berkshires | WAMC


The 13th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival will showcase 80 of the latest in independent feature, documentary, short and family films. The festival runs from May 31 to June 3 in Great Barrington, MA and June 1 to 3 in Pittsfield, MA.

Kelley Vickery is the Artistic Director and Founder of BIFF and she joins us with a preview of this year’s festival.

Known on both sides of the Atlantic as the English American, Alison Larkin is a comedian, award-winning audiobook narrator/producer, screenwriter and the bestselling author of "The English American," a novel. Her autobiographical one woman show about an adopted English women who finds her birth parents in the U.S. was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

As an actress she has appeared on Broadway with the Royal National Theater and Off-Broadway with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Larkin’s new one woman show "Alison Larkin LIVE!" will premiere at the Elayne Bernstein theater in Lenox, MA as part of WAM Theatre’s 9th season on May 4 and 5.

Alison Larkin joined us along with Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM.

a piglet
Hancock Shaker Village Facebook page

It may not feel like spring has sprung – but it is nearly time for a major regional spring event: Baby Animals at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

On April 14, Hancock Shaker Village will begin welcoming visitors to visit their newly restored silos, Dairy Ell, and Round Stone Barn – which will be full of lambs, piglets, calves, chicks, and kids through May 6.

We are joined by Hancock Shaker Village’s Director of Facilities and Farm Billy Mangiardi and Director of Education Cindy Dickinson.

Stone barn at Hancock Shaker Village
Sarah LaDuke

Hancock Shaker Village is a living history museum - marrying past and present, proving with every addition to its programming that it is becoming a vibrant, new center for ideas, music, art, food, outdoor activities, and adventure.

The Village, which was settled in 1783, became a museum in 1960, just one year after the last Shakers left. Contained within its 20 historic buildings and 750 acres that sprawl across three towns is the only round Shaker barn in the world that was built in 1826. 

Jennifer Trainer Thompson, who spent the last 28 years helping to co-found and develop MASS MoCA in the Berkshires, took over as president of Hancock Shaker Village in January 2017. Jennifer joins us along with the village’s curator Lesley Herzberg and farmer Billy Mangiardi. 

The Berkshire Concert Choir was formed in 1977 with the merger of the Stockbridge Singers, Inc. and The Cantata Choir of South Congregational Church of Pittsfield. The Choir is a membership organization open to all who enjoy singing and are willing to devote one evening a week to rehearsals.

The Choir presents Carl Orff's cantata, Carmina Burana, on Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 pm in the Boland Theater at Berkshire Community College, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield. 

To tell us more, we welcome Paula Nuss, Artistic Director, Marilyn Gerhard, tenor and President of the choir, and Francis Stone, bass and board member.

The 6th annual Made in the Berkshires festival features cutting-edge theatrical works performed as staged readings, live music, film, short stories and dance in a festival atmosphere like no other. New and innovative pieces as well as established work will be presented by local Berkshire County playwrights, actors, directors, musicians and performers.

Featured as performance blocks, Made in the Berkshires will allow audiences to enjoy the breadth and depth of the artistic talent that has landed in Berkshire County while celebrating the best in the visual and performing arts.

Professional artists and artists-in-the-making gather to share their talent with the Berkshire community. The festival will once again be curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims; two local artists who have helped create the rich cultural tapestry that permeates the Berkshires.

We are joined by Hilary and Barbara as well as Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.

  SculptureNow is an organization that presents sculpture exhibitions and sculpture educational programs to the general public, students and vision-impaired visitors.

Remix: an installation of 29 contemporary sculptures is on view through October 31st at Edith Wharton’s The Mount - a National Historic Landmark in Lenox, MA.

Artist and SculptureNow’s Executive Director Ann Jon takes us around the show.

  Friend of the show and acclaimed stage actor and singer, Jason Danieley is back in the Berkshires for the summer after playing Billy Flynn in Kander and Ebb’s Chicago on Broadway earlier this year. He is playing Timber Tucker in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, running on the mainstage in Williamstown through August 21st.

Tonight he will perform in Pittsfield at Barrington Stage Company with his wife, Marin Mazzie in a concert entitled Broadway and Beyond: Reprise Edition.

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

  We begin our broadcast from Tanglewood with a check-in on Berkshire headlines with our man from the Berkshire Eagle, Kevin Moran. Kevin is the regional Vice President of News for New England Newspapers.

