ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 5 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 11, 2001


      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 second and fourth Wednesday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops. We come together on the second Wednesday for a booked musical performance and an art exhibit at Simple Pleasures in St Albans. On the fourth Wednesday 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.


      The Fairfax Community Theater Company presents Brandon Thomas's classic comedy Charley's Aunt tonight through Saturday. The FCTC fall show is a beguiling farce in which two turn-of-the-century collegians bamboozle an upper-crust classmate into impersonating their rather odd aunt from Brazil.
      Imagine that it is 1892 at Oxford University--years before Chelsea or even Bill Clinton arrive. The play takes place at the end of the Victorian era when young ladies and young gentlemen cannot associate without a (preferably elderly) chaperone.
      Jack (Ken Algro) has fallen for Kitty (Erin O'Bryan); his friend Charley (Todd Hutchinson) lusts for Amy (Linda Horner). Since Charley's long lost and wealthy aunt is coming to visit, the boys, using Charley's Aunt Donna Lucia as their excuse and chaperone, invite the girls for a little visit.
      Naturally, events waylay the aunt, the girls threaten to leave, a third friend, Lord Fancourt Babs (Bob Martin) is coerced to arrive in drag, the real Donna Lucia (Margie Kane) shows up, and Jack's father (Spencer Anderson) and the girls' guardian both woo the fake Donna Lucia.
      You will need a ticket to find out what Tatum Kenney, Rob Landry, and Normand Lavallee do and to whom they do it.
      The curtain rises at 8 pm at the Westford Brick Meeting House on Route 128 in Westford Village for all performances tonight through Saturday. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door. The proceeds will help benefit the ongoing restoration effort of the Brick Meeting House. e-mail the FCTC for info.


      The Foothills Bakery and the All Arts Council present national recording artist Lui Collins in a coffeehouse concert at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax on Wednesday, October 17, at 7 p.m. Because there is limited seating at this concert, I strongly suggest buying your tickets in advance.
      Popular singer/songwriter Lui Collins was born and raised in Barre, has appeared in concerts and at festivals throughout the Northeast, took several years off to raise a family, and is again actively touring and recording. This concert will include her own songs, old-timey banjo tunes, and a series of Jane Yolen poems she has set to music. An artist of boundless talent, Ms. Collins sets poetic lyrics around solid, traditional music to engage her audience--young and grownup alike--all across the County. Her songs have a gentle, very personal voice of hope and respect in politics, the environment, and love. Her newest solo recording, Leaving Fort Knox, is the seventh album for this compelling singer/songwriter and instrumentalist.
      This concert is presented in as part of a week-long educational residency in Franklin County. Ms. Collins will visit schools, libraries, child care programs, playgroups and other activities involving young children and their families, teachers and care givers all week. The residency will be a musical program full of tradition, myth, imagery, and song. She uses Ursa the bear puppet to engage young students with jokes and conversation, giggles and stories.
      The Lui Collins Coffeehouse Concert is presented by Foothills Bakery. Funding and other support comes from the All Arts Council of Franklin County, the People's Trust, the Comfort Inn, Franklin County Success by Six, the Franklin County Early Childhood Programs and others.
      Tickets are $10 but admission is free for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult. There is limited seating available for this concert. Advance tickets are available at Foothills Bakery. Since this is a bakery, you can count on delicious finger foods at intermission and before the concert. Parking is also limited. Please walk or carpool if possible. Additional parking is available at the Fairfax United Church. Call the Foothills Bakery (802-849-6601) or e-mailfor tickets, location or more info. Click herefor more information about Lui Collins herself.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Friends of the Opera House at Enosburg Falls will sponsor the Annual OHEF Talent Search on Saturday, October 20. This showcase for amateur performers recognizes and encourages the excellence in the performing arts. Last year the contest featured more than 30 participants.
      The Friends offer awards of first place ($100), second ($75), third ($50) and honorable mention ($25) in two age divisions, Junior (Age 14 and Under) and Adult (Age 15 and up). The entry deadline is fast approaching. Call 933-6171 today for more info or to enter.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge CoffeeHouse presents an open mike evening of acoustic music at the Cambridge CoffeeHouse at Dinner's Dunn at the Windridge Bakery on Wednesday, October 17, 7-9 p.m.
      The Cambridge Arts Council sponsors the CoffeeHouse on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. e-mail for info.


ST ALBANS--Jim Daniels and Jim McGinnis bring a comfortable mix of old time Appalachian bluegrass and country on their fiddle and banjo to the Kept Writer this Friday. Jim and Jim original and traditional tunes.
      Musical evenings at the Kept Writer begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free but the tips jar pays the band.

GEORGIA--The Vermont Ephemera And Postcard Society presents Picturesque St Albans as seen through Trade Cards, Postcards, Ephemera and Memorabilia in the Georgia Public Library on Saturday at 10 a.m. The presentation is free of charge


      The 2001 Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Tour of Franklin County is an "informal" jaunt around Franklin County, scheduled for the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Four or more shows join forces to advertise and promote art and to give buyers a lovely day trip around the County.
      Our prior tours have included the All Arts Council Crafts and Fine Arts Festival in St Albans City Hall, the Catholic Daughters annual Christmas Crafts Show at St Mary's Parish Center, the Fairfield Holiday Bazaar at the Fairfield Community Center, and the Tri-Church Bazaar at the Bakersfield Elementary School.
      If you are planning a November show, e-mail the All Arts Council today. The bigger the tour the better.


      Many of our site visits this year take us to Vermont artists and performers.
      Jenni Johnson is a popular jazz singer here in Franklin County with regular appearances in Summer Sounds and at Chow Bella. After she and I talked about marketing at a concert recently, she registered a new and easier to remember domain name for her own web site. There's a lesson in that to all artists: use "" if you want fans to find your exhibit or concert schedule and your works for sale.


      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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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2001 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).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.