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Arts Beat for Nov. 25: Jamie Lee Thurston plays at opera house, Polar Express rolls into THT

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Posted on October 7, 2013 |
By Greg Pahl



Arts Beat for 4/14: Acclaimed piano, cello duo has dramatic flair
JAMIE LEE THURSTON

The Friends of the Vergennes Opera House are urging neighbors and friends to come out to the opera house on Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. for a memorable evening with country music star Jamie Lee Thurston and special guests Jimmy T and the Cobras.

“It’s hard to believe it has been 15 years since I’ve played in Addison County,” said the Waterbury native and Nashville, Tenn., resident, Jamie Lee Thurston. “Being in Nashville is great, but coming home to Vermont and reconnecting with communities large and small is what keeps me going. Playing at the Vergennes Opera House while raising money for this community gem brings everything full circle for me. We can’t wait!”

Jamie Lee Thurston loves big country music, perhaps because it matches his big personality and equally big heart. “He didn’t have to do a benefit for the Vergennes Opera House, but after we talked, not only did he decide to ‘pay for the space’ but he also decided to donate a percentage of every ticket sold back to the opera house. He is a generous performer and a generous person and we are grateful,” says Vergennes Opera House interim president Gerianne Smart.

Jamie Lee’s father, Jimmy T, and his band, The Cobras, will be performing in the early part of the evening as well.

Thurston was born into a musical family, the son of Vermont country music legend Jimmy T. While country music was certainly an early influence, you are just as likely to hear Jamie Lee deliver music reminiscent of such groups as Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ-Top and AC/DC as you will Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and George Jones.

Jamie Lee has released five independent recordings. His Nashville productions, “I Just Wanna Do My Thing” and “Where’s An Outlaw (When You Need One)” are as strong as they are proud. Both projects feature co-writes with renowned song crafters and hit makers. A-list platinum-selling artists have recognized and applauded Jamie Lee’s talents as a songwriter.

General seating tickets are $25 each, available by cash or check at Vermont Energy Company, Route 7, in Ferrisburgh or online by visiting vergennesoperahouse.org. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Cash bar service will be provided by Bar Antidote. The Vergennes Opera House is located on the second floor of City Hall at 120 Main St. in Vergennes. For additional information, call 877-6737.

‘THE POLAR EXPRESS’ AT THT

“The Polar Express” will be making a stop at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater at noon on Saturday. It’s one of Hollywood’s most magnificent animated films. “The Polar Express” follows the adventures of a young boy as he boards a magical train headed for Santa’s house at the North Pole.

Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater screened the film last December as its contribution to the downtown festivities — and the theater was filled with delighted kids and their parents. “I don’t know why we were so surprised,” says THT executive director Douglas Anderson, “but the place was packed and we’ve never seen a happier audience. So we decided to show the film again this year. It just might be the beginning of a tradition around here.”

First released in 2004, “The Polar Express” has become a favorite of young people of all ages. The cutting-edge “motion capture process” used to film the story converts the work of live actors — including Tom Hanks, Michael Jeter and Peter Scolari — into dazzling animation. The film is a visual feast, unlike any other holiday family movie.

The film’s digital effects look best on a big screen, and Town Hall Theater has state-of-the art digital projection and sound.

Tickets are only $5, and may be purchased at 382-9222, at the THT box office (daily except Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.) or at the door.

HOLIDAY ART SHOW AT THT

The Jackson Gallery at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater is filled with art and fine crafts once again through the holiday season. This juried exhibition will feature 28 regional artists whose work represents a wide variety of media and styles. All have been recognized for their individual approaches to design and image.

The exhibit includes an eclectic mix of paintings, prints, colored pencil drawings, mixed media works, photography, jewelry, quilted pieces and even wooden bookmarks.

This holiday season show has become a tradition at Town Hall Theater and features unique and affordable works available for immediate purchase. The exhibit, which opened recently, continues through Dec. 31. The Jackson Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and during theater events. For more information call 382-9222.

STUDENT ART EXHIBIT

A new exhibit of Middlebury College student art, “Environmental Observations: Land, Light, and Weather of Autumn,” opens on Tuesday in the Pit Space of the Johnson Memorial Building on Chateau Road off College Street.

In Jim Butler’s class “The Landscape Re-Imagined” students have created panoramic images of the Middlebury campus that are so large and inviting they can make viewers feel as if they are inside the landscapes themselves. This exhibition’s art works are big and colorful, depicting our natural environment (and the climate that causes it) with nuances of light and shadow. The exhibit, which runs through Dec. 3, is free and the public is welcome. For additional information visit middlebury.edu/arts or call 443-3168.

TWO BROTHERS TAVERN

There will be two live musical performances this week at Two Brothers Tavern located in Middlebury. On Wednesday, the tavern will feature The Eschatones, beginning at 10 p.m. The Eschatones are the sound of zombies eating nuclear warheads during the rapture … or maybe they’re just local guys playing psychedelic/garage rock. Either way, don’t miss them! There’s no cover.

Then, on Saturday, the tavern presents Casio Bastard at 10 p.m. Casio Bastard is a Burlington-based group of musicians who fuse a number of different styles (funk/fusion/space) into one spaced out dancefest. They have played all over the north, and Two Brothers is happy to bring them back for a post-Thanksgiving party. There is a $3 cover charge. For more information, call Two Brothers at 388-0002.

STUDENT PRINTMAKING

A new exhibit of Middlebury College student printmaking opens on Thursday in the mezzanine in the Johnson Memorial Building. Students from Michael Jordan’s printmaking class display their new silkscreen prints in this colorful exhibit, which runs through Friday, Dec. 6. It’s free and the public is welcome. For more information, call 443-3168.

COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART

The Middlebury College Museum of Art will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. Regular museum hours will be in effect for the weekend, noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information on current exhibits visit http://museum.middlebury.edu/exhibitions or call 443-5007.

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