RR Arts Preview

Italian flat-picking guitar maestro and vocalist Beppe Gambetta performs at Brandon Music Friday.

Contributions should be sent to jim.lowe@rutlandherald.com at least two weeks in advance.

Guitarist Beppe GambettaBRANDON – Brandon Music is welcoming master innovator of the acoustic guitar Beppe Gambetta at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7.

From his background as an Italian musician in love with both American roots music as well as the music of his native country, Beppe has traveled the world and even crossed the Iron Curtain to dazzle and charm music enthusiasts everywhere. After 11 CDs, DVDs, teaching books and collaborations with many other top-flight musicians, Gambetta is known as one of the true master innovators of the acoustic guitar.

While Gambetta still lives in his native Genova, Italy, he travels to North America at least three times each year. His reputation in the U.S. and Canada is reinforced by his participation in prestigious festivals like the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, Merlefest in North Carolina, the Four Corners Festival in Colorado and Canadian Folk Festivals in Winnipeg and Edmonton, as well as events like the radio shows “All Things Considered” and “E-Town.”

Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email info@brandon-music.net. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road; go online to www.brandon-music.net.

New musical awardWESTON – The writing team of Tidtaya Sinutoke (music) and Isabella Dawis (book & lyrics) have won the 14th annual Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award for their new musical, “Half the Sky.” Two free public concerts of “Half the Sky” will be presented at Walker Farm at 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 7.

The only award of its kind in the country, the Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award brings the creators of a promising new project together with a small ensemble of actors to rehearse, perform, and record selections from the winning score in Weston, in New York, and in the studio with Grammy winner Kurt Deutsch of Ghostlight Records.

“Half the Sky,” says Executive Artistic Director Susanna Gellert, “is a beautiful and original musical that traverses the vast terrain of an expedition up Mount Everest and how it changes one family forever. Weaving together stories of burgeoning friendships, ambitious athleticism, and the magical spirituality of the mountain, this is a musical with a breathtaking score and richly lyrical storytelling. I am so proud that Weston will be contributing to its development and future.”

Admission is free; for reservations or information, go online to www.westonplayhouse.org/nma.

Dreamers’ CircusMIDDLEBURY – Dreamers’ Circus, the hot young Danish trio hailed as the new driving force in Nordic world music, will make its Middlebury debut at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6 at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Arts Center. This performance is expected to sell out in advance.

Contemporary and endlessly innovative in its approach, the award-winning ensemble draws inspiration from the deep traditions of Nordic folk music and reshapes it into something bright, shiny and new. This concert promises to be one of the most popular events of the Middlebury Performing Arts Series’ 100th anniversary season.

Concert-goers are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy singer-songwriter Aida O’Brien, ’20, performing in the lobby before the show.

Tickets are $28, $10 for youth; call 802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to www.middlebury.edu/arts. The MAC is located at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 south/S. Main Street.

‘On Golden Pond’DORSET – The Dorset Players will bring Ernest Thompson’s warm and witty comedy-drama “On Golden Pond” to Dorset Playhouse for two weekends beginning March 6.

The play tells the story of Norman Thayer, a cantankerous retired professor, and his wife Ethel, who spend each summer on a lake in Maine called Golden Pond. The plot is set in motion when daughter Chelsea, who shared a strained relationship with her father growing up, comes to visit with her fiancé and his young son.

Director Richard Grip says, “ ‘On Golden Pond’ explores family tensions and dynamics with which I think most of us can identify (with). The characters are real people that I find especially warm and appealing.”

For information and tickets, call 802-867-5777, or go online to www.dorsetplayers.org.

Acoustic singer-songwritersBELLOWS FALLS – The poetic and heartfelt songs of Jenna Rice celebrate the stories of ordinary people and the highs and the lows of being alive. She grew up in the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont, and her lyrics on life, love and loss are carried by her honest, haunting vocals and down-to-earth guitar.

Emily Lyons is passionate, introspective and healing-centric. She recently played before the Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio at Stage 33 Live and was called back by the audience for an encore — rare for an opening act.

Rice and Lyons will join in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 8 at Stage 33 Live, at 33 Bridge St. The performances will be recorded and filmed.

Admission is by donation ($10 suggested); all proceeds benefit the musicians; go online to http://stage33live.com.

Art of ‘Wanderlust’BRANDON – As the landscape thaws and life begins to stir, the Brandon Artists Guild (BAG) presents “Wanderlust,” a new, all-member, all-media art show. The exhibit opens with a free reception 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, and will run through April 28.

“Wanderlust” celebrates journeys real, fanciful and metaphorical. The show features original artwork from the BAG’s exhibiting members in glass, watercolor, oil, ceramics, fabric, photography and more.

“Even when we’re happy at home in lovely Vermont, our hearts sometimes yearn for the romance of new locales and experiences — that’s wanderlust,” explains BAG artist and board member Ashley Wolff. “Part of the artists’ journey is to try to express that beautiful restlessness. We invite the public to come along.”

Hours are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; call 802-247-4956, or go online to www.brandonartistsguild.org. The BAG is located at 7 Center St.

L.A. Theatre WorksMIDDLEBURY – L.A. Theatre Works has been called a “national theatrical treasure” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. The radio theater company brings its documentary play “Seven” to Wright Memorial Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 3 and 4, as part of the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series’ 100th anniversary season. A Q&A with the company will follow each show, and Wednesday’s performance will be presented with sign language interpretation.

Written by seven female writers, the play is based on personal interviews with seven remarkable women who faced life-threatening obstacles — resistance, death threats, entrenched norms, and pervasive violence — yet later brought heroic changes to their home countries of Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia and Cambodia. “Seven” makes the powerful and timeless statement that even in the darkest times, one person, one voice, and a single act of courage can change the lives of thousands.

Tickets are $22, $10 for youth; call 802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to www.middlebury.edu/arts. Wright Theatre is located at 96 Chateau Road, just off Route 125.

Inviting all stringsRUTLAND – The Champlain Philharmonic is looking for string players for its upcoming spring concert series April 18 and 19 in Rutland and Middlebury.

If you are looking for an opportunity to join a fun and friendly group of about 50 players, consider yourself a proficient amateur, enjoy performing orchestral music, and are available for weekly rehearsals beginning 7 to 9:25 p.m. March 9 at the Vergennes Union High School Band Room, this may be for you. Carpooling can be arranged from Rutland. There is no requirement for an audition; just come to rehearsal and see if this community orchestra is a good fit for you.

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