Music, dance and theater lovers who enjoy savoring the arts in a
rural setting may want to head for Massachusetts's Berkshire
Mountains, where a series of festivals showcases world-class talent
every summer. Here's a look.
Tanglewood Music Festival: Lenox is the summer
home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the celebrated Boston
Pops stages concerts on the lawn here as well. (413) 637-1600.
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival: Beckett is the
site of the country's oldest dance festival, featuring ballet, jazz
and modern dance. Pillow Express Regional Tours are chartered day
trips via bus to the festival from the regional hubs of Albany,
N.Y.; Hartford, Conn.; Springfield, Mass., and Boston. Agents
receive discounted tickets for the tours, translating to a 10%
commission if sold at full price. Tickets must be purchased before
May 21; performances are in July. (413) 637-1322 for tours, (413)
243-0745 for the
Berkshire Theatre Festival: Classic American
and foreign plays as well as new works are performed by leading
stage talent in Stockbridge all summer long. (413) 298-5576.
In Lenox, the Seven Hills Country Inn and Restaurant, a
turn-of-the-century Tudor-style mansion, has put together its own
program of performing arts along with midweek lodging packages.
Highlights on this year's performance schedule at the inn
include the return of Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart as guest
pianist with the string quartet Innuendo; an appearance by Spanish
dance troupe Ramon de los Reyes, and the premiere of Blue Pumpkin's
cabaret revue, "Backporch Vaudeville."
A Monday music series titled the Classics runs July 5 to Aug.
23, and a Tuesday Sparkling Entertainment series, featuring jazz,
swing and Broadway music, runs from July 6 to Aug. 24. Backporch
Vaudeville is performed at the inn Wednesdays through Fridays and
Midweek overnight packages include one performance, dinner,
breakfast and lodging at the 52-room inn, whose guest list has
included such luminaries as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Beverly
Sills and Carly Simon. Prices, commissionable at 10% on the rooms
portion of each package, range from $119 to $229 per person.
A three-night minimum applies to weekend stays during Tanglewood
season. For reservations, call (800) 869-6518.