ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 24, 2008


      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 various restaurants around Franklin County throughout the week, 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.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!

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      A Murder is Announced, starting tonight as the Fairfax Community Theater Company presents the Miss Marple play adapted from the Agatha Christie novel at BFA-Fairfax. Performances begin this evening and continue Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee Sunday at 2 p.m.
      After the Chipping Cleghorn Gazette announces that a murder will take place at the Victorian Little Paddocks estate, the six residents, three visitors, and Miss Marple join together at the appointed hour. The cast includes Margie Cain as Miss Marple, Stephen Beagles as Edmund Swettenham, Michel Denizot as Rudi Scherz, Lynda Deslauriers as Mrs. Swettenham, Erica Jacobus as Phillipa Haymes, Hillary Loggins as Julia Simmons, Robin Mahany as Dora Bunner, Scott Mitchell as Patrick Simmons, Mary Skidmore Taylor as Letitia Blacklock, Alisa Smith as Mitzi, Hal Smith as Sgt. Mellors, and Thom Smith as Inspector Craddock. Walter Mahany directs.
      Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children under 12. Call 802.849.2923, email, or click here for more info or to reserve tickets.


     The 42nd annual Vermont Maple Festival takes over downtown St. Albans tomorrow afternoon. In addition to maple exhibits, food, and family fun, the event puts performers on stage on Main Street, at BFA, and at City Elementary School.
      The biggest event of the weekend is the Maple Festival Parade. Starting from Houghton Street on Sunday at 1 p.m. sharp, the parade stretches out for miles with over 120 bands, unique floats, clowns, horses and tractors, and the ever-popular pooper scooper.
      The annual Crafts Show and Sale will be held in BFA Auditorium on Friday noon - 5p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      The Friday entertainment lineup on the free Main Street stage includes the Inseldudler-German Band kicking off the schedule with Oom Pah music at noon. Marko the Magician performs magic and hypnosis at 1. Fiddleheads keep the fiddle music tradition alive at 3. Burlington rock band Run for Cover performs for the first time here at 4.
      The Youth Talent Show will fill the BFA Auditorium on Friday evening at 7 p.m. This annual favorite brings together some of the most talented children in the County competing for scholarship prizes. Tickets are available at the information booth on Main Street and at the festival office.
      Saturday on stage begins with award winning children's storyteller and musician Bill Shontz returning with a family show at 10. The Joe Levesque Big Band brings the band music of the 40s to the present to the stage at noon. Winners from the Youth Talent Show perform at 1:30. Rock band Prydein plays Scottish Kilt-Rock in their first Maple Festival performance at 2. The Keeghan Nolan Band, Franklin County's favorite country music star, headlines the show at 4 p.m.
      The Fiddler's Variety Show is an annual sellout in BFA Auditorium with hours and hours of Canadian and American singers, dancers, pickers, comedy, and clogging all starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the information booth on Main Street and at the festival office.
      On Sunday, the Main Street stage offers the St. Albans City School Band with over 100 6th, 7th and 8th grade performing at 11. Artistic Director Maryellen Vickery will showcase The Ballet School and Dance Arts at noon. Immediately after the parade the Electric Youth Dance Company takes to the street at 2:30. The Citizens Concert Band under the leadership of Kevin Loomis, at 3:30 to close the day.


     No Mapley art: The All Arts art exhibit will not be held at the Maple Festival this year.

      The Art's Alive Spring Fine Art Exhibit draws to a close Sunday at Union Station in Burlington. The event has featured the work of many Franklin County fine artists including Harald Aksdal, Rebecca Anne Bennett, Emily Billings, Jonathan Billings, Gordon Boomhower, Jane Bower, Claire Dunn, Jim Foote, Mary Ann Godin, Barbara Hamm, David Juaire, Suzanne Kenyon, Anita Michelle, Pat Murphy, Autumn Parry, Stina Plant, Karen Day Vath, and Maggy Young.
      The Art's Alive gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Union Station is located at One Main Street at the western edge of Burlington. Admission is free.


     Events for Tom and the Champlain Valley Folk Festival present an afternoon of Appalachian and Irish fiddling on Sunday at 3 p.m. Twenty-somethings Matt Brown from Philadelphia and Geordie Lynd with the Eavesdroppers from Middlebury College, one an Appalachian traditionist, the other a strong Celtic musician, offer acoustic music in the intimate Park Squeeze Café in Vergennes.
      American Roots Musician Matt Brown sings the blues to traditional ballads, and performs a program of traditional music, square dance tunes, banjo pieces. He is a fiddler, banjo player, guitar player, and soloist. Geordie Lynd, Chris Stephens, and Roger Kahle make this double bill a stop on their Third Annual Vermont World Tour.
      There is limited seating. Admission is $10. Food and drink will be available until show time and tickets are available at the door. Call 802.453.3795 or email for more info.


BURLINGTON--Muddy Music at 1 continues through Sunday as part of Mudfest;ECHO Earth Weeks at ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. Tammy Fletcher closes the show on Sunday. Call 877.ECHOFUN or email for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn offers some favorites this week. Tonight is WCLX Blues at 7 p.m. RumbleDoll returns Friday at 9 p.m., QUADRA on Saturday at 9 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.


YOUNG TRADITION CONCERT (now)--The Events for Tom Series with KIDS DAY and Burlington Parks and Recreation is presenting the 4th Annual Young Tradition Concert on Saturday May 17, in Burlington. The concert features children, youth and young adults 25- years-old-and-under who play, sing and/or dance in folk and traditional styles. For the first time audience favorites will receive cash prizes ($500 for 1st, $250 for 2nd, $125 for 3rd) in addition to dozens of other prizes.
      Email for more info.


     The Ballet School holds classes and performances at a studio just a mile from exit 19 in St. Albans. Their site includes an introduction to the faculty, class schedules, performance schedule, resources, and contact info.


      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 © 2008 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.