Arts & Leisure


MONA RICHARDSON OF Middlebury has been crocheting since she was a young girl. Her craft is reaching new heights as she breaks into large-scale crochet sculptures. She recently mounted two massive doilies on five-foot wheels, which now decorate her backyard. Independent photo/Steve James
What do you do with “really big string,” “really big hooks” and “really big hands?” Why make really big crochet doilies, of course. Just ask Mona Richardson (a.k.a. Mona Rae Hill — that’s her artist’s name) who has made probably the biggest doilies in all of Addison County. “I’ve been crocheting since I was 15 years old,” said the Middlebury resident, who’s now 60. “I learned from my grandmother… but she had small hands and did lots of lace work. Lace was definitely not going to work for me — I have really big hands, and you know what they say: ‘Go big, or go home!’” Richardson’s doilies...

LINDA RADTKE
On  Friday, July 30, the Salisbury Summer Performance Series will host a program  (that had to be postponed last year) in celebration of the centennial of Women’s Suffrage. Linda Radtke, host of the “Choral Hour” on Vermont Public Radio, will present “From the Parlor to the Polling Place: Stories and Songs from the Suffragists.”  Classically trained, Radtke is a member of Counterpoint, the Ariana Singers, and the Arioso Chamber Ensemble. Most recently she participated in the ensemble for the Middlebury Opera Company production of “Candide.”  Her historically-based performance is co-sponsored...
(Penguin Press) In his distinctive journalistic form, Michael Pollan, food writer and garden sage, takes a closer look at three plant “drugs” humans use to alter our consciousness: opium, caffeine, and mescaline. Given the focused scope of this book, I was amazed the wealth of information presented wasn't even exhaustive — I’d consume an entire book by Pollan on any one of these plants. I put drugs in quotations earlier because it seems Pollan isn’t fully committed to calling them that. He delves into the classifications of illicit drugs, explaining how governments tend to label drugs illicit...
TWO PIECES OF DRIFTWOOD Let them find us, years from now, washed of color, eased of burden, elegantly perched side-by-side: Two pieces of driftwood at rest in the high desert. And when that day comes, in that ineluctable present, let them falsely imagine that our journeys here were straightforward. That our independent migrations somehow synchronized. A history of wild togetherness. But o god please also let them sense the truth of it. A remote yet unmistakable, unhindered astonishment at our having arrived here (together) at all. At the impossibly boundless navigation of the...
Bring your picnics, blankets and chairs and enjoy a Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) Pops Concert at the Marble Works Riverfront Park in Middlebury. The Saturday, Aug. 7 event, at 6 p.m., will feature 40 orchestra members. Thanks to sponsor and co-presenter Neighbors Together this concert is free and open to all. CPO is a resident company of Town Hall Theater. This concert will be the culmination of a reunion in which they will play together at the park in the afternoon. The musicians of the Champlain Philharmonic come from diverse backgrounds, but all share a passionate love of music...

BOB DYLAN AND Robbie Robertson jam on guitars in the Martin Scorsese rockumentary “The Last Waltz,” which screened last Thursday as the third in the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Sunset Series at Swift House Inn/Summer of Scorsese.
“The Last Waltz” is what it is: It is a watershed concert movie about The Band’s swan song in 1976, but also a smorgasbord of musical numbers that, not unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet, sometimes leaves you wishing you had less instead of more. The screening — which was the third installment in the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Sunset Series at Swift House Inn/Summer of Scorsese — was also a great success: more successful, in my view, than the actual film that was being screened. I’m 21, so I was less familiar with some of The Band’s greatest hits. But most of the audience was clapping...
On Saturday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m., the 41st annual Salisbury Summer Performance Series will host a chamber concert by the faculty ensemble of the Point Counterpoint Music Camp under Music Directors Rita Porfiri and Anton Miller. The professionals staffing the camp’s third summer session have enjoyed international careers with performances ranging from Leipzig and Sarajevo to Buenos Aires and Beijing. Their U.S venues have included the Houston Symphony, New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, and NPR’s “Performance Today.” They will perform “...

ART CULLEN, EDITOR of the small newspaper the Storm Lake Times, speaks with Elizabeth Warren during a forum at the Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis, Ind. The feature documentary “Storm Lake” was based on the work of Cullen and his family.
The 7th Annual Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival will open with the feature documentary “Storm Lake,” on Wednesday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m., at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater. “Storm Lake” tells the story of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Art Cullen and his family as they fight to unite and inform their Iowan farming community through their biweekly newspaper, the Storm Lake Times.  Storm Lake, Iowa, has seen its fair share of change in the 40 years since big agriculture came to town, as farmers spend their life savings on new equipment in hopes of keeping their livelihoods intact, and as...
Ripton’s Sarah King will join the Vermont Roots Roadshow for three live music performances at Magic Mountain (Aug. 7), Jay Peak (Aug. 14) and Higher Ground (Sept. 24). King’s known for her gritty murder ballads and feminist anthems anchored by her atmospheric voice and rhythmic blues guitar. Together with Ida Mae Specker and Terrible Mountain Stringband, Maple Run Band, Saints & Liars, and Western Terrestrials, this musical showcase is stacked — if you’re thinking about traveling for music this summer, these shows are going to be totally worth it.  “We wanted to take a ‘united we stand’...
Bald Mountain Theater’s annual summer favorite production is back! “There Once Was …” will be performed live and in person on July 30-Aug. 1 at Spice Studio in Rochester. This year the company will explore stories from Japan, featuring a jellyfish who tries to save the princess, a man who falls in love with a willow tree, a sword-fighting warrior’s disgrace, and more. What they have in common is the unique vibrancy of Japanese folklore. Expect the unexpected. Professional actors, directors, and musicians hailing from Washington, D.C., Boston, Burlington, and Rochester will gather for a week-...

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Addison County Independent