Arts & Leisure

Rusty DeWees returns to Vergennes

RUSTY DEWEES

Vermont comedian, storyteller and musician, Rusty DeWees, returns to the Vergennes Opera House on Saturday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m.

DeWees brings his unique Vermont-style humor to the Vergennes stage, having last performed there two years ago, just before the pandemic took hold and shut down theaters. The March 19 performance was initially scheduled for Jan. 29, but it was moved to the March 19 date in light of the surge in COVID cases due to the Omicron variant.

“It was a difficult decision to postpone our 2021-2022 season of shows at the beginning of this year, but we felt it was the best and safest thing to do,” said Gerianne Smart, president of the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House. “Luckily, Rusty was accommodating and still very willing to come to the little city to perform on March 19. We sure could use a good belly laugh after the last two years of this pandemic.”

DeWees is very familiar with the Vergennes Opera House space, having first performed and filmed his original “The Logger” show there in 1998, well before the restoration was complete.

“Yeah, I remember the space well,” DeWees recalled. “Gerianne was apologizing for the ‘rough-around-the-edges’ look but for me and the film project, it was perfect. Now it is all spiffy and I can’t wait to be on that stage again and share some of the new material I’ve worked on over the past two years.”

Since the pandemic, the Vergennes Opera House adopted operational and safety guidelines to allow performers and audience members back into the theater. Guidelines included a reduction in occupancy levels, mask wearing and proof of vaccination. With the new Vermont Department of Health Guidelines going into effect on March 14, the Rusty DeWees show will mark the first performance in two years where masks will be “recommended” and proof of vaccination will not be required.

“I’m proud of the work we did to keep people safe while keeping the arts alive during this pandemic,” Smart said. “We are enormously grateful for everyone’s patience and support during the uncertainty of the past two years, and we are thrilled that Rusty will be able to see the smiling and laughing faces when he performs here on March 19.”

Tickets for the Rusty DeWees show are available online at VergennesOperaHouse.org.

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