The 12th annual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) is set to be the biggest one ever with over 80 films to screen in four days. Plus this year’s festival is honoring Academy Award-winner Christopher Plummer. This is one BIFF you won’t want to miss! June 1st through June 4th, 2017 in Great Barrington, MA!
The Berkshire International Film Festival is always a wonderful diversion but this year’s event is truly shaping up to be something else! 30 documentary films, 29 narrative features, and 21 short films are on the schedule. True to the festival name, the 80 films hail from 23 different countries. These include Afghanistan, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iraq, Israel, Russia, and Syria.
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The Berkshires will ring with the sweet strains of rock, jazz, and zydeco as performed by legendary talents, thanks to the recent Mahaiwe 2016 season additions: John Hiatt on May 6th, the Joshua Redman Quartet on June 26th, and Buckwheat Zydeco on August 20th.
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It should comes as no surprise to you that the Berkshires are awash with stage productions, acting studios, and live theater venues. Whatever your favorite entertainment – song dance, drama, comedy – a Berkshires stage is bound to be putting on something you’ll love. With the numerous theater companies, stage troupes, and well-established festivals found here, the Berkshires’ really do have it all.
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One of America’s consummate satirists is coming to the Berkshires! It is not too early to buy your ticket for David Sedaris’ show in Great Barrington on April 6. A quick 20 minute drive from our Berkshires bed and breakfast in Lee brings you to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, at 14 Castle St. where Sedaris will be speaking.
With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris is established as one of America’s dominant humor writers. With great skill, Sedaris cuts through through cultural euphemisms and political correctness, showing Sedaris as master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.
Here are some highlights from a review by Scotty Zacher of the Chicago Theater Beat:
“Mr. Sedaris tells the first fable from the point of view of a curious owl that asks questions of the more interesting prey. This owl is on a quest to be more than just his appetites and drive to hunt. If the prey has an interesting story, the owl releases it only to watch his parasitic (and hilariously stupid) family show up to eat the poor creatures anyway. The tales are told in a matter of fact style that is both absurd and surreal. I have yet to shake the image of the owl’s passive aggressive mother arriving as he is about to snack on an unfortunate rabbit.
Good storytellers reveal the world more than tell the listener or reader something new. There are a multitude of facts on this planet but Sedaris crafts the story behind them and puts a kaleidoscope spin on even scientific facts. As part of the owl fable, there is something revealed about leeches and hippos that could have been a gross out moment. I took away a new attitude about leeches and a new respect for gerbils.”
If you are a Sedaris fan, this is a night well worth the $45 – $65 ticket price.
As the weather gets cold and the night sets in early, a great way to spend the evening out is at a concert. Forget about the cold and the wet outside while enjoying the pulse of the beat and the warmth you feel while dancing or hearing your favorite song.
Upcoming Concerts in the Berkshires Area
Gaia Roots: The Colonial Theatre (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ) Gaia Roots World Music and Dance Ensemble is an all-female performance troupe that blends drumming, dance and vocal harmonies into a unique enactment of traditional music and original creations. They draw inspiration from the roots music of West Africa, the Caribbean and many other traditions from around the world. November 24th. Performance & Workshop: $15 at 7pm; Workshop only: $10 at 7pm; Performance only: $10 at 8pm.
Mary Verdi and Tony Lee Thomas host Christmas at The Colonial Theater (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA): This lively show begins the holiday season with all your favorite Christmas songs! Mary Verdi is a local singer and songwriter who takes the stage with her seven piece band, bell choir, dancers, children singers and of course Santa Claus! Don’t miss this family-friendly Christmas show! December 1 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
The Temptations: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA):The Temptations are known as one of the most acclaimed and successful acts to record for Motown records. December 2 at 7pm. Tickets $80-$50.
