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B.A. Nilsson

B.A. Nilsson

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by B.A. Nilsson August 20, 2015

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  Elizabeth’s 1264 East St, Pittsfield, MA, 413-448-8244. Cuisine: Italian farm-to-table Entreé price range: $22.50 (menu items) to $24.50 (specials) Ambience: your grandmother’s house Seek the soul of an onion and you’re easily led astray. Its pungency is distracting and ...

1 comment Elizabeth's

Cato in Utica

by B.A. Nilsson August 20, 2015

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  “Et in Arcadia ego” is inscribed on one of the trompe l’oeil stones forming the backdrop to Cato’s encampment in north Africa. “I am in Paradise,” the phrase suggests, and it’s an inscription often found ...

0 comments Glimmerglass Festival

Adventures in Mexico

by B.A. Nilsson August 13, 2015

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  You can count on the Bard Music Festival for textural extremes. Last Saturday’s programs ran a gamut from a charming sonata for guitar and harpsichord by Manual Ponce to the outsized, relentless Piano Concerto by ...

0 comments Bard College Richard B. Fisher Center

Cape of Beauty

by B.A. Nilsson August 6, 2015

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  Nature is shameless about offering its beauty, leaving it up to us to interpret the aesthetics. It’s easy to take it for granted—to stop looking and to see very little. Joe Schuyler never stopped looking, ...

1 comment

Mother of the Maid

by B.A. Nilsson July 30, 2015

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  When Saint Catherine addresses the audience in Jane Anderson’s new play Mother of the Maid, it’s with the easy familiarity of someone versed in the current century’s attitudes. Then she introduces us to Joan of ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Glimmerglass Festival

by B.A. Nilsson July 23, 2015

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  Even as the characters of Macbeth and his wife inspire each other to greater acts of infamy, so too do the roles that Verdi created vie in the realm of vocal demands. But with two ...

0 comments Glimmerglass Festival

Opera Saratoga

by B.A. Nilsson July 16, 2015

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  As Brian Castner and three of his fellow Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists are driving back to base from yet another mission while deployed in Iraq, the tension of the moment is jolted by a pigeon. ...

0 comments Spa Little Theater

From Court to Battle to Bar, Bracingly

by B.A. Nilsson July 2, 2015

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  It’s almost insulting to our received images of warfare, this Battle of Agincourt, with a handful of black-clad actors suffering slo-mo agonies while the stage is littered with drapes of red. Since scenes of actual ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Boston Early Music Festival

by B.A. Nilsson June 25, 2015

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  The greatest tribute to the power of Claudio Monteverdi’s music (and the damn fine story it set) occurred during the second half of Orfeo, as the title character made his way out of the underworld, ...

0 comments Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Good Grief

by B.A. Nilsson June 25, 2015

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  Before God, there was Gilgamesh. His story is one of the oldest known narratives, with many of its elements echoed in later sacred and secular epics. The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of the ...

1 comment Bridge Street Theatre

Marc-André Hamelin, the Takács Quartet

by B.A. Nilsson June 25, 2015

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  Classical music loves specialists, or, to put it a better way, is most comfortable with performers who are easy to pigeonhole. Pianist Marc-André Hamelin has made a career of resisting such definition, and underscores this ...

0 comments

What’s Brewing?

by B.A. Nilsson June 18, 2015

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  We’re never far from a cup of coffee, be it an overpriced Starbucks concoction or a cup of diner joe. We do unspeakable things to our coffee, lacing it with flavorings and sweeteners and even ...

1 comment

Generation Gap

by B.A. Nilsson June 11, 2015

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  It’s a confrontation between rival evolutionary biologists; between feminists of different generations with different generational opinions; between a mother and the daughter she gave up for adoption three decades ago. The conflicts cross, of course, from ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

War Games

by B.A. Nilsson June 6, 2015

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  To anyone of draftable age when “Pippin” arrived on Broadway in 1972, it remains the oddball offspring of Woodstock and the Vietnam War. It straddles history and fantasy, casting far enough back for the war ...

0 comments Proctors

Andrew Russo, James Ehnes and the Albany Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller

by B.A. Nilsson June 6, 2015

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  The music of Aaron Jay Kernis doesn’t immediately suggest his influences, which only supports the charming, puzzling problem of his uniqueness. You can hear some Arvo Pärt in the second of his “Three Flavors,” a ...

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The Bard Plus

by B.A. Nilsson May 28, 2015

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The play that you see—the lighted, costumed, rehearsed finished product--evolves during the few weeks of rehearsal when the actors develop the characters they’ll portray and figure out the rhythm and movement of the piece. It’s ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Spuyten Duyvil

by B.A. Nilsson May 21, 2015

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  Spuyten Duyvil know the Great American Songbook. Not that Great American Songbook, but the earlier one that was given to us by Harry Smith in his Anthology of American Folk Music, giving us a glimpse ...

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Pippin

by B.A. Nilsson May 21, 2015

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When John Rubinstein takes to the stage as King Charles in Pippin at Proctors May 26 (Tuesday) through the 31st, there will be no doubt that his is a regal presence. Rubinstein has earned it: ...

0 comments Proctors

Just Like Homemade

by B.A. Nilsson May 14, 2015

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  Eight at a time. That’s how the sauce jars are filled at Casa Visco. An eerily intelligent electronic eye counts off eight glass jars, typically in 16- or 32-ounce sizes, and regulates the conveyor on ...

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On The Town

by B.A. Nilsson May 7, 2015

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  When Hollywood came calling to put On the Town on film, it gave the show a wonderful cast, headlined by Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, and included terrific location work, rare for a movie in ...

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The Emerson Quartet

by B.A. Nilsson May 7, 2015

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  The concert finished abruptly, in mid-phrase. The players lowered their instruments and it became clear to the puzzled audience that, for whatever reason, the piece they were playing had finished. The reason is that Bach died ...

0 comments Union College Memorial Chapel

Various Artists

by B.A. Nilsson February 26, 2015

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  Seeking the living heritage of American song, John Lomax visited a number of Southern prisons in 1933 with recording gear in tow. Not the most dignified of scholars—Lomax had a racist streak that supported his ...

Here’s the Beef

by B.A. Nilsson February 5, 2015

Attached: Chef Waldy Malouf preparing to carve the beef.

  Two hours into the event, the lights went out. The glare of spotlights in a rear balcony took over. As the band swung into a rousing processional, the first platter of beef entered the hall, ...

Culinary Institute of America

Anonymous 4 with Bruce Molsky

by B.A. Nilsson February 5, 2015

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  The opening strains of the opening song—“Weeping, Sad, and Lonely”—are so ethereal, so gorgeous, that when we reach the lyric—“Oft in dreams I see thee lying/On the battle plain/Lonely, wounded, even dying/Calling, but in vain.”—it ...

When the Weather Outside Is Frightening

by B.A. Nilsson January 29, 2015

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  I hit the supermarket on Monday. I wasn’t sure that I needed anything more to get me through the predicted apocalypse, but I felt reluctant to miss a chance to surge through the crowded aisles ...