BITS & BYTES: Bidwell Country Fair; Screening and discussion “Hello, Bookstore”; portrayal of Brian Cox; June 19 round table; Alexander Hamilton’s Jewish World; Albany Symphony Performance

The Bidwell Country Fair

MontereyAfter a 2 year hiatus, the Bidwell House Museum is delighted to bring back the Bidwell Country Fair! Everyone is invited to this fun and free community event on Saturday June 25 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Bidwell House Museum. In 2022, the city of Monterey celebrates its 175th anniversary and the museum is thrilled to have the Bidwell Country Fair as part of those festivities! There will be activities for the whole family at the Fair, including music, re-enactments, self-guided tours, artisan demonstrations, crafts, food, and more.

On the music scene that afternoon, Moonshine Holler, as well as husband and wife duo Oakes and Smith. Historical re-enactors, Butler’s Rangers, will be at the Museum to talk about the lives of those who fought alongside the British during the Revolutionary War. A number of artisans including the Berkshire Hills and Dales Spinning Guild, stone carver Adam Heller, blacksmith Chris Templen and others will demonstrate their craftsmanship.

Moonshine Hollar at the 2018 Bidwell Country Fair. Photo courtesy of Walter Engels

History buffs can learn more about the city of Monterey’s 175 years with an exhibit from the Monterey Historical Society. Other local businesses will also have displays. Flour Bin Catering and SoCo Ice Cream will provide food for purchase and there will also be free water, lemonade and watermelon for visitors.

The grounds of the Bidwell House Museum – 196 acres of woods, fields, historic stone walls, self-guided trails and picnic sites – are open daily from dawn to dusk, free of charge. The Museum is open for guided tours by appointment on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The museum is located at 100 Art School Road in Monterey.

For updates and to reserve your tickets for free:


* * *

Crandell Theater presents ‘Hello, Bookstore’

Chatham, NY — Crandell Theatre, the oldest and largest movie theater in Columbia County, presents the critically acclaimed documentary “Hello, Library on Friday 24 June, at 7 p.m.. Following the screening, the film’s subject, Matt Tannenbaum, will discuss the film and answer questions from the audience with filmmaker AB Zax. Chatham Bookstore owner Sharon Weinberg will host.

A landmark in Lenox, Massachusetts, The Bookstore is a magical, beatnik gem thanks to its owner, Matt Tannenbaum, who has run The Bookstore for over forty years. After visiting The Bookstore and feeling compelled to tell Tannenbaum’s story, Zax began filming a “day in the life of” documentary in 2019. When the pandemic began in March 2020, filming stopped and the documentary changed course, telling the story of how a community saved their beloved bookstore. “Hello, Bookstore” is an intimate portrait of La Librairie and the family at its heart, following a journey through the good times, the hard times and the stories hidden on the shelves.Hello, booksellere” debuted at the Film Forum in New York in April 2022.

Tickets are sold online through the Crandell website,, and at the box office. Admission is $11 for non-members, $8 for members, and $7 for children 12 and under. The Crandell Theater is located at 48 Main St., Chatham, NY


* * *

Brian Cox joins the Shakespeare & Company gala show

Lenox — Brian Cox will appear at the Shakespeare & Company Sapphire Gala on Saturday June 25. The Sapphire gala is named to mark the 45th season of Shakespeare & Company. Cox joins previously announced cast members John Douglas Thompson, founding artistic director Tina Packer, Tom Gold Dance, musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and other artists from the Sapphire season company.

Brian Cox
Brian Cox. Photo: Courtesy of Shakespeare & Company

Brian Cox, CBE is an Emmy, Olivier and Golden Globe award-winning actor who currently appears on the hit HBO series Succession. Cox is also known for his portrayal of Hermann Goering in Nuremberg (2000). Cox is a veteran of the London stage, having starred in Titus Andronicus for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Rat in the Skull for the Royal Court.

