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Features:

Javier Perianes Debuts at Ravinia

An Enchanter Beguiles at the Keyboard

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Music
By: Susan Hall - 08/23/2014
Javier Perianes has been nurtured by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Charles Dutoit. Already he has appeared at Carnegie Hall and in San Francisco. He performs Grieg with the Atlanta Symphony in November and is scheduled for both the Boston and Chicago Symphonies in 2015-16. At Ravinia you could hear why much is expected of this charming, impish and technically fabulous artist.


NY Times Zings Mass MoCA

Mixed Report on $25.4 Million from Commonwealth

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Opinion
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/22/2014
Twelve days after breaking news the New York Times has reported on $25.4 million in Commonwealth funding for the $50 million renovation of the final phase of build out for Mass MoCA. While damning the museum with faint praise the Times drags up an eight year old controversy of a botched installation by Christoph Buchel. The reporter probed far and wide for on and off the record smears of the museum and its critical reputation.


A Welcome Settlement at the Met

The Unions and Management Both Give Ground

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Opinion
By: Susan Hall - 08/21/2014
From inside the Met: "Both sides gave in. This is heartening. The three big unions took income reductions, even though they are not the massive reductions Gelb wanted. One of the good things is having some oversight on Gelb's spending. A big concern house-wide has been Gelb's tendency to over-spend without thinking things through." It appears that by settling with unions there will not be the anticipated lockout and the Metropolitan Opera will launch its season on schedule. We dig below the surface of this news for an understanding of long term implications for the Met and the struggle to sustain opera as an expesnive and viable cultural resource.


Two Gentleman of Verona at Old Globe

Shakespeare Summer Season to September 14

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Theatre
By: Jack Lyons - 08/22/2014
This time The Old Globe wraps up their highly successful 2014 Shakespeare Summer Season with the delightfully entertaining rom/com “Two Gentlemen of Verona”, directed by acclaimed Globe Alum and Tony Award nominee Mark Lamos.


Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

A Copper in BBC Hit on Netflix

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Television
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/24/2014
Sarah Lancashire is familiar to PBS viewers as the lesbian head mistress in Sally Wainwright's series Last Tango in Halifax. She has written a news cop series Happy Valley built around Lancashire. The hit, six part BBC series is now avaiable for binge viewing on Netflix.


Exhibit in Grant Park Addresses Ferguson

Unspeakable Times Are Soothed by Chicago's Statues

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Opinion
By: Susan Hall - 08/25/2014
The figures are iron and aluminum, but to me and many others they stood for black and white. People of all colors are walking and seated in the Georg Solti Park in Grant Park, Chicago. These sculptures invite quiet contemplation of the state of race relations in this country this August.


Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at Pillow

82nd Season Ends with Neo Classical Modernism

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Dance
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/25/2014
The 82nd season of Jacob's Pillow Dance ended with the fifth Berkshire performance of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. With a program of works by three choreographers the company conflated classical traditions and contemporary variations. Post season we anticipate the annual collaboration with Mass MoCA.


The Vaccination Divide

Exploring the Pros and Cons

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Opinion
By: Jimmy Midnight - 08/25/2014
Faith based and other concerned parents have opted not to vaccinate their children. This can result in outbreaks in formerly widely preventable diseases. There are concerns that vaccinations may in fact induce dangerous side effects inluding an inclination for autism. Our science correspondent, a firm advocate of vaccination, explores the issues and risk factors.


Fresh Grass Set for September 19-21

Lineup for Mass Moca Event.

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Music
By: MoCA - 03/18/2014
Fresh Grass returns to Mass MoCA from September 19 to 21. This year's lineup is the deepest yet, including The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Railroad Earth, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn,Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, David Grisman Sextet, The Gibson Brothers, Alison Brown, Valerie June, Aoife O'Donovan, Rodney Crowell, Sam Amidon, Liam Ó Manolaí, Michael Cleveland,Claire Lynch,Darol Anger, Martha Redbone Roots Project, and more to be announced later in the spring. Last year's FreshGrass Award recipient, Cricket Tell the Weather, will take the stage for a full set.


Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 at Shakespeare & Company

Shorter and Sweeter in Jonathan Epstein's Adatation

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Theatre
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/09/2014
Sitting through Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 can be a long slog on Elizabethan inspired cruel on the bottom benches at Shakespeare & Company. In a brisk, rich and often hilarious reduction and conflation by Jonathan Epstein to two long acts with intermission, clocking at three hours, through this delicious production mind prevails over matter. One's sore bottom in this case. During his 450th year S&Co. has been presenting Shakespeare up the wazoo.


Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain

Swept Off Our Feet at Barrington Stage

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Theatre
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/14/2014
Dancing Lessons is the ninth play and eighth world permiere by Mark St. Germain at Barrington Stage Company. As a signifier of their long standing relationship the new play is directed by Julianne Boyd the founder of the company. In recent years his plays have gone on to successful tours of regional companies. Starring the astonishing John Cariani with a stunning dancing partner in Paige Davis this play has the potential to be on the road for years.


Reasons to Be Pretty at Geffen Playhouse

Neil LaBute Play Through August 31

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Theatre
By: Jack Lyons - 08/15/2014
In his latest play “Reasons to be Pretty”, directed by artistic director Randall Arney, now playing on the Gil Cates stage of the Geffen Playhouse, Neil LaBute introduces us to four characters in their mid-twenties, who are what some might label as border-line losers. The younger generation come off as spoiled, self-indulgent, and suffering from a lack of parental oversight when they were growing up. And, they’re still not grownups when we catch up with them.


Finding Neverland A Spectacular Journey

American Rep Wows With Broadway Bound Musical

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Theatre
By: Mark Favermann - 08/15/2014
Based upon the story of the creation of the 1904 now classic play Peter Pan, Finding Neverland at the American Repertory Theatre is a wonderful theatrical multigenerational event. With spectacular performances, magnificent stagecraft and beautiful music, this is a sight and sound treat. Already set for Broadway in 2015, getting a ticket might be difficult, but well worth the effort. Bravo Diane Paulus and A.R. T.!


A Chorus Line at The Weston Playhouse

Vermont Production Highlights Turmoil of Broadway's Gypsys

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Theatre
By: Leanne Jewett - 08/15/2014
Innovative when it was developed in 1975, time has stolen some of the sizzle from this intimate dance-centered musical. The dance and music are still entertaining and the heart and passion of the young characters carry the show. Weston’s production is solid and professional with a talented cast.


James Conlon's Don Giovanni with Chicago Symphony

Singing Along with David Bizic, Tamara Wilson, and Saimir Pirgu

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Music
By: Susan Hall - 08/15/2014
At first you wonder what the terms of Ravinia’s contracts are. Performance after performance in the opera concerts and semi stagings we get luxury casting, first rate, world class singers across the board. This is the magic of a conductor and music director who singers love. And why not? Up close in an 850 seat theatre, you could see Conlon sing the entire opera, helping the singers as a live prompter and nearby encourager. Too bad the Metropolitan Opera did not catch him when they could. It is hard to imagine the mess the Met is in now if he had been at the helm.


Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Durang Off the Hook at Shakespeare & Company

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Theatre
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/16/2014
Directed by our friend the late Nicholas Martin of Williamstown Theatre Festival Christopher Durang's serious comedy Vanya and Sonia and Macha and Spike won a Tony for Best Play. Since then it has been widely produced and now through September 14 by Shakespeare & Company. Matthew Penn has directed an awesome cast in this side splitting gonzo riff on Anton Chekhov. It's a fresh, fun, zinger that rounds off a top heavy summer of the Bard in Lenox.


The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns

Fun and Frolics at Weston Theatre’s Second Stage

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Theatre
By: Leanne Jewett - 08/16/2014
For pure, unadulterated entertainment the juke box musical The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns can’t be beat. It’s polished and professional while retaining the freshness of youth and good-natured fun. It is basically a family-friendly burlesque, a humorous exaggeration of the teen years and loves of four young women.


James Conlon Conducts Marriage of Figaro at Ravinia

John Relyea and Lisette Oropesa Sublime with the Chicago Symphony

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Music
By: Susan Hall - 08/16/2014
The Chicago Symphony was red hot when it embarked on the overture to Figaro. They relished the challenge and it paid off for listeners. One of the reasons that you can’t put a B cast to perform familiar music is that the audience knows the music so well. The performance has to be perfect. With Assistant concert master Stephanie Jeong leading, this Mozart was sublime.


Boston Modern by Judith Bookbinder

Definitive Study of Boston Expressionism

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/18/2014
Judith Bookbinder's 2005 publication Boston Modern: Figurative Expressionism as Alternative Modernism is the definitive study of this important but neglected movement. Her study is meticulously researched and documented. This is the catalogue for the exhibition that the Museum of Fine Arts has failed to deliver. Significantly most of the Boston Expressionists were Jews struggling with Biblical constraints against the graven image.


