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Arts Beat for Oct. 20 — 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' to take the stage

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Posted on October 7, 2013 |
By Greg Pahl



Art Beat for July 7: Festival to offer great music all week plus dancing

“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” will be performed at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Additional performances will be on Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 7 p.m. There will be additional performances next week.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic allegorical work, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” was an instant success in 1885. In a new stage adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher, with an original electronic score by Middlebury College Professor Peter Hamlin, Middlebury Actors Workshop presents a smart, suspenseful psychological thriller that makes the familiar horror story scary again.

On the fog-bound streets of Victorian-era London, Henry Jekyll’s experiments with exotic “powders and tinctures” have brought forth his other self — Edward Hyde, a sensualist and villain free to commit the sins Jekyll is too civilized to comprehend. When Hyde meets a woman who stirs his interest, Jekyll fears for her life and decides to end his experiments. But Hyde has other ideas, and so the two sides battle each other in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse to determine who shall be the master and who his slave.

“Jekyll and Hyde has become a catch phrase in the English language because it refers to something so true,” says MAW Artistic Director Melissa Lourie. “In this adaptation, Jeffrey Hatcher throws away corny images of man morphing into monster, and instead explores the issue of good and evil in an original and exciting way. Also, he writes a darn good suspense story.”

Director Lourie leads a cast of some of Burlington’s finest actors, including Paul Ugalde, Jordan Gullikson, Chris Caswell, Patrick Clow, J. Louis Reid and Marianne DiMascio. Middlebury actors Cody McGlashan and Kate Tilton round out the ensemble.

Tickets are $22 reserved seating, $20 for the Saturday matinee and $10 walk-up student tickets for the day of the show only. For tickets and information contact the THT box office: 382-9222 or townhalltheater.org. Low-cost student rush tickets at the door if available.

LIVE STORYTELLING EVENT

Middlebury College hosts the live performance event “Cocoon,” inspired by popular storytelling phenomenon “The Moth,” at 8 p.m. on Friday at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Six hand-picked storytellers including students, faculty, staff and community members will tell a diverse range of stories around the theme of blood. This year’s special emcee is Jay Allison, producer of “The Moth Radio Hour” on public radio. The audience is invited to a reception with the storytellers after the show.

This community-wide event is coordinated by the creators of Middlebury College’s student storytelling organization the Middlebury MothUP. Since 2010, the Middlebury MothUP has brought students, staff and townspeople together to tell stories on a given theme. The event has only two rules: one, all stories must be true; two, no notes. For the second year running, the MothUP has joined forces with the Mahaney Center for the Arts to produce “Cocoon” for an even larger audience.

2014 emcee Jay Allison is an independent journalist and leader in public broadcasting. He produces “The Moth Radio Hour” and has created dozens of documentary programs and series.

This year’s storytellers will include Kathryn Blume, a climate activist and actress; Bill Torrey, a Vermont native, logger, and legendary storyteller; Middlebury College alumni Chris De La Cruz and Otto Pierce; and Middlebury dance chair and choreographer Christal Brown. Mark Christensen will provide the musical interludes.

Tickets are $10 for the general public. For tickets or further information, call 443-6433 or go to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts.

CIVIL WAR DRAMA

The White River Valley Players present “Ransom,” an original Civil War drama, directed by Ethan Bowen, on Friday in the Rochester High School Auditorium in Rochester, at 7:30 p.m. Repeat performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“Ransom” was inspired by a packet of letters written from camp by Lt. Ransom Towle of West Rochester, Vt. Through Ransom’s own voice we hear about life on the war front, as he shares the spotlight with the wives, parents and children who stayed home on hardscrabble farms. Original and traditional music highlight joyful times, fervent patriotism and longing for loved ones.

The cast consists of over 30 actors and musicians. The play celebrates the players’ 35th anniversary and observes the final year of the Civil War sesquicentennial. “Ransom” was written by Dick Robson, in collaboration with historian Joe Schenkman, Ethan Bowen and April Dodd. The music was written and arranged by Dorothy Robson and Jake Wildwood.

Advance tickets are $15 general, $10 seniors and students at White River Credit Union, or at the door $17 general, $12 seniors, $10 students. Call 767-3954 to reserve tickets.

HELIAND CONSORT

The Heliand Consort will perform “Beethoven, Bruch & Beyond” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society at 2 Duane Court in Middlebury. The program features clarinetist Elisabeth LeBlanc, bassoonist Rachael Elliott and pianist Cynthia Huard.

The program showcases a wide range of music for clarinet, bassoon and piano including classical and romantic favorites: Beethoven’s Opus 11 “Trio,” selections from Bruch’s distinctive “Eight Pieces” and Schumann’s “Fantasy Pieces.” Contemporary selections by two noted composers offer poetic contrast: the meditative music for solo piano by Nico Muhly, and solo piano and chamber music by the Australian composer Padma Newsome, the composer/arranger for Clogs and formerly with The National.

Admission is by donation. For more information, please call 735-3611 or visit heliandconsort.org.

TWO BROTHERS TAVERN

There will be three live musical performances this week at the Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury.

On Wednesday, the tavern will feature Open Mike Night, beginning at 9 p.m. Hosted by Kai Stanley, the Open Mike Night follows Trivia one Wednesday per month. The stage is open to musicians and performers of all kinds on a first-come, first-serve basis, and it’s free to enter.

Then, at 9 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents the Hamjob. This Vermont trio plays a zesty mashup of funk, blues, reggae, metal and everything in between all rolled into one tasty musical stew. There is a $3 cover.

Finally, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Rumblecat take to the Tavern’s stage. Rumblecat’s core mission is to make great original music, but their live shows also draw on an extensive catalogue of classic covers, some faithful and some radically re-imagined. There is a $3 cover. For more information, call 388-0002.

LIVE MUSIC AT 51 MAIN

There will be three live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 8 p.m. on Thursday, the Justin Perdue Group will play everything from ballads and blues to modal jazz and funky soul.

Then, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Myra Flynn takes to the stage. Half Irish and half African American, her original indie/soul/folk songs blend soulful vocals with a lyrical delivery that doesn’t let one get too comfortable.

Finally, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, David Bain and Mimi Bain will perform. This father-daughter duo draw from an eclectic American roots musical catalog of belting blues, rock, soul, vintage jazz, New Orleans, rockabilly, and even some from Tin Pan Alley.

All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.

INT’L FILM SERIES

The exciting 2014-2015 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2013 Austria/U.S. film, “Museum Hours,” directed by Jem Cohen.

Johann is a museum guard who spends his days observing the art and visitors of Vienna’s grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum. Anne, suddenly called to Vienna from overseas, has been wandering the city in a state of limbo. A chance meeting sparks a deepening connection that draws them through the galleries and the city streets. A “quietly amazing, sneakily sublime new film,” says A.O. Scott in The New York Times.     

The film will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium. It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

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