RR Arts Preview

Kris Collett and his band Damn It All will initiate the Brick Box Live Tuesday at Rutland’s Paramount Theatre.

Brick Box Live

RUTLAND – At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, a new live-music series called Brick Box Live kicks off at the Paramount Theatre’s Brick Box. The featured act will be Rutland’s rising singer-songwriter Kris Collett and his band Damn It All.

Collett is a staple of the live-music scene in Rutland, performing regularly at The Venue and the Hide-A-Way Tavern. This summer, his acoustic ensemble landed a coveted set at the NoTown Festival. At Brick Box Live, he brings his band, with Nicky Fitz on drums, Josh Rogers on bass, and Josh Cote on lead guitar, for an energized take on Collett’s contemporary writing.

Brick Box Live is a music showcase video recorded in front of a live studio audience, at the Brick Box at the Paramount Theatre. Host George Nostrand of the Rutland Herald welcomes the best in regional folk, blues, jazz and rock to share songs and conversation in this intimate venue.

The series provides a showcase for original and traditional music with professional level audio/ visual support, in order to connect to a wider audience. In addition to a live performance, audience members get a behind-the-curtain look at the taping of the show, ahead of its monthly release on YouTube, Facebook and podcast websites.

Tickets are $10; call 802-775-0903, or go online to www.paramountvt.org.

Howard Gospel Choir

MIDDLEBURY – Last November, Town Hall Theater invited the famous Howard University Gospel Choir to sing in Middlebury. The talented group took the town by storm.

“It was one of the most moving and rewarding performances I’ve ever seen at Town Hall Theater,” says Artistic Director Douglas Anderson. “By the end of the evening the Middlebury crowd was on its feet, cheering and singing and swaying to the ecstatic music. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”

THT immediately asked the group to return, and they are coming back for two concerts, at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

Formed on the campus of historically black Howard University in 1968, the Howard Gospel Choir has performed throughout the world. As the first college choir of its kind, HGC is a trailblazer for all gospel music ministries on collegiate campuses.

“This kind of open-throated, open-hearted singing is unlike any other concert experience,” Anderson said. “These students aren’t just singing. They’re sharing with us their deepest beliefs and convictions, and doing it joyfully. You can’t help but be moved by this experience.”

Tickets are $25; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhallteater.org.

Foggy Mountain Consort

BELLOWS FALLS – The Foggy Mountain Consort, a Renaissance and bluegrass band, will be performing at Stone Church Arts at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10. The Consort is dedicated to performing music from a wide historical range — starting with plucked string music and songs from as early as 1600. Their performance will be in the chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church St.

The Consort draws from the vast repertoire of “collected” ballads from the British Isles. Collected by Francis James Child in the late 19th century, these and other tunes, sometimes familiar, always haunting and heartfelt, offer a deep hunting ground for the Foggy Mountain Consort. With their true origins unknown, ballads and old tunes might easily stretch back to the Middle Ages. Then of course, there’s bluegrass and traditional music from North America.

Tickets are $25, $20 for seniors, $10 and $15 advance, $35 for premium reserved seats; call 802-460-0110, or go online to www.stonechurcharts.org.

The Cutting Edge

MIDDLEBURY – Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive play, “Hir,” described by the Chicago Tribune, as “a major dramatic work of the 21st Century American theater” will make its Vermont debut in a staged reading by Middlebury Actors’ Workshop’s Cutting Edge Series.

“Hir” will be presented at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at The Vermont Coffee Company, 1197 Exchange St. A talkback with the cast and refreshments follow.

When Isaac returns from the war to care for his sick father, he finds a household in revolt. Liberated from an abusive marriage, Isaac’s mom allies herself with Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling on a mission to dismantle the patriarchy. “Hir” doesn’t merely explore themes of gender fluidity, queer theory and the subversion of toxic masculinity, because that could be dull. It lightens the weight of concepts that many find foreign or fraught, places them in a family setting and detonates them. Shrapnel flies everywhere.

Admission is by donation ($10 suggested); adult content: not recommended for children under the age of 16; go online to www.middleburyactors.org.

Benjamin Orr rocks

BELLOWS FALLS – Village Square Booksellers will host the book launch for Bellows Falls writer Joe Milliken’s “Let’s Go: Benjamin Orr & The Cars” at 5 p.m. Saturday Nov. 17.

Often considered the band’s heartthrob, Orr possessed an incredible voice, diverse musical talent and rare stage presence, all balanced by a magnetic, yet enigmatic personality, striking good looks, and a relentless determination to reach rock stardom. They would go on to sell over 30 million albums worldwide, resulting in 15 “Top-40” hits. This first-ever biography about Orr spans 11 years in the making, as Milliken draws together interviews with over 120 family members, friends, band mates and music associates from Orr’s life, as well as many unpublished and never-before-seen photos from private collections, to reveal an intimate portrait of one of classic rock’s great talents.

Originally from Boston, Milliken now resides in southern Vermont with his wife, Kelly, and his children, Nate and Erin. This launch event will include a book signing and Q&A session, some Cars music, and a slide show from Milliken’s extensive photo collection, prepared by Alan Fowler.

Reservations are recommended; call 802-463-9404, or go online to www.villagesquarebooks.com.

Christal Brown’s 40th

MIDDLEBURY – Christal Brown is a choreographer, educator, performer, writer, activist, chair of the dance department at Middlebury College and creator of Inspirit dance. Brown is also about to turn 40. In keeping with her spirit and love of community, Brown decided to celebrate this milestone in a different way: a party with a purpose.

From 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, Nov. 17, Brown is inviting everyone to celebrate her birthday at Town Hall Theater. All proceeds will go to fund scholarships and flooring for Dance Xplorations at the Middlebury Recreation Center.

The night will include performances by The Dough Boys and D.J. Rodney Adams. Brown will be making her singing debut in front of a live audience with The Evolution Dance Crew and the Monday Night Mavens. Admission includes catering by Local Source. There will be a cash bar for added refreshment. Families with mature teens should feel welcome to party as a family.

Tickets are $20 ($60 Date Night Admission includes two adults and childcare or one adult and two children); call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhallteater.org.

Theater auditions

DORSET – The Dorset Players will hold auditions for their winter production, “Sylvia,” by A.R. Gurney, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 14 and 15, at the Dorset Playhouse. Performances will be March 1-3 and 8-10.

The play is a comedy involving an unusual love triangle — a wife, husband and a dog named Sylvia. Available roles are: Sylvia, a physically agile actress in her 20s; two actors ranging in age from mid 30s to 50 to play the parts of Greg and Tom; two actresses, also middle-aged, for the roles of Kate and Phyllis, and an actress of indeterminate age to play Leslie.

Scripts are available at the Dorset Players office. For more information call 802 867-5777.

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