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Bits & Bytes: ‘100 Cats for Christmas’ a success; Terry a la Berry at Berkshire South; ‘Rapunzel’ at Ventfort Hall

Puppeteer Carl Sprague will use his marionettes to bring to life the classic fairy tale “Rapunzel” at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, with performances Monday Dec. 28 and Wednesday Dec. 30.

BHS’ 2015 ‘100 Cats for Christmas’ another success

A pet owner drops off her cat at the “100 Cats for Christmas” event.

Pittsfield — On Thursday, December 17, Berkshire Humane Society (BHS) hosted its third annual “100 Cats for Christmas” with the support of a grant from the Massachusetts Animal Coalition (MAC). By the end of the day, BHS met its goal of spaying or neutering 100 kittens and cats.

“100 Cats for Christmas” is BHS’s most ambitious low-cost spay and neuter effort. The MAC grant and several local veterinarians who heavily discounted their fees allowed BHS to offer the surgery for just $25, which included a rabies vaccination.

“It’s a great program,” said one cat owner from Pittsfield, of the “100 Cats for Christmas” as she waited to be registered. “It really helps out if you have a limited income.”

BHS thanks the following veterinary hospitals that participated in this year’s event: Greylock Animal Hospital, Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital, South Street Veterinary Services, Sand Road Animal Hospital, Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital, and Lenox Cat Hospital.

Low-cost spaying and neutering throughout Massachusetts is supported by MAC’s “I’m Animal Friendly” tax-deductible license plate program.


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Berkshire South to host free Terry a la Berry concert

Terry a la Berry, left, with Tish Merwin and Erin Laundry at Berkshire South Regional Community center in 2014.

Great Barrington — Berkshire South Regional Community Center will host a free Terry a la Berry family concert in its auditorium at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, December 28.

Terry a la Berry has been performing for children for more than 20 years in venues stretching from the White House to the Miami Children’s Museum and everywhere in between. In his other life as long-time drummer for Arlo Guthrie, he has appeared on many of Guthrie’s recordings including the Grammy-nominated “Grow Big” and has recorded with numerous other artists including Pete Seeger.

For more information, call John Parker at (413) 528-2810 x31.


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‘Rapunzel’ marionette shows at Ventfort Hall

Carl Sprague Head Shot
Carl Sprague.

Lenox — Puppeteer Carl Sprague will use his marionettes to bring to life the classic fairy tale “Rapunzel” at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. There will be two performances, one on Monday, December 28 and one on Wednesday, December 30, both at 3:30 pm and will be followed by punch and cookies and the opportunity to meet Sprague.

Carl Sprague has been a puppeteer since childhood and inherited a collection of 60 Czech marionettes, each about eight inches tall and assembled by his great-grandfather Julius Hybler with purchased heads and hand-made costumes. Sprague has designed sets for films including “The Royal Tenenbaums” (for which he received an Art Directors Guild Awards nomination) and Martin Scorcese’s “The Age of Innocence” and has worked with the regional theatre companies Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Music-Theatre Group, Mixed Company, Miniature Theatre of Chester, and the Albany Berkshire Ballet.  His sets at Mass MoCA for the photographer Gregory Crewdson were featured in the New York Times.

Tickets for the show are $15 for adults and $7 for children aged 4 to 17. Children aged 3 and under are free. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For information or reservations, call Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or visit



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