Sunday, June 15, 2008

Spelling Bee's Triumphant Return to the Berkshires!

The Tony Award-winnng 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, one of the best musicals I've ever seen, was born in a workshop at Barrington Stage Company, and grew up to be a fabulous Broadway musical! Now it's back at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, opening this weekend, and getting great press all over, including this great interview with the lyricist, Bill Finn, at, the Boston Globe, and more. Click here for ticket info!

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 3rd.Thursdays in Downtown Pittsfield Celebrates All Things Green!


Hula hoops, Morris Men, the Berkshire Bateria, locally grown foods and much much more!

All things green and healthy will be celebrated at the June 3rd.Thursdays downtown celebration in Pittsfield on Thursdays, June 19, with live music, outdoor dining, family activities, after hours shopping and much more. Berkshire County’s own Morris Men will be doing traditional English folkdance throughout downtown to welcome the summer solstice, while a free kundalini yoga class will be offered in Park Square from 5:30pm to 7pm. Meet the owners of Chapters Bookstore, opening July at North Street, browse a great selection of eco-friendly books, and enter to win a free gift card!

Plus live music and performances up and down the street, great dining in downtown Pittsfield’s forty restaurants with many locally grown specials, cooking demos and dinners, and after hours shopping including a jewelry trunk show at the Berkshire Museum shop, Paul Rich & Sons annual tent sale and a ‘yarn tasting’ at Twin Hearts Handworks. As always a free trolley is available to whisk you up and down North and South Streets so you don’t miss a thing!

Stefanie Weber will be offering free hula hoop lessons in front of St. Joseph’s Church, where performers from the Albany Berkshire Ballet and Pittsfield public schools will be performing. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church offers the opportunity to walk their labyrinth, while Kinderhook Realty at 137 North Street hosts a bike rally with Javier Dominguez, unicyclist extraordinaire. The Center for Ecological Technology will have a booth at Persip Park featuring cars from the junior Solar Sprint, a solar harvester that plays a boombox, and a lighting bar showing various types of energy-efficient lights. The Friends of the Hebert Arboretum will offer plants for sale, and the PeaceJam group from Pittsfield High School will be selling Fair Trade coffee as a fundraiser. More highlights are listed below:


Patrick’s Pub will feature green specials on their menu both inside and out. Brix Wine Bar & Bistro will also feature food and drink specials made from local ingredients, and the Crowne Plaza’s talented chef Lee Maston will be giving cooking demonstrations outdoors. Dottie’s Coffee Lounge will be featuring their brand new eco-friendly line (everything from cleaning products to disposable potato forks!) at Dottie's during 3rd Thursday. Beginning at 8pm they will host a special dinner featuring local grown foods by guest chef Matt Lamb. The menu includes a baby arugula salad with Monterey chevre, grilled chicken over pasta with fresh herbs, and a rhubarb and blueberry crumble with Berkshire vanilla bean ice cream. The dinner is $25 and is BYOB. Reservations are required: call 443-1792 to make yours.

The prize-winning culinary team from the Pittsfield Public Schools will be selling their winning dessert, chocolate flapjacks topped with fresh berries and chantilly cream, at Persip Park, and the Berkshire Community College culinary department will be providing free samples of their gastronomic artistry at the Intermodal Center around the corner on Columbus Avenue. The Smokin’ Caboose will be back at Sottile Park with pulled pork, smoked ribs and more. And Pittsfield Brew Works will also feature great specials using local ingredients, including a home grown flat bread with local baby spinach and Swiss chard, Rawson Brook goat cheese and Moon on the Pond Kielbasa and for dessert a crème brule featuring Highlawn Farm cream and Ioka Valley Farm maple syrup.


3rd.Thursdays favorite the Berkshire Bateria will be celebrating summer’s return on the City Artabout stage in front of the Berkshire Museum from 5pm to 8pm, where La Fogata Restaurant will be offering Colombian delicacies for your dining pleasure. The Museum will stay open late until 8pm and admission is free for all Berkshire County residents. The Berkshire Athenaum hosts oldtimey music duo Ron and Bill on banjo and trumpet from 5pm to 8pm.

Berkshire Community College presents a poetry reading at their new downtown home at the Intermodal Center at 5:15pm, followed by the groovy sounds of the Justin Allen group from 6:15pm on. Hot Harry’s Burritos hosts Bad Habit from 6pm to 9pm featuring covers from the 70's, 80's, 90's, and today, while the oldies group Memory Lane plays at Palace Park. Magician Johnny Mystic will mystify attendees at Sottile Park, and a host of youth performers will be featured on the lawn at St. Joseph’s Church. Bluegrass performers Chris and Woody will again be playing out front of the Senior Center from 5 pm to 7pm.


Art abounds at the June 19th 3rd.Thursdays. Be the first to preview Maggie Mailer’s solo show at the celebrated Ferrin Gallery, entitled The Volcano Sitters, featuring pastoral landscapes populated with dreamlike figures. Museum Facsimiles’ gallery space, now called the 429 Gallery, features an opening reception for the gorgeous paintings and drawings of Berkshire artist Jonathon Nix.

Ceramic artists Jim Horsford, who teaches ceramics at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, and Nancy Magnussen, who teaches at IS183 Art School, will both be outside at Palace Park with their potter’s wheels giving ceramics demonstrations.

