Architectural sketches of the Spruce Theatre; contributed photo.
Architectural sketches of the Spruce Theatre; contributed photo.

The Top Left Corner — 2021/08/12

Above: an initial architectural rendering of the now completed Spruce Theatre; submitted photo.

Welcome to this week’s episode of the Top Left Corner

Listen and comment LIVE Thursdays from 9 – 11 a.m. Eastern, on Radio Free Berkshires

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If you’re here for the first time, the Top Left Corner is a locally focused weekly live internet radio show and podcast based in Williamstown, Mass. 

We do our best to wade through the spin and biases and bring back the important stuff that most of us really care about. Every week, we’re going to tell you what we think about local current events and the national stories that directly affect the people of Williamstown and Berkshire County. We also interview amazing guests.

You can listen live—and participate live. You’ll find a chat box you can use to comment live–anonymously if you wish. We do our best to read and address everyone’s comments on the air: 

–Jay and Steve


Allyn Burrows

Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company, Allyn Burrows, discusses the remainder of the 2021 Season, the challenges of the pandemic on the company and how it responded and adapted, and the upcoming benefit concert with Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam.

Project Grand Slam

August 17, 2021; 8:30 p.m.
Shakespeare & Company
Tina Packer Playhouse
70 Kemble Street, Lenox Mass.

Project Grand Slam (PGS) is the brainchild of acclaimed leader/bassist/composer Robert Miller. PGS is a celebrated fusion of Rock and Jazz with a twist of Latin and a New York City groove.

Be sure to listen to our interview with Robert Miller!

Allyn Burrows, contributed photo.

“Allyn is thrilled to return to Shakespeare & Company as the company’s Artistic Director. He was an artistic associate here for several years and acted in numerous productions, including King John (King John)Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick)Henry V(Henry V), A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Oberon), Henry IV, Part 1(Hal), Measure for Measure(Angelo), Betrayal(Jerry), The House of Mirth(Lawrence Selden), Love’s Labours Lost(Berowne)Macbeth(Macduff), and The Compleat Works of Shakespeare. He was the Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston for 7  years. Directing credits there include Romeo & Juliet , Pericles, Jon Lipsky’s Living in ExileRichard II, and The Tempest. Acting credits for ASP include The Winter’s Tale(Leontes), Henry VI Part 2(Gloucester and Jack Cade)Henry VIII( Henry VIII), Twelfth Night(Malvolio)Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2(Hotspur and Pistol)Timon of Athens(Timon), All’s Well that Ends Well(Parolles), King Lear (Kent), Measure for Measure(Duke Vincentio), and Richard III(Duke of Clarence)  . Recently in the Boston area, he has performed in productions of Can You Forgive Her at the Huntington Theatre, Breaking the Code at Underground Railway Theatre, Shipwrecked at The Lyric Stage, OceansideThe SeafarerPursuit of Happiness, and The Homecoming at Merrimack Repertory Theater, and Five by Tenn, at Speakeasy Stage. He was the 2006 Elliot Norton Award recipient for The HomecomingKing Lear, and Five byTenn and a 2011 IRNE Award Winner for Breaking the Code. Off-Broadway credits include BugKiller JoeLouis Slotin SonataClosetland, and The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd. He has worked at a number of theaters around the country, including Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, The American Conservatory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, The Denver Center, and The Walnut St. Theatre. Television credits include The Broad Squad, Law and OrderLaw and Order: Criminal Intent, and Against the Law, and he can be seen in the films The Company Men, Julie& Julia, and Manchester by the Sea.

AnnMarie Belair

Photo of AnneMaire Belair; photo by Jay Velázquez.
AnnMaire Belair; photo by Jay Velázquez.

“Co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of the Berkshires’ newest cannabis shops, AnnMarie Belair discusses the long, strange trip from her life in real estate to the face and force behind the Liberty Market, centrally located in Lanesborough.

Liberty Market Llc is a small business founded in 2018 by Kenneth Crowley, owner of Herbal pathways in Maine. Ken has over 15 years of experience in all facets of cannabis. Falling in love with the Berkshires and working with COO AnnMarie Belair the location formerly the well-known “Lanesborough Supermarket” was developed into Liberty Market Llc. recreational cannabis dispensary.

Liberty market Lanesborough is one of the largest cannabis recreational stores in the Berkshires. Liberty is proud to offer a curated menu of quality cannabis products, consumer education, cannabis accessories and old fashion customer service. In addition, we are excited to offer a true Berkshire ambiance pleasing the senses with an array of Cannabis products, art, nature, culture and accessories. These include offerings from local small entrepreneurs, artist, minority-owned businesses and vendors whom we have had the pleasure to collaborate with for an opportunity to display and sell some of their amazing products and cannabis art in our store. Liberty Market aims to give our customers a true culturally Berkshire-esque cannabis experience.

We also offer our customers another 2 retail locations in Maine under the sister brand Herbal Pathways. These brand-new stores are located in Berwick (right over the NH border) and Gardiner Maine we hope you have the opportunity to visit us in Maine as well.”

Frankie Altamura

Francesca, “Frankie,” Altamura is an Organizer at Local 2110 United Auto Workers, working with the Hispanic Society of America Union, the Whitney Museum Union, and the MASS MoCA Union, to name a few. She came to work at Local 2110 by way of organizing her former workplace, the New Museum of Contemporary Art where she was the Curatorial Assistant. Working with her colleagues to certify the New Museum Union back in January 2019, she was part of the organizing and bargaining committees, and was a Delegate until she was furloughed and laid-off due to the pandemic. 

"The Maples," created by Natalie Jeremijenko; photo by Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Tree-mancipation Day!
“The Maples,” created by Natalie Jeremijenko; photo by By Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons


Stuff we might touch on during our opening banter.

No Starters this week.


Can you turn and point to where Mt. Greylock is, generally? Then we’re talkin’ ’bout you.

No Local News this week.


From our border with Pownal to the Race Point Lighthouse

No News of the Commonwealth this week.


Sometimes Canada. Maybe Mexico. Probably Greenland if we can annex it.

No National stories this week.


Also the Moon and nearby planets in the Sol System

News of the world? Not hardly.

Homeless Resources

Some resources re: the situation in Massachusetts and our area:

Jason Velázquez

Jason Velázquez has worked in print and digital journalism and publishing for two decades.
Phone: (413) 776-5125

Kenneth Tigar and Robert Zukerman in Boca, by Jessica Provenz, directed by Julianne Boyd, playing Outdoors at the BSC Production Center now through August 29; photo by Daniel Rader.
Previous Story

BOCA: the laugh we’ve been waiting for

Photo of musicians of the band Project Grand Slam performing.
Next Story

Will Call #73 —
NTRVW: Robert Miller
of Project Grand Slam

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