ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 6, 2005


      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 live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m., at ChowBella or at the Overtime Saloon in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday evenings, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      It has nothing to do with the space shuttle. The Fairfax Community Theater Company presents Dancing at Lughnasa, a play by Brian Friel, opening tonight at the Brick Meeting House in Westford. The play continues tomorrow and Saturday evenings.
      Dancing at Lughnasa is the story of 5 sisters caught between modernization and their historical way of life. The play is produced by Kevin Christopher, directed by Margie Cain, and stage managed by Chris Johnson. The cast includes: Kevin Christopher as Michael, Mary Skidmore-Taylor as Kate, Pamela Dewey as Maggie, Helen Soule as Agnes, Jennifer Carbee as Rose, Heather Jarvis as Chris, Bob Martin as Gerry and Walter Mahany as Father Jack.
      Although set in Ireland in 1936, the play has undertones of the changes in Vermont. The sisters struggle with the changes in their homeland, their elder brother, a priest who has come home to die, their nephew’s itinerant Welsh father who has not, and their own primal urges.
      Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $5 for seniors and children under 12. Tickets are available at the door. Call 849-6638 or email for reservations and more info.


     Catalyst Theater Company presents The Guys a two-character play based on a true story of September 11, 2001, by Anne Nelson. The play begins tonight and continues through Sunday, then repeats next weekend, all at Waterfront Theater at Lake and College Streets in Burlington.
      Less than two weeks after the September 11th attacks, New Yorkers were still in shock. When an editor named Joan receives an unexpected phone call from Nick, a fire captain needs a writer to help him with eulogies for his men's memorial services. The two spend a long afternoon together, recalling the fallen men through recounting their virtues and their foibles, and fashioning the stories into memorials of word. The guys is, of course, a love story.
      Dennis McSorley (Capt. Nick Flanagan) appeared in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman earlier this year. Sheila Collins (Joan) first Vermont appearance was as the "young" Lucy Parsons in Catalyst Theater's staged radio production of Inquisitions in 2003; she has worked with many theater groups since.
      Showtimes are tonight through Saturday and October 13-15 at 8 p.m. plus matinees October 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. Catalyst offers special $10 tickets for first responders, police and EMS personnel. Call 862-SHOW (862.7469) for tickets. Tickets are now on sale now.

      Catalyst Theater Company of Burlington will stage benefit performances for Vermont's Fire Houses whose communities will assist by hosting a performance in their town. Call Veronica Lopez, Producing Artistic Director, (802.862.2287) or email for more info.


     Keeghan Nolan did not win the Colgate Country Showdown Regionals at Topsfield Saturday but "she gave 110%, said her mom," Cheryl Nolan.
      This was Keeghan's first time singing with a live band; she had the crowd on their feet. About 20 people from her fan club came to the show to show their support.
      "We could not be any more proud of her it was like she had been singing with the band forever," Ms. Nolan said.
      Jodie Cunningham from New Hampshire won this year's regional contest.


SOUTH HERO--20,000 people will attend Vermont's largest Apple Festival this weekend to share in free entertainment, music, a craft show, flea market, a cider pressing contest, petting zoo, and, of course, lots of apples. The Famous Fiddleheads will perform on Sunday. Call 802.372.5566 for Festival info or Mark Sustic (849.6968) or email for Fiddlehead info.
      Admission and parking are free.

FAIRFAX--The regular Music Session continues Saturday with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.

WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents community dances on Saturdays at 7 p.m. in the Waterville Town Hall. The evening will feature contras, squares, circles, play parties and singing games and all dances will be taught. Bring a partner, the entire family, or come alone. Caller Mark Sustic offers dance instruction. Frank Heyburn and Michele Lajoie play. Guest musicians with acoustic instruments are welcome. Admission is $5 per person and $10 for families at the door.
      The Family Dance this Saturday will feature caller Mark Sustic, fiddler Frank Heyburn, members of Fiddleheads, and other youth fiddlers, starting at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or e-mail for info.

ST. ALBANS--The Overtime Saloon offers Open Mic with Abby Jenne and Friends every Wednesday at 8 p.m. Abby encourages performers of all kinds to attend. If you need instrumental accompaniment, email with the title/artist of song you wish to perform. Click here for more info.


     Professional Lighting and Production Magazine is a slick, searchable resource. They even have an ad for jobs at the Cirque de Soleil.


      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 © 2005 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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