ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 23, 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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      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Arsenic and Old Lace this weekend only at the Opera House. Show times are tomorrow and Saturday, at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.
      Written in 1939 by American playwright Joseph Kesselring, the farcical black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace takes us though the life of drama critic Mortimer Brewster as he deals with his homicidal family and the local police in Enosburg. His spinster aunts murder lonely men with poison--a glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and "just a pinch" of cyanide. Boris Karloff played the murderous brother Jonathan Brewster who looked like Karloff on opening night in 1943.
      The cast of local suspects includes Dinny Haksworth as Abby Brewster; Laura Mccaulay as Martha Brewster; Alex Noftz as Mortimer Brewster; Zach Scheffler as Teddy Brewster; Bob Cseh as Jonathan Brewster; Pat Evans as Dr. Einstein; Emily Cseh as Elaine Harper; George Moskovitz as Rev. Harper and Lieutenant Rooney; Robert Willey as Officer O'Hara; Allison Dubilier as Officer Klein; Jackson Boutin as Officer Brophy; and Terry Butson as Mr. Gibbs and Mr. Witherspoon. The play is produced by the new Mountain Road Productions and directed by Emily Frappier.
      The Opera House plans to reprise a regular schedule of plays. Working with the new Mountain Road Production company will help accomplish that.
      Admission is just $8 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the door.


COLCHESTER–First Step Dance presents the fifth annual Camp Ta-Kum-Ta Benefit Partner Dance Showcase which shows up Dancing with the Stars on Saturday evening in the Elley Long Music Center at St. Michaels College. The large, elegant stage at Elley Long encourages dancing.
      The dance, organized by Kevin Laddison of St. Albans, will feature members of the Vermont partner dancing community and will include performances by instructors, students and groups of students dancing ballroom, Latin, salsa, tango, swing, English country and other social dances.
      The doors will open at 6:30, and the performance will begin at 7:30 p.m.
      "The show promises to be even better, and more successful, than last year!" Mr. Laddison said.
      Camp Ta-Kum-Ta squeezes in a year of memories and good times into a single summer week. Kids experience the full range of traditional camp activities such as arts & crafts, swimming, and athletics. Ta-Kum-Ta also has the once-in-a-lifetime special events such as hot-air balloon rides, formal dances, and lake cruises and cookouts with the Vermont State Police, dance parties, theme carnivals, ball games and an annual formal dinner/dance, all at their new, permanent, 103-acre home in South Hero.
      Founded in 1984, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta is financed completely through private donations and fundraising. With an all-volunteer staff of 70, Ta-Kum-Ta accepts all of its children tuition-free. The children who have or have had cancer are between the ages of 7 and 17.
      Friends of the production include the Lane Press, Hanson Investment Management, Messenger Print and Design, and Vermont Swings. Donors include Alder Brook Dental Associates, Champlain Club, Hettena Wright Horton, CPAs, Perrywinkles Fine Jewelry, and Bernie Trembley.
      All net proceeds will be donated to support the Camp Ta-Kum-Ta resident camp. Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Tickets are available now at and will be available at the door. Email or click here for more info.

ROUSES POINT--Lakeside Coffee invites friends and music lovers to hear Jim Branca doing "a little solo concert thang" tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.
      Call 518.297.5600 or click here for more info.

MONTPELIER--Events for Tom and the Summit School present the Northumberland Ranters with Fiddleheads on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church.
      The Ranters are talented and enthusiastic young musicians from Northumberland in the northeast of England. The 30 member group, with fiddles, accordions, Northumbrian pipes, cellos, percussion, flute, whistles and double bass, plays the traditional music of England, Ireland and Scotland, as well as Spain and Norway.
      Fiddleheads bring area young people together to learn to play and to improve their traditional fiddling in the company of other like-minded players. The group travels, practices together, prepares for performances, and performs at community events and dances around New England.
      Proceeds from the concert benefit the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with cancer. Call 802.917.1186 or email Summit School for more info about the concert or email Mark Sustic for more info about the Tom Fund and Fiddleheads.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn offers some favorites this week. Tonight is WCLX Blues night with Summer Sounds performers Shellhouse at 7 p.m. The Mad Mountain Scramblers play bluegrass on Tuesday and Wednesday is the weekly Celtic Party/Ceili, both at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

MIDDLEBURY--After Dark Music Series presents Tom Paxton at the United Methodist Church on Saturday at 7 p.m. The series brings some of the best nationally known Blues, Western Swing, Folk, Celtic, Americana, and Acoustic performers to the intimate sanctuary. Click here for more info.


VERMONT PEACE SONG WRITING CONTEST (Tonight, October 23)--The third annual occurrence of the Onion River Community Access contest takes place in the Langdon Street Café in Montpelier at 7 p.m. It will be hosted by Burlington area storyteller Peter Burns. Rebecca Padula, Patti Casey, Mark Hauser, and Fred Wilbur will judge songs for originality, contemporary relevance, musicianship and sing-along-ability. There are prizes including a $100 certificate to GuitarSam. The contest will be recorded for local TV by ORCA Media and shared with Public Access stations across Vermont. Call Kenric Kite (802.224.9901), email or click here for more info.

11th NATIONAL JURIED ART EXHIBITION (November 8)--The Baker Arts Center in Liberal Kansas offers over $7,500 in cash awards for 2 and 3-dimensional fine art and photography completed within the past 2 years The Baker Arts Center in Liberal Kansas offers . Entry fee. Call 620.624.2810, email, or click here for more info or a prospectus.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST (October 31)--Prizes include a digital SLR camera kit, a trip to Washington, D.C., and a feature spot in National Geographic magazine. Submit up to six photos with the themes people, places, or nature. Click here for more info.


     This puppet theater site begins with a link About Crabgrass. There is also booking and contact info, performance schedules, pictures, and news for Bonny Hall and the Crabgrass Puppet Theater of West Brattleboro. The company has over twenty years' experience performing for children and family audiences in theaters, museums and schools. They have twice received the UNIMA Citation of Excellence, the highest puppetry award in the United States.


      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.