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Heather Bellow
A performance of 'Little Shop of Horrors' for the Monument Mountain Regional High School senior class on Monday: from left, Christina Payne, Sophia Ruderman, and Hannah Emerson Clapp. That's the hungry Two-ey behind Christina.

Bits & Bytes: Monument spring musical; Kiwanis Ham Roll; Slavic eggs at Ventfort; Spencertown story contest  

By Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 News 1
‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ MMRHS spring musical opens March 26

Great Barrington It’s spring, which means it’s musical time at Monument Mountain Regional High School. This year’s spring musical is the sordid and hilarious Little Shop of Horrors, performed at the Kathleen E. McDermott Auditorium at Monument Thursday, March 26, Friday, March 27, Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 29 at 2:30 p.m.

With book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, the musical will make you holler with laughter and cringe with disgust as Seymour, an assistant in a flower shop on skid row, adopts a funny looking plant with a strange appetite. Seymour wants nothing more than to show his fellow flower shop worker, Audrey, that he is more than a nerdy floral assistant. He finds the solution to his problem when the plant, more affectionately called Audrey II, promises to bring Seymour fame and fortune if he continues to nourish it. As the plant grows bigger and bigger, Seymour begins to understand the consequences associated with feeding this plant. When he realizes he has created a genuine threat to his community and the world at large, he understasnds that his actions have consequences that are bigger than he ever imagined.

Monument faculty member Linnea Macé directed the production, her 18th at the high school since 1992. This year’s production features more than 40 students in the cast, crew, and pit orchestra. Among the 22 student actors in this double cast production are Jeremy Gill and Theo Burns as the nerdy, flower shop assistant, Seymour; Ruthie Lee and Caroline Sprague as the love of Seymour’s life, Audrey; Dan Santos and Domenic Annand as the grumpy flower shop owner Mr. Mushnik; and Eli Shalles and Peter Teutsch as the sadistic dentist, Orin. Additional crew: Assistant Director Maria Knox, Vocal Director Cindy Gutter, Pit Director Joe Rose, Tech Director Ron Piazza, Lighting Director Maia Robbins-Zust, and Audio Engineer Don Harris, ensure the quality of production that audience members have come to expect from Monument High musicals over the years.

Tickets are $10 and are on sale now at Monument Mountain High School’s main office and will be available at the door before each performance if not sold out prior to curtain. Friday and Saturday night performances have sold out in the past, so purchasing tickets in advance recommended.

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Sheffield Kiwanis Ham Roll at VFW

A young winner in the 2014 Kiwanis Ham Roll.

A young winner in the 2014 Kiwanis Ham Roll.

Great Barrington — It’s nearly spring and that means it’s time for Sheffield Kiwanis’ annual Ham Roll. Please join us on Friday, March 27 at the Great Barrington VFW. Doors open at 6 and the first roll is at 7 p.m.. Admission is FREE!

A fast, furious and fun evening. A spin of the wheel and you could win the fixings for your holiday meal — a ham, chicken, steak, lobster, maybe even a pie. Each ticket is only $1; there are 120 chances to win with each spin!

And bring a friend (or two). They need to eat, too.

Sheffield Kiwanis proudly serves the towns of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough and Sheffield.

For more information: info@sheffieldkiwanis.org

— D.S.

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Slavic Easter egg decorating workshops at Ventfort Hall
Examples of Slavic decorated Easter eggs.
Examples of Easter eggs decorated in the Slavic style.

Lenox — Celebrate the Easter season with a unique opportunity to learn a time-honored Eastern European craft. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will offer its annual Slavic Easter egg decorating demonstrations and instructional workshops on Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m..

The Eastern European tradition of creating intricate and beautifully decorated eggs was passed down for generations. Lenox resident Tjasa Sprague, who will again lead the workshop, learned the technique many years ago from her Czechoslovakian mother, Maria Krofta.

The technique begins with unwashed eggs (provided by a local poultry farm) which have a residue-free shell surface. The Slavic Easter egg is a wax resistant technique that employs aniline dye later in the process. The decorating begins with drawing on the egg with wax, followed by immersion in the dye, with repeated wax drawing and dying as desired.

The eggs are uncooked and are “blown” out after the decorating has been completed.  The eggs may be displayed, when stored carefully, for an indefinite number of years.

The fee for each workshop is $25 for advance reservations and $30 for day-of admission. Children should be at least 12 years of age. Reservations are recommended as the workshop size is limited. For more information or reservations, call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206 or www.gildedage.org. The historic mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.


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Spencertown Academy Arts Center teen short story contest

Spencertown, N.Y. – Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces its first-ever Teen Short Story Contest. The contest is open to Berkshire and Columbia County teenaged writers in grades 9 through 12. Contest judges include book editors, authors, and other publishing professionals. The top three winners will receive cash prizes ($100, $75, and $50 respectively) and will be invited to read their stories at the Academy’s annual Festival of Books over Labor Day weekend.

Jill Kalotay and Academy Board member David Highfill co-chair the Festival of Books, during which the Academy welcomes numerous acclaimed and well-known writers and nearly 2,000 readers. “Our mission at Spencertown Academy is to build a community through the arts,” said Highfill, vice president and executive editor at William Morrow & Co., an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. “With the Festival of Books in particular, we’re interested in engaging and entertaining all the area book lovers — and we know from past experience that there are lots of them. I think Jill Kalotay’s brilliant idea for this contest is a perfect way to do just that and to nurture the region’s next generation of literary talent.”

The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2015. Stories can be on any subject matter, with a maximum length of 4,000 words. Stories must be formatted in 12-point type, be double spaced, and have 1″ margins on standard 8 ½” by 11″ paper. Entries must not have previously been accepted for publication nor have won a prize. Send submissions, as well as any enquires regarding the story contest, to the Academy at story@spencertownacademy.org.

Housed in a beautifully restored 1840s Greek-Revival schoolhouse at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. It offers a variety of free and low-cost community arts events, including concerts, readings, theater pieces, art exhibitions, and arts-related workshops and classes. For more information about the Festival of Books, click here.

— H.B.

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