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The Berkshires for Theater, Art, and Good Food

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Spring is taking its sweet time coming this year and New Yorkers are getting antsy. We are tired of being cooped up in our apartments for the past several months and need to get out.  The dilemma is what to do when it is not beach weather and baseball season is still a week away.  Our recommendation? A weekend in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts and a visit to the Main Street Stage in North Adams to see their current production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons.

Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play in 1947, All My Sons established Arthur Miller as a leading voice in the American theater.  All My Sons introduced themes that thread through Miller’s work as a whole: the relationships between fathers and sons and the conflict between business and personal ethics.

The inspiration for the play came from a wartime anecdote Miller heard about a woman who had betrayed her father to the authorities for delivering defective equipment to the U.S. military.  From this Miller shaped a drama not about war, but about topics of greater relevance to him: money and greed.

With today’s national headlines of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, executives and financial officers of major corporations behind bars, and fears of financial collapse, All My Sons startles with a contemporary relevance for American audiences.  World War II has ended as Joe Keller, an airplane parts manufacturer, is caught in a personal battle between individual responsibility and business that could threaten his tenuous hold on the American dream.

Directed by Edward Cating and Alexia Trainor, All My Sons ran this past weekend to packed houses and continues next weekend, April 3 and 4 at 8pm.  Tickets can be purchased on line at www.mainstreetstage.org. (The photo above shows the characters  Joe, Kate and Chris played by Edward Cating, Linda White and Conor Moroney).

While you are in the Berkshires, we recommend a visit to MASS MoCA, one of the largest museums of contemporary art in the country, conveniently located a few blocks from the theater.  If your taste runs to more traditional art, the Clark Art Institute, a few miles down the road in nearby Williamstown, Massachusetts, has one of the best collections of art in the country.  Nearby Lenox, Massachusetts is great for antiquing, shopping and sightseeing.

The area abounds with great restaurants. We especially like Gramercy Bistro in North Adams 413-663-5300 and Mill on the Floss in nearby New Ashford 413-458-9123.  Just three hours from New York by car, a trip to the Berkshires is a perfect way to recharge your batteries.

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