If you ask me, there’s nothing more American than an “American Idol” knockoff. The mass reproduction of a winning concept, democracy in action, boob tube-ism … it’s great. Unfortunately for some, the Chinese authorities seem to have had the same idea.

But there’s no problem with Idol-like ventures around these parts. In an event designed to raise money for a pair of local charities, Berkshire Idol auditions are scheduled to begin April 1 in North Adams, with a final event set for April 29 at Drury High School.

And the slate of celebrity judges is nothing short of outstanding. Williamstown pop sensation Ananda Rose and Williams College stalwart Bernice Lewis are on board, as is Williamstown Theatre Festival artistic director Roger Rees, this year’s Baccalaureate speaker. The latter has the potential to bring a non-deranged, benevolent Simon Cowell vibe to the proceedings, which I think we can all agree is a good thing.

I’m tempted to go all Diddy on everyone and start throwing “Vote or Die” references around, but I won’t. If you’re in the area, you should check it out.

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