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  • Artist Stephen Hannock On Berkshire Museum

    How Selling the Art Betrays the Community

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 22nd, 2017

    Works by Stephen Hannock are in global museum collections. His Oxbow painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be included in a survey of Hudson River artist Thomas Cole. Hannock's buddy Sting will also be involved in the project. When he created paintings for his friend's hometown of Newscastle the studies were shown at the Berkshire Museum. He gave one of the studies to the museum to honor philanthropist Nancy Fitzgerald. The fact of that work and the entire fine arts collection of the museum is unknown. We talked at length with the Berkshire based global artist about the impact of the museum's strategy to sell its fine arts collection with a radical makeover as an interactive educational museum for history and science.

  • Berkshire Museum Dumps the Fine Arts

    Selling Two Paintings by Norman Rockwell and 38 Other Works

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 21st, 2017

    When the Berkshire Museum announced plans to focus on science and history there was initial euphoria. To reach a goal of $60 millon, $20 for renoivation, and $40 million for endowment it will sell 40 works of art including two paintings by Norman Rockwell which the artist gave to the museum and his Berkshire neighbors. In so doing it violates deaccession restrictions for art museums. In a shuffle Van Shields, the director of BM, has stated that he does not run an art musuem and is not bound by ethical guidelines. That may change as coverage evolves from local to national news.

  • The Roads of North America – Part 5

    Sketch: Cruising the Golden Gate Bridge

    All photographs by Astrid Hiemer
    By: Astrid Hiemer - Jul 19th, 2017

    Picking up this series after some time, we are continuing with reports about our travels in North America. We flew to San Francisco to attend a theater conference and to discover the city once again, followed by visits to Muir Woods and California’s wine country. There will be other sketches drawn from different locations and events. Here my personal photo-perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge, arguably the most famous bridge in the USA.

  • CompagnieXY at Lincoln Center

    French Acrobats Create Dance

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 21st, 2017

    In N'est Pas Le Minuit by Compagnie XY, a group of acrobats whose physical feats demands cooperation and trust. They take that spirit and make it into a global miniature.

  • Speech & Debate at Barrington Stage

    Coming of Age Comedy by Stephen Karam

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 19th, 2017

    Speech and Debate is a 2007 play by Tony winner Stephen Karam (The Humans). Since then there have been more than a hundred productions. It is being refreshed at Barrington Stage. It focuses on the bonding of three high school misfits. The awkward and insecure Howie (Austin Davidson) came out when he was nine. The uptight, preppy Solomon (Ben Getz) is a closeted wannabe investigative reporter. Diwata (Betsy Hogg) is a plain Jane, nerdy teen, passed over by the drama club, who wants to be a star. This makeover of a popular play slogs along until coming alive when the amazing Hogg takes the bit in her mouth and races hell for leather to a remarkable finish. Fasten your seat belts.

  • Finding Mona Lisa in Coral Gables

    World Premiere Play at Actors Playhouse

    By: Aaron Krause - Jul 21st, 2017

    Finding Mona Lisa is a fun-filled, quick-paced play with colorful characters. Six actors skillfully portray multiple roles in new Michael McKeever historically-based drama. The new play about the world's most famous painting produces plenty of laughs.

  • At the Old Place by Rachel Bonds

    At the La Jolla Playhouse

    By: Jack Lyons - Jul 21st, 2017

    In “At the Old Place”, the story, set in rural Richmond, Virginia, centers around Angie (Heidi Armbruster) who is trying to come to grips with any guilt and closure that occurs following the death of her mother and the unrequited issues that linger and eventually fall to her for resolution. One unfinished piece of business that takes her back is the sale of her mother’s house.

  • The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga

    By Min Kahng in Palo Alto

    By: Victor Cordell - Jul 20th, 2017

    The bouncy, Vaudeville-influenced opening number "The Four Immigrants" theme sets the early tone of the hope for success in the new land. The men struggle, as most immigrants will, but then the first major setback occurs, San Francisco's 1906 earthquake.

  • Taylor Mac’s Hir

    At Steppenwolf in Chicago

    By: Nancy Bishop - Jul 20th, 2017

    Hir is a family story, a chaotic kitchen-sink story. Playwright Taylor Mac describes it as absurd realism, with a simple plot: The prodigal son returns home from the war and finds nothing is as it was when he left. Isaac (Tyler Olwin) has been away for three years, working on a mortuary crew in Afghanistan.

  • Lela & Co. by Cordelia Lynn

    At Chicago's Steep Theatre

    By: Nancy Bishop - Jul 20th, 2017

    Cordelia Steep’s U.S. premiere of Lela and Co. is set in some unnamed wartorn region of the world—perhaps central Europe. It’s Lela’s story, beginning with her birth, when she learns that a woman’s role is “to sing the songs, the early songs and the late songs, the songs of sleeping and the songs of mourning.

  • A Shot in the Armagnac

    Getting to Know Gascony's Treasure

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Jul 20th, 2017

    Armagnac has finally been recognized as the up and coming brandy. Its only taken 700 years to be recognized in the 21st century. At one time it was Louis XIV's favorite.

  • Syrian Drama at Lincoln Center Festival

    Into the Heart of Damascus

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 20th, 2017

    Syrians are spreading across the world as civil war rages on in their country. We who greet, house and share our countries with them are curious about the country from which they have come and what it feel like to live there during this period of torture and destruction. The theater of Syria helps us understand what prompts exodus.