Descartes to Yogi Berra

When You Come to the Fork in the Road Take It

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Opinion
By: David Zaig - 08/19/2014
The artist/ playwright/ thinker David Zaig evokes Descartes and Yogi Berra in a lively response to dissent aroused by his recent ruminations in Berkshire Fine Arts. Here he brings more depth and insight to those previous discussions.


A Hatful of Rain at Berkshire Theatre Group

Once Provocative Play Is Rarely Revived

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Theatre
By: Maria Revely - 08/20/2014
While the play has relevance to today’s veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and sometimes resulting addictions, the material is dated. Too much information has been spread about war, its effects on families and society, to make these characters’ shock seem real.


A Secret Passage Way - 2014

Global Call to Participate in Photo Project

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Photography
By: Astrid Hiemer - 06/17/2014
From February to May we invited participants to submit photographs and words via email and Face Book representing passages in any way real or imagined. Collaborators expanded the project in amazing and unexpected directions. Here is the resulting digital exhibition:


Hungary

Gyor, Budapest and Szentendre

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Travel
By: Zeren Earls - 07/14/2014
Since freeing itself from communism in 1980, Hungary has blossomed into a westernized country. Gyor and Szentendre are charming small towns with a variety of cafes, restaurants, craft and sweet shops. The capital Budapest on the Danube is a beautiful city with great monuments, fashionable avenues, elegant shops, and a vibrant night life.


Jamie Wyeth at the MFA

Good Genes

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/22/2014
Outgoing populist and vulgarian, MFA director Malcolm Rogers, has orchestrated yet another celebrity based, crowd pleasing exhibition. The traveling restrospective of paintings by Jamie, a third generation manifestation of the famous Wyeth dynasty, is actually kind of fun. Where the work fits in the canon of the art of our time, however, is another matter.


Jim Hodges at the ICA

Summer in the City

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/23/2014
The artist Jim Hodges came to New York in the 1980s at a time when AIDS was decimating the arts community. Like others of his generation his work responded to a sense of devastation and loss. A retrospecitve of his eclectic conceptual work is on view at Boston's ICA until September 1.


Re-Introducing The Rhino Horn Group

Evolved from Figurative Expressionism

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Fine Arts
By: Adam Zucker - 07/24/2014
When Pop Art dominated the art world and mass-media a group of New York expressionists said no thanks. The primal, raucous, and confrontational approach to painting exhibited by the group’s members kept the emotional impact of Figurative Expressionism alive. However, aesthetic tradition was less important than the moral obligation of depicting the reality that the artists perceived. This put the Rhino Horn artists at odds with many of the mainstream artists that had turned away from expressionism and humanist art.


Love Made Visible by Jean Gibran

A Complex Book on Her Husband Kahlil Gibran

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/27/2014
Decades ago the sculptor Kahlin Gibran and his wife Jean purchased a shell in Boston's ethnically mixed South End. A meticulous craftsman the home evolved as a museum of his work and collection. Together they wrote a definitive 1974 biography "Kahlil Gibran, His Life and World." Now Jean has published "Love Made Visible: Scenes from a Mostly Happy Marriage" about a complex relationship with her late husband.


Julius Ceasar at Shakespeare & Company

Tina Packer Directs Seven Actors in Forty Roles

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Theatre
By: Maria Reveley - 07/31/2014
Seven actors masterfully play a modern version of Shakespeare's timeless tale of Julius Caesar. Packer got the idea of seven actors from Shakespeare himself, who used that number of actors when he took his plays on tour.


Two Operas for Cambridge, NY August 13 to 24

Gianni Schicchi and Marriage of Figaro at Hubbard Hall

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Music
By: Chris Buchanan - 08/04/2014
Hubbard Hall Opera Theater presents Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro with orchestra August 13 through 24. “We are so excited to be able to offer this kind of cultural opportunity to the people who live in this area,” says artistic director, Alix Jones. “The talent is really something you would come across in a metropolitan city, and you get it here, at a most unassuming location, at a fraction of the price!”


