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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 …

Keeping tabs on the arts: ‘Sing for Shelter’ art openings and more

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cash and carry Easthampton City Arts+ hosts its sixth annual “Small Works Show & Sale,” a cash-and-carry salon-style exhibit that will include more than 140 works by some 75 artists from the Pioneer Valley and beyond. The exhibit, …

Movie listings

Thursday, December 11, 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) The Muppet Christmas Carol (G) The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (PG) The …

Movie Capsules

Thursday, July 31, 2014

BIG HERO 6: A special bond develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax (the voice of Scott Adsit), and prodigy Hiro Hamada (the voice of Ryan Potter), when they team up with a group of friends to form a …

Movie review: ‘Madagascar’ spin-off hatches family fun

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

For a movie that’s more paint by numbers than Picasso, “Penguins of Madagascar” begins with something completely unexpected: a Werner Herzog voiceover. Parodying his own work and documentary films’ obsession with the flightless birds, the German filmmaker gives …

Q&A: Chris Rock on ‘Top Five’ and fame

Thursday, December 11, 2014

With his latest and best film in tow, Chris Rock is back in the spotlight right when we most need him. There’s no more salient voice on race in America, not to mention most other things in America, …

New on DVD

Thursday, December 11, 2014

At the Devil’s Door: When ambitious young real estate agent Leigh is asked to sell a house with a checkered past, she crosses paths with a disturbed girl whom she learns is the runaway daughter of the couple …

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘The Great Rupert’ — a 1950s gem starring Jimmy Durante and a squirrel

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I noticed that in my vast morass of movies there are very few Christmas flicks. So on a recent shopping trip I purchased a “Christmas Collectors Set” of six movies, and then had to decide which was awful …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: Art sales at Easthampton City Arts+ and the Northampton Community Arts Trust; PVB’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Thursday, December 11, 2014

AFFORDABLE ART Easthampton City Arts+ and the Northampton Community Arts Trust each has a cash-and-carry art show and sale happening this weekend, obviously with holiday shopping in mind. ECA+’s — more than 140 works by some 75 artists — runs through Thursday, with a reception Saturday from 5 …

Laurie Loisel’s Best Bets: Westfield State University’s Night Owls; Valley Festival Brass Choir

Thursday, December 11, 2014

VOICE POWER In my mind, there’s almost nothing more joyful than a strong a cappella performance. When that a cappella group is an energetic college ensemble, all the better. Westfield State University’s Night Owls performs Friday on their campus. Around since 2002, they’ve had 12 years to hone …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: Dar Williams at the Calvin Theatre; The Surly Temple at the Parlor Room

Thursday, December 11, 2014

DAR WILLIAMS RETURNS Folkie Dar Williams got her start some 20-odd years ago in Northampton; her breakthrough moment came with the release in 1994 of “The Honesty Room,” a homegrown album that began to open doors for her, including invitations to open for Joan Baez and Ani DiFranco. …