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By Line search: By STEVE PFARRER


‘Janet Planet’ comes into orbit: Annie Baker’s debut film, about to open in Valley, features performances and input from some area residents
06-21-2024 10:36 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

After generating some local news in 2022 when scenes were filmed in a number of locations around the Valley, “Janet Planet,” the debut film by celebrated playwright Annie Baker, is set to make its debut in Amherst and Greenfield on June 27.The movie,...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 297 total.
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Staying busy in summer: Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares stages new concert series in July
06-21-2024 10:33 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Fresh on the heels of Django in June, Northampton’s annual celebration of jazz manouche and Django Reinhardt, Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares has organized its own summer jazz series for July, both to say “thank you” to supporters and to give local...


Book Bag: ‘Sandwich’ by Catherine Newman; ‘The Man Who Loved Trees’ by Annaliese Bischoff
06-14-2024 11:28 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

SandwichBy Catherine NewmanHarperCollins In late 2022, Amherst writer Catherine Newman released her first adult novel, “We All Want Impossible Things,” after previously publishing a number of nonfiction titles, a middle grade novel, and quite a bit of...


Celebrating Sojourner Truth, with modern elements: Florence performance mixes arias, history and AR
06-13-2024 2:09 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Sojourner Truth has long been a symbol of a strong Black woman: a straight-talking, formerly enslaved woman who remade herself as an ardent abolitionist and women’s rights activist, a preacher, and a riveting speaker who wowed audiences with her wit...


A different kind of road trip: ‘Ezra’ explores the challenge of raising an autistic child
06-13-2024 2:08 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Among a number of very good lines in “Ezra,” a film about the challenge of raising an autistic child, there’s one that really encapsulates the problems parents and caretakers can face.Bobby Cannavale plays Max Bernal, a struggling comedian with his...


The Beat Goes On: Jazz manouche and choro in Northampton, Pride music celebrations in Greenfield, and jazz in Amherst
06-13-2024 2:03 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

It was 20 years ago today … Well, maybe not exactly to the day, but Django in June, the annual Northampton celebration of the music created by the legendary Belgian-French guitarist Django Reinhardt, is marking its 20th anniversary this year.That’s no...


A house guest with a dangerous bite: Easthampton Theater Company revives vintage screwball comedy, ‘The Man Who Came to Dinner’
06-07-2024 12:42 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

At some point in our lives, most of us have the misfortune to have someone come to our home who quickly wears out their welcome, for dinner or a party or maybe a weekend visit: an obnoxious uncle, your daughter’s new boyfriend, a neighbor’s work...


Bring on the summer music and arts: Concert series and more return to Hadley and Huntington
06-07-2024 12:33 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Summer brings outdoor music as well as any number of artistic performances, including theater, literary readings, dances and more.And it’s not just big blowout events like the Green River Festival.In Hadley, the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum has...


A half-century of photography: Forbes Library exhibit showcases the vintage work and world views of photographer and digital printmaker Stan Sherer
06-06-2024 3:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When Stan Sherer was growing up in the Bronx in New York City in the 1950s, an uncle paid a visit to his family one day and brought along some World War II-era darkroom equipment.Sherer didn’t know it just then, but he was about to find his life’s...


Stepping onto summer stage: Silverthorne Theater Company debuting three plays in its first full summer season
05-31-2024 3:56 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Time was when summer theater in the Valley was typically produced by a number of mainstays, including Chester Theatre Company, New Century Theatre, and the Ko Festival at Amherst College.But New Century Theatre shut down a few years ago, as did the Ko...


A unique Father’s Day gift: The music of 20th century pop composer Johnny Anz to be celebrated at South Hadley concert
05-31-2024 3:44 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When he was growing up, John Anz knew that his father, Johnny Anz, played piano and sang. But he didn’t know much about his dad’s musical background, especially as Johnny Anz died when his son was just 7 years old.But a little over 50 years later,...


Across the great white north: New children’s book chronicles epic Alaskan trip by dog sled
05-30-2024 3:03 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Crossing the snowy wastes of Alaska in deep winter, when the temperature is plunging past 40 below zero, might not be everybody’s cup of tea.But for Marla BB, it was a little bit of paradise — a three-week sojourn with her own Alaskan sled dogs,...


The Beat Goes On: One banjo master salutes another in Amherst, big stage in Deerfield opening for the summer, and more
05-30-2024 2:49 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Over the past few years, Tony Trischka, considered one of the most influential banjo players around, has been delving deep into the music of another banjo master: the late Earl Scruggs.Scruggs, in the 1940s, developed a unique three-finger style of...


Live from Argentina: Acclaimed tango guitarists to play in Northampton for dancers and music lovers alike
05-24-2024 1:27 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

If you go to a milonga, or social dance, to do tango dancing in Buenos Aires, you’ll likely be doing it to live music.In western Massachusetts? No so much.Now, though, Western Mass Tango, which has hosted tango lessons and dances in the region for...


Book Bag: ‘Journeys of Voices & Choices’ by Ernie Brill; ‘Here in Sanctuary — Whirling’ by D. Dina Friedman
05-24-2024 11:15 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Journeys of Voices & ChoicesBy Ernie BrillHuman Error PublishingNorthampton poet Ernie Brill, a former English teacher at Northampton High School, is a longtime writer who has worked with many small presses over the years. A consistent theme of his...


Rendevous with the paper of record: Northampton artist Katy Schneider paints official portrait of New York Times publisher
05-17-2024 2:23 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Growing up in New York City, Katy Schneider recalls that the New York Times was pretty much sacrosanct in her home. Her late parents read the paper closely, her father often cutting out articles he particularly liked, and both referred to the...


Rattling those musical bones: Folk/blues veteran Chris Smither releases his 20th album ahead of 80th birthday
05-17-2024 2:22 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When Chris Smither found his live gigs shut down during the worst months of COVID-19, he figured it might at least be a good opportunity to write some new songs — something the veteran folk/blues singer and guitarist admits is not the easiest process...


Valley artists offer new sounds for spring: Singer-songwriter Lisa Bastoni and folk-rockers Eavesdrop release new records
05-17-2024 2:20 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Valley continues to be a fertile place for music, with a number of groups and artists releasing new albums this spring. Here’s a look at two of the records, with female singers at the forefront.On the Water: Lisa BastoniLisa Bastoni has been...


‘A generational healing experience’: Exhibit documents the struggles of Cambodian families fleeing the Khmer Rouge who found refuge and a new community in Amherst
05-16-2024 3:52 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Not long after 20 years of war finally ended in Vietnam in 1975, another wave of horrendous violence erupted just to the west.The Khmer Rouge, the Communist party of Cambodia, seized control of the country and began a brutal “reeducation” campaign...


M/other’s time to shine: MICAfest runs in three Northampton venues through May
05-16-2024 1:32 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The challenges mothers face can be legion, especially for those who work and have families and, according to any number of studies, still end up doing most of the chores at home, from raising kids to cooking, compared to their husbands and...


The Beat Goes On: The Iron Horse comes back to life, Joni Mitchell’s music is celebrated in Turners Falls, and more
05-16-2024 1:30 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

It’s finally happening. Nearly seven months after ownership officially changed hands, and following extensive renovations, the Iron Horse Music Hall, shuttered since late March 2020, threw open its doors this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 297 total.
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