ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 24, 2002


      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 Cardiac Capers Tour of America opened last night on the BFA-St Albans stage and continues its run tonight through Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. each night.
      This year, the entire production is local. "We're doing everything ourselves," director Helene Biggie said, to save the cost of the hired gun director and raise more money for the hospital.
      The selection committee started two years ago with an idea of what should make up the 2002 show. "It's funny because we picked this before 9/11 happened but it's a very fitting show for what has happened in our country."
      A Tour of America visits different cities of the United States and performs the songs that bind us to each region. "We're going to New York, obviously, and doing some Broadway hits like 'New York New York,' 'Get Me to the Church on Time,' and 'Hello, Dolly,'" Ms. Biggie said. "We're going to the Deep South for some gospel. We have a terrific singer, Quincey Russell Green, for one of the gospel numbers. They don't want to miss that. We do a couple of spoofs out West. And, of course, we have our dancers, our Rockettes and our tap dancers.
      "Everyone's safe to sit in the front row," she added.
      The cast of 70 includes past performers and many new people. David Chambers, Linda Warner, Jeannine Chadwick, and Diane Bruley designed the choreography. The four Cardiac Capers dance captains met weekly to design the production numbers and teach the dance steps to the rest of the cast. Brian Fredette is handling lights and sound. The stage crew, led by Tonya Saunders, Chris White, and Jason Bruley, includes 12 community volunteers plus students from the BFA drama department. "And there are a lot of people who work on the costumes and the sets. It's all been done locally." The production company always furnished costumes so the crew has made many costumes themselves. Costume chair Jan Corrigan, along with Loli Berard and Helene Biggie and a crew, "searched all the thrift shops and ordered some new and built up a nice wardrobe." The pit orchestra is Verne Colburn, David Ducham and Bill Patton. Michelle Ovitt and Helene Biggie are the producer-directors.
      A Tour of America includes an abundance of dance numbers and solos. "We had so many numbers I think if we had allowed ourselves, we could have had a five hour show.
      "We'll end with a showstopper with the entire cast," Ms. Biggie said. "Our finale is really something big and spectacular. If you want to know about the finale, you're going to have to come and see it. It's spectacular. It's beautiful. It's a tribute to the USA. We end up in a major city for that one."
      Cardiac Capers started as a community hospital fund raiser in 1980. This is the 12th biennial show. "More of the money will go to the hospital in lieu of the fact that we're not paying a director and production company," Ms. Biggie said.
      Tickets for the shows tonight, Friday, and Saturday cost $10 at the door. "The same prices as we had two years ago." Proceeds from the 2000 Capers helped fund the $5.5 million surgical suite addition and renovation.
      "People have enjoyed the fact that we are doing it ourselves and they've put their hearts and souls into it."