Encountering Louis Comfort Tiffany in the Berkshires

Exquisite Windows of St. Stephen's Church in Pittsfield

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Design
By: Maria Reveley - 08/05/2014
Louis Comfort Tiffany's windows adorn Pittsfield's St. Stephen's Episcopal Church at Park Square. With the exception of the sanctuary windows, the stained glass windows were commissioned either from the Tiffany Glass Company of New York or Mary Tillinghast, who had been a pupil and partner of the master of American glass John La Farge. All were created and installed in the late 1890s.


Cogito Ergo Sum Ok Now What?

The Mind Is What the Brain Does

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Opinion
By: David Zaig - 08/06/2014
We are supposed to love, feel, and have emotions, but not supposed to know what the mechanisms are that make us behave that way. That is too much to ask. So now, it’s normal to say, “I feel” or “I love” without having to explain how these emotions came about. This is the accepted standard for social and human behavior—it’s very much a fixture of our psyche and the cause for our societal chaos, helplessness, confusion, and mindlessness.


Rudd Art Museum in North Adams

Presenting Berkshire Artists

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Fine Arts
By: Keith Shaw - 08/06/2014
As artists approach their senior years familiar issues arise. Unless they reach a level of broad recognition and market value for the work there is the challenge of legacy and handling of estates. North Adams based artist/ author and developer, Eric Rudd, has written a book on these concerns and by creating his own museum in North Adams is taking action to address them. Art historian and former Berkshire Eagle critic, Keith Shaw, is assisting Rudd by curating exhibitions based on artists living and working in the region. Here he discusses what that entails.


State Approves MoCA's Phase Three Expansion

$25,420,000 for Ambitious Development

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Architecture
By: MoCA - 08/08/2014
With Governor Deval Patrick's signing of H.3933, an omnibus capital infrastructure bill which included $25,420,000 for MASS MoCA's Phase III development, the museum announces that it has begun work on the third phase of its multi-decade effort to renovate its 26-building, 600,000 square foot, 16-acre factory campus, an internationally recognized, mixed-use destination arts institution in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. A representative from the Governor's press office confirmed the news, saying, "Governor Patrick is very, very supportive of the project and is excited to work with MASS MoCA to finance the expansion."


What's Up at the Metropolitan Opera?

An Insider's View

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Opinion
By: Susan Hall - 08/10/2014
The jury is still out on when the Metropoitan Opera season will actually start. The bulk of the rehearsals for the Marriage of Figaro have already been completed, so it may be possible for the House to be ready for opening night. One rumor circulating is that Gelb will plan his lockout during the scheduled rehearsal time for Death of Klinghoffer, so that he can cancel the production. This would mean that he could extricate himself from that publicity disaster and blame the unions for it. An independent budget analysis is supposed to be completed by August 11th. It will be interesting to see how negotiations go forward after that.


WAM Theatre Fresh Takes

reading of Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George

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Theatre
By: WAM - 08/11/2014
WAM Theatre will present the reading on Sunday, August 17 at 3:00 p.m. at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café, 6 Depot Street in West Stockbridge, MA. Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England is the fourth presentation in the new Fresh Takes play reading series, which offers new and reimagined works that tell women’s stories. The series has proven popular with audiences and the first three readings sold out.


Cape Ann Museum Reopens

Tour with Director Ronda Faloon

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/15/2014
The Cape Ann Museum has raised $5 million with $3.5 for a renovation of its eclectic warren of buildings and galleries. Just prior to the recent reopening we were given a tour of the collection by the museum's director Ronda Faloon. The collection displays all aspects of life on historic Cape Ann. Its heart and soul comprises 40 paintings and 100 drawings by America's most renowned 19th century painter of seascapes Fitz Henry Lane. There are also many works by leading artists who were a part of the art colony.


Mozart and Puccini Come to Life at HHOT

Grand Opera in Cambridge, New York

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Music
By: Chris Buchanan - 08/17/2014
Le Nozze di Figaro and Gianni Schicchi play through August 24.“Gianni Schicchi” is a little known gem that you absolutely must go to see. As to "Nozze di Figaro", it is a long evening, but well worth it.


The Mousetrap in Dorset, Vermont

Still Surprising Audiences After 62 Years

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Theatre
By: Leanne Jewett - 08/17/2014
The murders in Agatha Christie’s mysteries are almost incidental. Though there is suspense and intrigue, there is no pandering to mayhem and horror. A puzzle is introduced, enhanced with complications, and finally solved through clever reasoning. The well-acted production at The Dorset Theatre Festival is classic Christie at its best.


