The Ripton Community Coffee House, a nonprofit community concert series, welcomes the Bluegrass Gospel Project for a special evening to celebrate the coffeehouse’s 20th anniversary at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Ripton Community House in Ripton.
The Bluegrass Gospel Project offers unparalleled vocal harmonies and an eclectic repertoire rooted in the bluegrass tradition. The six members of the BGP bring decades of rich musical experience to the group.
Taylor Armerding, the group’s front man, mandolin player and singer, was a founder and lead singer for Northern Lights, the progressive bluegrass group that took the bluegrass world by storm in the 1980s. He was invited by Gene White Jr. (fiddle) to form the group in 2001 along with Paul Miller (vocals, guitar), Steve Light (banjo, dobro, guitar, vocals) and other notable musicians to do a one-time performance to a packed house on New Year’s Eve. The band’s chemistry and the music’s broad appeal was powerful beyond anyone’s expectations, and the group continued to perform, with Colby Crehan (female lead vocalist) and Kirk Lord (upright bass) joining the BGP in 2007.
Instead of the usual open-mike performances to begin the evening, there will be a set of music by founders of the coffeehouse, featuring Richard Ruane with Beth Duquette, Tim Price with Michelle Fay, Rick Klein, and Sallie Mack with Ken French and Glenn Goodwin.
As always, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the coffeehouse is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and teens and $3 for children. Refreshments will benefit the Friends of the Ripton School. The coffeehouse is held on the first Saturday of each month, except August. For more information, contact Richard Ruane or Andrea Chesman at 388-9782.
TRIO CON BRIO
Vermont Virtuosi, “one of the state’s preeminent professional chamber music ensembles” (Barre-Montpelier Times Argus), continues its 2015 season with a concert for flute, clarinet and piano at Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Trio con Brio will feature flutist and artistic director Laurel Ann Maurer, clarinetist Karen Luttik, and pianist Claire Black performing works of the late 19th, 20th, and early 21st centuries by Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Francis Poulenc, Michael Webster and Vermont composer David Gunn.
The program will take the listener on a musical journey through different styles and emotions as the Trio strives to bring the character of the music they play to life. From the sweet story telling character of the “Dolly Suite” by Gabriel Fauré, to the sensuous and evocative nature of Debussy’s “Afternoon of a Faun” and finally culminating in the dramatic music of “Carmen Rhapsody,” Trio con Brio performs music that is exciting and beautiful.
Tickets are $15 with a pre-concert dinner available for an additional $20. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations or more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon. For more information, visit brandon-music.net.
‘SPAMALOT’ AT THT
Middlebury Community Players continue the raucous musical comedy “Spamalot” at the Town Hall Theater on Thursday at 8 p.m. With a cast of 25 local actors, singers and dancers, “Spamalot” is lovingly ripped off from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Additional performances will be on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Sunday matinee will have American Sign Language interpretation.
This Broadway hit is an irreverent parody of the legend of King Arthur and his knights and was nominated for 14 Tony Awards, winning three, including Best New Musical for 2005. Rude Frenchmen, cancan dancers, the Lady of the Lake and her Laker Girls, killer rabbits, catapulting cows, and the somewhat odd Knights Who Say “Ni” are just part of the adventures and dangers awaiting King Arthur and his knights in their quest for the Holy Grail. “Spamalot” is all singing, all dancing silliness and pokes fun at theatre while reveling in the gaiety of live performance. Contains strong language and adult themes.
Tickets are $15 for Thursday night, and $23 adults, $18 students with ID for all other shows. Available from the THT box office, Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. For additional information, call 382-9222, or visit online at townhalltheater.org.
TWO BROTHERS TAVERN
There will be four live musical performances this week at the Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury.
Join Two Brothers every Wednesday, at 9 p.m., for the Open Mic, an evening of music, comedy, or anything else, alternately hosted by Mark Sikora and Kai Stanley. Come cheer on your friends or let loose on the stage. It’s free to enter, and there is no cover charge.
Then, at 9 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents The Shady Trees who will spin up a mixture of rock, twang, reggae and funk elements to craft unique songs and intense jams. There is a $3 cover.
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, Two Brothers presents J. Rumney, the solo project of musician/producer Julian R. DeFelice. Mixing saxophone with synths, guitars and a number of atmospherics, his music is wholly original. There is no cover.
Finally, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Hamjob return to the tavern’s stage. A trio of talented musicians from the greater Rutland area, Hamjob combines different musical blends and backgrounds to create a profoundly unique mash-up of funky, bluesy, fuzzy and progressive tones. There is a $3 cover. For more information, call 388-0002.
PLAY AT COLLEGE
There will be a performance of the play, “Spring Awakening,” directed by Cláudio Medeiros, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in Middlebury College’s Wright Memorial Theater. Repeat performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Set in the sexually oppressive culture of late-19th-century Germany, this 1891 play by Frank Wedekind captures the seductions that adolescents harbor in their anxious souls: the alluring chant of nihilism, the feral impulses toward violence, and the thought-obliterating joys of sex. At turns poetic, melancholic, violent and funny, this once-scandalous play will remain relevant as long as the prism of puberty continues to make the world seem strange and terrifying.
Please note that “Spring Awakening” addresses complex issues of sexuality, violence and suicide that may be difficult for some audience members. This production is for mature audiences only. There will be a post-performance discussion after each show.
Tickets are $12 for the general public. For tickets or information, call 443-6433 or go to go.middlebury.edu/arts.
SENIOR DANCE CONCERT
Four Middlebury College seniors will present their Senior Thesis Dance Concert titled “Threshold” at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in the dance theater at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. A year of research will culminate in this evening of diverse movement perspectives and multidisciplinary themes including anxiety, beauty, death, sadness, gender and intimacy.
Stevie Durocher, Doug LeCours, Sarae Snyder and Afi Yellow-Duke will examine the intersection of contemporary choreography with their varied additional disciplines — creative writing, literature, sociology and Chinese — to create an evening as diverse and layered as their intellectual pursuits.
Tickets are $12 for the general public. For tickets or information, call 443-6433 or visit go.middlebury.edu/arts.
INT’L FILM SERIES
The exciting 2014-2015 Hirschfield International Film Series concludes on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2013 France/Taiwan film, “Stray Dogs,” directed by Ming-liang Tsai.
An alcoholic single father ekes out a living as a human billboard on the busy streets of Taipei, while his children wait out their days in supermarkets before joining him in an abandoned building to sleep.
The film, in Mandarin with English subtitles, will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium. It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.
AFRICAN MUSIC CONCERT
There will be a performance by the Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble, directed by Damascus Kafumbe, at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in the concert hall of Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts.
Ensemble members will present an interactive concert of East African music and dance performed on bow-harps, thumb-pianos, xylophones, tube-fiddles, bowl-lyres, gourd shakers, struck gourds, reed-box rattles, ankle bells, leg rattles and various kinds of drums. The performance is free and the public is welcome. For more information, call 443-3168.
JAZZ AT COLLEGE
The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday in the concert hall at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts. The college’s big band swings into spring with a concert that’s sure to set toes tapping and fingers snapping. The performance is free and the public is welcome.