by Steve Pfarrer
THIS CAUGHT MY EYE …
Film, film and more film — the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival, now in its 12th year, begins Saturday and runs through April 4, offering 20 movies in numerous locations around the Valley. From documentaries, to dramas and comedies, to short films, the festival covers a range of topics.
“Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” for instance, profiles the prolific TV producer of “All in the Family” and other programs that examined provocative topics through laughter. “Labyrinth of Lies” is a drama about the efforts of a West German lawyer to bring ex-Nazis to justice in the late 1950s. Check out the full schedule at PVJFF.org.
AND THIS …
Elephant Gerald is lumbering, formally attired and prone to melancholy. Piggie is perky, smiley, and full of fun. Total opposites? No way! In Mo Willems’ children’s books, Elephant Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
On Saturday, the Academy of Music in Northampton is hosting a single performance of “Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play!,” a live musical from The Kennedy Center based on Willems’ book of the same name. A big part of the show is a trio of nutty backup singers known as The Squirrelles.
Following the 2 p.m. performance, audience members are invited to join Willems and the cast for a question and answer period.
AND THIS …
Novelist Elinor Lipman, who made her home in Northampton for years, comes back to the Valley next week to read from her newest book, “On Turpentine Lane,” which follows in the tradition of her previous work: funny, observant, and full of snappy dialogue. As the New York Times says, the new novel “is constructed with an almost scary mastery. Not a single thread dangles.” Lipman reads at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley Wednesday at 7 p.m.www.odysseybks.com/