Timed to coincide with National Coming Out Day (Sunday, October 11), the City of Pittsfield is hosting the first ever Out in the Berkshires weekend - a multi-event celebration for the Berkshire's LBGT community.
It all happens over the long Columbus Day weekend as Berkshire County’s largest and most fascinating city plays host to its first ever area performance by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, a staged reading of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later by Barrington Stage Company, and Quite Queer, a live music and dance party. This weekend of gay-friendly performances coincides with the launch of a new collaborative marketing project targeted to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender) community in Berkshire County and beyond, OutintheBerkshires.com. The events are open to all so everyone can celebrate the unique diversity of our community.
Keith Haring's famous drawing.
It all kicks off with the first ever Berkshire County performance by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Pittsfield on Saturday, October 10, at 3:30pm. The BGMC is one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses, and will perform highlights from its rousing hit show, Boys Just Wanna Have Fun: Totally 80s.
Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Gay/Straight Alliances at Pittsfield High School and Taconic High School. The Chorus is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming and groundbreaking community outreach. Advance ticket prices are $5 for students and $10 for adults, with a 10% discount for groups of 10 or more. Tickets will be sold at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Taconic High School, Pittsfield High School, and St. Stephen’s Parish or will be available for $15 at the door.
Saturday night, October 10, the Elk’s Club at 27 Union St. comes alive with the live-music and DJ dance-party Quite Queer, the first-ever of its kind in Pittsfield. Music starts at 6pm and features co-headlining acts MKNG FRNDZ, a self-described “boy/girl revolution” that produce brilliant blown-out synth-pop.
Then there is also Jen Urban and the Box from New York City, whose album is described as everything from “raunchy garage-laced electroclash to anthemic dance-pop to sincere confessional song form.”
The openers for the event are The G-Spots, an all-girl rock group from Worcester, and unique new-age disco artist Max Steele and the Party Ice from Brooklyn.
The concert will be followed by a dance-party that will continue until 1am. This is an 18+ event with a full cash-bar for 21+, and tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door and can be purchased at Rebel Sound Records, The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, and Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
On Columbus Day, Monday, October 12, Barrington Stage Company presents The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (An Epilogue), a staged reading of the compelling and groundbreaking epilogue to the highly acclaimed play that debuted in 2000. The epilogue focuses on the long-term effect of the murder of Matthew Shepard on the town of Laramie. It explores how the town has changed and how the murder continues to reverberate in the community. The staged reading will be performed in more than 100 other theaters across the country on the same day. (Click here for Larry Murray's preview)
Barrington Stage Company has assembled a cast comprised of both professional and local acting talents. Performances will take place at 3pm and 7pm on the Main Stage and tickets are $15 for adults and $10 students. To help raise awareness in the community and fight intolerance and prejudice, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which works to share Matthew’s dream of replacing the hate in the world with understanding, compassion, and acceptance.
Sponsorships between $25 and $99 receive a listing in the show playbill and sponsorships of more than $100 receive listing in the playbill as a "Special Benefactor", two tickets to the performance, and an invitation for two to a post-show party at Jae’s Spice directly following the 7pm performance. Visit www.barringtonstageco.org for information and tickets.
The debut Out in the Berkshires weekend is a part a collaborative marketing project to reach the LGBT community in Berkshire County and beyond, both visitors and residents. Outintheberkshires.com is a new resource for art, music, nightlife, and commerce for the LGBT community in the Berkshires. For more information please visit outintheberkshires.com or write firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome them to our growing community.