Thursday October 25, 2012

Colonial Theatre

Three of renowned children's author and illustrator Eric Carle's best-loved stories will appear on the stage of the grand Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on Sunday at 2 p.m., presented by the award-winning Mer maid Theatre of Nova Scotia, now celebrating 40 years of bringing imaginative theatre to young children across the United States and the world, from Singapore to Scotland.

In "A Brown Bear, A Caterpillar and A Moon: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle," Mermaid Theatre recreates the artist's signature hand-painted paper collage illustration techniques in large scale puppets that weave their way across the stage at a gentle, child-friendly pace, bringing to life beloved tales -- accompanied by original music and narration, a vivid palette of colors, black light and shadow puppetry.

Since 1999, Mermaid's production of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" has been seen in 12 countries by some 1,500,000 people, watching the green gastronome munch his way through a ripe strawberry, juicy oranges and much more, working his way towards a mighty bellyache.

In Carle's earliest work "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" a lumbering brown bear encounters creatures of many colors, including a blue horse, white dog, purple cat, green frog and bright yellow duck.

The wonders of the lunar cycle are the subject of "Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me," as young Monika entreats her patient father to get the moon down from the sky to give to her.

Tickets for the hour-long production cost $15 for all ages. Information and box office: www.berkshiretheatregroup.org, (413) 997-4444.

Sheep Hill

The bounteous fruits of the fall have always begged to be wrapped up in pastry and baked into a delicious pie. On Saturday, bakers can go to town -- Williamstown, that is -- with their favorite family recipes and vie for top honors in the ninth annual pie contestat Sheep Hill, the cozy farmstead home of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation.

With a special focus on the ample array of locally-grown produce available at this abundant time of year, the contest will include categories for adults, youth (aged 16 and under) and professional bakers. Whether it's a fruity fantasia, creamy concoction or savory delight, you can be sure to find your taste buds tantalized by the terrific tarts on display at the tasting portion of the evening, which will take place at 7 p.m. after the judging has concluded.

Entrants will receive extra points from the judges for using ingredients that originate from local farms, markets and food producers.

At 8 p.m., if the weather is clear, tasters can walk off the ingested indulgence with a hearty hike up Sheep Hill by the light of the full fall harvest moon.

Admission is by suggested donation of $3, which includes the chance to sample the pies and vote for the coveted People's Choice Award. Infor mation: www.wrlf.org, (413) 458-2494.

Shakespeare & Company

For all the emphasis on special visual effects in movies and elaborate stage shows, there's nothing quite as powerful as the spoken word. On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, the spirits of Halloween night will shriek and groan to the literary creations of the most famous monster maker of them all, Mary Shelley, as her timeless tale of terror "Frankenstein" is brought to life off the printed page by the talented actors of Shakespeare & Company.

Experience the original words Shelley wrote nearly 200 years ago. The wife of the Romantic era poet Percy Bysshe Shelley might have been amazed to see the endlessly enduring appeal of the tortured characters and supernatural creature she brought into being.

From the existential nature of life to the suspicion and savagery of simple peasants, the monster made from murderous body parts has instilled fear, fascination and compassion in generations of readers and film fans.

Jonathan Croy has adapted the spooky story for the stage and will take on the role of the doomed monster, accompanied by fellow thespians David Joseph and Alexandra Lincoln as Dr. Frankenstein and his ill-fated bride.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, and $5 for kids. Information and box office: www.shakespeare.org, (413) 637-3353.