Companhia Urbana de Dança at Jacob’s Pillow

From Favelas to World Stages

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Architecture
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/17/2014
Companhia Urbana de Dança thrilled the audience last year and this week was equally well received in a return to Jacob's Pillow. The company of eight men and one woman combines the street smarts of break dancing and hip hop moves with the choreography of the classically trained Sonia Destri Lie. The two part program of hour long works contrasted joy and tragedy in a world permiere of "You. We…ALL BLACK" and the uppeat celebration of "Na Pista."


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Long and Short of the Bard

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Theatre
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/20/2014
With The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) there is a lot of farce crammed into an evening at the Tina Packer Playhouse of Shakespeare & Company. Based on a raucuous response of a near to packed house on a week night this is the run away comedy hit of the Berkshire season.


Anselm Kiefer at Mass MoCA for 15 Years

Building Developed with Hall Art Foundation

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 09/27/2013
In collaboration with the Hall Art Foundation a building dedicated to works by the German artist, Anselm Kiefer, will be on view at Mass MoCA for the next 15 years. Combined with the 25 year agreement for the Sol LeWitt building this greatly enhances the museum as America's foremost destination for contemporary art.


Shakespeare’s Will Stars Kristin Wold

Launches 37th Season of Shakespeare and Company

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Theatre
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/01/2014
On the occasion of the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare the 37th season of Shakespeare & Company is chock full of the Bard. Even the contemporary play by Vern Thiessen "Shakespeare's Will" is about him. Well, his wife and mother of their three children, Anne Hathaway, actually. In a brilliant one woman performance the redoubtable Kristin Wold plays several characters with compelling skill and heart warming charisma.


Izhar Patkin's Space Time Continuum

The Wandering Veil at Mass MoCA

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 01/19/2014
In the vast space of Building Five, for the coming year, Mass MoCA is hosting a retrospective for the Israeli born artist Izhar Patkin. A series of rooms features Veils inspired by the poems of a collaborator, the deceased Pakistani poet, Agha Shahid Ali. The artist is challenged by solving technical problems for a variety of approaches to painting in sculpture in a range of media. Central to his practice is a commitment to modernist inspired narratives devoid of the irony of post modernism.


Israeli Izhar Patkin Debates Jewish Art

Secular Narratives When God Is Dead

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 01/21/2014
During a dialogue with the artist Izhar Patkin about his Mass MoCA exhibition David Ross hit a dead end when he asked whether there is a Jewish art? At this point in post modernism, with more than a century since Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Chaim Soutine or Amedeo Modigliani, it is not a question that one would ask a Jewish American artist. But is it relevant for an Israeli Sabra?


Joe Thompson on Mass MoCA Expansion

Part One on Phase Three

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano and Joe Thompson - 03/09/2014
Several months ago we spoke in depth with Joe Thompson about a bill pending on Beacon Hill to grant $25 million toward the final phase of developing the North Adams campus of Mass MoCA. This week, early August, 2014 the bill has been signed by outgoing Governor Deval Patrick a Berkshire neighbor of the museum. Thompson, as he discusses here, must raise an additional $30 million for the project which will take several years.


Huntington Theatre Company 2014-2015

Six Shows Plus One

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Theatre
By: Huntington - 03/18/2014
Huntington Theatre Company announces six productions of its 2014-2015 Season plus one additional title. Continuing its 32-year tradition, the Huntington will present world-class productions of new works and classics made current created by the finest local and national talent. The varied lineup includes a Tony Award-winning Broadway comedy, a thrilling new play set in Boston, a new play by a celebrated local writer that riffs on a beloved classic, a revival of a provocative comedy, a classic American drama, and a topical new play directed by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois, plus the return of visionary director David Cromer (Our Town).


PBS Fall Programming

Season Launches with The Roosevelts September 14

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Television
By: PBS - 05/08/2014
The Roosevelts kicks off PBS’ fall season Sunday, September 14, with an epic seven-night premiere. The 14-hour documentary airs nightly at 8 p.m. through Saturday, September 20 with a repeat at 10 p.m., and for the first time on television weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.


Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010

German Master Surveyed at MoMA

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/03/2014
Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) was one of the most important Post War German artists. He is the subject of a dense, sprawling and and messy retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art through August 3. It would be a folly and conceit to attempt to review such diverse and eclectic, mind boggling work. For that we refer you to mainstream critics all of whom fail, to varying degrees, to nail down the work of one of the most fascinating and daunting artists of our time.


Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges

Bringing Iconic American Art to Arkansas

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/11/2014
During our visit to Crystal Springs Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas we met with museum spokesperson Diane Carol. Fending off questions of media controversy regarding aggressive acquisitions she emphasized that the museum is free and serves a region that lacks resources of its quality. As she pointed out since opening in 11/11/11 some 1.3 million visitors have viewed "Kindred Spirits" by Asher B. Durand which formerly hung in the New York Public Library.


A Roman Holiday

Mange Bene

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Food
By: Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley - 07/26/2014
This is a lively guide to a four day Roman Holiday. Our overview provides links to accomodations and tours as well as lists of favorite restaurants and recipes. This will serve as a guide to a delicious taste of the food and wine of Italy.


Il Pane Degliangeli, Offering of the Angels: Paintings and Tapestries of the Uffizi Gallery

On View at Savannah’s Telfair Museums Through March 31

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 03/07/2013
The venerable Ufizzi Museum in Florence has tarnished its reputation by packaging works from storage and sending them to four out of the mainstream American museums. We viewed the final destination of the revenue generating tour at the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia.


ArtsEmerson Announces 2013-2014 Program

Fourth Season Starts September 17

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Theatre
By: Emerson - 04/12/2013
ArtsEmerson announces the first half of its fourth theatre season, beginning in the fall of 2013. This announcement covers productions into January of 2014, with more winter/spring productions to be announced later. Tickets for these productions go on sale to ArtsEmerson members on April 12, and to the general public on May 3.


Figurative Expressionism in Provincetown

PAAM Exhibition Through September 2

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 08/21/2013
Following World War II the matrix of global contemporary art shifted from Paris to New York with the development of abstract expressionism as the leading movement of contemporary art of that era. During the 1950s there was much speculation about a Return to the Figure. Young artists who flocked to Provincetown to study with Hans Hofmann and Henry Hensche explored a synthesis through Figurative Expressionism. A number of these artists showed with Sun Gallery in Provincetown and Hansa Gallery in New York. The exhibition "Pioneers from Provincetown: The Roots of Figurative Expressionism" curated by Adam Zucker, Co-curator, Stephanie DeTroy focuses on this important movement.


Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil

Vast Installation at Mass MoCA on View for a Year

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 12/05/2013
Building Five of Mass MoCA is one of the largest and most magnificent spaces for contemporary art in North America. It is always fascinating to see how artists respond to the daunting challenge. Izhar Patkin: The Wandering Veil is now on view for the coming year.


WAM Theatre Announces 2014 Season

Focus on Women and Girls

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Theatre
By: WAM - 02/25/2014
WAM Theatre’s Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven announces highlights of the 2014 season. The Berkshire-based professional theatre company will celebrate its fifth anniversary with plays readings, special events, panel discussions, and educational programs that focus on women artists and stories of women


Harvard Art Museums Open November 16

Renovation by Renco Piano Conflates Separate Museums

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Architecture
By: Harvard - 03/11/2014
The Harvard Art Museums—comprising the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum—will open their new Renzo Piano-designed facility to the public on November 16, 2014. The renovation and expansion of the museums’ landmark building at 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge will bring the three museums and their collections together under one roof for the first time


Emotional Impact: American Figurative Expressionism

April Kingsley's Catalogue for Michigan State University

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Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/19/2014
While curator of Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University from 1999 to 2011 April Kingsley had the resources and inspiration to collect works by the undervalued and poorly understood artists of the Figurative Expressionist movement. It was widely felt among artists that there would be a return to the figure informed by but diverging from abstract expressionism. Aspects of this experimentation occurred with little or no direct communication in New York, Provincetown, Boston, and the Bay Area of San Francisco. This book fails to present a cohesive overview of those complex developments.


Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro, Sr.

The Actor Celebrates His Father

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Fine Arts
By: Adam Zucker - 06/26/2014
"Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro Sr." is a short documentary tribute in which the actor pays homage to his father. It examines the art and life of a Figurative Expressionist painter from the New York School.


Japanese Architect Tadao Ando: A Portrait

Pritzker Prize Winner Designed Clark Art Institute Expansion

read Japanese Architect Tadao Ando: A Portrait
Architecture
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/28/2014
Initially the 72-year-old Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, trained to be a professional boxer. When he became interested in architecture he read books and traveled extensively to see works by modern masters. In 1970 he returned from travel and field research to establish his firm. In 1995 he won the Pritzker Prize the most prestigious in the field. Followed by a film crew we tagged along when he surveyed his now completed design for the Clark Art Institute.


Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith

Special Exhibition for The Clark Art Institute

read Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/03/2014
As a part of its expansion and renovation, taking advantage of appropriately scaled new special exhibition space, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Insitute is progressing beyond its tradition roots by showcasing modern and contemporary art. Currently there is Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith. In August the museum will feature Make It New master works of American modernism from the National Gallery.


Marjorie Minkin’s Lexan Painted Reliefs

Collaborations with Her Son Mike Gordon of Phish

read Marjorie Minkin’s Lexan Painted Reliefs
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/28/2014
During the final days of her exhibition at the Eclipse Mill Gallery in North Adams, Mass. we spoke with Marjorie Minkin about her painted Lexan reliefs. We discussed the current exhibition and background of her relationship with renowned critic, Clement Greenberg, and curator/ critic, Kenworth Moffett. As well as a 2005/06 project in collaboration with her son Mike Gordon of the rock band Phish and engineer Jamie Robertson.


Ann Hamilton Bangs on a Can

Paper Sounding Premieres at Mass MoCA

read Ann Hamilton Bangs on a Can
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 07/30/2014
With just four rehearsal sessions in less than a week installatin artist, Ann Hamilton, returned to Mass MoCA to create a piece for some thirty individuals "Paper Sounding" as a part of the annual Bang on a Can festival. The spontaneous and lively work was co directed by Mark Stewart and David Cossin. The performance was our introducton to an area of the vast Building Six which the museum hopes soon to develop. We spoke with Hamilton about the significance of paper in her practice.


More Than a Basic Wine Course

Wine Made Simple

read More Than a Basic Wine Course
Food
By: Philip S. Kampe - 08/10/2014
This is a basic wine course that will help you to understand wine. There are Saturday afternoon tastings at Nejaimes’s wines in both Lenox and Stockbridge and Spirited Wines in Lenox. Your local shop in West Stockbridge, Housatonic, Adams, North Adams or Williamstown may do the same.


A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Signature Magical Piece for Shakespeare & Company

read A Midsummer Night's Dream
Theatre
By: Maria Reveley - 08/11/2014
A delightful comedy of love combining the world of reality with the unseen world of spirits and faeries, all with a backdrop of the Jazz Age of New Orleans.


Crystal Bridges in Bentonville Arkansas

All the Museum that Walmart Money Can Buy

read Crystal Bridges in Bentonville Arkansas
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/10/2014
After extensive renovation and expansion the Clark Art Institute reopens this summer. Much is being made of how its Tadeo Ando designed low lying horizontal line and large reflecting pool embrace nature and the background rolling mountain range. The paradigm for architecture set into natural surroundings, however, is the Moshe Safdie design for Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas. It is nestled into a ravine with a series of pontoon "bridges." The museum which opened on 11/11/11 has some 500,000 annual visitors for its controversial collection of American art.


BSO Announces 2014- 2015 Season

Welcomes Andris Nelsons

read BSO Announces 2014- 2015 Season
Music
By: BSO - 03/06/2014
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season shines a welcoming spotlight on Andris Nelsons as he makes hihighly anticipated debut as BSO Music Director, leading performances that feature an eclectic offering of music and an impressive lineup of guest artists, and presenting programs that illuminate touchstone moments in his life as a musician, from his youngest days as a child in Riga, to his present-day stature as one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. When Mr. Nelsons takes on the title of BSO Music Director in September 2014, at age 35, he will be the youngest conductor to hold that title with the orchestra in over 100 years. The fifteenth music director since the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s founding in 1881, Mr. Nelsons is also the first Latvian-born conductor to assume the post.


Franz West at Mass MoCA and WCMA

From Actionism to the Absurd

read Franz West at Mass MoCA and WCMA
Fine Arts
By: Charles Giuliano - 06/21/2014
The Austrian artist Franz West (16 February 1947- 25 July 2012). is being featured this summer in the Northern Berkshires. There is a display of several large scale, puffy, pink phallic sculptures at Mass MoCA and a tandem exhibition of works on paper and smaller scale sculptures at Williams College Museum of Art. The artist was widely included in global biennials and museum exhibitions including a retrospective at the Baltimore Museum of Art. We consider West in the milieu of post war artists in Vienna including its outrageous Actionists.