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TL Collective, the athletic, family-friendly contemporary and hip-hop moves of Micaela Taylor's company, performs an evening length work, 'Drift,' at Third Thursdays in Pittsfield this week.

Gotta Dance, Gotta Sing: There's Both This Week on Local Stages

By Grace LichtensteinGuest Column
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Downtown Pittsfield Third Thursdays — TL Collective

Each third Thursday of the month, streets are closed in downtown Pittsfield and all kinds of music rocks the city. Featured June 20 at 6 p.m. in the Dance Zone at the north end of the street festival is TL Collective, the athletic, family-friendly contemporary and hip-hop moves of Micaela Taylor's company. The group performs an evening length work "Drift." The aim, according to organizers, is to "demonstrate an individual's ever-changing relationship to self while exposing a personal season of self-growth."

You can find the dance zone near the corner of Bradford and North Streets in front of St. Joseph’s Church.  This program is a presentation of the Berkshires stalwart Jacob's Pillow.


Jacob's Pillow

Ballet BC is coming to Jacob's Pillow this week.

At the Pillow's expansive home in Becket, the featured company in the Ted Shawn Theater this week is Ballet BC, which is celebrating 10 years under the innovative leadership of artistic director and former company member Emily Molnar.

"Truly contemporary" is how one reviewer described the Vancouver-based troupe. On the bill this week is Molnar's most recent work "To this day," along with the U.S. premiere of "Bedroom Folk." The latter work originated with the Nederlands Dans Theater and was created by Israeli collaborators Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, among others.

This program runs Wednesday, June 19, through Sunday, June 23, at 8 p.m.,  with matinees on Saturday and Sunday in addition to evenings.

At the Doris Duke Theater, it’s physicality galore with Circa, the Australian contemporary circus performers who combine acrobatics with theater, performed to the music of Bach, Philip Glass and electronica. This group, from Brisbane, was founded by visionary Yaron Lifschitz. Catch Circa Wednesday, June 19, through Sunday, June 23, at 8:15 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees.

For more info, see Jacob's Pillow online.


Barrington Stage

"Into the Woods," among the most anticipated theatrical musicals in the region this summer, begins previews Wednesday, June 19, at the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield. Steven Sondheim's wicked and witty Tony-award-winning take on Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Cinderella, et al., is considered among his best works and was made into a popular movie.

This version features Mykal Kilgore as the Witch, Dorcas Leung as Little Red Riding Hood and Mara Davi as the Baker's Wife. It's directed by Joe Calarco with musical direction by Darren R. Cohen.

The show officially opens Saturday night, June 22, and runs through July 13. Mondays and July 4 are dark. Find tickets at the box office, 413-236-8888, or online.


Tanglewood: Ozawa Hall

This week Tanglewood's pop series switches to Ozawa Hall for an intimate acoustic evening, Friday, June 21, with the legendary British folk rock guitarist, singer and songwriter Richard Thompson. Those new to Thompson's oeuvre have a treat awaiting you. He got his start in Britain with Fairport Convention, and then went on to create a very popular duo with then-wife Linda Thompson. Their success culminated in the album "Shoot Out the Lights."

Post Modern Jukebox takes over Ozawa Saturday night, June 22, with its first appearance at Tanglewood. The You Tube and Facebook favorites are a collective, spotlighting hybrid jazz, pop, and swing sounds. If you've heard PMJ, you know their tunes can range from the 1920s to rhythm and blues to everything in between.

For tickets to these 8 p.m. shows, go to the website.


Mac-Haydn Theatre

It may have been "the pictures that got small," but "Sunset Boulevard" is still a great big old Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Ready for her closeup as Norma Desmond is Elizabeth Ward Land, while Pat Moran is the hustler Joe Gillis, and James Zannelli takes on the role of Max von Mayerling. John Saunders handles the directing; David Maglione is the music director; Ashley DeLane Burger is the choreographer.

"Sunset Boulevard" starts its run at the Mac-Haydn in Chatham, N.Y., on Thursday, June 20, and runs through Sunday, June 30. Note: Monday and Tuesday are dark.


Check here again a week from now — or anytime during the summer for fabulous non-classical music. Got a show you want to publicize? Contact me by email here.

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Pittsfield Kiwanis Holds Park of Honor Opening Ceremony

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Air Force recruiter Staff Sgt. Monica Ureste poses with the flags. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Kiwanis Club of Pittsfield celebrated the 11th annual Park of Honor with an opening ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

The club holds this fundraiser every year. Flags are purchased in honor of local veterans to raise money for scholarships to support children and grandchildren of veterans.

In the decade that the Pittsfield Kiwanis have been holding this fundraiser, the club has raised more than $1 million in scholarships. This year, it sold more than 400 flags.

"I could go on forever, I am so proud of this event and to have it continue for 11 years is a lot of  work," President Cheryl Tripp-Cleveland said.

She sent out a heartfelt thank you to the city of Pittsfield, which came to the rescue after the Kiwanis' loyal helper who usually installs the flags became ill. After giving Mayor Linda Tyer a call, the Pittsfield Highway Department was on site within a half hour to put up all of the flags at Park Square.

"This year's almost didn't happen," Tripp-Cleveland said. "One of our people that helps us every year is very very sick and he just couldn't do it, and so we're offering up some prayers and good thoughts for Ernie and wishing him a quick recovery because this community really appreciates everything that he does, and he does so much."

The Kiwanis president also thanked all of the donors including the Pittsfield Highway Department, the Rotary Club, and WBRK and Star 101. She is also thankful for Berkshire Gas, which has given a generous donation each year for the 11 years that the Park of Honor has been held.

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