and influential small-band leader. He comes to the Colonial stage on March 31, 2012. Read more about the show here and we hope to see you this spring at Hampton Terarace while you take in some culture in the Berkshires!

Berkshires Things To Love: Northampton Edition

Do you need a fix of epic hipness on your next Berkshires excursion? Northampton, MA delivers. Here’s a sampler of spring upcomings that should point you in the right direction:

On March 20, Sarah Jarosz comes to the Iron Horse in Northampton. Show starts at 7pm. If you need a primer on Sarah, here's one from the Iron Horse website:

“A child prodigy on bluegrass mandolin, banjo and guitar, Sarah Jarosz has become the fastest rising star in acoustic music, wrapping her supple vocals around original songs that transcend the boundaries between traditional and contemporary folk.” Sneak a peek at Sarah covering Tom Waits on Austin City Limits. She’ll make you wanna dig out that mandolin you snagged on a impulse buy so you can play along.

Don’t miss Darlingside on April 20, also at the Iron Horse. They’re a locally-based indie string-rock band guaranteed to make you swoon. They’re so good even your boyfriend will love them. They get major bonus points for both stellar songwriting and unique intrumentation – nestled amongst the requisite guitars, drums, bass, are cello, mandolin and violin, used without apology as pop instruments. Here’s a slice from a past show, see for yourself. Their heartbreaking five-part harmonies make them unforgettable.

Mark your calendars for TWIST Fair, May 11 an 12. TWIST Fair calls itself a “craft happening” or a “contemporary spin on craft." These are both true but perhaps “indie-craft mecca” is a more bombastically accurate descriptor for the collection of more than 60 participating vendors, all selling their quality handmades. A perusal of the participating vendors page helps you map out your plan of attack in advance (and salivate over images of crafty goodness!). More information on location, who, what, when and why, here.

Just a sampling of course… there's much more to see and do in Noho this spring. And once you're done doing it all, there's no hipper place to kick your shoes off than an authentic Gilded Age mansion. Even better, depending on when you come, you can take advantage of our mid-week special or our romantic weekend getaway special. Call us at 800-203-0656 for details or to check availability.

Celebrate Women Writers in March


Love literature? Love women? Then you may love to check out the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers 2012.

This is the second year of the festival and events will fill the month of March. The festival website boasts more than 40 individual events presented by a variety of writers, from varying disciplines, and with a range of perspectives. The workshops also offer entry points for participation for writers of all levels.

The festival begins, appropriately, with a workshop designed for novice writers, “Story Truth – How Writing Keeps You Honest.” Nichole Dupont, a working writer and journalist will take participants through a series of memoir-type writing designed to provoke honest writing. March 1, 7-9 p.m. Click HERE for more info.

Mystery writers, mark March 6 on your calendar. Writers Leslie Wheeler, Barbara Ross, and Katherine Fast lead this exploration of the mystery short story. They’ll also touch upon genre sub-categories, including flash fiction and horror. Need more information? Click HERE for details.

Poetry fans, enjoy a reading of poems by local and emerging poets, on March 7. Host Dawn Barbieri is herself a poet and musician. She’ll be joined by a roster of poets including Tammis Coffin, Susan Melot, Jan Hutchinson, Christine Ward and Claudette Webster. Learn more HERE.

This is just a sampling of the dozens of workshops and presentations offered throughout the month. The festival website can tell you much, much more. You may also want to check out this article in the Advocate.

Tanglewood Tickets Are On Sale for 75th Season


“In August 1934, a group of music-loving Berkshire summer residents arranged for members of the New York Philharmonic to perform three outdoor concerts…”
-from the Tanglewood website

So began the Tanglewood Festival, which Lenox, MA is proud to host. Many, many years and performances later, the festival draws visitors annually from around the world: 350,000 visitors, to be exact. Have YOU visited the festival? Which memorable performance made your visit special – which one made you realize that you had to come back again?

The focus of the festival is classical music offerings – after all, the festival is also the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra itself is even older than the festival, having been founded in 1881, and maintaining a level of artistry that is world-renowned.

Though the classical music offerings are at the heart of the festival, popular music also makes some appearances – James Taylorand his band take the stage July 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Jazz is also represented, though the Tanglewood Jazz Festival that normally occupies the final weekend (Labor Day weekend) is not occurring this year. Some jazz performances have been streamlined into the regular season lineup however, for example, Diana Krall appears on June 23rd. Non-musical offerings this season include a visit from A Prairie Home Companion and performances by the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Because we love to make your life simple and elegant, we’ve created a list of the 75th anniversary lineup here on our site for your convenience: 2012 Tanglewood Festival lineup. And here is a handy link for purchasing tickets to the festival.

Make sure to book your rooms early if you are attending the festival!  And please call (1-800-203-0656) or email us if you have any questions about the festival season. We’re festival season pros and we’re happy to help in any way we can.

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