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HiLo North Adams Welcomes Comedy Night to the Region

By Rick DuteauiBerkshires Correspondent
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — We enjoyed a live comedy show in North Adams on Thursday night.
 
HiLo North Adams entertained a near-capacity audience on Thursday night for its inaugural Comedy Night, headlined by comedian Monroe Martin. 
 
The venue at Canal and Union streets opened just a few weeks ago to bring a local home for live music and nightlife entertainment, and Comedy Night is another extension of that vision.
 
Both audiences and performers alike were unsure what to expect of one another, and yet almost immediately the atmosphere felt comfortable and exciting in a way that suggested this was anything but the first time this was happening there. The feel of the space is exactly the same as so many other comedy landmarks, places that grew to become iconic from intimate roots that went on to encapsulate the energy created within its walls.
 
For those two hours of showtime on Thursday, HiLo was a bubble that held within its shell a shared chorus of laughter and amusement. We came to laugh and the performers delivered. This is exactly what this area needs is a place to get away and laugh shamelessly while we forget the daily grind of our lives.
 
No subject was too taboo, no topic untouchable. An audience coming from a region not accustomed to live comedy acts proved hungry and eager to come along wherever the performers took them. The best part of all is that this is only the beginning, and the location has a ton of potential to provide much more to come.
 
Comedy Night was hosted by local comedian Thomas Attila Lewis, with the right amount of primer to warm up the crowd. Lewis is originally from California and appeared on the web series "The Louise Log" in 2014. His performance throughout the night helped keep everyone engaged.
 
The trio of acts began with Ethan Ullman, a local comedian currently living in the Saratoga Springs, N.Y., area. Ullman joked he's best known for winning the runner-up award for the "Ethan Ullman Award For Favorite Radio Show Starring, Written and Directed By Someone Named Ethan Ullman," presented by The Alternative to Sleeping. Ullman delighted the crowd with antics of local lore and commentary that connected with an understanding audience.
 
Thursday's middle act was Menuhin Hart, who is currently filming in the small film "Lisa's Treasure." The North Carolina native now lives in New York City and he quickly connected with the crowd to deliver strong laughs. Hart was original and animated, and he helped everyone see kale in a whole new light.
 
Headliner Monroe Martin worked the audience in circles of laughter for his entire hour-long set. The Philadelphia native is best known for his work on NBC's "Last Comic Standing," and he offered a ton of material to the HiLo crowd. Martin made the large stage his home and helped establish an immediate aura there.
 
Both Hart and Martin also had the opportunity to the amusing experience of twice running into local law enforcement on the drive from New York. They offered plenty of hilarity after finding the Berkshire County cops to be unexpectedly helpful to the two comedic characters.
 
The night was a perfect union. The crowd showed how eager they are to have local acts to offer some comedic relief, and the place has the potential to quickly become a comedy staple.
 
For the comedians, the chance to perform at HiLo offers equal benefits. Beside the simple chance for another gig to book, is the opportunity to perform a longer set than most other clubs in the tri-state region. Martin provided an hour of laughs, and he left the stage with plenty more material he could have continued on with had the chance provided.
 
The next HiLo Comedy Night will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24, beginning at 8 p.m. HiLo offers live entertainment several nights a week, with live shows offered 10 nights in October alone.

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North Adams Committee Hosting Short-Term Rental Public Hearing

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The City Council's Community Development Committee will be holding a public hearing on short-term rentals on Wednesday, March 4, at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. 
 
The hearing will review the work happening in the Community Development Office and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission pertaining to short-term rentals such as those advertised through web portals such as AirBnB. 
 
This meeting is intended to provide North Adams residents and stakeholders with relevant information and research pertaining to local-level regulations of short-term rentals of residential properties. Additionally, this meeting will be an opportunity for the committee and public in attendance to provide input that will help shape any short-term rental regulations yet to be developed by the city of North Adams. 
 
"This is an excellent opportunity for public stakeholders to hear what work and research has already been done by the Community Development Office, and to help inform any policy to be developed around short-term rentals going forward," said Committee Chairman Benjamin Lamb.
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