Both Paul Rich & Sons and the Colonial Theatre are showcasing a very special exhibition of authentic Tibetan thangka paintings. And the Storefront Artist Project Mainspace features a group show of representational work by female artists entitled Women on Display. The West Side Clock Shop features art photography by Sunny D’Amore, and the Berkshire Community College gallery in the Intermodal Center feature student work. The Storefront Artist Project Mainspace features a group show of female artists entitled Women on Display at 124 Fenn Street. All above galleries and shops are open late until 8pm.


Explore the Berkshire Museum’s natural science galleries and learn more about our region’s rich diversity of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and flora of the Berkshires featured in the "Berkshire Backyard" gallery.

On the lawn in front of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Park Square, artists will display unique crafts and teens teach boys and girls to make bracelets and necklaces. For a change of pace, enjoy a meditative walk around 3rd floor labyrinth and enter the church to view art as light filters through Tiffany stained glass windows.


Paul Rich and Sons kicks off our annual tent sale on 3rd.Thursday from 4pm-8pm in store and under a huge tent in their back parking lot. Stop in to register to win a $2,500 shopping spree to celebrate their 25th year in business and check out their many eco-friendly lines furniture lines. Twin Hearts Handworks at 137 North Street is hosting a YARN tasting and is now carrying many lines of green yarn, including hemps, bamboos, organics, and natural wools! They will have samples on the needle of our many eco friendly yarns.

The Colonial Theatre at 111 South Street celebrates the release of the beautiful new book, The Colonial Theatre: A Pittsfield Resurrection, by photographer Nicholas Whitman, from 6pm to 8pm with a booksigning and reception, while the Berkshire Museum Shop hosts a trunk sale of one-of-a-kind natural stone, wood and bead jewelry by Jess Kielman and Gayle Andrew of Onota Arts at 31 South Street

Barefoot Books will be at Persip Park selling award-winning children's books, puppets, CDs & more, featuring Oprah's pick, Whole World, printed on forest-friendly paper, which includes a sing-along CD & green living tips. Sales benefit conservation organizations. And U.S. Bluesware at 141 North Street welcomes another new addition to downtown Pittsfield, Follwell’s Florist, featuring loads of flowers and plants for sale.


The excitement continues into the evening. Barrington Stage features two musical productions in downtown Pittsfield on June 19: the return of their Tony Award-winning 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at their Main Stage, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, by the team that brought us the stellar Burnt Part Boys two years ago, will be at their new Stage 2. Tickets to the June 19 performance of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick are just $15 each.

The Berkshire Museum screens the hilarious French farce Priceless at the Little Cinema at 8pm, while the Lantern Bar & Grill hosts another cozy evening of live jazz with the Ben Kohn Trio featuring Lantern owner Mark Papas on percussion and Dave Christopolis on bass from 8pm to 11pm. Pittsfield Brew Works also features live jazz from 8pm onward with Fran Curley and company.

A flyer with a map, full schedule of events, and list of open shops, cultural hotspots, and restaurants will be available for free throughout downtown on 3rd.Thursdays and also as a downloadable PDF at To be sure to receive the latest 3rd.Thursdays updates and other cultural events information, sign up for the Cultural Pittsfield email list on the cultural website, or send an email to

Upcoming 3rd.Thursdays downtown celebrations will be held on July 17, August 21, September 18, and October 16, 2008 from 5pm to 8pm (and beyond) in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 3rd Thursdays is sponsored by Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Living Magazine, Greylock Federal Credit Union, the City of Pittsfield Tourism Commission and Office of Cultural Development, Downtown Inc., and over forty downtown businesses, cultural organizations, shops and restaurants. For more information, please visit or call 413-499-9348.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chamber concert Saturday evening @ the Lichtenstein & more!

@ the Lichtenstein: Saturday June 7 Chamber Music Concert

You are invited to the Berkshire County debut of the Avery Ensemble, a Connecticut-based chamber group whose playing has been praised by the Boston Globe as “supercharged, clear-headed, yet soulful.”

The free (donations accepted) concert Saturday night features Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu’s astounding Piano Quartet, Maurice Ravel’s deliciously spicy Sonata for violin and cello, Aaron Copland’s entertaining and light-hearted Rodeo, Samuel Barber’s passionate, invigorating and melodic Sonata for Cello and Piano, and Paul Schoenfield’s Carolina Reveille for Piano Quartet.

The concert also marks the official announcement of their 2008-09 three concert series at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. Seating is limited, and reservations are suggested! Not to be missed!

Avery Ensemble chamber concert Saturday, June 7 7:30pm Lichtenstein Center for the Arts 28 Renne Ave Reservations: 499-9348 or FREE/donations accepted

Click here to find out more about the Avery Ensemble.

@ the Lichtenstein: Last week for Art in our Schools show

It's also the last week to enjoy over 200 works of art by middle and high school students in the annual Art in Our Schools exhibit at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. The gallery is free and open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5pm. Note that the Lichtenstein Center will be closed June 10 for maintenance work, reopening Wednesday, June 25 with the Pittsfield Contemporary: New Work by Artists Under 40 show!

Art in Our Schools Wednesday-Saturday, June 7 12 noon - 5pm Lichtenstein Center for the Arts 28 Renne Ave 499-9348 FREE