The 413: What to do


Get funky

Get down and get funky with MCLA Presents! at the ninth annual Blues and Funk Festival with some blues to warm the soul on a chilly winter weekend.

Friday night, starting at 7:30, listen to Jesse Dee with his warm and honest sound, his instantly memorable melodies and positive, slice-of-life lyrics (evoking the heyday of the Brill Building songwriters). Jesse expertly updates soul music for contemporary audiences.

On Saturday, see Walter "Wolfman" Washington perform at 7:30 p.m. He has been an icon on the New Orleans music scene for decades. His searing guitar work and soulful vocals have defined the Crescent City's unique musical hybrid of R&B, funk and the blues since he formed his first band in the 1970s. It's a night promised to be a blues filled journey of his hits from the 1950s to today.

Both concerts will be held at the MCLA Venable Gym, 375 Church St., North Adams. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for MCLA Alumni and $5 for MCLA faculty/staff and non-MCLA students. Members and MCLA students get in for free. For more information, call (413) 664-8718 or visit

Comedy Night

Fight cabin fever and have a few laughs tonight at the "Cabin Fever Comedy Show," to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County at the ITAM Lodge, 93 Waubeek Road, Pittsfield.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m. with laughs to follow at 7, thanks to comedians Rodney Laney and Buddy Fitzpatrick.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling the NAMI-BC office at (413) 443-1666 or email

Sing it

Think you've got what it takes to be crowned Berkshire Idol? Belt out your best 16 bars of song on stage for Idol auditions this weekend.

The 2014 Berkshire Idol auditions will be held Saturday at various locations throughout the county. Berkshire Idol, established in 2006, is a county-wide fundraising event that donates proceeds to local not-for-profit organizations that support and enhance the community. This years' recipient is Minerva Arts Center, to support their current "Build the MAC" project located in Williamstown.

Possible Idol contestants will be asked to sing a capella in a closed audition at one of the following locations: The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.; The Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Great Barrington, Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.; or at All Saints Episcopal Church, North Adams, Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contestants will then have three months to prepare two songs for the Finale Festival on May 2-4.

Sip it

Stop by Balderdash Cellars on East Street in Pittsfield for a night of sampling local wine for a good cause.

On Saturday, from 6 to 9 p.m., warm up and give back at the "Moments House Winter Warmer Wine Tasting" event at the Pittsfield winery. Food pairings, and tunes from Brian Benlien will also add to the evening, which benefits Moments House programs and services.

Tickets are $30 and are available for purchase at Moments House, 34 Depot St., Suite 301, Pittsfield, or by calling (413) 443-6800.


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