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Bits & Bytes: ‘Willy Wonka KIDS’; Fairview Monster Dash; Jason A. Rodriguez at Jacob’s Pillow; ‘Six Jewish Artists’; Nature Discovery Backpacks

Jacob’s Pillow and Jason A. Rodriguez from the FX television series “Pose” will team up to showcase New York City’s Ball scene at the first-ever Pillow Party: Mini Ball Saturday, Oct. 26, at Jacob’s Pillow.

BTG’s ‘Willy Wonka KIDS’ to feature 125 local students

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will present “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS” on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre, 111 South St.

Directed by Travis Daly with music direction by Erin M. White and choreography by Kathy Jo Grover, this new annual fall KIDS production will be the first time BTG will feature exclusively second- through seventh-grade students on the Colonial stage, in a production geared specifically for that age group. This new fall addition has allowed BTG to expand its year-round education program, BTG PLAYS!, which serves 13,000 schoolchildren in over 26 schools across 15 towns.

Charlie Bucket experiences delicious adventures after winning a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s mysterious and fantastic chocolate factory. Featuring songs from the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder in addition to new songs, “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS” is a scrumdidilyumptious musical guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.

The cast of “Willy Wonka KIDS” represent students from schools including Allendale Elementary School, BART Charter School, Becket Washington School, Berkshire Country Day School, Berkshire Waldorf School, Berlin Elementary School, Brayton Elementary School, Capeless Elementary School, Conte Community School, Craneville Elementary School, Crosby Elementary School, Egremont Elementary School, Emma L. Miller Elementary School, Herberg Middle School, Hoosac Valley Elementary School, Hoosac Valley Middle School, Lanesborough Elementary School, Lee Elementary School, Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, Montessori School of the Berkshires, Monument Valley Regional Middle School, Morningside Community School, Morris Elementary School, Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School, Nessacus Regional Middle School, Pine Cobble School, Reid Middle School, St. Agnes Academy, St. Mary’s School, St. Stanislaus Kostka School, Stearns Elementary School, Undermountain Elementary School, and Williams Elementary School.

Tickets are $10 for children 16 and under, and $15 for adults. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.


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Monster Dash to raise funds for food pantry

A team of participants from a recent Fairview Hospital Monster Dash. Photo courtesy Berkshire Health Systems

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital’s cardiopulmonary and outpatient rehabilitation team will hold the 2019 Monster Dash, consisting of a 5K run/walk and a 1-mile walk, Saturday, Oct. 26, at 9:30 a.m. at Fairview’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, 10 Maple Ave.

All ages and abilities may participate in the event, and participants are encouraged to wear costumes. Runners and walkers will receive free Halloween safety lights and enjoy snacks provided by local businesses including Bartlett’s Orchard, Fuel, Taft Farms and Big Y. The first 60 5K entrants will receive T-shirts. Prizes will be awarded for the top racers including top 5K male and female finishers, and the first three male and female 5K finishers in the following age groups: 19 and under, 20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, and 60 and over. Prizes will also be awarded for costumes. Race-day registration will take place from 8 to 9:20 a.m. in the rehabilitation department.

The cost of the 5K race is $25. The cost of the 1-mile fun walk is $7 per person with a maximum of $20 per family. Proceeds from the race will be donated to the People’s Pantry. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Fairview’s cardiopulmonary department at (413) 854-9609.


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Jacob’s Pillow to host mini Ball

Jason A. Rodriguez. Photo courtesy Jacob’s Pillow

Becket — Jacob’s Pillow and Jason A. Rodriguez from the FX television series “Pose” will team up to showcase New York City’s Ball scene at the first-ever Pillow Party: Mini Ball Saturday, Oct. 26, from 8 to 11 p.m. at Jacob’s Pillow. Rodriguez will be joined by five professional New York-based Vogue performers along with local drag performers Boxxa Vine and Miss Berkshires 2019 Miranda Moirai.

Starting with a “mini” Ball (performance and demonstration), party-goers can observe what it means to “walk the runway’ and learn about the history and societal impact Vogue has had on the LGBTQIA+ community and dance world at large. After, all are welcome to enter the best-dressed contest to be judged on their most extravagant look. The night will end with a large dance party.

Balls originated as a safe gathering space for those primarily in the black and Latino communities who identified as LGBTQIA+ in 1960s Harlem. Groups of people known as “houses” compete in elaborate costumes with a signature walk, dance, strut, vogue and pose for trophies, prizes and glory.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for students, and free for youth ages 17 and under. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Jacob’s Pillow at (413) 243-9919.


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Congregation Ahavath Sholom to host illustrated talk on Jewish art

‘Song of Songs,’ 1946 plaster sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz. Photo courtesy Congregation Ahavath Sholom

Great Barrington — Congregation Ahavath Sholom will host the illustrated talk “Six Jewish Artists” by Arthur Hillman Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m.

Hillman is professor emeritus of photography, printmaking and design at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. During his talk, he will be showing examples and discussing the work of painter/printmaker Marc Chagall, sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, photographer Roman Vishniac, painter Mark Rothko, painter/sculptor David Aronson and mixed media artist Judy Chicago.

Admission is free to congregation members and $10 at the door for nonmembers. For more information, contact Congregation Ahavath Sholom at (413) 528-4197 or


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North Adams Public Library introduces Nature Discovery Backpacks program

A Nature Discovery Backpack. Photo courtesy Berkshire Natural Resources Council

North Adams — The Berkshire Natural Resources Council and the North Adams Public Library have launched the Nature Discovery Backpacks program, which provides access to essential hiking supplies for a safe, fun and educational outdoor experience. Community members with a library card will be able to check out backpacks equipped with field guides, trail suggestions, a basic first-aid kit, compass, binoculars, magnifying glass, bug spray, two ponchos, an insect house, wildlife tracking card, Leave No Trace educational cards, and an observational journal. The packs, sponsored by BNRC donors, will be available at the library for a one-week checkout. Reservations are required.

“This program is meant to provide the tools for families and individuals to be prepared for their own adventure in the natural world and to have fun,” said BNRC President Jenny Hansell.



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