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Reba McEntire commands the Shed at Tangelwood on Sunday, Sept. 1.

Squeeze, Benatar, Reba, Berkshire Ramblers Spark Labor Day Weekend Finales

By Grace LichtensteinGuest Column
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For the Labor Day weekend, Tanglewood welcomes pop and country stars, the Guthrie Center offers local folkies, Mass MoCA throws a dance party and the Egremont Barn jumps with hip-hop.


Now that the Boston Symphony Orchestra has finished its summer season, Tanglewood revs up for stars from the rock and country worlds in its Popular Artists Series.

Squeeze, the British rockers who first began recording in the 1970s, is at the Shed on Thursday night, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. The lineup of band members may have changed over the years, but the current crew surely will do such hits as "Tempted" and "Hourglass."

Two enduring women rock stars take the Shed stage separately on Friday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. for a double-barreled shot of female energy. Pat Benatar and songwriting, guitar-playing husband Neil Giraldo celebrate their 40th anniversary of working together, way beyond "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Melissa Etheridge (and her unmistakably husky voice) rounds out the bill.

On Saturday Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. Slide guitar wizard Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals top the bill, along with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Finally, the great Reba McEntire commands the Shed on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 3:30 p.m. Note the special time for Reba's show, which should be a fitting finale to a fine season.

Find more information and tickets about all of these Tanglewood shows online.

Mass MoCA

Leave it to the North Adams institution to come up with a full-on dance party Saturday, Aug. 31, starting at 7:30 p.m. Weather permitting, it's a courtyard show starring Flying Lotus (Steven Ellison) that's bound to include rap, electronica and far-out experimental sounds. The L.A.-based hip-hop artist is bringing not just beats, but a video wall and 3-D glasses. If the weather does not cooperate, the party moves to the Hunter Center.

Looking ahead, the annual three-day Fresh Grass festival at Mass MoCA begins Friday Sept. 20. More info and tickets can be found on Mass MoCA's website and the Fresh Grass website.

Guthrie Center

For the last weekend in this season's Troubadour series, folksinger and storyteller Joe Crookston arrives Friday, Aug 30, at 8 p.m. with his guitars, slide, fiddle and banjo.  

On Saturday Aug. 31, local favorites the Berkshire Ramblers are onstage at 8 p.m. More info and tickets can be found online.

Egremont Village Inn

The Barn at the Inn in South Egremont has a full slate for the weekend. The Jackson Whalan live band, featuring danceable hip-hop and freestyle, appears Thursday, Aug. 29. The Steal Your Peach Band pays tribute to both the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers on Friday, Aug. 30. Wanda Houston, the local favorite who has been styling R&B, gospel, musical theater and every other kind of tune this summer, takes over Saturday, Aug. 31.

All shows begin at 8 p.m. Find more info on the website.

Mac-Haydn Theatre

To wind up its summer, the theater in Chatham, N.Y., is promoting a "greatest hits" show Saturday, Aug. 31, at noon. The company's stars from its productions of "Ragtime," "Grease," "Camelot" and other shows run through musical showstoppers in the End-of Season Cabaret, under the direction of John Saunders, with David Maglione handling the music. The choreographer is Lizzie McGuire. Tickets can be purchased online.


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Lenox High Graduates Told to Focus on Positivity

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Valedictorian Cooper Shepardson speaks at Sunday's graduation ceremony. See more photos  here.
LENOX, Mass. — Lenox Memorial High School graduated  61 seniors on the school's campus Sunday surrounded by friends, family, and sunshine.
Ceremony speakers focused on the positives that have come out of COVID-19 rather than dwelling on the negatives of the past year and a half.
Salutatorian Jenna Codey said she was "dead set against even the slightest mention of COVID-19" when she began to write her speech but could not ignore the transformative experience of living through a pandemic.
"For most of my life, the thesaurus of my brain connected the concept of change with words like danger,' vulnerability, and loss. After all, there is comfort in consistency," she said. "As humans, we find safety in what we know. Even the parts of our lives that are inevitably frustrating, boring, or sad are often alright, because we wake up expecting them. If things change, our shield of stability is shattered. ...
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