Arts Beat for April 18: Actors Workshop to perform play on writing

Middlebury Actors Workshop presents “Seminar” by Theresa Rebeck at the Town Hall Theater on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
A recent hit on Broadway, “Seminar” is a provocative comic drama from Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck, an author known for her funny and incisive work.
In “Seminar,” four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard, an international literary figure. Under his recklessly unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, hearts are unmoored and destinies discovered.
MAW welcomes a cast of four terrific young actors from out of state, including University of Vermont graduate Lida Benson and Middlebury College grad Jack DesBois. Playing the formidable role of Leonard is Roy Cutler of Burlington, and playing the role of Martin, his young protégé, is Sam Finn Cutler, Roy’s son and a recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Aryana Sedarati, of NYC, completes the cast.
The play contains mature language and situations and is not suitable for children.
Tickets are $22; student rush at the door, $12. For tickets and information call 382-9222 or visit townhalltheater.org.
Rupert Wates will be performing his eclectic mix of acoustic, melodic art/folk, with flavors of jazz, vaudeville and cabaret at Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Since the late ’90s, Wates has been a professional songwriter, writing a diverse mix of styles and genres for Eaton Music Limited and then for himself and his bands. Since coming to the U.S. in 2006, he has won more than 30 songwriting awards.
Wates has released seven solo CDs, all having been very well received by the online press, with tracks played on radio stations all over the world. Wates will perform several songs from his next album, “Colorado Mornings,” which was just recorded in February and will feature 12 acoustic love songs.
Wates was voted an Artist of the Year 2013 by the international house concert network Concerts in Your Home, and in 2015 he was recognized as their most booked performer, having secured well over 100 dates through their website.
Tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20. Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner. Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information.
There will be four live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the 51 Main Blues Jam continues. Dennis Willmott from Left Eye Jump will provide lead guitar, bass and drums, and these guys will back you up or take a break and let you play. All musicians and blues fans are welcome. Everyone will get a chance to play.
At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Pantet take to the stage. Their repertoire consists of original compositions, free improvisations, and reinterpretations of jazz masters such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Theolonius Monk, and Wayne Shorter.
Then, at 8 p.m. on Friday, the Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble, Middlebury College’s swingin’ big band, will entertain you with music that’s been dubbed America’s National Treasure.
Finally, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, singer, songwriter, guitarist, bandleader and all around working man Tim Brick will perform. His ability to engage the audience and draw them into his songs is what separates him from the average entertainer.
All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.
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 9 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents Bill. Bill is not one man, but four. Brothers Dave and Matt Nerbak share vocal and guitar duties, while the tight rhythm section of Phil Joseph on drums and Billy Dorsey on bass, round out the sound. They cover artists like the Gales Brothers, Vince Gill and Albert Collins — as well as play originals. There is a $3 cover.
Finally, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Binger returns to the Tavern’s stage. Couch-surf prog, post-genre, experimental hip-hop, jam and anything else you can think of snakes its way into their intricate and mind-bending live shows. This is a band not to be missed. There is a $3 cover. For more information, call 388-0002.
Based in Rochester, Bald Mountain Theater will embark on its first region-wide tour this spring, presenting an original adaptation of the folk classic “Hansel and Gretel.” The play will be coming to the auditorium at Middlebury Union High School, on Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m.
This fast, funny, moving and visually creative production will feature live music, professional actors Ethan Bowen and Sebastian Ryder with newcomers Jillian Sherwin and Donovan Piccicuto.
“Hansel and Gretel” integrates classic language and vivid imagery to create a performance for both children and parents.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children under 16, and may be purchased online at baldmountaintheater.org, or at the door. “Hansel and Gretel” is suitable for engaged 6-year-olds and up.
The 2015-2016 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2013 Iran film “Closed Curtain,” directed by Jafar Panahi and Kambuzia Partovi.
An Iranian screenwriter hides from the world in a secluded seaside house, with only his dog as company. His tranquility is shattered one night by a young woman running from the law. But come dawn, another unexpected presence will change everything. “Closed Curtain” is director Jafar Panahi’s second film since his 20-year ban on filmmaking after 2011’s “This Is Not a Film.”
The film, in Persian with English subtitles, 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.
A new art exhibit, “Scratching the Surface: Intaglio Prints,” opens on Thursday in the mezzanine at Middlebury College’s Johnson Memorial Building.
Students present their new work, exploring traditional and contemporary methods of printmaking. Imagery is developed through drawing, layering and hand-coloring applications. Intaglio encompasses an array of techniques: in essence, ink is applied to a plate of zinc, copper, wood, Plexiglas, or cardboard, and then transferred onto paper by pulling it through a press.
The exhibit, which runs through April 28, is free and the public is welcome.
Affiliate Artist Miles Donahue will offer “A Vermont Jazz Experience” on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Robison Concert Hall at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts.
Donahue, playing saxophone and trumpet, leads an all-star lineup in celebration of jazz — all four Berklee College of Music professors — Sal Difusco on guitar, Tim Ray (long-time player for Lyle Lovett) on piano, John Lockwood on bass and Larry Finn on drums.
It’s free, and the public is welcome. Free parking is available.

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