      An Enosburg Falls witch wants to give you a personalized tour of an operating room, a Salem Witch Trial, rooms full of coffins, rooms full of music, and the haunted maze. I hope you get out in one piece.
      "The haunted activities take place on two days this weekend," said organizer Tonya Pearson. Things start at 1 p.m. and are scattered across the day until 7 p.m.; on Sunday, everything will be open 2:30-5:30 p.m.
      Enosburg area students and community volunteers present the sixth annual free Haunting for Halloween in Enosburg Falls on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend includes the Haunted House at the Spavin Cure, Young Children's Play Center at the Episcopal Church, live music, a second haunted lodge on Sunday, a pumpkin glow, and hay rides.
      About 1,800 people attended in three hours last year. "We had to turn away about 400 visitors last year, so we have expanded to two days and multiple locations."
      Tim Camisa and Mike Rooney have again donated the huge Spavin Cure building on Main Street in Enosburg Falls. "We use all the space for creepy stuff," Ms. Pearson said.
      The Haunted House will fill the Spavin Cure Building from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday and again at 2:30-5:30 on Sunday. The minimum age for the Haunted house is 8. "There will be no height bar for the kids to duck under, but we will ask them how old they are." This place is truly bloodcurdling; children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult.
      The All Arts Council outdoor live music stage at the Spavin Cure will feature The Dares on Saturday and Yankee Wild on Sunday. Both bands are donating their time to the cause. Sound production is also donated by Tim-Kath Enterprises.
      The Dares is a six-piece rock band of sixth graders from Burlington. They perform original music written by band members Matt and Ben Peterson. They are popular performers at the St Patrick's Day celebration, at the Vermont Maple Festival, and at First Night. They released their first CD last year.
      Yankee Wild is a popular three-piece band with Willy Hughes as lead vocals, Bob Corbiere on bass, and Stan Cox on drums. "I feel we're stronger now than we ever were. We have a drummer who can sing and harmonize," Mr. Hughes said. They headlined the Maple Festival last year.
      "Each year, we've tried to add new attractions," said Dave Stetson, one of 50 community volunteers and the sound provider. "This year we go for two days and there will be two bands playing to the crowd on the AAC outdoor stage."
      On Saturday there will be a raft of crafts and games at the Spooky Activity Room at the Episcopal Church from 1-3 p.m. Kids can also make their own trick or treat bags, play games, and paint faces.
      Hay rides travel around town from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 to 5:30 on Sunday. Pickups are at the Episcopal Church, the town green, and the Spavin Cure building. The Enosburg Elementary Actions Pumpkin Glow is a jack-o-lantern lighting at 7 p.m. in Lincoln Park. Please drop off carved pumpkins at the park from 4-7 p.m. There will also be hot cider and pretzels, pins and stickers, and cider rings. "We encourage kids to come in very warm costumes." Don't forget to take your pumpkins home after the chilling lighting.
      On Sunday "we have a not so scary Haunted Barn for any age youngsters at the Masonic Temple from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. It's not scary," Ms. Pearson said, "just spooky."
      Admission to the Haunted Houses and the Spooky Activity Room is $1 for kids under 12 and $2 for anyone 12 and over but the hay rides, the music, and the pumpkin glow are free, and donations of both time and money are encouraged. "Our goal is to have 2,500 people and to raise at least $2,500," said Ms. Pearson. The proceeds benefit the training and equipment programs of the Enosburgh Fire Department and Enosburgh Ambulance Service.
      There are free refreshments for young kids at the Haunted Masonic Temple. Skinny's will have delicious hot foods for sale at the Haunted Spavin Cure. "Spend generously," Ms. Pearson said, "the food profits help run the annual haunted house program itself."
      Tim Camisa and Mike Rooney, Sweet Pear Companies, TimKath Enterprises Productions, the All Arts Council, Pierre Boudreau and Aubuchon Hardware, the Elementary School Actions Committee, Green's Ace Hardware, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Hannafords, Hartmans' Farm Stands, Skinny's, Sticks and Stuff, and the Enosburg area volunteers sponsor the events.
      Parking for the Spavin Cure events is at the Enosburg Country Club.
      "We are really short on volunteers this year," Ms. Pearson said. "We had wonderful donations and helpers," she said but she and Dave Stetson have shouldered much of the effort this year.
      If people want this event (and others like it) to happen regularly, the committee needs about 50 more volunteers for next year to organize events, call sponsors, book bands, hang decorations (and the occasional ghostly skeleton), and direct traffic. Email the All Arts Council for information about volunteer opportunities.


ST ALBANS--The Kept Writer presents the sweet jumping, intense, and original blues of Jim Branca on Saturday, 7-9 p.m.

ST. ALBANS: AUTHORS IN AUTUMN--The St Albans Free Library series celebrates the art of writing next Tuesday, October 29, at 7 p.m. with a reading and discussion of self-publishing by St. Albans writer Ann Levy. Call 524-1507 for info.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The drama students and faculty of Enosburg High School present a series of one-act plays--Dog's Breath Devereaux(or Nurses Foiled Again!), Murder at Henry Cabot's Lodge,and a Dracula inspired Halloween farce--next Tuesday, October 29, at 7 p.m. on the main stage at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls. Call the School (933-7777) or click here for more info.


      In 1939, Aaron Copland gathered activist New York composers Otto Luening, Harrison Kerr, Marion Bauer, Quincy Porter and Howard Hanson together to bring their music to wider attention, and get scores, recordings and information to one another.
      The American Music Center distributes American music and serves as an information clearinghouse for composers. Last week, the Center's networking shifted to its Web site and its online magazine New Music Box.
      The American Music Center has also introduced New Music Jukebox, a free and powerful Web portal for contemporary American music and for composers, performers, professionals, and the musically interested. The site has a 24-hour virtual listening room with streaming and downloadable sound files, composer biographies, works lists, publishers, performance data, and more. This cross-referenced database is a rich resource.


      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 © 2002 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.