Maggie Gyllenhaal will be on hand for the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival’s special screening of the drama “The Kindergarten Teacher” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, part of its MNFF 2018-19 Winter/Spring Screening Series at Town Hall Theater. The Q&A will be moderated by Gyllenhaal’s husband, actor Peter Sarsgaard.
“Maggie’s performance in ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ is widely considered to be masterful, and we are thrilled that she will be at Town Hall Theater following the screening to engage with our audience and take questions,” noted Lloyd Komesar, MNFF producer. “This should be quite a special evening.”
Directed by Sara Colangelo, “The Kindergarten Teacher” tells the powerful story of Lisa Spinelli, a dissatisfied working wife and mother on Staten Island whose frustrated artistic aspirations find an outlet of sorts in the discovery that one of her 5-year-old kindergarten students is an apparent poetry prodigy.
As IndieWire’s David Ehrlich notes in describing her performance as Lisa, Gyllenhaal “has been too good too often to label any one of her performances as her best, but she’s certainly never been better than she is here, filling her character with the full courage of her convictions, and finding deep reservoirs of distressed humanity in all of her contradictions.”
Tickets are $15 (plus fees); call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org. The Town Hall Theater is located at 68 S. Pleasant St.
Taconic New Year
Taconic Music invites the community to ring in 2019 with a pair of concerts that offer something for everyone, from the young to young-at-heart.
First on the calendar is the Family Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, at the Manchester Community Library, featuring violinist Zachary DePue, the Taconic Chamber Players, and students from Strings for Kids and the Taconic Junior Ensemble, playing several holiday favorites side-by-side. Suggested donation is $10 for adults, kids free.
On Monday, Dec. 31, the fun continues at the Inn at Manchester’s Celebration Barn, with soloist Zachary DePue joining the Taconic Music Band (led by TM co-artistic director Joana Genova), in a concert featuring Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” along with favorite tunes from Broadway to Strauss’s iconic “Radetzky March.”
Enhancing the festivities will be complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.
The cash bar opens at 4 p.m. and serves until 7. The concert is 5 to 6:15 p.m. without intermission.
New Year’s Eve tickets are $25; call 802-362-7162, or go online to www.taconicmusic.org.
‘Born in China’
“Born in China” will be the next FOLA movie, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Heald Auditorium at the Ludlow Town Hall. The Disney documentary focuses on a female snow leopard named Dawa and her cubs, a young golden snub-nosed monkey named Tao Tao, a female giant panda named Ya Ya along with her daughter Mei Mei, and a herd of chiru. The film is narrated by John Krasinski.
Disney’s team of filmmakers takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film.
Admission is free (donations are appreciated); call 802-228-7239, or go online to www.fola.us.
Family drama course
Sally Sugarman, a longtime professor at Bennington College, is joining with the Oldcastle Theatre Company to present a class titled “The American Family Drama” for eight weekly sessions, 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 8-Feb. 26, at Oldcastle Theatre, 331 Main St.
Sugarman taught a similar class with other faculty members of Bennington College. The idea of the new class came about during a discussion with Oldcastle Producing Artistic Director Eric Peterson. Sugarman and Peterson were talking about the breadth and diversity of great American plays centered on the family. Several of the plays discussed during that conversation are included in the upcoming course.
The plays the course will examine are: “Awake and Sing,” “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Death of a Salesman,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Buried Child,” “August: Osage County” and “Hir.” Some of the course sessions will include film treatments of plays in the series.
The fee is $140 for eight sessions; call 802-447-0564, or go online to https://oldcastletheatre.org.
Horse Traders New Year’s
Say goodbye to 2018 as Middlebury’s upbeat rock-pop band takes the stage to rock New Year’s Eve. It’s a dance party where everyone’s welcome to come boogie down, so bring your sister, your brother and your mama too.
There’s a cash bar as well as a champagne toast at midnight on the grand THT steps for those 21 and over, Monday, Dec. 31 at Town Hall Theater. The house opens at 8 p.m., the band kicks in at 8:30.
Veteran performers with a wide and rollicking repertoire, the Horse Traders have lit up just about every Addison County venue in recent years. Their music ranges from modern pop and oldies to classic rock, soul and country, from artists like the Pretenders, Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones, Pink, Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, Meghan Trainor, Neil Young, 4 Non Blondes and many more.
The band includes Deb Brisson on vocals, keyboards and percussion; Jon Rooney, vocals and guitar; Rick Marshall, guitar, mandolin and harmonica; Mark Pelletier, bass and vocals; and John Wallace, drums.
Tickets are $18 (plus fees), $15 in advance; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.
‘A Century of Caring’
One hundred years ago, Putnam Memorial Hospital, now Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), opened its doors. While the facility, practices and technology have changed dramatically throughout the century, the commitment to delivering exceptional health care to the community has remained constant.
In honor of its centennial year and in partnership with Southern Vermont College’s Laumeister Art Center, SVHC is presenting artifacts, stories and images from its 100-year history. “A Century of Caring,” an exhibition, opens Saturday, Jan. 5, and will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 24.
This retrospective exhibit offers a glimpse of the evolution of care alongside a history of the hospital. It showcases the advancements in care practices that have elevated a humble hospital on the hill to an award-winning health-care system operating in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock and serving 75,000 residents in the surrounding communities of Vermont, New York and Massachusetts.
Admission is $10, $9 for seniors, veterans, and AAA members, free for children and students; call 802-442-7158, or go online to https://artcenter.svc.edu. The Center is located at 44 Gypsy Lane.