ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 27, 2000


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

      There is a free AAC Networking Meeting/Coffee House at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, and workshops every month at Simple Pleasures in St Albans.


      The Maple Festival/All Arts Main Street stage showcases Franklin County performers plus some new-to-us acts from elsewhere in Vermont. There will be a hit Broadway musical, bands, a magician, individual musicians, martial artists, a classic ensemble, storytellers, a chorus, dancers, and a family of 3-foot puppets for the 34th annual Vermont Maple Festival, all starting tonight in downtown St Albans.
      The All Arts Council will also fill City Hall with an exhibit of works by Franklin County artists on Saturday and Sunday. We will have painting, photography, sculpture, original music, and cute little wooden boxes from AAC member artists Alice Astleford, Corliss Blakely, Mary Harper, Patrice Havreluk-Hemingway, April Henderson, Diana Herder Bennett, David Juaire, Ania Modzewleski, Jeanette Ransom, and Wayne Tarr as well as newcomers (to us) Jessica Barney, Connie Clay-Bickel, Rob Fitzgerald, Sean Hennessey, Doug Houle, Joy Mashtare, Ellen Fox Reardon, and more. The show will also feature photography from the Girl Scout Council, impressionist works from VSA-Vermont, paintings from the Elder Art show, and Postcards from the Artrageous statewide exhibit.
      CDs from the Main Street Stage performers will be on sale in City Hall.

TONIGHT--The Gate Players' powerful rock opera for Easter, Godspell brings a contemporary, joyous celebration of music, comedy and slapstick to the Book of Matthew. The score, based on rock, gospel, and ragtime music, includes the hit Day by Day. The story of Godspell delivers the passion of Jesus to teach love and joy in the hearts of people. It sings of loving thy neighbor, forgiveness, tolerance and celebration.
      The five Godspell performances in St Paul's Methodist Church run tonight, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with matinees Saturday at 2:30 and Sunday at 4 p.m. Admission is $5.

FRIDAY--Acoustic alternative singer/songwriter and Vermont Arts Council Artist Kate Barclay can stir your inner being with a voice that hits the heart. Her percussive 12-string underscores the dynamic poetry in her songs about relationships.
      The nationally known educational puppet troupe Kids on the Block production is "Theater with a Theme" with Japanese Bunraku-style puppets that look like real kids. Each play talks about real issues and puts out a positive message to help kids deal with the scarier aspects of life.
      The famed Maple Festival Fiddlers will demonstrate and Dairy Farmer George Woodard of Waterbury Center will enchant us with a tall tale or two.
      The BFA Chamber Singers perform Renaissance and Baroque music, requiems, and new choral music. They are directed by Evelyn Kwanza.

SATURDAY--Great young band Absolute Zero plays modern hard rock, funk, and everything in between; it features Mike McCarthy, guitar and vocals, Chris McCarthy, drums, Matt Gadouas, bass guitar, and Adam Desrochers, guitar and vocals.
      The best blues guitarist in Vermont fronts the four star original Nobby Reed Project. Phil Graziano, guitar, Frank Barnes, bass, and Eric Belrose, drums, back up Nobby in a two-set afternoon gig. Nobby is sure to play his own Satisfied Blues, Thick and Thin (a Texas rockabilly thing), and Blues Bug.
      The popular six-piece country band New Country Echoes plays traditional or old time music including Waltz Across Texas, Green Green Grass of Home, and more. The band includes Richard Farrar, dobro and fiddle, Alden Warner, lead guitar, Lucille Driver, rhythm guitar and vocals, Debbie Murphy, bass and vocals, Matt Leonelli, drums, and Albert Warner, mandolin.
      St Albans Tae Kwan Do will display martial arts brilliance. Merlin the Magician has a bit of prestidigitation, world famous balloon sculptures, and Spooky the Magic Rabbit up his sleeve. I hope it's a big sleeve. The Roxy Dance Studio Dancers are a troupe from all around Franklin County under the leadership of Roxy Bissonette. Vermont Arts Council Artists, the Green Mountain Cloggers' energetic, foot-stomping, toe-tapping Appalachian style dance may shake the sound system off the stage.

SUNDAY--Jazz and pop vocalist Meg Willey Variety will light a torch with old favorites and new ones.
      Bad Horsey, the popular Rock & Roll band returns to perform immediately after the parade (watch for their exciting entrance). Roy Hartson, lead guitar, Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar, Bryce McNall, vocals, Dale Fisher, drums, and Miles Trudell, bass guitar will play the favorite songs and theatrics from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
      The 30-piece Green Mountain Wind Ensemble specializes in the major works of contemporary composers, classical overtures and transcriptions, and traditional marches. They are directed by Eric Bushey.


      The homeless Arts Council has found a home! Starting next Thursday, May 4, our regular AAC CoffeeHouse moves to Simple Pleasures! Our CoffeeHouse always has music, networking time, and "show-and-tell" and is held at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. If turnout is good, we will "double up" to the first and third Thursdays.
      Simple Pleasures is in downtown St Albans at 84 North Main Street, a few doors down from City Hall. Watch this newspaper, check the web site, and look for posters with the performers and the art on exhibit.


BURLINGTON--Bursting with pixie dust, adventure, and song, Lyric Theater Company brings Peter Pan to life at the Flynn Theater for six performances, tonight through Sunday. The boy who would never, never grow up is retrieving his shadow when he visits the Darling children in their London nursery. The kids soar off to an island filled with wonder and adventure and pirates. Franklin County residents Bob Cseh and Robert Root are cast members and John Bielicki is on the Promotions Committee.
      Tickets for the Lyric production are available at the Flynn Regional Box Office (86-FLYNN). Discounts are available for students, senior citizens, and groups. Check for info

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Cambridge Arts Council presents a Singer-Songwriter Showcase with Greg Douglass, Katherine Quinn, and Patrick Fitzsimmons at the Cambridge CoffeeHouse at Smugglers Notch Inn from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3. The original art of Montgomery artist Bob Benson will be on display.
      The Cambridge Arts Council sponsors the CoffeeHouse. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. Call Pete Langdell after five (644-2233) or Fred Brauer (644-5721) for info.

ALBURG--Cabaret Shakespeare presents Shakespeare as you've never seen him. Jim Hogue will perform scenes from Taming of the Shrew, Henry IV, and a Minute and a Half Hamlet. Curtain time at the Ransom Bay Inn is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Free. Call Marybelle Singer (796-3048) for info. This light take on Shakespeare is funded by a grant from the Vermont Council on the Humanities and sponsored by the Alburg Library and Island Arts as part of the ongoing Shakespeare awareness series at the library.
      A pancake breakfast will benefit the Alburg Library summer program on Sunday 8-12 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge in Alburg.


      "The Americans of all nations at any time upon the earth have probably the fullest poetical nature," Walt Whitman wrote.
      According to Internet search engine Lycos, poetry was the eighth most popular of all search terms last year.
      Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry among publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets world wide. Thousands participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events. The Academy has distributed 175,000 posters to schools, libraries, and bookstores.
      Today is a good day to read a poem or to write one.


      Several of this year's Vermont Maple Festival performers have web sites.
     Absolute Zero
     Bad Horsey
     Kate Barclay
      The national Kids on the Block organization
     Nobby Reed Project
      The complete rundown for the Maple Festival and for the Main Street entertainment can be found at the Maple Festival's own site and right here


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


AAC dancing logo

Dick Harper, Chair

Support Free Speech on the Internet
All Arts Council of Franklin County
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
e-mail us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

Copyright © Richard B. Harper, 2000. All Rights Reserved.