Entertainment: Dance, music, theater

It’s spring, and the Vineyard is beginning to bustle with all forms of entertainment, offering big town entertainers in an up-close and personal small-town setting. From Shakespeare in the summer months to theater, pub bands to headliners, string quartets to orchestral groups, there are enough events going on to keep people happily engaged. With entertainment venues such as the Tabernacle in the Oak Bluffs Campgrounds, outdoor settings such as those at Featherstone Center for the Arts and Ocean Park, the Agricultural Hall and The Grange for flea markets and festivals, The Yard in Chilmark for contemporary dance, visitors have a wide range of choices. The Island has become a favorite place for many regional and local bands and performers. In Oak Bluffs, Oyster Bar Grill, Seasons, Offshore Ale Co., The Island House, The Lampost, The Ritz, Sharky’s, and Nancy’s may be counted on to keep their customers entertained. In Edgartown, The Wharf, Atlantic Fish and Chop House, Sharky’s, and the Seafood Shanty are popular venues for bands. The Wharf continues its weekly trivia night on Tuesday evenings through spring. Or play Buzztime Trivia with your friends and family at The Lampost, and both Sharky’s locations. The Yard, a resident dance colony in Chilmark, begins its 2010 season on June 24, with Opening Night at The Yard: Dance, Theater, and Opera honoring Claudia Miller. Visit dancetheyard.org for more information. June means Taste of the Vineyard, the annual party that benefits Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, held on the Old Whaling Church lawn. Dance to the tunes of Jerry Bennett and the Sultans of Swing, and try food and drinks from more than 75 Island restaurants and purveyors. Martha’s Vineyard California Wine Affair is a new event this year, at Atria Restaurant in Edgartown. Enjoy wine tastings, auctions, and dinner on the weekend of May 14. Visit mvcaliwineexperience.com for more information. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society screens weekly independent films at the Katharine Cornell Theatre, and at the Tabernacle in the summer. Or, see the blockbusters at the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven, the Strand and Island in Oak Bluffs (call 508-627-6689 for movie times), and at Entertainment Cinemas in Edgartown (call 508-627-8007 for movie times). This is the time of year to meet and greet, make new friends, and be entertained, Vineyard style.