Culture To Do


For many of us, live performances are among the things we have missed the most during the past year, and we've been waiting for the day when our local artists could return to the stage. It's therefore great news to see some venues now offering limited public events. We'll continue to provide information about programming, events and concerts that will bring you inspiration and diversion — either from your couch OR out and about.

Park Hill Orchard, Easthampton
Open daily through November 28

Art In the Orchard is an innovative walking sculpture trail which winds through Park Hill Orchard’s fruit gardens. This year's exhibition features jury-selected works by 30 sculptors. While you are there, partake in flavorful tree-ripe fruit — you can pick your own, or purchase fruit and treats at the farm stand.

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Virtual Event Monday, October 18 at 7 p.m.

Springfield Symphony Hall
Friday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m.

The Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra [MOSSO] present a free concert under the direction of Kevin Rhodes. The program will include symphonic favorites by Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Rossini and Walker. Admission is free, but tickets are required. No tickets will be sold at the door, and ticket holders must be masked and have proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. All performers will also be fully vaccinated and masked.

Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, Greenfield
Thursday, October 14th at 7 p.m.

Samirah Evans is known for her dynamic, soulful approach to jazz and blues, among other genres. Her style is also heavily influenced by the New Orleans sound where she was one of the city’s most in-demand singers. Samirah’s original Handsome Devils include pianist Miro Sprague, guitarist Jason Ennis, saxophonist Michael Zsoldos, drummer Conor Meehan, and not the original but a long-time member bassist Martin Jaffe.

The Bushnell, Hartford
Tuesday, October 12–Sunday, October 17

Welcome to Margaritaville, where people come to get away from it all—and stay to find something they never expected.  ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE is a musical comedy featuring both original songs and Jimmy Buffett classics, including “Fins,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and many more. With a book by Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia and Emmy nominee Mike O’Malley, this production is choreographed by Tony Award nominee Kelly Devine and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley.

Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls
Monday, October 11, from 1–4 p.m.

The 5th Annual Migrations Festival is a celebration of human and natural diversity. Paintings and crafts courtesy of the GuateMaya Art and Culture Connection will be exhibited in the Great Hall. Plus, there will be outdoor activities for kids, refreshments, and a special performance by the Mariachi Band Fiesta del Norte. This event is free and wheelchair accessible.

The Academy of Music, Northampton
Sunday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly.

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Springfield Museums
Saturday, October 9 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Head to the Springfield Museums for a celebration of fall. Catch a ride on a horse-drawn wagon Discover the art and science behind seasonal traditions through hands-on activities. Participation is free with museum admission.

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Streaming Saturday, October 9 at 7 p.m.

For its season premiere, the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra presents Franz Liszt’s tumultuous Les Préludes and Antonin Dvořák’s American masterpiece "From the New World" (Symphony No. 9). Learn more about the program at the 6:15 p.m. pre-concert talk with David Schneider, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music at Amherst College. Then, stream the concert directly on your smartTV or another internet-connected device, or join the community watch party with a post-concert talkback on Zoom.

Shakespeare & Company, Lenox
Friday, October 8–Sunday, October 31

It’s an absurdist play of the first order by a master innovator of the genre. In a house on an island, a very old couple pass their time collecting and inventorying chairs while sharing half-remembered stories. With brilliant eccentricity, Ionesco's ‘tragic farce’ combines a comic portrait of human folly with a magical experiment in theatrical possibilities.

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3 County Fairgrounds, Northampton
Saturday, October 9–Monday, October 11

Back after a two-year hiatus, the Paradise City Arts Festival returns with 225 outstanding artists and master craft makers who will show and sell original works in ceramics, painting, decorative fiber, art glass, furniture, jewelry, metal, mixed media, photography, sculpture, wearable art and woodworking. Plus, there will be sensational food and music under the festival dining tent.

Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center
Saturday October 1–Thursday, October 16

Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep is a definitive spoof of Gothic melodramas and vintage horror movies. It’s a madcap quick-change marathon in which two actors play all the roles: the lord and lady of the manor, the starchy maid, the groundskeeper-cum-werewolf, plus an ancient mummy and a lingering ghost.

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Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield
Tuesday, October 5 at 10:15 a.m.

Established in 1902, the Tuesday Morning Music Club maintains a long tradition of interaction between the professional instrumental and vocal musicians of the Pioneer Valley and the many music lovers of the region. For those who are free on Tuesday mornings, this may be best-kept classical music secret in the region.  A $40 membership offers you tickets to twelve programs! The opening concert features pianist Tamila Azadaliyeva and the Wistaria String Quartet.

Saturday, October 2 at 8 p.m.

Dorrance Dance is an award-winning tap dance company based in New York City. Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director and 2015 MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance, the company shares the incredibly dynamic range that tap dance has to offer through performance & education. Its goal is to engage with audiences on a musical and emotional level, and to share the complex history and powerful legacy of this American art form throughout the country and the world.

Free Jazz Strut: Friday, October 1 from 5:30-10:30 p.m.
Free Jazz Fest: Saturday October 2 from 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

On Friday it’s the “Jazz Strut.” Stroll, sip and dine your way through downtown Northampton to the sounds of different jazz ensembles at various establishments across town. Saturday’s “Jazz Fest” includes free concerts — some outdoors at Pulaski Park, others indoors at various venues.

