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Arts / Theater / Dance

Playwright Charles Monette is out to rescue van Gogh’s image from that of a destitute, deranged eccentric to that of an artistic genius who lived parallel lives as a “brilliant writer, a linguist and a minister.” Pictured, “Self-Portrait,” August 1889, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Encores & Curtain Calls: Looking at the ‘crazy redhead’ with new eyes

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

“I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” — Vincent van Gogh The re-creation of history by dramatists in pursuit of a deeper glimpse into its larger-than-life protagonists often turns out more to be the re-invention — perhaps even the betrayal — of their allegedly revered heroes. From the now-hallowed ground of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, trampled by endless religious reformers in search of new upgrades to the faith and by intrepid directors in hundreds of religious film epics, to the controversy-ridden life of Martin Luther King in “Selma,” the soon-to-be-released biographical film, little in the graveyard of … 0

Double Take Fringe Festival brings theater downtown

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

“Great theater is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” — Willem Dafoe, actor Downtown Greenfield will be the site of a theatrical moveable feast Friday and Saturday evening during Double Take Fringe Festival’s fourth annual series of plays. “It’s actually the best lineup … 0

Summer Spectacular: Double Edge Theatre celebrates 20 years in Ashfield

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

To commemorate its 20th anniversary in Ashfield, Double Edge Theatre will re-imagine “Shahrazad, A Tale of Love and Magic” during this year’s annual Summer Spectacle. The last of two previews is on Thursday, July 17, and performances run July 18 through Aug. 24. All shows are at 8 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, rain … 0

Encores: The gorgeous mayhem of Puccini

Thursday, May 15, 2014

“No opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.” — W.H. Auden When I was still an under-graduate at Queens College, my girlfriend Amy was horrified to learn that, as intimate … 0

‘Dance, dance, DANCE!’

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

At the tippy-top of the morning this May Day, six pint-sized dancers, dressed in blue vests, white shirts and pants and jingle bells strapped to their bounding calves, greeted the dawn with “Shepherd’s Hay” on the Shutesbury Common. … 0

Review: Book captures a resonante time at Mount Holyoke College

Friday, April 4, 2014

By TINKY WEISBLAT Special to The Recorder “A Male President for Mount Holyoke College” by Ann Karus Meeropol (McFarland, 258 pages, $45) Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley is the oldest ongoing institution of higher learning for women … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: 'Songs of Divine Chemistry'

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

All day long a little burro labors, sometimes with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries about things that bother only burros. Once in a while a kind monk comes to her stable and brings … 0

Sounds Local: Russell Kaback comes out to play

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Considering that singer-songwriter Russell Kaback of Greenfield was writing songs at age 12 and played his first gig at 14, it is clear that music has always been a big part of his life. Yet Kaback, 39, didn’t … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: the 'Barefoot Contessa' of the keyboard

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

“I wander silently and am somewhat unhappy, And my sighs always ask “Where?” In a ghostly breath it calls back to me, “There, where you are not, there is your happiness.” — “Der Wanderer” (“The Wanderer”), Georg Philipp … 0

Encores and Curtain Calls: Double anniversary in Deerfield

Thursday, December 5, 2013

“I, too, played the organ frequently in my youth, but my nerves could not stand the power of this gigantic instrument. I should place an organist who is master of his instrument at the very head of all … 0

Art that pays the bills

Friday, November 1, 2013

O n a sunny Sunday afternoon in October, one of the industrial park’s collection of low, nondescript buildings is full of singing orphans. One of the less traditional businesses in Montague’s Airport Industrial Park, the Ja’Duke Center for … 0

The funny math of women’s clothing sizes

Monday, October 21, 2013

NEW YORK — When it comes to women’s clothing sizes, there’s some funny math going on. The average American woman is about 25 pounds heavier than she was in 1960. Yet women’s plus-size clothing, generally defined as size … 0

Life without drama is no life at all

Thursday, October 3, 2013

“All playwrights should be dead for 300 years.” — Joseph L. Mankiewicz Academy Award-winning  writer, director, producer The human mind cannot for long bear a void — an empty canvas; it seems it has to be busy painting a picture, or telling itself something to keep a narrative … 0