Arts & Leisure


KEIRA KNIGHTLEY STARS in “Official Secrets” (2019).
09/30/2019
Official Secrets — Running Time: 1:42 — Rating: R What is the role of an unimportant person who knows the truth of lies told by important people?  “Official Secrets” is the story of Katharine Gun [Keira Knightley], a young woman who discovers the shameful truth of the American invasion of Iraq 15 years ago. Writers Gregory Bernstein and Sara Bernstein dig into the ugly complexity of the details that were hidden for years by top level British/American collusion.  Director Gavin Hood has turned their work into an uncomfortable ride through lies, blackmail and plots.  This movie uncovers the...
09/30/2019
(University of Georgia Press) As an essay collection, Emily Arnason Casey’s new book succeeds on every level. Her writing is evocative, relatable, haunting and magical. Using descriptive prose that stimulates your every sense, the essays transport you to particular places in time: the lake cabin of her childhood; her grandparents’ house in Minnesota, “beautiful to [her as one] who grew up in apartments and a walkout basement until the age of fourteen;” the cold blue room of her college apartment; the living room of a stranger as a naive teenager. The stories are quintessentially of the...

STARKSBORO'S MIKE BLAKESLEE has been a historical reenactor for decades. These days you can find him reenacting the life of a Chaplain during the Civil and Revolutionary Wars, like in this photo, taken earlier this year, at “Soldiers atop the Mount,” at Mount Independence, in Orwell. Courtesy Photo
09/26/2019
STARKSBORO — On those days when your computer freezes, your cell phone endlessly beeps, buzzes and dings with updates from your social media feeds and you can’t figure out what diet to follow, it’s easy to wish you lived in a simpler time. Well, that’s part of the appeal of being a historic reenactor — where you say goodbye to the 21st century and fully immerse into the days of the Civil, Revolutionary or French and Indian wars. Sure it sounds refreshing, but who actually does this? Starksboro’s Mike Blakeslee for one, and, it turns out, a whole lot of other enthusiasts.  “I do it because I...

THE VERMONT SYMPHONY Orchestra will play the Mahaney Center for the Arts on Saturday, Sept. 28. The performance will include a film with music by Middlebury’s Matthew Evan Taylor (pictured) in conjunction with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival film “The Greatest Night.”  Independent file photo / Steve James
09/26/2019
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Symphony Orchestra joins leaf-peepers on the road for the annual “Made in Vermont” chamber orchestra tour this fall, with a stop at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 28. Spirited works by Bartók, Devienne, and Haydn will showcase VSO principal flute Melissa Mielens, and 17-year-old cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing from Detroit’s Sphinx program. VSO Music Director Jaime Laredo will conduct. This will be the third year of the VSO’s unique collaboration with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival. The tour will feature the world premiere of “The...

THE WILDLY INVENTIVE John Funkhouser Trio performs its annual show at Brandon Music on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
09/26/2019
BRANDON — The John Funkhouser Trio returns Sept. 28 for its annual show at Brandon Music, which can now be best described as a Brandon Music tradition. Funkhouser’s eclectic influences include music from South Africa, the Great American Songbook, Appalachia, India, New Orleans funk (Funkhouser certainly lives up to his name), ’70s prog rock, modern jazz, Balkan folk music, and more. The Trio’s music is full of empathy, fire, staggering technical displays, profound intimacy, joy and playfulness — all reasons why this group is best experienced live. Along with Funkhouser on piano, are Greg...

'RIPPLES' BY PETER K.K. Williams
09/26/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Peter K.K. Williams creates paintings in oil that are exceptional in their vivid representation of texture and light. Subjects includes landscapes inspired by Vermont, Lake Champlain and the rainforest of Costa Rica, as well as accurate recreations based upon Paleolithic cave paintings from France.  With the eye of a graphic designer, he makes dynamic compositions of wave patterns on the water amplified to contrast with the surrounding rock forms along Lake Champlain. The paintings in this exhibit were chosen from a large body of work created during the last several decades, as...

JUST ONE OF the lovely items on offer at the silent auction.
09/26/2019
Art on Main will host its Annual Fall Fundraising Silent Auction at the Bristol Harvest Fest on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Stop by their booth and bid on jewelry, ceramics, paintings, prints, textiles, books, Vermont food products, gift certificates for local restaurants, healing arts, lodging, cultural events, skiing, and other products and services. Proceeds benefit the gallery’s classes and community like the local student clay show, the Mount Abraham Emerging Artists exhibit and the HOME exhibit. Art on Main is located at 25 Main Street in Bristol Vermont. For more...
09/26/2019
RIPTON — ON SATURDAY, OCT. 5, at 7:30 p.m., the Swedish band Kolonien will perform at the Ripton Community House. Doors open at 7 p.m.  The four members of Kolonien grew up in the traditional Swedish music scene. As Kolonien they reinvent their roots, both instrumentally and vocally with their rich harmonies. Their music is fueled by the vision of a united world, taking them on multiple tours in Europe and beyond. Kolonien has released two albums, which have received Swedish Folk and World Music Awards.  Refreshments available. The Ripton Community House is wheelchair accessible. Call ahead...

LAUDED STORYTELLER BILL Torrey will perform “Cutting Remarks” on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m., at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater.
09/23/2019
Bill Torrey will be performing his Storytelling Extravaganza, “Cutting Remarks,” at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. The NPR Moth Mainstage Performer and Four-Time Moth StorySlam Winner shares true, heartwarming and sometimes heart wrenching stories of his life. He spent his childhood roaming the fields and forests, which led him to a 40-year career working in the woods. By the time he was 19, he was working as a logger earning 80 cents a tree. His timber harvesting skills and forest stewardship was considered some of the best in the state. While working...

THE HEATH QUARTET will perform the full Beethoven string quartet cycle this season at the Mahaney Arts Center. Photo / Kaupo Kikkas.
09/23/2019
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College’s Mahaney Arts Center is preparing to launch its 2019–2020 season lineup, with diverse performances in music, theatre, and dance, as well as exhibitions, films, spoken word events, and more. This year is extra special because the Middlebury Performing Arts Series will celebrate its 100th anniversary — making it the longest running performance series in the state. The centennial season toasts the return of some of the Performing Arts Series’ favorite artists from the past, while also inviting new voices to point to the future. Several exciting new commissions of...

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