The evening will begin at 5:00 p.m. with aperitif and hors d’Oeuvres at the New Spruce Theater in Lenox, the company’s 500-seat amphitheater and newest venue. The evening will continue with a silent auction, presentation of the 2022 Philip Heller Distinguished Service Award, and performances by society artists and other special guests at 6 p.m. Dinner prepared by The Old Inn On The Green will be served in the gala tent in the Rose Meadow, with dessert and dancing to follow.

Tickets for the show and cocktail hour are available for $150. Individual tickets are available at the Sapphire ($750) and Gold ($450) tiers. Table tickets with eight seats are available at the Sapphire ($25,000), Gold ($10,000), and Silver ($5,000) levels. Ticket sales support Shakespeare & Company’s year-round performance, education and training programs. RSVP to Individual Giving Manager Kristen Moriarty at (413) 637-1199, ext. 105 or Shakespeare & Company’s COVID policies will be in place during the gala. To buy tickets online:


* * *

Free panel discussion in honor of Juneteenth

Tyringham On June 25 at 2 p.m. Gwendolyn VanSant, CEO and Founding Director of BRIDGE, will moderate a discussion on voting rights among prominent panelists from the Berkshire community at the Union Church of Tyringham, 128 Main Road, Tyringham.

The panelists are: Dr. Leticia Haynes, Vice President, Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Williams College; AJ Enchill, district aide to state senator Adam Hinds; Dennis Powell, NAACP President, Berkshire Branch; and Dr. Shirley Edgerton, educator and community leader.

Protect the vote
Photo by Brendan Smialowski, courtesy of BRIDGE.

Twenty-seven states have introduced or enacted 250 pieces of legislation impacting voting and restricting turnout, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. These bills and laws, affecting voter access, have a disproportionate effect on voters of color. The panel’s topic, Protecting the Vote, is designed to help raise awareness of the need for a fair and equitable vote for all citizens and to provide achievable and achievable goals towards that end.

The event is Free and open to the public but donations are encouraged. The wearing of the mask will be obligatory in the church.

Donate in person the same day or online at one of the following donation pages:


* * *

Free discussion on the book “The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton” by Andrew Porwancher

The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton
The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton by Andrew Porwancher

Great BArrington— Andrew Porwancher will discuss new evidence that Alexander Hamilton was born Jewish on Friday, June 24 at 2 p.m.

Based on his new book “The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton” (Princeton, 2021), winner of the Journal of the American Revolution’s Book of the Year award, Porwancher explores Hamilton’s alliance with American Jews. This talk is presented by the Berkshires Jewish Federation’s Knosh & Knowledge Summer Speaker Roster.

Professor Andrew Porwancher is a graduate of Brown, Northwestern, and received his Ph.D. from Cambridge. Currently, he is Wick Cary Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma and Ernest May Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center. He is currently working on his fourth book, “Theodore Roosevelt and the Jews”.

Knosh & Knowledge programs take place at South Berkshire Hevreh, 270 State Road in Great Barrington. To know more free program and other events of the Federation, consult the calendar of events on Proof of vaccination and mask wearing is required at indoor events.

Register for this event here:


* * *

Free Albany Symphony Show & Fireworks!

Hudson, NY – On Friday, June 24 at 5 p.m. enjoy a free performance by The Albany Symphony as part of TrailBlaze NY, a month-long celebration of the Empire State Trail and the communities of the Hudson Valley and Capital Region. The event takes place outdoors at Basilica Hudson, 110 S Front St, Hudson, NY 12534.

Hudson Basilica and Albany Symphony
Basilica Hudson and The Albany Symphony, photo courtesy of TrailBlaze NY

Food and family fun starts at 5 p.m. Opening concerts begin at 6 p.m., including Diata Diata IFT, and famous tabla player Devesh Chandra. At 7:30 p.m., the Albany Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller will present an orchestral program featuring summer orchestral favorites like John Williams’ film music, John Philip Sousa’s marches and “Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland, as well as innovative contemporary music rooted in environmentalism. by composer Viet Cuong. The program will end with a folk song and fireworks at 9 p.m.


About Roy B. Westling

Check Also

Kelowna Community Theater Celebrates 60 Years of Success

This year, the Kelowna Community Theater (KCT) celebrates its 60th anniversary. The venue has been …