ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 19, 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.

      Stop in for the AAC CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops. We come together on the first Thursday for a booked musical performance and an art exhibit at Simple Pleasures in St Albans. On the third Thursday come to the Kept Writer in St Albans for acoustic Open Mike Night featuring music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

      Decisions, decisions. With good planning, you can come to the CoffeeHouse tonight, see Cardiac Capers tomorrow, and go to the Opera House Talent Show on Saturday.


      You can now stop in for the AAC CoffeeHouses on the third Thursday of every month, too! That would be tonight.
      We have cloned the "regular" CoffeeHouse on the first Thursday into a new twin CoffeeHouse gathering brimming with new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops at the Kept Writer in St Albans. Starting tonight, the Kept Writer will have acoustic Open Mike Night featuring music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont every month. Call Jedd (527-6242) for info.



      The Cardiac Capers Millennium Show brings 100 Years of Music to the BFA-St Albans stage tonight through Saturday, at 7:30 p.m.
      "We have a lot of past performers and some new people," said Helene Biggie. "We have some doctors in a couple of male comedy numbers that are really cute."
      In "100 Years of Music from 1900-2000," director Milburn Amy of Jerome H. Cargill Productions has highlighted music from every decade. There are numbers from Grease, the Lion King, and from the Broadway show Rent.
      A very large quartet, the Medic-Aires now includes Drs. Bob Zelazo and Frank Zsoldos, Jay Shepard, JoAnn Chambers, and John Chesarek and there are "skits and plenty of male and female comedy teams." Led by Verne Colburn, the pit orchestra includes David Ducham, Bill Patton, and Sue Tessier.
      The opening number has the entire chorus and a kick line. Quincy Russell Green has a solo. "There is a tambourine number that is really quite good and we have some 20s and 30s music and dancing."
      "In between each decade there will be trivia with audience participation," Helene said. Bring your thinking caps and perhaps some crib sheets.
      The second act opens with 50s beboppers and a men's comedy number. Then it is disco time during the 70s and 80s followed by a conga. Audience participation is not required in the conga line.
      "We'll end with a showstopper with the entire cast," Helene said.
      Capers emphasizes Flowers to a Star. The audience can buy a rose to be sent backstage for performers or loved ones in the show. This little extra adds a bit of class and costs only $2.
      Tickets for the shows tonight, Friday, and Saturday cost $10 at the door or $8 in advance and are available at Blouins IGA, Jukebox CDs and Tapes, NMC, St Albans Chamber of Commerce, St Albans Free Library, Spears Pharmacy, Steeple Market, Swanton Rexall, and Video King. Proceeds will help fund the $5.5 million surgical suite addition and renovation. That project will be complete and phased in in about 18 months.


      The Friends of the Opera House at Enosburg Falls present the 8th Annual Talent Show on Saturday evening. This year the contestants are equally divided between the Junior (14 and under) and the Adult Divisions (15 and up).
      "We have a good variety of instrumentalists with violin, clarinet, and keyboards," director Harry James Benoit said, "as well as vocalists, dancers, and tap." The contestants come from all over northern Vermont including Johnson, Newport, St Albans, and Swanton. In addition to bragging rights, winners receive $100 (first place), $75 (second place), $50 (third place) and $25 (honorable mention) in each division.
      By tradition, the first place adult division winners cannot return to compete, but they can certainly reappear. Last year's winners returning to host the event are Megan Willey (Adult Division), and Jennifer Roach (Junior Division) plus 1995 winner Sarah Jo Willey.
      Harry Benoit is on the Opera House Board and regularly directs other popular shows such as Once Upon a Mattress, the Odd Couple, and Man of La Mancha. In his spare time he designs sets for the Miss Vermont pageant, does other theater, attends concerts, swims and bikes, and takes care of four cats. In real life he "does case management and advocacy for the Agency on Aging."
      The Opera House renovation is nearly complete: the elevator is in making the building completely handicap accessible. As far as we know at press time, none of the contestants will use the elevator as a prop.
      This is the first year admission will charged. All proceeds go to the ongoing drive for the Opera House operations. Admission is $5/adult, $4/seniors or students, under 12 FREE. Advance tickets garner a $1 savings at Merchant's Bank, Spears Pharmacy, and Swanton Rexall. Call 933-6171 for more information. "It's a family show, so we want everyone to get in," Harry said.


      The paintings of Alice Astleford are on display at NMC during the month of October.


RICHFORD--The Public Libraries of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties conclude the Fall Foliage Literary Festival this weekend with novelist Chris Bohjalian.
      Chris Bohjalian was popular with Vermont readers and First Night audiences long before Oprah catapulted his novel Midwives onto the best seller list. His books are crafted as literature but he tells a tale that mystery readers, romance lovers, and horror habitues can dive in to.
      Drive to Richford on Sunday. The foliage will still be pretty and the company is great.
      The Festival is part of an ongoing program to show what the libraries do and what they need from the state and the community to continue. Chris Bohjalian will be in the Richford Town Hall, Sunday at 2 p.m. The program is free.

ENOSBURG FALLS--Singer/guitarist/songwriter Kelly Moore will perform his own original Contemporary Folk, Folk/Jazz and Celtic music at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, next Saturday, October 28. A Vermonter who has spent many years in Nashville with Pete Seegar, Roy Acuff, and Minnie Pearl, Kelly is performing all over the Northeast. For information and tickets call 933-6171.


ABSTRACTION FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM (October 31)--Exhibit of abstract and/or nonrepresentational art in any medium or approach, juried by Ann Ellegood, curator of the New Museum for Contemporary Art. Entry fee. A prospectus is available by e-mail
2ND ANNUAL MINIATURE ART SHOW AND SALE (October 31)--Wind River Valley Wyoming Artists' Guild non-juried exhibit is open to all artists including youth. e-mail for a prospectus.
ONE-ACT PLAY WRITING COMPETITION (October 31)--Eighth annual competition at Fitton Center for Creative Arts offers honorariums and readings. Request rules by e-mail.
RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS (October 31)--Historical research by creative and performing artists, writers, filmmakers, and journalists. Should produce works dealing with pre-20th century American history designed for the public rather than the academic community. American Antiquarian Society, 508-363-1131 or e-mail
SONGWRITING CONTEST (October 31)--Original compositions in rock, alternative, pop, jazz, blues, latin, new age and more. Cash prizes. Juried. Entry fee. Must have entry form from the or e-mail
PAPERWORKS COMPETITION (November 1)--All works created on or made of paper. Juried. Entry fee. For a prospectus, send an SASE to Northwest Art Center, Minot State University, 500 University Ave W, Minot ND 58707
INTERNATIONAL COMPOSING COMPETITION (November 30)--Works of 6-15 minutes for symphony orchestra. Click here or e-mail for info.


      More than 5,000 museums across the world await us through the door of cyberspace, 24 hours every day, and you don't have to go out in the rain to get there.
      The Virtual Museum of Arts el Pais opens with an information booth and a steep stairway that feels like the real thing.


      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.


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Dick Harper, Chair

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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2000 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
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