  The Capitol Steps were founded in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Since then, they’ve been putting the “mock” in democracy in Washington, D.C., on tour, on the radio, and – during the summer – here in Lenox, MA.

The musical satirists call The Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort their summer home – performing here every night except Tuesday through September 2nd.

We are joined this morning by longtime steppers, Bari Biern and Jack Rowles.

Tony Award-winning Fiorello! is a big-hearted look at Mayor La Guardia and his battle for the people of New York City. With music and lyrics by Tony Award-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and book by Tony Award and Drama Desk-Winner George Abbott and Jerome Weidman, the Berkshire Theatre Group production is directed by Playwrights Horizons founder, Bob Moss. Fiorello! is one of only nine musicals to have been awarded the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Fiorello! through July 23rd on their Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge.

Cast members Katie Birenboim and Austin Lombardi join us now. They play Marie and the title character, Fiorello, respectively. 

  The 11th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival will take place from June 2nd through the 5th in Great Barrington and June 3rd though the 5th in Pittsfield, MA.

The festival will bring films, filmmakers, industry professionals and film fans together for a celebration of independent film featuring documentaries, narrative features and short films – along with special tributes, parties, and discussions.

Kelley Vickery, Founder and Executive Director of BIFF and she joins us with a preview.

  The 5th annual Made in the Berkshires Festival will take place at Berkshire Theatre Group venues this weekend – October 23rd through the 25th.

The festival features cutting-edge theatrical works (performed as staged readings), live music, film, short stories, and dance.

The co-curators of Made in the Berkshires are Hilary Deely and Barbara Sims.

  The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2015 Season, the 61st Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company and first under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield gets underway June 30th.

Rogovoy Report for December 19, 2014

Dec 19, 2014

The big art news this week was of course the announcement of next summer’s performance season at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Highlights of summer 2015 at Jacob’s Pillow include “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host,” a special dance and radio stage production starring public radio’s Ira Glass of This American Life fame, with Monica Bill Barnes; the return of Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (NDT2); Alonzo King LINES Ballet; Dorrance Dance, featuring Michelle Dorrance, one of the top contemporary tap dancers and choreographers, with live music by Toshi Reagon; and the launch of Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th Anniversary season, including a world premiere by eminent choreographer Mats Ek.

Rogovoy Report for December 5, 2014

Dec 5, 2014

This weekend’s cultural highlights include the opening of an exhibition by one of the region’s top outsider artists, a chamber music concert featuring Baroque holiday music; and a concert by the Diana Ross of the Hudson Valley.

Rogovoy Report for November 7, 2014

Nov 7, 2014

Actress Lili Taylor, director Tony Gilroy and screenwriter Andrew Osborne will take part in the 16th annual Williamstown Film Festival, which began this past Wednesday and runs through Saturday, featuring 31 films, several parties, and events at Images Cinema and MASS MoCA. Director-screenwriter Tony Gilroy, best known for his Oscar-winning thriller “Michael Clayton” as well as the Bourne movies, will pull back the curtain on the art of cinematic suspense in a multimedia presentation in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA tonight at 8pm, as part of the Williamstown Film Festival’s proceedings. And on Saturday at noon at the Williams Inn, Lili Taylor and her husband, writer Nick Flynn, talk about the art of turning books into movies.

    Neshama Carlebach, leading superstar in Jewish Entertainment, continues the legacy established by her father Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. His deep spirituality and love of all humanity filled every song he wrote and touched every person he encountered as he changed the face of Jewish music.

Like her father, Neshama's talent and charisma captivate and endear her to people of all ages and backgrounds as she performs and teaches in cities worldwide. With her incredible band and in collaboration with The Glory to God Singers, she continues to both deeply move and entertain as she sings her father's incomparable melodies and inspiring original compositions.

She will perform on November 8th at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA in a fundraising concert for The Rimon Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality.

Facebook: Sandisfield Art Center

An out-of-towner and even a relatively aloof local can easily get lost in the windy roads of the Berkshires. And while thousands of people flock to the area for big name arts and cultural destinations, if you make a wrong turn on your way, you might just find a hidden gem.

  The Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, Massachusetts was an ahead of its time boarding school that honored diversity and became the first co-ed integrated boarding school in the Berkshires.

After being a target of the Nazi regime, Max and Gertrud Bondy came to America and opened their school in Windsor, Vermont and later moved to Lenox in 1944.

