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Arts / Theater / Dance

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 in the United States. Founded in 1837 by Mary Lyon of Buckland as a female seminary, the school has generally been run by women. In Mount Holyoke’s centennial year, Roswell Ham became the first male president of the college. Men continued to run the school until the late 1970s. Ham’s appointment in 1937 was unexpected and controversial. In “A Male President for Mount Holyoke College: The Failed … 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 a pear, but more than that, he looks into the burro’s eyes and touches her … 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 release his first CD, “Message of Love,” until a couple of months ago. “Music has … 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

75 years old & still charming

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Once upon a time in the Midwest, a boy was raised by a stern father who used physical punishment as a discipline. The father frequently took the youngster and his three older brothers to the basement for a … 0

Contra’s British cousin

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The dance hall doors swing open for what you’d expected would be a contradance. But wait: although this looks like a contra, sort of, and even sounds somewhat like one, it’s not. Even at first glance, it’s less … 0

‘So ancient, so satisfying’

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Anyone who’s heard music pouring out of the grange hall on a Friday or Saturday night, in Greenfield or Montague, can probably guess it’s coming from a contra dance or a square dance. But here come completely un-square … 0


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The marketplace in the Sahara Desert was buzzing. Merchants dressed in long, flowing cloaks shouted over one another to attract customers to their stand. A cool breeze carried with it the sound of stringed instruments. Suddenly, commotion. A … 0

‘The Inquiring Line’

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

“We artists are hypersensitive, or we wouldn’t be — couldn’t be — artists.” — R.O. Blechman His art is instantly familiar, deceptively simple and often composed of nervous, squiggly lines depicting frail characters with enormous noses. An author, … 0