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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Sheffield Chef Brings 'Pop Up' Dining Experience To Berkshire County
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
06:24AM / Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Theo Friedman brings a course of food out to a dozen or so guests at Methuselah in Pittsfield. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Theo Friedman remembers when he was a teenager and made some cream puffs for his father's birthday - because that is the day he learned how to communicate through food.   The Sheffield native's passion for cooking has grown since then. But he isn't in a position to open his own restaurant.   Instead, he has been holding "pop-up dinners" in various places throughout the Northeast.    "This came from my desire to continue exploring ideas and look for platforms and spaces to create these


Tanglewood Picnic Book Seeing 'Amazing' Success
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:16PM / Monday, July 06, 2015

Author Gina Hyams sells and signs her new book at the Lee Outlets over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

LENOX, Mass. — When local author Gina Hyams was working on a proposal for her 12th book - a book about the food culture of Berkshire County - she kept coming back to one chapter that excited her the most.

The topic of that chapter? Picnics on the lawn of Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a cultural landmark in Berkshire County.

"I would just light up when I talked about it," Hyams said.

So she followed her instincts and pitched a book just on Tanglewood picnics. Her literary agent thought it was "too niche"


'Tragic' Director Stages 'Comedy' at Shakespeare & Company
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:47AM / Thursday, July 02, 2015

Taibi Magar, right, directs the cast of 'A Comedy of Errors' at Shakespeare & Company.

LENOX, Mass. -- In terms an Elizabethan would understand, the gauntlet has been thrown down - by the Bard of Avon himself.   Taibi Magar, somewhat to her own surprise, came to Shakespeare & Company to pick it up.   "He sets up a big challenge for a director," Magar said during a recent pre-rehearsal interview at the Tina Packer Playhouse. "He puts 'Comedy' in the title. It's like, 'A Comedy of Errors.' No hiding.   "It's really scary, actually. If you don't make the audience laugh, you have failed


Opinion: Crossfit Offended Diabetics Everywhere
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
11:30PM / Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Crossfit offended diabetics around the world with offensive tweets linking drinking Coke to getting diabetes. But for those diabetics who are insulin-dependent, a Coke can actually save their lives when their blood sugar goes low.

I have seen first-hand the war that diabetes rages on the body.

I have an uncle who is blind. An aunt who is on dialysis. A daughter who battles highs and lows every day.

It's a disease that wreaks havoc on your life 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no vacations from diabetes. No time off. Not even so much as a coffee break.

This is what diabetes of both kinds - type one and type two - does to a person. It's not a


The Classical Beat: All Systems Go At Tanglewood
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:34PM / Wednesday, July 01, 2015

After celebrating July 4th in Boston, Keith Lockhart brings the Boston Pops back to Tanglewood on Sunday for opening weekend.

Tanglewood, the nation’s largest and most prestigious summer music presenter, officially opens its 75th classical festival season.

Here’s a rundown of the concerts that will take center stage during the coming week. Why go? Read below for all the stellar music making, with superstar performers interpreting great music from across historical eras – much of it beloved favorites by audiences worldwide.

• Thursday July 2, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: The Cleveland-based Baroque chamber orchestra Apollo’s Fire will present a


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $257,175 in Scholarships
01:04PM / Monday, June 29, 2015

SHEFFIELD, Mass.—The Board of Directors of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced that 32 scholarship funds for Berkshire County students have awarded a total of $257,175 in scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year.

For specific schools and school districts:

Charles and Elinore Agar Scholarship Fund (Monument Mountain): Terrance W. Powell; Caligari Family Scholarship Fund (Monument Mountain): Audriana Esperat; Zenas Crane Fund for Student Aid (Central Berkshire Regional School District) Year 1: Marco Vincent Anastasio, Eric Archambault, Sarah Elizabeth Bachli, Kevin Ronald Boino, Matthew Bourdon, Rachel Marie Burgess, Nicholas John Clayton, Courtney Jean Corbett,


Nominations Accepted for 2015 Woman of Achievement
11:36AM / Monday, June 29, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Business and Professional Women is accepting nominations for the 2015 "Woman of Achievement" award.