Arlo Guthrie: The Colonial Theater (111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA): With Woody’s 100th birthday approaching, Arlo’s new solo tour is a celebration of Woody Guthrie’s immeasurable contributions to the landscape of American folk music. Best known for his song “This Land is Our Land,” Woody was a giant in the folk movement, inspiring a generation of new folk musicians, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bob Dylan and of course his son, Arlo. December 6 at 8pm.
If any of these artists or shows peak your interest, consider making a real event out of it with a stay at our fine Lenox, MA bed and breakfast. We have several specials you might want to take advantage of – including a romance package, mid-week specials (some of the concerts are mid-week) and more.
Many of the people who travel to Berkshires Bed and Breakfasts come from the large metropolitan areas of New York, Boston, and Hartford. Others come from smaller cities in and around the Northeast: Albany, NY; Manchester, NH; Worcester, MA. We have many guests from Canada and many from the Midwest. New England draws people from everywhere.
Spending an evening at one of our local theaters is a favorite activity for guests of Berkshire Inns, no matter where they call home.
The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington offers sensational programming year-round. Dance, music, theater, opera, and film are all showcased in this restored, historic theater. In the next two months alone, guests of Applegate Inn may:
- Watch the 1953 film Titanic (April 15)
- Hear China’s “Empress of Pipa”, soloist Liu Fang and CEWM–Trade Winds–From China with Love (April 21)
- Laugh with Comedian Bobby Collins (May 5)
- Experience The Met Opera Ring Cycle (May 7-20)
The newly restored Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield also offers year-round programming. On April 17, 2012, our guests may see The Magic of Bill Blagg Live, a show that has been called “The Second City meets David Copperfield.” Bon Journey, a Bon Jovi and Journey tribute band, performs on April 20; and the Bronx Wanderers take the stage on the 27th to share their love of doo-wop and rock n’ roll.
Adding theater to a Berkshires Bed and Breakfast getaway makes time here that much more memorable. So go ahead, have a night out on the town in Pittsfield or Great Barrington.
We still have a few openings at our luxury Lenox Bed and Breakfast over New Year’s Weekend. In addition to the champagne and hors d’oeuvres, brandy and chocolates, and breakfast by candlelight you’ll receive at the inn, there are a few excellent places to celebrate the New Year in our corner of the Berkshires. Read on for suggestions:
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Do you crave fresh air and quiet, but can’t imagine a vacation without access to great theater, dance, and music? Do you like the idea of the country, but do you only enjoy dining at excellent restaurants? Fear not, there is a place for you.
Our Lenox inn is nestled in the heart of the Western Massachusetts Berkshires. In addition to the peaceful woods and fields inherent in such a location, we are surrounded by a vibrant arts community that thrives year round. We feel we have the best of both worlds: plenty of tranquility, fresh air and open space, and outstanding arts.
Many people are aware that Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow Dance bring world-renowned artists to the region during the summer. Do you also know that the arts flourish at alternate venues throughout the year?
In the coming months, The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in nearby Great Barrington, MA, will present a variety of superb performers. I’ll rattle off a few of the highlights. If you can be spontaneous, you can make it to jazz pianist McCoy Tyner on February 21, and enjoy dinner before the show. The Irish Band Cherish the Ladies promises toe-tapping fun on February 27. If you prefer to plan ahead, look forward to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Ailey II on March 21, 2010. This is one of the most popular dance troupes in the country, merging youthful energy and talent with some of the most creative young choreographers in the field.
Or head south to the restored Colonial Theater in Pittsfield. Its calendar boasts everything from a production of “The Wedding Singer” on March 2 and 3, to the Susan B. Anthony Dance Theatre Troupe’s presentation of “Back on Broadway” on April 9. 2010. In between, take in The Irish Rovers, Roger McGuin and Tom Rush, and have a taste of Broadway in the Berkshires.
So don’t despair; it is possible to visit the country without forsaking the great entertainment you’ve come to expect in the city. Our Lenox lodging is about an hour from Hartford, CT, two hours from Boston, MA, and three hours from New York City. You’ll have everything you need once you arrive, so plan to stay awhile.