Families like the Belafontes, Poitiers and Campanellas were attracted to the school for its multi-cultural and international curriculum. Then the school closed in 1975.

Rogovoy Report for October 17, 2014

Oct 17, 2014

Choreographer Kyle Abraham and his ensemble, Abraham.In.Motion, will unveil “The Watershed,” a new, evening-length work in Abraham's signature blend of classical form, postmodern invention, and urban influences in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday, at 3pm. The dance tackles subject matter from the Emancipation Proclamation to the end of Apartheid in South Africa, and is set to a score that incorporates contemporary cello, soul favorites by Otis Redding, and more.

Rogovoy Report for October 3, 2014

Oct 3, 2014

Brooklyn-based world dance outfit People’s Champs will lay down global rhythms for a dance party at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm. Led by trombonist Alex Asher and fronted by vocalist Cole Williams, the People’s Champs blend electro-accordion riffs, neo-soul vocals, and gritty drum grooves into a new global fusion. The music is rooted in popular dance music from around the world, and the lush arrangements never lose track of the dance floor. The band mixes jazz, hip-hop, rock, and soul from the United States, Latin America, and Africa, and the result is a passionate new brand of soul music that is equal parts Gorillaz, Michael Jackson, Fela Kuti, and Ornette Coleman.

Rogovoy Report for September 26, 2014

Sep 26, 2014

This week’s highlights include several chamber music concerts, a visit from a classic folk-rock group from the late 1980s, a star-studded literary event, some old-fashioned rockabilly, a few new art shows and a salute to an avant-garde film pioneer.

Rogovoy Report for September 19, 2014

Sep 19, 2014

There’s no question about it – the big cultural event of the weekend in our region in Freshgrass, a three-day festival of roots and bluegrass music at MASS MoCA in North Adams. The lineup is stunning, really a who’s who of traditional and progressive bluegrass as well as country and roots music. At the top of the list is the unparalleled Emmylou Harris, who was born to sing bluegrass and country music, given her voice’s innate high lonesome sound. Also on the bill are the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Railroad Earth, David Grisman Sextet, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Valerie June, Rodney Crowell, Aoife O’Donovan, Sam Amidon, and the Infamous Stringdusters. Other performers include Sam Bush, the Gibson Brothers, Alison Brown, Valerie June, Michael Cleveland, Claire Lynch, Darol Anger, and Martha Redbone Roots Project. All told, the event promises to be a kind of all-star festival of American country and roots music. That’s Freshgrass at MASS MoCA – today through Sunday.

Rogovoy Report for September 12, 2014

Sep 12, 2014

It’s going to be a real autumn weekend in our region, and nothing says autumn to me more than singers, poets, and artists – especially those that embrace alternative spaces, including the great outdoors.

Rogovoy Report for August 22, 2014

Aug 22, 2014

It’s the final weekend of the summer season at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, one of my favorite cultural haunts in the region. Finishing up the season is the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in the Ted Shawn Theater, and LeeSaar The Company on the Doris Duke Stage, both performing tonight through Sunday. I caught LeeSaar earlier this week, in an incredible performance full of stark and sexy scenarios, suggestive music, stunning lighting effects, and an overall effect of contemporary dance for the here-and-now. I don’t think it gets any better than this.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has purchased 37 miles of railroad line from Pittsfield to the Connecticut border. The state is calling it a major step toward establishing passenger rail service from western Massachusetts to New York City.

Rogovoy Report for July 11, 2014

Jul 11, 2014

The summer cultural scene in the greater Berkshire region is in full flower, so whether it’s theater, dance, chamber music, classical, jazz, blues, rock, comedy, visual arts, or what have you – it’s happening. So go out and have fun this weekend. Here are a few ideas of things to do.

Rogovoy Report for June 20, 2014

Jun 20, 2014

It’s a big weekend in the greater Berkshire region for the performing arts, with a panoply of chamber music, folk-rock, dance and musical theater, just for starters.

Rogovoy Report for May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014

Well the big story in the Berkshire this weekend is undoubtedly the 9th annual Berkshire International Film Festival. The BIFF takes place primarily at the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington, but also at the Mahaiwe, the Beacon in Pittsfield, and at the Mount in Lenox, through Sunday. This year, the festival boasts over seventy-five films, including many features of international origin and numerous documentaries.