The award honors a Berkshire County woman for her considerable achievements and outstanding commitment to the community. The award will be presented at a dinner event Monday, Oct. 19, in celebration of National Women in Business Week. The monies raised at the dinner event are used for career advancement scholarships for Berkshire County women.

Berkshire Business and Professional Women has been honoring a local woman with this award since 1965. Past recipients include Dr. Ellen Kennedy, Ruth Blodgett, June Roy Martin, Christine Singer, Laurie


Sagas of the Shire: The Madness of Sue Dunham
By Joe Durwin, iBerkshires Columnist
11:24PM / Sunday, June 28, 2015
Susan Dunham was a local legend in the hills and dales of the Berkshires.

SAVOY, Mass. — Author Thomas Pynchon called her "that beautiful and legendary drifter who last century had roamed all this hilltop country, exchanging babies and setting fires."

From depictions in literature and in visual art as well, there can be no doubt that the strange sad life of "Crazy Sue" left a significant impression, even on the memory of a region somewhat known for its eccentric characters.

"For fifty years, through the storms and heat, ice and snow, Sue traveled the roads of Berkshire, a poor, wild, aimless, and harmless being who recognized no family and no home,"


The Independent Investor: Tiny Houses Gain Appeal
By Bill Schmick,
05:01PM / Saturday, June 27, 2015

In this era of tight credit, high-priced McMansions and rapid life-style changes, the American Housing Dream may no longer be defined as a three-bedroom homestead on half an acre.

For many Americans of all ages, there is a movement afoot to downsize their living space dramatically.

The typical American house is around 2,600 square feet. Until recently, builders were taking the "barbell approach" by building bigger and bigger homes at one extreme and smaller and smaller apartments on the other. This trend, I suspect, largely reflected the growing disparity toward higher income inequality in this country. The rich, builders reasoned, wanted and could afford the sprawling


The Mom Review: Fairy Tales Come True at Jacob's Pillow
By Rebecca Dravis,
12:23PM / Friday, June 26, 2015

The stepsisters, far right, stole the show at 'Cinderella.'

BECKET, Mass. — One of the most amazing things about the New York Theatre Ballet's production of "Cinderella" was revealed after the show during a post-show question-and-answer session at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival on Thursday evening.

In a response to an audience question about the company's outreach in New York City Schools, founder and artistic director Diana Byer explained that the company had expanded a program that took children living in homeless shelters and introduced them to dance for two weeks to a scholarship program for children with talent and passion for


The Classical Beat: Tanglewood Defines Summer Music in the Berkshires
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Staff
01:18PM / Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tanglewood in Lenox has a variety of opening week events.

For many music lovers, Tanglewood in Lenox virtually defines music in the Berkshires. It is the largest summer presenter, with the most comprehensive schedule of performances across the full spectrum of musical styles and genres.

Before getting into imminent opening events, bookmark the Boston Symphony’s websites, or for the full summer concert schedule, season highlights, tickets and general information.

During the opening week’s events, from Thursday, June 25, through Wednesday, July 1, Tanglewood celebrates the opening of their celebratory 75th Music Festival with a sampling


Berkshire Museum Awarded Grant For Playground Equipment System
12:20PM / Wednesday, June 24, 2015

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Dr Pepper Snapple and national nonprofit KaBOOM! have awarded the Berkshire Museum a $13,200 Let’s Play Improvement Grant to use toward the purchase of an Imagination Playground in a Cart, an innovative playground equipment system.

The grant, which will allow the Berkshire Museum to install the system at the museum, is part of Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple to get kids and families active nationwide. Imagination Playground in a Cart is an innovative design in play equipment that encourages creativity, communication, and collaboration in play. With a collection of custom-designed, oversized blue foam parts, Imagination


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