Arts & Leisure

Arts Beat for Jul. 22: Local teens perform ‘Legally Blonde’

LOCAL TEENAGERS PERFORM “Legally Blonde,” directed by Doug Anderson, at the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury this Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28.

The Broadway hit, “Legally Blonde,” will come to the stage of Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on Friday, July 26, at 7 p.m. and again on Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, at 2 p.m.
Director Doug Anderson works with professional actors and singers, talented Middlebury College students, and the best local talent, but once a year he gets to do what he calls his “dream job,” working with teenagers.
“They bring so much energy and joy into rehearsals,” Anderson said, “and people are always surprised by how talented they are. They’re also just wonderful human beings. I love hanging out with them.”
Over the years, Anderson has presented local teens in musicals such as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and last year’s “The Lion King.” This year, he and his young crew will present the Broadway hit, “Legally Blonde.”  “It’s the perfect musical for young people. It’s age-appropriate and terrifically funny, and the songs are so much fun to sing,” Anderson said.
Newcomer Kami Clodgo plays the leading role of Elle, the blonde who is underestimated by just about everyone. Jen Allred is musical director, Hannah Williams created the choreography, and Mary Longey and Katie Isham are the stage management team. This show is appropriate for all ages and has a brisk running time of about 1 hour, 10 minutes with no intermission.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 ages 12 and under and can be purchased online at or by phone at 802-382-9222. Tickets may also be purchased in person from noon to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday, or one hour before show time. Town Hall Theater is located at 68 S. Pleasant Street in Middlebury.

Brandon Music is delighted to welcome for the first time Cecilia Zabala from Buenos Aires, Argentina on Saturday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m.
Zabala is a rising star on the international music scene. Born in 1975, she began playing guitar at the age of six, went on to study at Conservatory Alberto Ginastera and has since gone on to release 10 CDs under her own name, to teach full time at C.A.G. and the Leopoldo Marechal School of Art, and to tour extensively throughout South America, Europe and the United States, with great regularity since 2006.
Zabala has been an active participant in the musical life of Buenos Aires, performing regularly with many of the top musicians in Argentina. The same is increasingly true of her travels in Europe and the United States. Her music fully integrates a mastery of classical guitar technique with the folkloric music of her native Argentina, in addition to the culturally related traditions of the Nueva Cancion music that spread throughout Latin America during the tumult of the 1960s and ’70s, and the more broadly eclectic musical trends of Brazil that have come to be known under the umbrella of Musica Popular Brasileira.
Zabala’s music is best described as “highly singular.” Her music draws on a rich mixture of influences, from Argentinian folklore, the contemporary language of the 20th century, jazz, tango and Brazilian music.
Tickets are $20 with a pre-concert dinner available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 802-247-4295 or email [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

On Friday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m., the 40th annual Salisbury Summer Performance Series (at the Salisbury Congregational Meetinghouse) will host a performance of the Onion River Jazz Band.
In its 35th year of music making, Onion River has been called Vermont’s premier traditional Dixieland jazz band. Formed in 1984 as part of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, the seven-piece ensemble, which includes Brandon’s “Music Man” Gene Childers, has dedicated itself to the roots of American jazz in New Orleans, preserving the sound of the likes of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Bix Biederbecke, Lu Watters and Clarence Williams. The band, which has performed across New England, features jazz genres from the 1890s through the 1940s, including ragtime, Dixieland, Boogie-woogie and swing. Come and enjoy.
This is the fourth event in the Summer Performance Series, which will continue on Friday evenings until Aug. 9 at the historic, but handicapped-accessible, 1838 meetinghouse in Salisbury Village.
Although admission is free, donations in support of the series are always welcomed. Any receipts in excess of expenses for the series will be used for the ongoing restoration of the Salisbury landmark.

The Sunday Sessions continue at Lincoln Peak Vineyard on Sunday, July 28, from 2 to 4 p.m., with Naomi Vernon.
Vernon’s music transports her listeners to her home at the base of the mountain in Tucson, Ariz., where she spent her youth writing songs and singing into the dry wind. Her passion for finger style guitar, along with a love of folk and country music blends into her indie-folk style of songwriting.
Wine is available by the glass, and there will be a good selection of Vermont cheese, sausage, crackers and chocolate available. Music is rain or shine on the covered porch (moved indoors if it’s pouring). Lincoln Peak Vineyard is located at 142 River Road in New Haven. More information is at

As part of the 2019 Summer Music Series at Otter Creek Brewing, Milton Busker & The Grim Work will be performing at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 26 in OCB’s pub space.
The band plays a type of Americana they call “suit-folk,” defined as the people’s music, all dolled up for a night on the town. It is an Appalachian ditty played by Cole Porter. It’s a gospel song for heretics. It’s hippie music for people that can’t afford to drop out. It’s love songs for the kids who couldn’t get dates but still dress up for the dance.
OCB is located at 793 Exchange Street in Middlebury. For more information, call 802-388-0727.

The 34th annual Middlebury College Carillon Series continues on Friday, July 26, at 6 p.m., with Ellen Dickinson, carillonneur for Trinity College Hartford, Conn. and Yale University. All of the concerts are free and open to the public, and can be enjoyed on the steps of Mead Chapel or on the surrounding lawns.
Mead Memorial Chapel is located on the campus of Middlebury College at 75 Hepburn Road. Free parking is available on College Street (Route 125) and on Old Chapel Road. For further information, call 802-443-3168 or visit

The Bristol Band Concert Season continues on Wednesday, July 24, at 7 p.m., on the Town Green. Concerts are held every Wednesday evening to the Wednesday before Labor Day, Sept. 2. The Bristol Band has presented outdoor summer band concerts in the gazebo on the town green every Wednesday evening in the summer since shortly after the Civil War. Bring a lawn chair, blanket or picnic dinner and enjoy an evening of small town entertainment. It’s free.
There is often a fundraiser barbeque before each concert. Call 802-453-5885 for details.

The Hancock Green Summer Concerts on the Hancock Town Green continue this Thursday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m., with the Panhandlers. The series runs through Thursday, Aug. 15. All concerts are free. Bring a chair and a picnic. A rain site is available.

The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce free summer concert series, “Music at the Riverbend,” located behind the Brandon Inn, continues this Wednesday, July 24, at 6 p.m., with the Brandon Town Band. They will be the opening act for a 7 p.m. performance by Gypsy Reel, with high energy, stirring music rooted in Celtic traditions and world rhythms.
Join the folks who come out and relax with quality music, friends and neighbors; everyone enjoys free popcorn. Adult beverages are served up by the Brandon Inn, available in the outdoor lounge area, so you won’t miss a single note of the music. For more information, contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401 or [email protected].

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