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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
Berkshire, Bennington Cultural Institutions Create 'Art Country'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:50PM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Joseph Thompson's been talking for years about creating a destination in North County that will keep tourists longer than a day.

The director of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is convinced that trading up day-trippers for overnights, weekends or longer will cause a seismic shift in not only the way Northern Berkshire is perceived but exponentially increase the cultural economic impact on the region.

On Wednesday morning, Thompson was joined by the directors of four other major cultural institutions in launching ArtCountry.org, a collaborative designed to go beyond a simple "cultural corridor" and to think regionally.

"Our goal

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'Life': No Bowl of Cherries
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:22PM / Thursday, March 30, 2017
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I'm tempted to give away the ending of director Daniel Espinosa's "Life," an extremely tense but run-of-the-mill outer space adventure that was heading for an only so-so rating even before its curiously misanthropic finish. I'd be doing you a favor.

Sure to be shocked, the viewer is left wondering why Espinosa, working from a script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, would paint such a depressing conclusion. You mean that's it? That's where we're headed? Well then, let me kill myself now. Even Schopenhauer, the granddaddy of pessimism, would be depressed.

Unable to recall another film that imploded so devastatingly in the last two minutes, canceling out

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Mass MoCA Looking to Orient Visitors, Send Them Downtown
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Thursday, March 23, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Thousands of visitors are headed for the city this summer and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts is hoping to push as many as it can into the downtown.

The museum opens its $65 million renovation of the massive Building 6 that will double its gallery and events space this May and welcomes back the Solid Sound Festival and Freshgrass.

The two music festivals alone will bring up to 13,000 people total for two weekends at the sprawling former Sprague Electric campus. The museum's attendance has soared past 150,000 and the completion of Phase III will likely push it higher.

One effort is to make sure visitors know where they are and where they're

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'Beauty and the Beast': The Fairy Tale as Civics Lesson
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:12PM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017
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"Beauty and the Beast" is much more than "escapist entertainment," a term I rail at. I couldn't slip into a theater for a few thrills, spills and worse yet, laughter, when I know outside Rome is burning. That's just the kind of hairpin I am. I believe society should be fashioned in a manner so enlightened that there is nothing from which to escape. OK, this is pie-in-the-sky stuff. I like to say it to irk the cynics who not only deride my view as unfeasible but who, I suspect, would prefer the current Sturm und Drang to peace and harmony. Why else would they have invited it?

That paints a rather grim picture, and so here's where the latest Disney

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Berkshire Arts, Research Take Hits in White House Budget
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017
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LENOX, Mass. — Proposed cuts in President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 spending plan would create serious problems for the creative economy.

"The real travesty is this is actually taking money out of the pockets of people who are trying to keep food on their table while teaching kids," Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows said this week.

"[Lawmakers in Washington, D.C.] may not feel their personal connection with the arts, but their kids do. This is all part of that fabric. It's doing the next generation a disservice to yank that."

"That" would be the National Endowment for the Arts, one of the federal programs that would

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Grants to Support 'Served' Project at Williams College
12:19PM / Monday, March 20, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College has received two grants that will be used to support the creation and presentation of a 2018 dance project featuring workers from Williams College Dining Services.

A $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts will be used to bring students and the Dining Services workers together in the creation and performance of a new work. Served will be a dance-theater merger based upon the movements of Dining Services workers, and will be performed by the workers themselves. Williams students will also help create a toolkit for other artists/presenters interested in using the Served process to create their own community-based

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'Kong: Skull Island': Serious Monkey Business
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:55PM / Thursday, March 16, 2017
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While director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' "Kong: Skull Island" asserts independence from the original, 1933 legend, as well as the 1976 and 2005 remakes, it is all the same, a throwback, a good old adventure yarn. To quote an eloquent teen in the theater lobby who ruminated it afterward with his pals, "That was a most satisfying movie experience."

The 14-year-old in me agrees; the curmudgeon has reservations. But despite some modernizations and nods to contemporary sensibilities integrated into the ethos of the tale, there is one heartening fact. Indeed, on this unchartered, South Pacific island where Charles Darwin would have enjoyed a veritable feast of evolutionary

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'Logan': Makes Some Sharp Points
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:50PM / Thursday, March 09, 2017
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Judged solely on its surface value, director James Mangold's "Logan," the third and reputedly final escapade of the Wolverine/Marvel Comics/superhero/X-Men series, rates a six on my excitement scale. However, bear in mind that loyal adherents of this franchise evaluate their cherished, alternate world of right, wrong and not so sure by their very own, entirely proprietary measure. They couldn't care less about what this fuddy-duddy thinks.

Well, good. There is much philosophical baloney and wisdom to be gleaned from the generation gap. Hence, knowing my place as the Brave New World thunders outside my slightly blemished ivory tower of pontification, kindly acknowledge

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Mount Greylock Students Present 'The Pajama Game'
11:05AM / Thursday, March 09, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District will present its annual musical theater production on Friday and Saturday, March 10 and 11, at 7 p.m. at the '62 Centre for Theatre and Dance at Williams College. 

This year, Mount Greylock will present "The Pajama Game" by George Abbott and Richard Bissell, with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. Based on the novel "7 1/2 Cents" by Richard Adler, "The Pajama Game" takes place in the middle of America (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) in the middle of the 20th century.

Conditions at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory are anything but peaceful as sparks fly between new superintendent Sid

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Annual Thunderfest Features Chowder & Music
02:02PM / Friday, March 03, 2017
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ADAMS, Mass. — Once again, Mother Nature has forced the cancellation of the Thunderbolt Ski Race. But the festivities will go on with the annual Thunderfest at noon on Saturday at the Adams Visitors Center.

The festival features live music by Jim Witherell and the headliner Misty Blues Band. Hot food, local beer and wine, a chowder contest, outdoor recreation and craft vendors are featured. A campfire and activities for kids will also be provided and admission to the Thunderbolt museum is free.

"With the addition of the new events this year, Adams is offering more than ever for lovers of outdoor winter recreation," said Ray Gargan, co-chair of ProAdams. "Even if

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