Iiiiiittt's Groundhog Day! Just kidding. That's already come and, thankfully, gone. But now the first weekend of February is officially upon us. From art shows to rock shows, dance parties and a celebration of the birthday of Bob Marley, there are plenty of opportunities to get on up and get out of the house. Here's a snapshot of what's in store:
• The Tavern at The A in Pittsfield has another great lineup on tap. Tonight and every Thursday night is open mic night from 8 to 11, with the full Arthur Holmes Blues Band. After a three-year hiatus, the rock band Circle of Stone returns at 10 p.m. Friday with a new configuration: Lead vocalist Bob Bottume, Dan Robinson on bass with vocals, drummer Paul Errichetto, and Matt Cahill on guitar with vocals. Country-rock group Shepards Crossing takes the stage at 9:30 p.m.
• The Blind Date Project comes to Hops and Vines Beer Garden & Brasserie in Williamstown this Friday and Saturday, with two performances each evening at 7 and 9. Desperate and looking for love, Anna (Bojana Novakovic of televisions "Rake" and "Shameless") is a woman at a karaoke bar waiting for a date she matched with online. Each night, her date is a different guest performer (male or female) whose identity is unknown to her until the moment of performance. There is no script. All dialogue is created on the spot by the performers, and directions are sent via text messages and phone calls by the director, interspersed with random songs. The ending is undefined, so things may turn out to be humiliating, tender or totally hot. Most of the shows are sold out, but there are still tickets for a special 9 p.m. showing on Saturday presented in partnership with BerkshireFlirt. Get them at http://ow.ly/XTOzN.
• Zion Lutheran Church will host two special events this week. Tonight at 6 p.m., Jazz Vespers take place at the church, located at 74 First St. in Pittsfield. A casual meal featuring entrees from local restaurants precede the service starting at 5:30. The service itself blends sacred and secular, with performers Andy Wrba on bass, vocalist Marisa Massery, Ben Kohn on piano, with guest appearances by other local musicians. This event is free and open to the public.
The church will from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday host a Mardi Gras Community Supper of home-cooked beef burgundy served with egg noodles, green beans, carrots, red cabbage, and dessert. Take out is available. Tickets are $12 or $6 for kids 12 and under. Beer and wine will be available for purchase, and credit and debit cards are accepted. Tickets are available at zionlutheranpittsfield.org or at the door.
• Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield has two special events happening this week.
Great Barrington native Jackson Whalan, will bring his friends and his own special blend of hip-hop and electronic bass music to the Lodge's Stagecoach Tavern, starting at 8 p.m. Tyler Gasek and Ian Stewart will join on saxophone and trumpet, with Max Wheeler on keys, and Lukas Wheeler opening. There's a $10 donation suggested for the artists.
Swing Dance Night returns to the Race Brook Lodge barn, with a beginner's lesson at 7 p.m., then an open floor with The Lucky 5 Band. Tickets are $10 and there's a cash bar. Dinner and lodging specials are available.
• Berkshire Young Professionals, 1Berkshire and the Berkshire Museum present "Don't Feed the Animals: A BYP Bash" from 7 p.m. to midnight at the museum in Pittsfield. Check out the new exhibit, "Art Zoo: Galleries Gone Wild." Karaoke starts at 7, then DJ BFG spins from 8 on. There will be a cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, indoor lawn-type games and a photo booth. Tickets to this age 21-and-up event are $10 for BYP members, $15 for non-members and can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1TAja9W. Guests can also stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Berkshires in Pittsfield for a reduced price that evening. Call ahead for details at 413-499-2000.
• Prior to the party, people of all ages can check out First Fridays Artswalk, a free event of arts exhibitions, opening receptions and more held throughout downtown Pittsfield. This month's event, held from 5 to 8 p.m., will encompass a dozen different art shows featuring work by more than 20 regional artists. Live music featuring John Culpo, Teddies Dipietro and Company will be in the Crawford Square, 137 North Street from 5 to 8.
The evening will culminate with an Afterwalk Dance Party from 8 to 10, at the Whitney Center for the Arts, with Kri Blozie (aka Kri Greenberg) on piano and guitar, Jonathan Suters on bass and guitar, Adrian Bennett on percussion and Naomi Dowd on guitar with vocals. Beer, wine, and tapas will be available for purchase.
For a full lineup of artists, openings and more, visit firstfridaysartswalk.com.
• The Sea The Sea, aka singer-songwriter duo Mira Stanley and Chuck e. Costa, perform at The Williams Inn in Williamstown, with guest Popotam. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 7:30. RSVP via eventbrite.com. Tickets are $12 payable at the door. Check out this and upcoming shows at facebook.com/barnshows.
• The St. Joe Crusader Club will host a Beer & Wine Social from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield. Enjoy light appetizers and dessert while sampling wine from Balderdash Cellars and beer from Big Elm Brewery. There will be raffle prizes too. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door to benefit the Lillian Quinn Scholarship fund for St. Joseph High School students. Tickets can be reserved at 413-447-9121.
• It's the birthday of the patron saint of reggae, Mr. Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, and local reggae-funk band Rebel Alliance will celebrate with a fundraising bash just over the line at Mount Anthony Country Club, 180 Country Club Drive, in Bennington, Vt. The band plays from 8 p.m. to midnight, and there will also be Jamaican food and drink specials available. There's a suggested donation of $10 to $20, with proceeds to go to the Bennington Vietnam Veteran's Family Outreach Center, WBTN Radio and Aurora Portal After School Program.
• WAM Theatre presents "Facing Our Truth," a one-night only theatrical event where local and professional actors and directors take on social justice featuring six short plays written in response to the life and death of Trayvon Martin, issues of race and/or privilege. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. Tickets are $15 general admission. Audiences should note that the staged readings contain strong language and mature content. Learn more at wamtheatre.com/facing-our-truth.