ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 20, 2014


      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.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

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      BFA-St. Albans presents its Fall musical, 110 in the Shade, in the BFA Performing Arts Center in a run beginning this evening and running through Saturday. All performances begin at 7 p.m.
      The musical is based on the 1954 play The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash, with lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt. With the drought-ridden backdrop of a Depression era rural town, the play takes us to a hot summer day of spinster Lizzie Curry as she keeps house for her father and two brothers and worries about her marriage prospects. Enter a charming confidence trickster with a promise to bring rain at a price of $100. Olivia Christie plays Lizzie Curry, Sam Boudreau, Sheriff File, and Mingo Maquera is the charismatic con-man Bill Starbuck.
      Admission is $5-$10 per person. Tickets are available online at


ST. ALBANS--Rosie Newton sang the Star Spangled Banner and O Canada to kick off the Vermont Rail Action Network annual dinner at the St. Albans Historical Museum last Thursday.
      Ms. Newton has been busy this year, with performances in the Highbrow to Hoedown, Waiting on a Dream, CSM Band appearances, the Opera House Final Fall Fling, at the Traveled Cup, and much more.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones in a solo show tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      The Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap at the Lincoln Inn presents Summer Sounds favorite Jenni Johnson and Friends this evening at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Twiggs Comedy For A Cause series continues on the Main Stage Friday evening at 7 p.m. The evening will raise money to support the Surf Strong surf school and youth center.
      Colin Ryan of A Stand Up Life produces the show. Admission is $20. There are just 75 seats available at the restaurant. Call Sarah Manahan (802.309.9096) or email for tickets. Make dinner reservations prior to the show since only drinks, appetizers, and desserts will be served during the show.
      Next up, Twiggs presents Almost Nowhere with Rich Furniss, lead vocals and rhythm guitar, and Mark Hagerstrom, lead guitar and vocals, performing 50/50 covers and originals from rock to folk to blues to funk.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info or booking requests.

ESSEX JUNCTION--It's November Madness as Justice blasts Backstage on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.
      The rock group metes out 70s, 80s, 90s, and current dance rock with Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Rodney Bushey, lead guitar and vocals; Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals.

SHELDON--The Abbey presents NighTrain in a Thanksgiving Eve Party on Wednesday, November 26, at 9 p.m.
      Nightrain has high-energy rocked the Burlington/St. Albans-corridor for a decade with Taylor Arsenault, vocals; Tom Dunn, bass; Eric Halbach, drums; Brad Ravlin, guitar; and Andy Toussaint, guitar and keys.
      There is a $5 cover.

ST. ALBANS--Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving bringing Justice to the biggest party on Kingman Street at Karib on Wednesday, November 26 at 9:30 p.m.


FAIRFAX--Numbers Are Magical at the Fairfax Community Library this evening at 6 p.m.
      The latest edition of this series is designed for elementary school children to learn number tricks, memory aids, and other cool stuff that works in music, in books, and in photography.

HIGHGATE--The Highgate Book Group gathers to discuss The Art of Hearing Heartbeats on Monday at 6 p.m.
      Jan-Philipp Sendker's inspirational story is set in Burma where it spans the decades from the 1950s forward. There's a disappearing lawyer, a love letter, an unknown Burmese woman, and a mystery.
      Build It Day is Tuesday at 10am. Give a child a cardboard box and the possibilities are endless. I'm thinking origami. Very stiff origami.
      Call 802.868.3970 to register.

ST. ALBANS--It's a busy day and week at the St. Albans Free Library.
      Today starts with the Mornings, Muffins & Mysteries Book Group reading The Third Secret by Steve Berry at 10:30 a.m. Those interested in writing and sharing work with their peers take over for Writers' Medley at 2 p.m. Then Conversational Maths are "a math class with no homework or tests" at 6:30 p.m. Books for book groups are available at the main desk downstairs.
      The Friday Afternoon Comedy Film continues with O Brother, Where Art Thou? at 1 p.m. and the Teen Movie Matinee has the Hunger Games on Monday and Catching Fire on Tuesday at 1 p.m. The library shows a newsreel, cartoon, and trailer of coming attractions before each weekly movie. All films are shown on the 4' by 6' screen in the upstairs conference room "cinema." Admission is free, along with popcorn and a beverage.
      Tuesday, November 25, at 6:30 p.m. is Crafters' Night Out. Socialize with other crafters focusing on holiday projects.
      Call 802.524.1507 for details.


     Novelist and storyteller Alec Hastings of Randolph Center offers writing workshops (fiction, nonfiction, poetry), readings from his first novel, Otter St. Onge and the Bootleggers, and in-depth literature and film workshops. His site includes an intro to the novel, biographical info, jottings on writing, a buy-this-book link, 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 © 2014 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.