Arts & Leisure

(Knopf Publishing Group) We meet Washington “Wash” Black at a young age, an 11-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation around the year 1830. He is fortuitously called to serve as manservant to the plantation owner’s cousin, Christopher “Titch” Wild — inventor, eccentric, abolitionist — for the sole reason that he makes suitable ballast for the Cloud-Cutter, the balloon contraption that hastens their departure. Titch discovers Wash’s gift, and while nurturing this talent, he also teaches him to read and think for himself, a dangerous and challenging prospect in the world Wash has...

THIS SELF-PORTRAIT BY Paul Gauguin is among the works considered in the film “Gauguin: The Full Story,” which will screen at Town Hall Theater twice on Wednesday.
As part of the Great Art Wednesdays series, “Gauguin: The Full Story” will be screened at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater at 11 a.m. and again at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12. “Gauguin: The Full Story” is the first full-length biography of one of the world’s most popular yet controversial artists. Gauguin is best known for his gorgeous paintings of Tahiti in which beautiful native girls frolic enticingly on perfect South Pacific beaches. But have these celebrated portrayals of an earthly paradise been misunderstood? And has the fame of Gauguin’s Tahiti pictures blinded us to the bigger truth...

Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo in “Widows” (2018).
Widows — Running Time: 2:09 — Rating: R It can easily be said that “Widows” is first-rate on many levels.  Director Steve McQueen and actor Viola Davis create a strong core for the movie as they and their cohorts break new ground for women in many ways.  The movie has become a hot topic in long, favorable press articles that credit it with exploding the usual Hollywood guidelines regarding race, gender, sex and murder.  All true with one major reservation:  is this an acceptable moment to have women celebrate their new freedom with guns and killing? The movie opens with a prolonged love scene...
(Minotaur Books) The new Louise Penny mystery — what better way to enjoy your holiday leisure time? In this 14th Chief Inspector Gamache novel, set amidst a magical Canadian winter storm, Penny intricately wends together two stories, constructed of secrets not told and enemies close at hand. Stemming from incidents that occurred the previous summer, chief of the Sûreté du Québec, Armand Gamache has been suspended and his son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir is acting chief. Beauvoir is facing pressure to save himself thus paving the way for all blame to fall squarely on Gamanche for the load of a...

Laura Wilkinson
Thanksgiving has passed and the drugstore aisles and radio stations have now fully committed to the impending Christmas season. Pumpkin lattes have been replaced by peppermint hot chocolate and the post office lines have tripled in length. Soon enough, neighborhood homeowners will be giving Clark Griswold a run for his money with lights and action. I started humming holiday tunes shortly after the first snowfall, much to the dismay of my daughter and partner. They let me get away with it only if I change the lyrics into comical tales about themselves and our dog. Luckily, I was blessed with...

PIANIST CÉDRIC TIBERGHIEN will honor the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice by playing works that were composed during the war on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The Concert takes place in Robison Hall, Mahaney Center for the Arts, 72 Porter Field Rd, Middlebury. Photo courtesy Mahaney Center for the Arts
Acclaimed French pianist Cédric Tiberghien will give a grand performance honoring the 100th anniversary of the 1918 World War I Armistice on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m., in Robison Hall at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts. His concert program will feature works composed during every year of the war, by composers from Poland (Szymanowski), Russia (Scriabin), Germany (Hindemith), France (Debussy), and England (Bridge), including an extraordinary work for left hand written for a pianist who lost his arm in battle. Tiberghien has established a truly international career. He...
MIDDLEBURY — On Oct. 10-18, the Addison Repertory theater’s acting class will be touring local elementary schools, sharing their own original children’s show. This year’s show, titled “Beans, Bags, and Bravery,” is a compilation of classic children’s stories retold through dramatic movement. “Beans, Bags, and Bravery” is performed by A.R.T. actors dressed in black with limited props, costumes and dialogue. Directed by Steve Small and produced by Penelope Wade, this year’s show is a three part production consisting of classic and contemporary stories: “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Where the Wild...
BRANDON —“The Man Who Laughs” (1928), a silent drama featuring a disfigured man forced to wear an insane grin all his life, will be screened with live music on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at Brandon Town Hall.  The film will be accompanied live by silent film musician Jeff Rapsis. The screening is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted to help support the town hall’s ongoing renovation and restoration. The screening is sponsored by Omya, Inc. The full text of this article is only available to online subscribers. Are you an online subscriber? Click to login. Click here to learn...


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