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Arts & Entertainment

Button up and count down for 30th-anniversary First Night Northampton

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It’s not easy to be all things to all people, but Penny Burke and her merry band of magicians at First Night Northampton come pretty close every year. On Dec. 31, the city will ring in the new year with a First Night celebration, for the 30th time, this year with 12 solid hours of performances in 20 venues across …

What makes Vladimir tick? Russian-American journalist looks at Putin through the prism of modern Russia

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

With the Russian economy staggering under the plummeting price of oil, Vladimir Putin has been back in the headlines in recent weeks, blaming the West …

Weekend Planner — Theater: ‘Home for the Holidays’ at the Majestic Theater

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

After six years, “Home For The Holidays,” the annual seasonal variety show that harks back to the holiday TV specials of yesteryear, has pretty much …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: Jazz pianist Miro Sprague at the Arts Block in Greenfield; ‘The Bully Pulpit’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Thursday, December 18, 2014

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO I finally got around to finishing a gift from last Christmas: “The Bully Pulpit” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s an expansive portrait of America a century ago, built around the story of Theodore Roosevelt, his friendship with William Howard Taft, and the rise of …

Art maker: Christina Svane | dancer/choreographer

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christina Svane says she always knew she wanted to dance. Born in San Francisco in 1954, she came east for college, then moved to New York City where she danced professionally. She toured Europe with Steve Paxton, founder …

Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In: Miro Sprague at the Arts Block Cafe in Greenfield and other musical happenings this week in the Valley

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pianist and Shutesbury native Miro Sprague has made the most of 2014. He graduated from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA, joined with six of his fellow students to create the band Holophonor (which …

Headliners: Arcadia Players’ ‘The Messiah’

Friday, December 19, 2014

Silver and gold ‘Messiahs’ Bringing its 25th anniversary season to a close — along with the 10th anniversary of Ian Watson as its artistic director — Arcadia Players will present its annual performance of “The Messiah” Friday night …

Book Bag: ‘This Park Prohibits Bicycles, Dogs, Balls & Romantic Gestures: A Mo Willems Sketchbook’; ‘Everett’ by Jenifer Ruff; ‘John William Ward: Am American Idealist; by Kim Townsend

Thursday, December 18, 2014

THIS PARK PROHIBITS BICYCLES, DOGS, BALLS & ROMANTIC GESTURES: A MO WILLEMS SKETCHBOOK By Mo Willems www.mowillems.com Cartoonist, children’s author and former TV animator and writer Mo Willems, who lives in Northampton, spent a year in Paris with …

Jerrey Roberts’ photo gallery: Making a list, checking it twice

Thursday, December 18, 2014

How could a photographer not take a picture of Cat McGaffigan, of Florence, decked out in Christmas attire? She was looking for children’s names included on the “good list” while volunteering as one of Santa’s helpers Tuesday at …

Movie listings

Thursday, December 18, 2014

These movies are playing locally. Check with theaters for times. AMHERST CINEMA 28 Amity St., Amherst 253-2547 amherstcinema.org Birdman (R) Citizenfour (R) Force Majeure (R) It’s a Wonderful Life (NR) The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (PG) The …

Movie Capsules

Thursday, July 31, 2014

ANNIE: A foster kid (Quvenzhané Wallis) sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Also stars Cameron Diaz, Bobby Cannavale. Rated …

New on DVD

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Good Lie: Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, Missouri, where an encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives. Stars Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany. …

Steve Carell vows not to ‘play it safe anymore’

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Long before Steve Carell was showered in acclaim for his startling transformation into John du Pont for the true-crime drama “Foxcatcher,” he was walking home from set, commiserating with co-star Mark Ruffalo. “We both looked at each other …