ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 17, 2011


      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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      Woodmen of the World presents the Co-op Theater East Mystery Dinner Theater at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls tonight at 7 p.m. The proceeds will benefit the Opera House.
      The show is an original murder mystery that draws on Vermont and upstate New York's history of bootlegging during Prohibition. Set in Tolula's Speakeasy in Enosburg, shady characters will vie for control of the local illegal booze market. As the bodies begin to pile up, the evidence doesn't and the audience will be in the thick of the action, attempting to unravel the mystery along with the cast.
      The cast includes Casey Cleverly, Lizzy Elkins, Robert Gonyo, Laura Iris Hill, Tyrus Holden, and Anna Savant.
      Founded in 2008, Co-Op Theater East produces socially minded performances in New York City as well as touring productions such as this one. Their new production, 12th Night Wall Street: Or What You Will directed by Ms. Cleverly, opens in February at the Looking Glass Theater.
      "We're excited to do it - it's going to be a lot of fun, and we're happy for the chance to help out the Opera House," Mr. Gonyo said.
      Interactive Murder Mystery dinner theater is popular around the country but rarely staged in Vermont. One major group has franchises in 36 major cities and claims over 35,000 performances nationwide in the last 25 years.
      The dinner will be catered by Jeff's Maine Seafood. The first course will be Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Dad's Blackberry coulis and a lemon/thyme creme. The second course, Mixed greens tossed with honey/Dijon dressing and a fresh roll with Vermont butter and the third course, a Pork and Beef Bolognese over penne Pasta with fresh Parmesan Cheese. There is a vegetarian option of Roasted Vegetables and pesto over penne pasta with fresh Parmesan. Jeff's Restaurant in St. Albans offers fresh seafood, steak, pasta and chicken dishes made with regional ingredients.
      Admission is $40 per person or $70 per couple. A full table of eight gets a $40 discount of the table price. Each general admission ticket comes with a delicious meal. Tickets are available through the Franklin County Chamber Office, Precious Things Jewelry or the Box Office. Call 802.933.6171 or 802.922.9731 for reservations and more info.
      "All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Opera House and our mission to preserve the building as a historic center for the presentation and promotion of the performing arts and activities that celebrate our sense of community," Sarah Jo Willey said.


     The Bakersfield Historical Society hosts a Holiday Bazaar in the Historical Society building on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. They will have crafts, local vendors, food, a silent auction, and much more. The event benefits the United Church of Bakersfield and Fairfield.
      Call 802.933.4121 to pre-order rolls or pies or for vendor tables.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap at the Lincoln Inn has Summer Sounds favorites this week as they present Jenni Johnson & Friends this evening at 7 p.m. and The Fizz on Wednesday, November 23, also at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

MONTGOMERY CENTER--The Montgomery Recreation Center presents the annual Montgomery Variety Show, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Montgomery Town Hall.
      Tickets are $5 for adults and $3/seniors and children under 16. The eclectic production is an annual benefit for the Montgomery Recreation Center. Call 802-326-4223 for info.

ST. ALBANS--The Chow!Bella Cabaret presents the Missisquoi River Band featuring Cindy and Jim Weed, and Pat Murphy with special guests Will Patton and Roland Clark in concert on Friday at 7 p.m.
      "Enjoy fabulous dining with traditional and original bluegrass music and more," Ms. Weed said.
      Call 802.524.1405, email or click here for more info.


MASTERS' MYSTERY ART SHOW (November 18)--The international annual art event features over 1000 artworks by more than 500 artists from 31 countries around the globe; it coincides with Art Basel in Miami Beach. It benefits Florida International University's MFA in Visual Arts program. Click here for more info.

TEXAS HUNTING ART PRIZE (November 30)--Open to established artists, talented newcomers and promising amateurs, the competition's $50,000 award is the most generous annual art prize given in North America for painting and drawing. Artwork submitted for consideration must be a single two-dimensional painting or drawing no larger than 72" on any one side (including frame, if any). No entry fee. Click here for more info.

CARTOON ART (December 6)--Work should express the humor, whimsy, adventure and/or opinion of life in either individual panel or strip comic format. Submission by JPEGs only. Small cash awards. Entry fee. Email or click here for the prospectus or more info.


SWANTON--Swanton Free Public Library hosts a new book discussion group at the library. The group meets once a month on Wednesdays, beginning (yesterday) November 16, at 6 - 7 p.m.
      The first book in the series is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
      Stop by the circulation desk or call 868.7656 to join the group.


     How strong is your vocabulary? The Merriam-Webster 10-question quiz could teach us some new words. Not that kind of word. The site has dozens of different versions to try.


      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 © 2011 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.