Arts Beat for June 22: Sheldon to light up Middlebury with concert and fireworks

The Sheldon Museum’s annual outdoor pops concert and fireworks are a Vermont summer tradition for Lake Champlain area families and tourists. Celebrate the anniversary of Independence Day with a concert of Broadway standards, pops and patriotic music on Friday performed by the Vermont Philharmonic in the meadow behind the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College.
The grounds will be open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. (Rain site is in Kenyon Arena.) The evening will close with fireworks — rain or shine. Be sure to bring flashlights, chairs, blankets and a picnic. A refreshment tent with ice cream, popcorn, coffee and water will be available.
The Vermont Philharmonic was founded in 1959 by Jon Borowicz and is Vermont’s oldest community orchestra. Led by music director Lou Kosma, the Vermont Philharmonic performs varied programs in communities throughout Central and Northern Vermont.
This year Merritt David Janes, a tenor with extensive Broadway musical experience who is originally from Colchester, will appear with the philharmonic.
Tickets: adult, $25; youth age 12-18, $10; children under 12 admitted free. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Sheldon at 388-2117, online at HenrySheldonMuseum.org or in person at the Sheldon, 1 Park St. in Middlebury.
Helen Mirren just won the Tony for Best Actress, confirming her title as Queen of Broadway. Her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the National Theatre production of Peter Morgan’s “The Audience” will be broadcast at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
This production, currently sold out on Broadway, captures Queen Elizabeth’s legendary reign in private meetings with prime ministers from 1951 to the present. With Mirren at the helm, and in the capable hands of director Stephen Daldry, “The Audience” is “a coup de theater of the old school,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
In bringing her queen to the stage — after winning an Academy Award in 2006 for her portrayal of the same frosty monarch in “The Queen,” and playing the title role in the 2005 mini-series “Elizabeth I” — Mirren has proven that her magic is no trick. Her performance is “astonishing,” according to one reporter.
Tickets are $17, with a special $10 ticket for students. Tickets may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, 382-9222, at the THT box office (Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.) and at the door, if available.
The piano and bass duo known as the Yabuno Ettun Project is returning to Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for its third performance.
The duo plays original music, as well as jazz standards, Israeli and Japanese folk music and even Bach, but they explain that the “core of what we do is not the music material itself, but our ability to interact, improvise and communicate using different musical pieces as a point of departure.”
The two have presented their project on various stages in the U.S. and Canada, but in 2014 they launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to present their musical collaboration in their home countries of Israel and Japan. With the campaign successfully completed last December, they embark on their tour in August.
Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20. Reservations are highly recommended for the show and required for dinner. Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or email [email protected] for reservations or information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon. For additional information, visit brandon-music.net.
The Will Patton Ensemble plays at Lincoln Peak Vineyard on Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m. These four fine musicians — Will Patton, David Gusakov, Clyde Stats and Dono Schabner — play a diverse and spirited stew of world music and jazz.
Drawing from Gypsy jazz and Brazilian choro styles, they create an improvisatory dialogue rich in melodic and harmonic invention. For more than 16 years the Ensemble has been playing a high-energy mix of hot club swing, some Brazilian sambas, and even some downhome fiddle tunes and ballads.
Admission is free. As with all Wine Down Friday shows, the “doors” open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking. Food will be for sale by Almost Home, and wine by the glass. Bring lawn chairs or a picnic blanket. The Wine Down Friday series happens rain or shine — there’s room on the winery porch in the case of rain. No alcohol may be brought onto the grounds, and please leave your pets at home. More information is at lincolnpeakvineyard.com.
After three weeks of rehearsal at Middlebury College, the PTP/NYC company invites the community to three work-in-progress showings of the 2015 summer season.
The first play, “Scenes from an Execution,” will take place at noon on Friday; the second play, “Judith: A Parting from the Body,” begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday; while the third play, “Vinegar Tom,” will be at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
All three plays are free, and will take place in the Seeler Studio Theater at the college’s Mahaney Center for the Arts. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot. For more information call 443-3168, visit ptpnyc.org, or go to middlebury.edu/arts.
There will be three live musical performances this week at Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury. Join Two Brothers every Wednesday at 9 p.m., for the Open Mic, an evening of music, comedy, or anything else, alternately hosted by Mark Sikora and Kai Stanley. Come cheer on your friends or let loose on the stage. It’s free to enter, and there is no cover charge.
Then at 6 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents Cooie Sings. Cooie DeFrancesco brings lyrics to life, whether singing traditional tunes or popular songs. Her clear and vibrant vocal styling evokes a dollop of blues, hints of jazz, folk and some old time rock-and-roll. Catch her acoustic debut in the lounge. There is no cover.
Finally, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Zephrus takes to the Tavern’s stage. The always-hypnotizing Zephrus returns to the Lounge with their tight arrangements of both classic and modern rock. There is a $3 cover. For more information, call 388-0002.
There will be a barn concert at 2908 Ripton Road in Lincoln on Saturday, featuring Rusty Belle and Maryse Smith, at 8 p.m.
Maryse Smith recently released a new album collaborating with Michael Chorney, which has been getting rave reviews and plenty of buzz. And for those who haven’t caught Rusty Belle’s shows at Precipice Fest or the Ripton Community Coffee House, their musicianship and funky brand of “roots-rock/junk-folk” makes for a great live show. Sophie Wood, the driving force behind the Royal Frog Ballet performance/art/music/theater/clown/mime/cabaret troupe, will also be there to entertain between the music sets.
Admission is $10 at the door. For more information and reservations, email [email protected]. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Middlebury native and filmmaker Peter Ferland has made a new movie called “Pirate Birthday Party” that will screen at the Town Hall Theater on Sunday. The comedy is about an ill­fated party thrown by well­meaning parents for their 14-year-old son — who doesn’t want to be there. There will be two screenings, a 2 p.m. matinee, and a 7 p.m. show.
Writer­director Ferland will be on hand after the matinee with a short presentation for aspiring filmmakers about making movies. He will be available for a Q&A.
Tickets are $10 and are available at townhalltheater.org, or by calling 382-9222.
There will be one live musical event this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 8 p.m. on Friday, when Soule Monde takes to the stage. Soule Monde is instrumental, organ-driven funk in its purest form. Erupting from the syncopated minds of power-drummer Russ Lawton and organ-wizard Ray Paczkowski, the duo takes soul-jazz back to the deep end.
All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.

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