Kathleen Mellen’s best bets
The people sing
Attempts at a decent English translation of the title of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel “Les Misèrables” have come up wanting: The Miserable, The Wretched, The Dispossessed — nothing quite worked. So, the original French title stuck. But, since the book was adapted for the stage and, subsequently, became one of the biggest hits in the world, it’s been known colloquially, and fondly, as “Les Miz.” Recently, performance rights were released for community theaters. Ja’Duke Productions takes on the challenging musical Friday, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m., at the Academy of Music in Northampton. www.academyofmusictheatre.com.
ANOTHER GOOD BET
Apparently Helen Mirren liked playing Queen Elizabeth II in the film “The Queen” because she’s doing it again, this time onstage in “The Audience” that will be broadcast live in HD Saturday at 1 p.m. at Amherst Cinema. www.amherstcinema.org