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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 …

Art Maker: Caleb Ballantine | dancer

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Caleb Ballantine is still pretty young — 12 — but he already knows what he wants to do with his life: dance. He’s been dancing since he was just 2 or 3, he reports, when he was moved …

Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In: Bill Kirchen and his all-Austin band at the Iron Horse, and other music this week in the Valley

Thursday, December 11, 2014

There are musicians unknown to the average joe who get spoken about in reverent tones by longtime fans; one such musician is guitarist Bill Kirchen. In the late ’60s and early ‘70s he tore up the fretboard with …

Book Bag: ‘Swing State’ by Michael T. Fournier; ‘I Like Sticks!’ by Libby (as told to John Sheirer)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

SWING STATE By Michael T. Fournier Three Rooms Press michaeltfournier.tumblr.com Those recent news reports that the U.S. economy is improving? They likely didn’t factor in places like Armbrister, New Hampshire, the setting for “Swing State,” a gritty novel …

Valley Readings

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The following author appearances, readings and book events are planned for the coming week in the Valley: AMHERST BOOKS: A launch party for Leah Schmalzbauer’s new book, “The Last Best Place: Gender, Family, & Migration in the New West,” will be held Friday, 5 p.m. at the bookshop, …

Kevin Gutting’s photo gallery: Return to sender

Thursday, December 11, 2014

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” OK. Snow? — some. Rain? — check. Gloom? — check. Courier? — hold that thought. On Tuesday, …

Susan Stinson, Dan Levy featured guests at this month’s First Saturdays Soiree at The Blue Guitar in Easthampton

Friday, December 5, 2014

Writers Susan Stinson and Dan Levy will be the featured guests at this Saturday’s monthly soirée at The Blue Guitar, 185 Northampton St. in Easthampton. On the first Saturday of each month, The Blue Guitar transforms into an …

The counter-revolutionary: Amherst exhibit showcases Soviet painter who defied USSR’s artistic strictures

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

As a witness to history, Felix Lembersky had a front-row seat to some of the 20th century’s most dramatic — and horrendous — events. For starters, the Soviet-Jewish painter was trying to finish his thesis at an art …

Rockin’ at the preschool: Award-winning musician brings his tunes into the classroom

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Back in 2000, musician Nick Deysher was on his way to an interview for a job as a preschool teacher when he decided to grab his guitar and take it along. Good decision. Deysher, now of Leeds, got …

LA film critics crown ‘Boyhood’ best film, Linklater best director

Monday, December 8, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Director Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” was the big winner Sunday at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards, as the coming-of-age drama shot over 12 years won best film, direction, editing and lead actress. Runner-up for best film was Wes Anderson’s off-beat comedy “The Grand Budapest …

Hanks, Sting among 5 honorees

Monday, December 8, 2014

WASHINGTON — Tom Hanks and Sting joined Lily Tomlin, singer Al Green and ballerina Patricia McBride in being awarded this year’s Kennedy Center Honors for influencing American culture through the arts. Top performers and power players from Hollywood, …