StageStruck: Revolting Children
Apr28

StageStruck: Revolting Children

When Matilda the Musical opened in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2010 – quickly moving to the West End, where it still resides – the British press greeted it as an “anarchically joyous, gleefully nasty” antidote to the sugary concoctions of other kid-centered musicals. (That reference to Stratford, by the way, isn’t a misprint. The show was commissioned and premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company, which occasionally strays from the...

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Pearl Street Punchlines: A visit to Northampton’s open mic comedy night
Mar29

Pearl Street Punchlines: A visit to Northampton’s open mic comedy night

It’s 7:30 on a Wednesday night at Bishop’s Lounge in Northampton. The crowd is small, but people are filing in one at a time. At the bar, heads turn each time the door opens, looking for a familiar face. The venue is cozy and intimate, and everyone seems to know each other, sharing laughs and sipping beer from plastic cups. The dim lights are brightest at the bar, but in one corner of the room, an unattended microphone stands. Nick...

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Whistleblowers: A new musical reveals the history of child factory labor in the Hilltowns
Mar14

Whistleblowers: A new musical reveals the history of child factory labor in the Hilltowns

When you browse the faded pages of an historical account, local lives don’t always shimmer to the surface. But Hampshire College professor of History Susan Tracy noticed a few intriguing details when she was paging through the 1870 census for Colrain, the small Franklin County town just north of Shelburne Falls. One entry, for a local boy named Frank McCloud, age 11, lists his position as “school” and “worker.” Similarly, the entry...

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Get Out with Staff Picks
Mar01

Get Out with Staff Picks

Amherst Art Walk • Thursday The first Thursday of every month is Art Walk night in Amherst. From 5 to 8 p.m. downtown galleries throw open their doors to art lovers. This Thursday, check out Stephen Gingold’s nature photography, Hillary Wilbur Ferro’s prints and paintings, and Eva Fairchild’s Carpe Diem photo exhibit. It’s all free. After, party at the Lumber Yard with live music. — Amanda Drane Badmagick @ Kaptain Jimmy’s • Saturday...

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Sex Tips For Straight Women From a Gay Man
Feb16

Sex Tips For Straight Women From a Gay Man

This three-character comedy features foolproof moves and insider advice on how to please a man that only a gay man could provide. Set at a local university auditorium at a monthly meet-the-author event, shy Robyn attempts to moderate an academic discussion about Dan Anderson’s book, Sex Tips For Straight Women From a Gay Man, but Dan is more interested in entertaining the audience with a sex-tips seminar. Also, there’s a hunky stage...

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StageStruck: Class Act — A drawing-room whodunit indicts the social order
Feb04

StageStruck: Class Act — A drawing-room whodunit indicts the social order

An Inspector Calls starts off like a good old-fashioned drawing-room whodunit, proceeds through a roller-coaster of revelations that incriminate just about everyone, and ends with a Twilight Zone-worthy surprise. J.B. Priestley’s play, written during the Second World War, looks back on the years leading up to the first one. It takes place on a single evening in April 1912. That date, coinciding with the doomed maiden voyage of the...

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