Parties & Openings
Nov. 18 - Pittsfield
Berkshire Museum Tree Fest
Nov. 17 - Lenox
Multicultural BRIDGE Awards
Nov. 15 - Torrington
NWCT Arts Council Awards
What Do You Wear to Rock the Opera?
For its annual costume ball benefit, IS 183 Art School of the Berkshires, the innovative not-for-profit center for children and adults in Stockbridge, MA, practices what it teaches. Its fundraisers are displays of exuberant creativity, and this year’s Rock the Opera dance party on March 1 at the Masonic Hall in Pittsfield should be just as effervescent as last year’s “Kabuki-a-Go-Go” when its staff and supporters transformed the Berkshire South Community Center in Great Barrington into a pulsing, 1960s pan-Asian discotheque. Usually, you have to go to a fancy schmancy Bar Mitzvah to dance the night away in such a ridiculous, riotous fashion. But for $50, IS 183 makes it possible to have a blast while supporting a cornerstone of our cultural community.
But what should you wear? You’ll get plenty of ideas at Berkshire Masquerade in Pittsfield, which has an inventory of 10,000 costumes and is offering a 20% discount on rentals (10% on purchases) if you let them know you are going to Rock the Opera. “Most of the people who’ve come in so far are going for the rock side,” says manager Kara Demler. “But I could definitely set you up as an opera character. We have a lot of historical clothing. I am surprised nobody has come in asking for a Viking helmet. I sell those.”
Berkshire Masquerade also sells theatrical wigs and makeup. “I can help you look like a punk rocker,” she says. “I have Elvis suits. We can dress you up as Michael Jackson or Madonna.” Costume rentals range from $20 - $45 (before the discount.) The shop keeps irregular hours (Thursdays 12 -6 and Saturdays 11- 1) but you can call ahead and make an appointment. “I am happy to open up for one customer if I have advance notice,” she says.
• Berkshire Masquerade (393 North Street, Pittsfield; 413-442-6063), which keeps irregular hours so call ahead
• Greystone Gardens (436 North Street; Pittsfield, MA; 413-442-9291) specializes in Victoriana and is offering a 20% Rock the Opera discount.
• Petria Boutiq (274 Main Street rear, Great Barrington; 413-528-1145), which carries vintage and “glam” clothing for women. Petria is offering a 10% Rock the Opera discount.
• Warner Theatre Costume Shop in Torrington, CT, which has 8,000 square feet of professional-quality costumes.