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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
'The Farewell': And a Fond One at That
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:24PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
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Every so often, some philosophically inclined sort seeks a window into your soul by asking, "If you could spend time with anyone now deceased, who would it be, pray tell?"    Akin in hypocrisy to first wishing for world peace or a cure for cancer before asking for a Ferrari whence blowing out my birthday candles, I perfunctorily answer, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Ben Franklin. However, after seeing the delightfully heartwarming, bittersweet and often hilarious "The Farewell," about a Chinese family who throws a wedding as pretense for gathering to say goodbye to their terminally ill matriarch, I thought of the grandmother I never knew.   Anna

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Tanglewood, Sevenars Showcase Great Music
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
09:02PM / Wednesday, August 07, 2019
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Tanglewood this week will be very rewarding and diverse, with spectacular musical riches across the centuries, representing the progressive continuum of styles: music that’s both time-honored and new, and everything in-between.

Tanglewood continues its classical programming with an all-Beethoven piano recital on Aug. 7 by the fabulous soloist Yefim Bronfman; more Beethoven awaits with the beloved "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6 and the lyrical Fourth Piano Concerto, featuring the magnificent pianist Inon Barnaton on Aug. 11 – the BSO led by composer/pianist/conductor Thomas Adès; also, a program of three of the Viennese master’s violin/piano sonatas, performed

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Eclectic Headliners: Savion Glover, Lou Reed Drones, Indigenous Dancers
By Grace Lichtenstein , Guest Column
02:00PM / Wednesday, August 07, 2019
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The week for eclectic music lovers includes both Tanglewood’s important Festival of Contemporary Music and the tap icon Savion Glover, with a Laurie Anderson presentation at Mass MoCa to boot.

Tanglewood

Ozawa Hall and the Linde Center are the venues for the series of concerts beginning Thursday, Aug. 8, that comprise the Festival of Contemporary Music, under the direction of the prodigious British composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Ades. The centerpiece is the 2005 opera “The Cricket Recovers” by British composer Richard Ayres on Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Ozawa. It’s a chamber opera based on a story by children’s author Toon Tellegen.

Other FCM concerts that

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'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood': The Golden Age, Tarnished
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:26PM / Thursday, August 01, 2019
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While Quentin Tarantino has won two Oscars for his screenplays, with "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," his most profound motion picture to date, he might finally gather up those statuettes for best film and best directorial effort.    The provocative and quirkily philosophical work is thoroughly entertaining proof that he is one of America's most accomplished, living directors.   Whereas many filmmakers doubtlessly come up with a novel idea for a film that, for one reason or another doesn't make it to the silver screen with the inspired creativity of its genesis intact, Tarantino's signature talent is in making his movie dreams come true. His unique brand

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Great Music at Tanglewood, Sevenars, Close Encounters
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
12:12PM / Wednesday, July 31, 2019
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With the arrival of August, we are at the pinnacle of the music festival season. Concerts at Tanglewood traverse a wide range of musical genres and styles, from baritone Thomas Hampson exploring the Great American Songbook in a program titled "Song of America: Beyond Liberty," to the National Youth Orchestra performing virtuoso symphonic masterworks by Richard Strauss and Hector Berlioz - the magical "Les Nuits d’eté," led by Sir Antonio Pappano accompanying the stellar Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and much more.

Read below for the details, including Tanglewood Learning Institute presentations.

 

Tanglewood

Master baritone Thomas

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Bang + Train + Shrek = Varied Berkshire Pops Week
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
11:36AM / Wednesday, July 31, 2019
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This is the weekend that Bang on a Can, the pioneering new-music collaborative from New York City, brings its imagination to Mass MoCA. Meanwhile, Train makes a stop at Tanglewood, and the musical "Shrek" bounds joyfully into Pittsfield.

 

Mass MoCA

Since 1987, Bang on a Can, the New York collaborative, has offered its followers all manner of cutting-edge contemporary music. Since 2002, Mass MoCA, itself a cutting edge museum and events venue, has been a Bang summer home. This weekend, Aug. 2-4, the group ups the ante. The weekend is dubbed "LOUD," and its schedule includes the Sun Ra Arkestra, Philip Glass's "Dracula" with film, Brian Eno's

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'The Lion King': Reigns On
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:19PM / Thursday, July 25, 2019
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Watching director Jon Favreau's spectacularly buoyant homage to the circle of life, I bemoaned not having had a little niece or nephew on loan to give me the moppet point of view. As Art Linkletter noted, kids say the darnedest things, and a quote from Taylor or Max would have at least facilitated an opening paragraph. Hey, I'd of credited them.    But then, as "The Lion King's" joyous, action-filled and altruistic wisdom unreeled before my consistently amazed eyes, it came to me. It was a Ponce de León of the mind. Blown away by the seamlessly elegant, completely infatuating majesty of the special effects, the eight-year-old in me was, for 118 engaged

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The Classical 'High Season' Approaches Its Summit
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
01:18PM / Wednesday, July 24, 2019
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During late July, the classical music festival "high season," anchored by concerts and special events at Tanglewood, approaches its summit, with sure-fire programming.

Offerings this week include great chamber music featuring the renowned Emerson String Quartet joined by Metropolitan Opera soprano Renée Fleming performing a world premiere, "Penelope," by pianist/composer/conductor André Previn; a highly engaging violin/piano recital focusing on the four uniquely captivating violin sonatas of Charles Ives performed by Jeremy Denk and Stefan Jackiw; Maurice Ravel's sonic masterpiece, the "Daphnis et Chloé" ballet with Boston Symphony

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Pretenders, Paul Taylor Dancers, Ragtime Among Top Events This Week
By Grace Lichtenstein, Guest Column
12:48PM / Wednesday, July 24, 2019
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If you love classic rock, Christie Hyde and the Pretenders are making a stop at Mass MoCA. If you're into dance, the Paul Taylor troupe visits the Pillow. And musical comedy aficionados can flock to the Mac-Haydn across the state line for "Ragtime."

Mass MoCA

This Friday, July 26, The Pretenders make what's being billed as the band's only North American appearance of the summer at Mass MoCA. It's a benefit, with proceeds from the concert supporting the Hans and Kate Morris Fund for New Music, which underwrites new work by emerging and established musicians. Brooklyn-based C. Gibbs is the opening act with guests from Bang on a Can.

As of this writing, standing

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Review: 'Working: A Musical' Is Minimalist, Meaningful
By Nancy Salz, Guest Column
11:41AM / Monday, July 22, 2019
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Why do we work? It's usually for more than money. To express ourselves, perhaps. To make a better life for our children. To create a legacy. To contribute to our country, our society. We can love our jobs or hate our jobs, but our reasons for working and our emotions about our jobs – which take up so much of our lives – are always deeply felt.

To explore these reasons fully, the author Studs Terkel crisscrossed America in the early 1970s recording more than 130 people in all kinds of jobs, from blue collar to professional. The result was a best-selling book – "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" (published

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