Acclaimed klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals and accordionist Patrick Farrell will perform June 24 at PS21 in Chatham, N.Y.
Acclaimed klezmer fiddler Alicia Svigals and accordionist Patrick Farrell will perform June 24 at PS21 in Chatham, N.Y. (Performance Space for the 21st Century )

I was having lunch with a colleague who has lived in the Berkshires even longer than I have, and she asked me if I had climbed the Blue Steps at Naumkeag, where water flows down in a stone channel.

In all this time, I never knew the Berkshires has a water stair -- like the Generalife gardens outside the Alham bra. When you climb the stairs there, you hear the sound of a stream flowing.

This is one of the pleasures of preparing Previews: Find ing beautiful things I've never seen. I've lived in the Berk shires now for more than a dozen years, off and on, and every five minutes a new one seems to appear: an orchid bog, a spruce barren, a spoken word poet, a ceramics studio.

These mountains have had artists and songmakers and storytellers as long as they have had wild orchids. Hikers can rest against their stone walls, and museums honor their craft -- from Niioieren Perkins' beadwork at the Berkshire Museum to Norman Rockwell's wry sketches of amateur athletes.

It's another pleasure to make make connections like that one between creative people. Any one play or pendant or poem has strength; finding elements in common between them can heighten all of them.

See here -- as "Fiddler on the Roof" and Sholem Alei chem's tales appear at Bar ring ton Stage, Hevreh also reads Yid dish stories. And here, Eastern Europe meets folk music: a world-reknowned klez mer fiddler will perform at PS21.


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At the Guthrie Center, to the same music, Nora Guthrie will talk about Woodie Guth rie's relationship with his mother-in-law, the Yiddish poet Aliza Green blatt. Tevye escaping his shtetl has stepped into 1960s Amer ica. The fiddler sits against a maple tree beside a long-haired guitarist tuning his strings.

You can sink into a time and place, when you see it from more than one point of view. Perspective can turn it on, or turn you on.

A taste and sound and a myth or a movement come together, and you can feel what Tevye felt, standing at the quayside in New York City on the morning he stepped off the boat, without his mule and his milk cart for the first time.