Arts Beat for Oct. 24: Fiddler, piper team up at Brandon Music
Pete Sutherland and Tim Cummings — colleagues, friends and former neighbors — combine once again to share a rich mix of music sourced from the related traditions of Appalachia, the British Isles and Brittany, as well as from their own imaginations. On Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. they will perform at Brandon Music, providing the audience with fresh twists on traditional music — compelling, spirited morsels that delight the ear and nourish souls.
The two began their musical partnership in 2006, when Cummings began gleaning old-time fiddle tunes from Sutherland, to play them on Scottish-style bagpipes. Since then they have performed together at numerous concerts at Middlebury College (where they are both applied faculty), the Rokeby Museum, as well as for various other concerts and dances around the state.
In 2012, Cummings enlisted Sutherland and Caleb Elder to combine for Cummings’s groundbreaking first album, “The Piper in the Holler: Tunes from Appalachia.” Their rendition of “Wayfaring Stranger” on that album now appears alongside tracks by Dolly Parton, Doc Watson, Pete Seeger and Dougie MacLean.
Cummings is a Vermont-based composer and multi-instrumentalist (chiefly a piper) who enjoys an uncommonly diverse repertoire. His music spans from contemporary and sacred music to the traditional melodies of the British Isles, Appalachia, Cape Breton, Brittany, and beyond.
A warm voiced singer, songsmith and accomplished multi-instrumentalist, known equally for his potent originals and his intense recreations of age-old ballads and fiery fiddle tunes, Sutherland “covers the map.” He has been on staff at dance and music camps coast to coast and is a widely known year-round teacher and performer at home.
Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. 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. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.
BRANAGH BROADCAST AT THT
At 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, Town Hall Theater presents a broadcast of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s revival of John Osborne’s modern classic “The Entertainer.” This play with music conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls for an explosive examination of public masks and private torment. Rob Ashford directs.
“The Entertainer” received its first production in 1957 at the Royal Court Theatre in London, a theater known for its commitment to the cutting edge of new drama, with a cast headlined by Laurence Olivier. Much was made of Olivier, an established West End star as well as a respected Shakespearean, taking on the new and nontraditional role. In fact, Olivier, a fan of Osborne’s previous play “Look Back in Anger,” had requested that Osborne write a play for him.
The playwright delivered the character of Archie Rice, a washed-up music hall performer with jingoistic sentiments about the British Empire, confronting the effects of WWII on his family and country. Today, in the wake of the UK’s exit from the European Union — popularly known as “Brexit” — the play’s depiction of prejudice and xenophobia is newly potent.
Tickets are $17 / $10 for students, and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, over the phone at 382-9222 or in person at the THT box office (daily except Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.).
“THE ANTIGONE PROJECT”
The Middlebury College Department of Theater and Dance will present “The Antigone Project” Directed by Professor Richard Romagnoli, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Seeler Studio Theater at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Repeat performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“The Antigone Project” is an evening of five brief plays, bound together by a prologue performed by two actresses energizing and educating the audience. Each play spins on the original Greek tragedy about a young woman who defies the state to uphold a religious principle — the unwritten law of the gods — thus condemning herself to death. These widely varied contemporary works are by turns broadly comic, absurd and warmly human.
There will be a post-show discussion with the cast and crew following the Friday night show.
Tickets are $12 for the general public. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30. Free parking is available. For tickets or information, call 443-MIDD (6433) or visit go.middlebury.edu/arts.
“GIMME SHELTER” AT THT
As part of the Rock on Film Series, Town Hall Theater will screen the landmark documentary “Gimme Shelter” about the tragically ill-fated Rolling Stones free concert at Altamont Speedway at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.
The Rolling Stones wanted a better film. Acclaimed French director Jean Luc Godard worked with the Stones on Sympathy for the Devil prior to Gimme Shelter, and weren’t satisfied with the auteur’s representation of the band. They decided to enlist the Maysles brothers and Charlotte Zwerin to document the last weeks of their U.S. Tour.
They unintentionally captured the violent end of an era at the Altamont Speedway concert where the violent Hell’s Angels fatally collided with an unruly crowd. With performances by The Rolling Stones, Ike and Tina Turner, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Santana.
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, 382-9222, at the THT box office, or at the door.
LIVE MUSIC AT 51 MAIN
There will be three live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 5 p.m. on Friday, 51 Main presents Greenbush who fuse Blues and funky Jazz to create an infectious brand of music. Greenbush is a musical collaboration between John Creech and Cobey Gatos named after the street they both live on. They play a mix of standard, not-so-standard and original compositions.
Then, at 8 p.m. on Friday, the Anthony Santor Jazz Group takes to the stage. The group is the hottest and freshest jazz in town, performing hard swinging Jazz tunes from the American Song Book and original material.
Finally, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Root 7 will perform. Root 7 is a small, mixed ensemble a capella group whose passion for music brings us together from across the Champlain Valley.
All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.
TWO BROTHERS TAVERN
There will be two live performances this week at Two Brothers Tavern located at 86 Main St. 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, on Saturday, the tavern presents its wild Halloween Bash with Discolicious, at 9 p.m. This year’s Halloween Bash features a costume contest, prizes, awesome specials and amazing music courtesy of Vergennes’ Discolicious. The band includes members of Hot Neon Magic and the Benoits and they’re ready to bring their disco dance party to you. So dust off your platform shoes and shiny shirts and get on the Love Train to Funky Town and Shake your Booty! $3 entry. For more information, call Two Brothers at 388-0002.
The 2016-2017 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2015 UK film, “45 Years,” directed by Andrew Haigh.
While preparing for their 45th anniversary, Kate and Geoff’s marriage is shaken with a discovery that calls into question the life they’ve built together. Screen legends Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay won Best Actress & Best Actor at the Berlinale for this emotional tour-de-force.
The film will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium on College Street (Route 125). It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.
VSO STRINGS: HALLOWEEN FAMILY CONCERT
The Vermont String Quartet will present a Halloween Family Concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, in Middlebury College’s Robison Hall at the Mahaney Center for the Arts.
The VSO’s quartet presents a musical narration of Steve Schuch’s book, “A Symphony of Whales,” inspired by the true story about whales stranded in the Siberian Sea and the heroic efforts to free them. Music plays a key role in the rescue, and the concert audience becomes part of the recovery. The quartet also plays special spooky Halloween selections. Costumes encouraged and treats provided.
Tickets $8 adults; $6 seniors and children; $24 families (up to 4 people). For tickets or information, call 443-MIDD (6433) or visit go.middlebury.edu/arts.
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