  • Richard Petty Museum in North Carolina

    Displaying Legendary NASCAR Winners

    By: Susan Cohn - Jul 18th, 2017

    San Frncisco based travel writer, Susan Cohn, is known for ferreting out unusual destinations in rural America. Her stories always have an off the beaten trail exotic, down home flavor. This time she reports on the Richard Petty Museum in North Carolina. Parked on the property are dozens of iconic vehicles that made three generations of the Petty family dominant winners in the popular NASCAR circuit. This is a must see destination for fans of the popular sport. Enjoy this tale of life in the fast lane.

  • 1984 On Stage in Pompano Beach

    Adaptation of Orwell Novel in South Florida

    By: Aaron Krause - Jul 18th, 2017

    Outre's production depicts a future-- and even a present -- in which surveillance is becoming more prevalent. Actors fare better after intermission in Outre Theatre Company's 1984. Interrogation scene not as graphic as what audiences are reportedly witnessing on Broadway.

  • Cantina Tramin Terroir in Alto Adige

    A Special Strip Of Land Likened To Burgundy

    By: Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley - Jul 18th, 2017

    Since BC, the land that is now Cantina Tramin in Italy has been likened to gold. Rare and important for centuries, the wines produced from this small terroir exceed others and is much like Burgundy which is considered the best wine growing terrain in the world.

  • Paul Taylor Dance Company

    17th Appearance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 17th, 2017

    In recent years the Paul Taylor Dance Company has regularly appeared at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. It has been a decade since the company performed at Jacob's Pillow. For its 85th season the company was lured bac k for its 16th time. Add one more when in 1954, as a dancer, Taylor made his Pllow debut with Pearl Lang's Company. On this occasion the program featured three iconic works.

  • Where Storms are Born in Williamstown

    World Premiere by Harrison David Rivers

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 17th, 2017

    In its smaller Nikos Stage the Williamstown Theatre Festival features another, homegrown, world premiere. Last summer playwright Harrison David Rivers was a fellow at the renowned festival. The play that he was developing Where Storms Are Born is being produced this season. Again there is a focus on diversity and plot points hinged on gay characters, There is risk taking in this strategy wih bold and progressive but unresolved results.

  • Andris Nelsons Conducts at Tanglewood

    Stunning Debut by Pianist Daniil Trifonov

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 15th, 2017

    A light drizzle evoked soft programming and attendance for the Friday night peformance of Andris Nelson's conducting at Tanglewood. Perhaps there was a conservation of energy for tonight's historic two and a half hour performance of Wagner without an intermission. But history was made last night as well with the astonishing debut of pianist Daniil Trifonov performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K. 467. As they say, the crowd went wild.

  • Tender Napalm by Philip Ridley

    Anton's Well Theater Company in Oakland

    By: Victor Cordell - Jul 16th, 2017

    Several recurring themes frame the arc to provide color to the story telling. Detailed sexual activity with graphic anatomical references as well as analogies such as bullets and exploding grenades are often described. Unfortunately, the tsunami of f-bombs reduce their effectiveness and seem like a child's learning a nasty word and mindlessly repeating it until it becomes meaningless.

  • East of Edinburgh New Plays at 59E59th

    Two Matters of Life and Death

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 15th, 2017

    59 East 59th Street Theaters is presenting New York’s annual Edinburgh Festival Preview. The acting in the plays is terrific. While these are works in process, the directors give us engaging productions on provocative themes.

  • Nelsons and his Wife Leave New Met Tosca

    See Them at Tanglewood on August 26th

    By: Paul J. Pelkonen - Jul 14th, 2017

    The new Met Tosca will premier with James Levine replacing Andris Nelsons at the helm. Kristine Opolais stepped out of the title role. They are together in Tanglewood for what promise to be a starry evening on August 26th.

  • Another Palm Canyon Theatre Hit

    Tony Winner Lin Manuel Miranda's In the Heights

    By: Jack Lyons - Jul 15th, 2017

    “In the Heights” by Lin Manuel Miranda chronicles the daily struggles of the neighborhood in its day to day existence of raising families, paying the rent and trying to keep one’s business from going bankrupt, along with the age-old frustration of the younger residents in not being able to make their own choices in their searches for love, romance, and marriage.

  • The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga

    World Premiere of Min Kahng Musical in Bay Area

    By: Aaron Krause - Jul 15th, 2017

    New musical based on comic book focuses on the Japanese immigrant experience in the turn-of-the-century San Francisco The how's scenic design draws inspiration from comic strips. The world premiere production of The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga by Min Kahng runs through Aug. 6

  • The Knights At Ozawa Hall

    Vijay Iyer's Trouble Debuts

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Jul 14th, 2017

    2017 marks the 4th appearance of the popular Chamber Music group, The Knights, at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall. With over 40 band members, based in Brooklyn, the popular group presented a varied show of classics and music with modern scores.

  • July 22 for Naumkeag Garden Party

    Yo Yo Ma Plans To Attend

    By: Philip S. Kampe & Maria Reveley - Jul 15th, 2017

    Celebrate the newly completed greenhouses in Fletcher Steele and Mable Choate's historic and recently renovated gardens at Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Massachusetts from 4-7pm on Saturday, July 22nd.

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