PITTSFIELD -- Happy December and happy holiday time, dear readers!

It's been a while and we have a lot of catching up to do before the year and/or world ends.

Though, on the matter of the latter, you need not worry according to my interviewee, Jennifer Daley

Daley is currently working with the Peace Corps in a town steeped in Mayan history. She writes, "13 Baktun or Dec. 21, 2012, IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD! I know everyone thinks that the Mayans have predicted the end of the world, but it is really just a shift in consciousness and an opportunity for a new beginning. None of my indigenous friends are worried about it!"

So there you have it.

If you're a devotee of "The 413," you read last week's interview with Pittsfield native-turned-comedian Jesse Adams. In the article, he refers to the Berkshires as having a limited stand-up and live comedy scene.

But, reader Ron Werth, the director of ticketing and food services at Shakespeare & Company and self-proclaimed "occasional stand up comic" informed me of the "Happy Fun Time Comedy Show."

What is this, you might ask? Werth and Facebook tell me it's a free, age 21-and-up evening of comedy which takes place every Sunday night at 8 at Rumpy's Tavern on Church Street in Lenox. It's hosted by Thomas Attilla Lewis and features a revolving cast of comics each week.


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"We often have comedians come from Albany/Boston/NYC and Los Angeles who perform," writes Werth.

There's a tavern menu available from 5 to 9 p.m., and free food after each show. Just remember, seating is limited in this intimate night spot.

And of course, there's Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe (RBIT), which is currently planning its 2013 season, so I'm told. Their next gig is Jan. 18 at Spectrum Playhouse in Lee. Prepare to laugh, snort and giggle.

To riff on Johnny Marks' "A Holly Jolly Christmas" lyrics, "I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer." After all, there are plenty of holiday-themed parties happening in the Shires.

Tonight, from 5 to 11 p.m., there will be an all-ages holiday party at the Itam Lodge in Pittsfield to benefit Moments House. Tickets are $12 at the door and include music by Terry a la Berry and Whiskey City, and a buffet dinner by Unico.

Also tonight at 7:30, the MCLA Presents! series brings the Canadian duo Dala on stage at the Church Street Center in North Adams to present songs of the season, in a folky kind of way. Tickets are $10 general admission.

One of my favorite annual holiday events takes place this weekend, that being the annual Rebel Sound Records Eagle Toy Fund shows. Now in its seventh year, RSR rallies bands behind the fund to help bring toys and joy to local girls and boys.

On Friday, RSR presents Pandora's Toybox, V.I., Happy Hour Burlesque and Forever Autumn, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday's lineup includes Dead Aces, The Damaged, Pruf, Fool Everyone and Brook Pridemore, all starting at 7 p.m. Both shows are 18 and up and will be held at Chameleons nightclub on East Street in Pittsfield. Admission is a $10 charitable donation each night.

Also on Friday, the band Adverse Effect will rock you like a lump of coal during a holiday celebration at Casey's Billiards in Pittsfield. There's a $5 cover for this 21-up event, which includes giveaways, free pool, music and more. The party starts at 9 p.m.

Saturday is the Gypsy Joynt Holiday Extravaganza, kicking off at 9 p.m., and featuring music by Chris Merenda & The Wheel. Local musician Donny Sawyer will also be playing and hosting a Christmas party at Michael's of Stockbridge, starting at 9:30 p.m.

If you're looking for a little peace this holiday season, give The Guthrie Center in Great Barrington a chance. It's hosting a Winter Solstice Circle of Sound on Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. Bring a drum, a singing bowl, or your voice, so long as it is with good intention.

And for those of you who are interested in attending an "end of the world party" (if you're not planning your own) on Friday, Dec. 21, Casey's Billiards in Pittsfield will host one. The band Smartass will host one at the Itam Lodge. Even Chef Brian Alberg is banking in on the theme by hosting a $150 per person "End of Days Feast." With duck liver, roasted lamb, wild boar, and lots of wine on the menu, it may be a meal to die for.

The hopeful group B.A. Dario and Boston-based band, People with Instruments, will be hosting a Post-Apocalypse Party on Sat. Dec. 22 at the Underground Pub in Pittsfield, beginning at 9 p.m. If you still live to have a wallet, you'll have to shell out $7 cover for this age 21-plus rock event.

If we're around after Dec. 21, then we'll all have New Year's Eve to look forward too, and a resolution to not believe everything we here.

If the fates do not allow for auld lang syne, I'll just say it's been great reporting to you for these past seven years. Cheers!

To reach Jenn Smith:
jsmith@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6239
On Twitter: @JennSmith_Ink