The way we post about all of the highlights of Tanglewood, you’d think the Berkshires are a one-event kind of place, but there’s much more to the Berkshires than JUST a certain fabulous internationally-renowned music festival.
Coming to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 26, Cirque Shanghai brings their breathtaking acrobatic artistry to the Berkshires for your viewing enjoyment. The Chinese acrobatics tradition is an old one, dating back to the Han Dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago. “Bai xi,” or “100 amazing acts,” was the first name for these performance spectacles, and the performers were thought to have limitless talents, because they knew so many tricks. Classic feats are curated into a modern production that should prove genuinely amazing and highly entertaining. The scenery, the costumes, and of course the acrobatics, are designed to delight.
And then there’s the Mahaiwe itself – a treasure left from the days of vaudeville, it was built in 1905 and is one of the oldest surviving theaters in the country. Like many of its era, once the golden days of vaudeville came to a close, the Mahaiwe was repurposed, transformed into a movie theater in 1930. It was reborn as a performing arts center in the modern sense, in 2002, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A unique and fascinating show in a unique and historical theater, in the world-famous Berkshires.
A sweet selection of the pop-world’s tastiest offerings are included in this year’s Tanglewood lineup: Barenaked Ladies, the Ben Folds Five and Guster.
Barenaked Ladies, a legendary Canadian export, are touring in support of their most recent (and 11th) album “All In Good Time”. They have recently shrunk, from a quintet to a quartet, and return to their roots on this album with the same producer who produced their first album – Michael Philip Wojewoda. The material on the new album grew out of a difficult year for their lead singer, Ed Robertson. An arrest, a plane crash, the death of a parent. Weaving pop music from the threads in these dark corners of life was a welcome challenge for Robinson.
The “Ladies” are joined on this tour by the Ben Folds Five, a band followed by fans who border on obsessed even 10 years since they broke up. It’s easy to see why – their musicality, lyrics, quirk and piano-driven song-craft are inventive, catchy, and honest. They have reconvened on this album with the hope that fans can listen like they are hearing them for the first time. More likely, fans will come to it ready to love them all over again. Even listeners who may not be naturally inclined to love pop music will appreciate their clever musicality.
Rounding out this pop-triumvirate: Guster. Another band with a loyal following, pop cred, thoughtful song-smithing and wide appeal.
This stop of the Last Summer On Earth Tour includes a downloadable copy of the new Barenaked Ladies album with each ticket purchased. Tickets are $27.50-$79.50 through the BSO website. This should be a great show for a summer evening.
May is a beautiful time in the Berkshires, and the Memorial Day Races will let you see the best of ‘em.
Scheduled for May 25 and 26, now is the time to register to participate in the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, Trail Runs and Kids Race. This is the 4th Annual running of the Memorial Day Races. It will be a busy weekend in Lenox, and you want to make sure you have a place to call home while you’re here.
The marathon itself runs a challenging, mostly rural course, with lots of hills at the end to challenge you. Veterans report that the race takes no prisoners in its later miles (the ½ Marathon, 10K and 5K might be a better choice for newer runners who want to check out the scene). The website boasts that this is the “Toughest Marathon In The East”: “Heartbreak Hill has nothing on Prospect Hill! Take on this beautiful & challenging course as it winds its way through the Historic towns of Lenox, Stockbridge & Great Barrington culminating with the daunting Prospect Hill.” Scenic wooded roads, lead you on an expert tour of the Berkshires, and at the end, personalized dog tags, rather than medals, are in keeping with the Memorial Day theme.
The races start at Tanglewood, right here in Lenox. Hampton Terrace is located just a three minute drive from Tanglewood, or about 1.5 miles (so it’s also walkable).
Registration fees increase as the weekend nears, and lodging will fill – don’t miss out.
The website for the event is a great resource, and includes a Course Map , Frequently Asked Questions page, Race Info by race, Training Information and Past Race Trivia, including winning times.
July 13th, don’t miss what is sure to be a very special event in this year’s Tanglewood 2013 Season – a performance of Bernstein’s West Side Story score. Much more than a concert, it’s a live movie experience, with the newly remastered film shown as the orchestra plays along – complete with original vocals and dialogue.
West Side Story is a truly American interpretation of an old, old tale – of a love that cannot be, but which the lovers cannot turn away from. Leonard Bernstein’s score simultaneously evokes a specific time and place, but is also an unforgettable music experience that has made the story a classic. The film won ten Academy Awards following its 1961 release.
This will be the debut of conductor David Newman, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The performance on the evening of July 13th will be preceded by a Saturday morning rehearsal at 10:30am. The rehearsal features the orchestra only -- the film will not be shown and the entire score will not be performed. It could be a very interesting experience, however, for fans of the score, or those who simply love a behind-the-scenes peek.
Tickets for this special performance are $20-$150 and tickets for the sneak-peek morning rehearsal at $10-$30. This will be a popular performance, so make sure to book your Hampton Terrace rooms well in advance – they will fill, and you don’t want to miss our breakfast as a part of your Tanglewood experience.