RR Arts Preview

Middlebury’s Snake Mountain Bluegrass performs at Brandon Music March 21.

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

Snake Mountain BluegrassBRANDON – Brandon Music welcomes Snake Mountain Bluegrass to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21. This fun and energetic group is extremely popular and always well received.

Whether you enjoy traditional bluegrass or a more eclectic flavor, Snake Mountain’s “toe tapping tunes combine the best of modern and traditional bluegrass” according to Seven Days, with harmonies and songs that vary in tempo from “breakdown” to ballad. They are known for their vocal, instrumental and original songwriting talents, plus a great sense of humor and on-stage banter.

Retired Middlebury College professor Gregg Humphrey and soon-to-change-focus Middlebury construction company owner Mike Connor formed Snake Mountain Bluegrass about 30 years ago. At the time, both Humphrey (guitar and vocals) and Connor (banjo and vocals) were living near Snake Mountain, and someone asked them what style of bluegrass they played. “Snake Mountain bluegrass,” was their immediate response, and the name has been theirs ever since. They are joined by Earle Provin and Jacob Blumberg.

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.

Musical premiereMIDDLEBURY – Two young women meet in high school and realize they have everything in common. They’re passionate about musical theater. They share a crazy sense of humor and wild creativity. They dream of hitting New York City together and making a splash on Broadway. But they also share life’s disappointments. There are career setbacks. Heartbreak appears out of nowhere. And as time goes by they confront the many faces of sexism, both in their profession and in society at large.

“Showing Up” is the story of how two women hold on to what’s important — their passions, their values, and, most importantly, each other. It’s loosely based on the lives of the creators, Vanessa Dunleavy and Miranda Ferriss Jones, both originally from the Middlebury area. The musical will receive its premiere at Town Hall Theater from March 20-22. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $27, $15 for students; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.

‘The Magic Flute’BRATTLEBORO – The Brattleboro Music Center and the Latchis Theatre present the Windham Orchestra’s performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” Performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 19; 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21; 7 p.m. Friday, March 27; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at the Latchis Theatre.

Windham Orchestra’s performance of Mozart’s sublime and hilarious final masterpiece will feature well-known local voices in minor and major roles, as well as performers from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Albany and New York City. Artists will sing in the language of their choosing — German, English or Spanish with English supertitles on the Latchis screen — while stage action dialogue will be in English.

“The Magic Flute is about quarrels and reconciliation, whatever we mean by ‘growing up,’ the magic of the unexpected, and the real magic that music works,” says Windham Orchestra Musical Director Hugh Keelan. “Maybe it is also about getting what we want in life: if we care to pay attention, we might see that we are surrounded by miracles and wonder.”

Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and students, $40 for patrons; call 802-257-4523, https://bmcvt.org.

Dan Weber and The Milkhouse Heaters in concertBELLOWS FALLS — Dan Weber won first place in the 2019 Woody Guthrie songwriting contest, and is a rare three-time finalist in Kerrville’s New Folk competition. His songs have been described as “reminiscent of early John Prine” and “insightful and awfully funny.” His album, “What I’m Lookin’ For,” rose to #2 on the folk charts, and he’s toured extensively across the country.

The Milkhouse Heaters are beloved in the region for their strong writing and performances, ardent support of local live music, and compassionate living. Refugees of the Boston music scene, they were nominated for a Boston Music Award and have shared stages with The Black Crowes, Corey Glover, Fuel, Feeder and Hum. Their songs are on compilations with G. Love and Special Sauce, Jack Johnson, Burning Spear, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

This co-headline show is at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 15 at Stage 33 Live, 33 Bridge St. The performances will be recorded and filmed. Seating is limited to 40.

Tickets are $10 (advance tickets double as chair reservations); go online to www.stage33live.com.

Cricket BlueWALLINGFORD – The Sparkle Barn will present Vermont folk music group Cricket Blue in a live performance at 7 p.m. Saturday March 21.

Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith are the musicians of Cricket Blue. They have fantastic stories and cast of characters they share in the 11 songs on their debut album “Serotinalia.” You feel like you are having a book read, not sung to you. Seven Days called them “indie folk with soul and intellect.” They’ve played stages and folk festivals around the United States and Canada.

Tickets are $15; go online to www.thesparklebarnshop.com. The Sparkle Barn is located at 1509 US-7.

Carving Studio workshopsWEST RUTLAND – The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center will feature three weekend workshops in April. Karen Deets returns with an exploration of “The Art of Stained Glass” April 4-5. On the same two days, instructor Lee McColgan will provide hands-on experience to “Carve a Wooden Spoon.” Later in the month, Steve Shaheen will cover all aspects of “Marble Finishing Techniques” in a unique two-day workshop April 25-26.

To register or learn more, please visit www.carvingstudio.org/workshops/.

Vibraphonist Joel RossBRATTLEBORO – The Vermont Jazz Center presents Downbeat Rising Star Award-winning vibraphonist Joel Ross in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 14.

Ross, a 24 year-old Blue Note recording artist, is making the “vibes” a more familiar and accessible sound to audience members of his generation. For listeners familiar with the impact of the vibes in bebop and swing, Ross’ dynamic sound and virtuosity brings back memories of its judicious use by jazz legends Red Norvo, Lionel Hampton, Bobby Hutcherson, Milt Jackson and Gary Burton. Ross’ approach is both modern and steeped in the tradition. JazzTimes Magazine reports, “Not since Stefon Harris’ arrival 20 years ago has the jazz world heard a young vibraphonist intent on exploring so many dimensions.”

Tickets are $20, $15 for students; call 802-254-9088, ext. 1, or go online to www.vtjazz.org.

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