Coming Soon in Arts and Entertainment

UMass Dance Students to Present Graduation Thesis Projects

AMHERST – On Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4, dance majors from the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will present their thesis projects in a program called “When We Close Our Eyes.” .

The concerts, which will take place at 7:30 p.m., each at the Totman Performance Lab, will feature original works by dance majors Madeline Canavan, Emma Garber, Camrie Baams, Jade Farrell, Kayla Dame and Katya Taylor. The six choreographers have created works that look from within, reflecting on how their identities and experiences can shape the world around them.

Concerts are free, but donations to the UMass Dance Program will be accepted at the door. Advance reservations for tickets can be made by emailing [email protected] The concerts will also be broadcast on the department’s YouTube channel.

Totman Performance Lab is located at 30 Eastman Lane.

Happier Valley Comedy
expands with ‘Fun Fridays’

HADLEY – Happier Valley Comedy debuted “Fun Fridays at The Next Door Lounge!” on February 18, offering a rotation of weekly theatrical-filled events open to the public every Friday night at the Comedy Theater’s new Next Door Lounge at 1 Mill Valley Road.

The happy range of offerings includes: Game Night on the first Friday of the month, Trivia Night on the second Friday, Standup-Storytelling Showcase on the third Friday and a Music Open Mic Night on the fourth Friday. All events are free.

On Fun Fridays, the Next Door Lounge opens at 5:30 p.m. to order dinner delivered, raise a drink, and gather before the main events begin at 7:00 p.m.

Customers can find helpful links to nearby local restaurants on their website to make it easier to order or pick up a meal on the way to work at Fun Fridays. The lounge sells a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The Next Door Lounge is also open to the public on Saturday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by for the free weekly “community-powered” improv showcase and “More Improv, More Better” jam at 9 p.m. in the Next Door Lounge every Saturday.

Gateway City Arts’ famed cafe will open for lunch

HOLYOKE – Holyoke’s Canal District will host another lunch option when Gateway City Arts’ two-story bistro space, now known as The Famous Cafe, opens during the day beginning Tuesday, March 1 .

Famous Cafe, at 92 Race St., is run by husbands Dave Blood and Mauro Brito, who in 2018 moved their Famous Farm business from California to western Massachusetts, where Blood grew up. After discovering Gateway City Arts through Drag Bingo nights, they introduced themselves and their culinary creations to Gateway City Arts owners, Lori Divine and Vitek Kruta, and have been part of the GCA family ever since.

The couple’s famous farm originally supplied bread and baked goods for the former Gateway City Arts Bistro, but during GCA’s pandemic shutdown, plans emerged for Blood and Brito to reopen and run the business. space entirely under the name of The Famous Cafe.

Since Gateway reopened last year, The Famous Cafe has served a limited menu of quick bites, coffee and sweets on concert nights. The expanded menu for the café’s new daytime activity will include a selection of specialty sandwiches, soups and baked goods.

The Famous Cafe will be open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for counter service.

‘Blithe Spirit’ at the Majestic Theater

WEST SPRINGFIELD — “Blithe Spirit,” a classic Noel Coward comedy, opened at the Majestic Theater this week and will run until April 3.

Production manager Danny Eaton said the play would lift the spirits of its audience and provide great laughs.

“We are really happy to reopen our doors after closing for a few weeks as the number of COVIDs increased in our region, he said. “We were very dismayed to postpone our January play, ‘Betty and the Patch,’ to June of this year, but it really made sense, given the circumstances and our mission to help keep attendees, performers and healthy staff.”

Eaton said the downtime was used to upgrade venue amenities, including the installation of new carpet, stage lighting and sound equipment. New chairs have been ordered and new HVAC systems are improving air quality throughout the theater and cafe.

The Majestic Theater asks all attendees to wear masks at all times (except when eating and drinking), to be fully vaccinated against COVID, and to present their vaccination record (or photo of it on their mobile phone) ) upon their arrival. At this time, no food or drink can be brought into the theater and must be consumed at the Majestic Café.

After Blithe Spirit, the season continues with the musicals “9 to 5” (April 14-May 29) and “Betty & the Patch” (June dates coming soon). All original ticket holders for “Betty & the Patch” will be able to see the comedy/drama on a rescheduled date.

Tickets for “Blithe Spirit” and “9 to 5” are available at the Majestic box office or by calling 413-747-7797.

UMass Jazz Ensembles presents a showcase on March 8

AMHERST – UMass Amherst’s Department of Music and Dance will present the 41st annual Jazz Showcase on March 8, featuring ensemble performances from the award-winning Jazz and African American Music Studies (JAAMS) program led by Jeffrey W. Holmes . The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Bowker Auditorium; all attendees must agree to follow departmental protocols regarding COVID-19.

The program, titled “Jazz & Beyond in the 21st Century”, will focus on music composed over the past two decades, including “Make Noise” by Jeremy Pelt, “Shanghai” by David Six, “Bang-Ah Taryung” by Jihye Lee, “Lingus” by Snarky Puppy and “Three For Her” by Marcus Strickland. All four major JAAMS ensembles will be featured, including Jazz Ensemble I, Vocal Jazz, Chapel Jazz and Graduate Jazz Composers, as well as various combos and smaller groups.

Also participating in the concert will be the Clementine String Quartet, a college-level group that was recently selected as a finalist in the National Association of Music Teachers’ annual competition.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors and non-UMass students, and free for UMass students. Tickets can be purchased at the Fine Arts Center box office, by phone at 413-545-2511 or online at

The Bowker Auditorium is located at 80 Campus Center Way; free and secure parking is available in the nearby Campus Center garage. Bezanson Recital Hall is located in the Bromery Center for the Arts, located at 151 Presidents Drive. Free, secure parking for the Bromery Center is available in the university’s lot 71 near Massachusetts Avenue and lot 62 via Thatcher Way or Stockbridge Road.