Arts & Leisure

AGING DIVA SARAH Bernhardt, played by Carol Reed of Leicester, confronts her younger acting rival Eleonora Duse, played by Bettina Matthias of Weybridge. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — Wouldn’t it be great if you could stave off the winter doldrums this year? Um, yes! Instead of letting the cold, dark and grey weather of mid-winter get you down, mark your calendars to go to “The Ladies of the Camellias” presented by Middlebury Community Players on Feb. 6-9 at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. “This hilarious farce imagines a meeting in Paris, 1897, between the most famous and temperamental divas of the age, Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse,” reads MCP’s synopsis of the play. “The two actresses are scheduled to perform back-to-back productions of the play ‘...

“MIDWIVES” BY WEYBRIDGE author Chris Bohjalian is being staged by the George Street Playhouse, and the play co-stars his daughter, Grace Experience. Pictured, left to right, are Monique Robinson, Ryan George, Grace Experience and Ellen McLaughlin. Photo courtesy of T. Charles Erickson
WEYBRIDGE — Former Lincoln resident and Mount Abraham Union High School student Grace Experience Blewer is just approaching her late-20s and is racking up stage credits at a torrid pace. “Alicia” in “The Thanksgiving Play” with The Lyric Stage Company. “Agatha” in “Frankenstein” with the Cardinal Stage Company. “Emily Webb” in “Our Town” with Heartwood Regional Theater. And on it goes. But the diminutive powerhouse is now performing in a play that will occupy a special place in her heart, no matter what comes next. She’s playing the role of “Anne Austin” in the George Street Playhouse stage...

HERE'S AN EXAMPLE of the type of pop-up Valentine cards that could be created at the Sheldon Museum’s workshop on Sunday, Feb. 9. Cost is $10 for those ages 7 and up.
MIDDLEBURY — Wondering how to make Valentine’s Day a little more personal this year? Check out the two upcoming Valentine card-making workshops on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Tandem in Bristol and Sunday, Feb. 9 at the Sheldon Museum in Middlebury. Come make pop-up Valentine’s Day cards at the Sheldon on Sunday, from 1-2:30 p.m., with Sheldon Museum trustees Liz Markowski and Danielle Rougeau. Participants will have a choice of several card designs to assemble and decorate. The activity will involve detailed scissor cutting.  All necessary materials will be provided.  Appropriate for age 7 and up...

MANDOLINIST JAMIE MASEFIELD and pianist Tom Cleary will perform at Brandon Music on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m.
BRANDON — Two of Vermont’s jazz musicians, mandolin maestro Jamie Masefield and pianist Tom Cleary, will perform an evening of music at Brandon Music this Saturday. Their program includes music by classical composers Samuel Barber and Bela Bartok to jazz heroes like Horace Silver and Ralph Towner and then to more pastoral landscapes from the likes of Neil Young as well as their originals. The concert on Feb. 1 begins at 7:30 p.m. Cleary, a renowned pianist, teaches in the University of Vermont and FlynnArts jazz programs, has accompanied artists including Clark Terry and Joe Lovano and has...
RIPTON — Master guitarist Paul Asbell will give a concert at the Ripton Community Coffee House on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 7:30 p.m. He’ll offer a a genre-blurring, virtuosic waltz through the deep heritage of American folklore, with highly individualized twists on blues and jazz standards, old-timey country-based themes, and original pieces from the “American roots” tradition. The Ripton Community House, located on Route 125 in Ripton, offers a concert the first Saturday of the month (except July and August).  Doors open at 7 p.m., with an open mic set. Refreshments are available. The Ripton...

THE MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE Community Chorus begins it’s spring season on Feb. 4. New and returning members, high-school aged and adults are welcome to participate in this free, no-audition-necessary ensemble.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College Community Chorus invites singers to join the ensemble for a new season. This year marks chorus conductor Jeff Rehbach’s 20th years with the group. Selections for the spring performances will highlight favorite pieces from past performances. Rehbach welcomes new and returning members, high-school aged and adults, to Tuesday and Sunday evening rehearsals, 7-8:30 p.m. Rehearsals on Feb. 4 and 9 take place in the Mahaney Arts Center (room 221) on the college campus, and move to Mead Chapel beginning Feb. 11. Virtuoso pianist Tim Guiles accompanies the chorus,...
MIDDLEBURY — On Saturday, Feb. 1, a new production of Gershwin’s great American opera, “Porgy and Bess,” will be broadcast live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York to the screen at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. This classic explores the relationships among members of a close-knit community in 1920s South Carolina. The score is infused with timeless melodies that have become standards of the Great American Songbook. Scott Morrison will give a pre-show talk in the Byers Studio downstairs at 12:15 p.m., with refreshments. The broadcast begins at 1 p.m. Tickets are $24/$10 students, and...
In the periodic occurrence of exceeding the speed limit, I have historically had the propensity to be ticketed. My most noteworthy offense occurred a number of years ago on my way to see his holiness, the Dalia Lama. I received a hefty fee and an exasperated shake of the head from the officer when he asked where I was headed to at the speed of light. I know of numerous friends and acquaintances who merely receive warnings when they are cruising above the magic number, but I have not been so fortunate. That is, until of late.  My commute from Vergennes to Middlebury is frequent, so I vary my...

ROOMFUL OF TEETH will mix it up with the Dublin Quartet for the East Coast premier of Vermont native Nico Muhly’s “How Little You Are,” in a performance at Mahaney Arts Center in Middlebury on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Photo/Bonica Ayala Small
Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and world-renowned Dublin Guitar Quartet will make their Middlebury debuts in a collaborative concert in Robison Hall at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Together they will perform the East Coast premiere of a new, intimate arrangement of Vermont native Nico Muhly’s “How Little You Are.” Originally commissioned in 2015 for three guitar quartets and massed choir, the piece is based on texts written by pioneer women during the 19th century. In addition to this powerful 40-minute work, each ensemble will...
This was a year of creeping apprehension for movie lovers. Theaters were often lucky to have 10 people in the audience. Theaters are closing while Netflix releases new movies to people watching in their living rooms. The feel of change is overwhelming. Let’s look with final pleasure at three Oscar nominees from this year when the movie culture began to plunge into change. “Marriage Story” opens beautifully as a husband and wife describe each other on the path of their marriage from day one to now. As each finishes his/her personal tale, we have become captives in the problems they are trying...


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