Friday, September 24–Sunday, September 26

Music starts early in the museum courtyards, moves to MASS MoCA’s spacious urban concert meadow, and then continues with wild and woolly late-night barn dances in the Hunter Center on Friday and Saturday nights. The lineup is jam-packed with guitar gods and banjo gurus, traditionalists, and trailblazers — Bluegrass artists you already know and love interspersed with FreshGrass discoveries. Taken together, it’s an expansive group of performers who both draw on the past and look to the future.

1794 Meeting House, New Salem, MA
Sunday, September 26 at 4 p.m.

Guitarist, composer, arranger and conductor Peter Blanchette is known around the world as the inventor of the 11-string archguitar. His extraordinary repertoire of internationally acclaimed arrangements and compositions spans from the medieval, renaissance and baroque music to World Music, New Music, and his own original pieces.

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The Academy of Music, Northampton
Saturday, September 18 at 8 p.m.

As far as anyone knows, Al Franken is the only U.S. Senator who was also one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live. During his fifteen seasons with SNL, Franken won five Emmy’s for writing and producing. He’s also the author of four #1 New York Times bestsellers. Franken served Minnesota in the Senate from 2009-2018, clobbering his first opponent, incumbent Senator Norm Coleman, by 312 votes.

Outdoors at The Clark, Williamstown, MA
Wednesday, September 22 at 6 p.m.

Rock and soul singer Bette Smith and her band perform in a free concert near the Clark’s Reflecting Pool. With her life-affirming new album The Good, The Bad & The Bette, Smith creates a sound that musically connects to both the gospel music she heard in church and the soul music she heard on the street corners of Brooklyn.

Academy of Music, Northampton
Friday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Darlingside returns to Northampton to celebrate the birthday of 2015's Birds Say, performing the record in its entirety. The album's producer, Dan Cardinal, will run sound and the album's chef, Auyon Mukharji, might even discuss some of his in-studio gourmet microwave cooking experiences. Some of these songs have literally never been played live before, so join the band as they embark upon the harrowing task of playing 'Do You Ever Live?' and hear some stories about how the album was made.

Sunday, September 19 at 11 a.m.

City Park Plaza, 515 Dwight St, Holyoke
Thursday, September 16 from 4–6 p.m.

National Hispanic Heritage Month in Holyoke presents their annual kickoff event. Bring comfortable chairs a cooler, and get ready to dance a little to the igniting rhythms of Jesus Pagán and his Conjunto Barrio. They will take you on a tour blending the sounds of Charanga, Guajira, Son, Mambo, Descargas, Plena, Bomba, Bolero, Merengue, Jazz, Cha Cha and Salsa.

Gateway City Arts, Holyoke
Tuesday, September 14 at 8 p.m.
NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Tank and the Bangas are one of the most thrilling, unpredictable and sonically diverse bands on the planet — a unit where jazz meets hip-hop, soul meets rock, and funk is the beating heart of everything they do. Their new album Green Balloon is on the horizon, and it’s their first release now they’re signed to major label Verve Forecast — a deal that came after they won NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2017.

The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m.

One night only! Enjoy a modern take on the old-time traveling tent shows of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Master of Ceremonies, Professor J.P. Prescott III, has traveled the globe in search of just the right ingredients to fuse with his patented, pure graded, 100% American rattlesnake oil. Along the way, he has encountered some of the most amazing performers the world has ever known and has assembled them all in one show, for just one night, under one big tent.

Hillside Complex in Boylston, MA
Friday, September 10 at 6 p.m.

Impassioned by their love for music, pianists Nick Luby and Susan Zhang converted a 16-foot box truck into a fully functioning mobile concert hall, complete with lights, sound system, and piano. Since then, The Concert Truck has presented concerts across the country in city streets, music and arts festivals, schools, neighborhoods, parks — anywhere you can park a truck.

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Friday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 at 6 p.m.

The Shea Theater Turners Falls, MA
Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11

Join the Drag Sisters as they officially open up the Shea Theatre for performances again. Drag Sisters: The show features Joe Dulude, II as the ever fabulous Mr. Drag with Jane Williams of New Salem and Myka Plunkett from Northampton as his gloriously bungling yet dazzling sisters, all of whom are kept in check by an Alexa-like creature played by Linda Tardif of Turners Falls. Emily Pritchett of Amherst tries very hard to clean up after them all.

The Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton
Wednesday, September 8 at 7:30 pm

Friday, September 3–Monday, September 6

For many, the 3-County Fair is Labor Day weekend tradition. 2021 marks the fair’s 204th consecutive year. Enjoy rides, music, food, agricultural exhibits, demolition derbies, tractor pulls, tethered hot-air balloon rides, and the Fair’s signature favorite — the Wee Wee Wee Racing Pigs.

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The Clark, Williamstown, MA
Saturday, September 4, 4 p.m.

A joyous celebration of nature and Norway brings the return of the renowned Knights Orchestra to the Clark to celebrate The Clark’s Visions of Norway exhibition. This free outdoor concert features a new arrangement of traditional Norwegian folk music as well as Edvard Grieg's "Holberg Suite, Op. 4," Anna Clyne's "Within Her Arms," and Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Lark Ascending." Bring a blanket or your own chairs for seating.