RR Arts Preview

Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater throws a New Year’s Eve dance party with The Horse Traders.


Horse Trader’s 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. The Town Hall Theater is located at 68 S. Pleasant St.


Exhibits close Jan. 7

Two of the five exhibits currently on view at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) close on Monday, Jan. 7. “If she has a pulse, she has a chance” and “Robert Perkins: Every Day” will come down to make room for BMAC’s annual juried exhibit, “Open Call NXNE 2019: Paint,” which opens on Jan. 12.

Michael Poster’s “If she has a pulse, she has a chance” consists of 32 photographic portraits of people in recovery from addiction, accompanied by written excerpts from interviews Poster conducted while volunteering at Turning Point of Windham County. As a documentary photographer, Poster creates portraits of communities, often spending years getting to know his subjects and developing the trust required to take their pictures and record their stories.

“Robert Perkins: Every Day” draws on a range of sources and inspiration to shed light on the theme of transcendence. The exhibit consists of prints, ceramics, found objects, collage, and writing on the walls of BMAC’s South Gallery. Perkins graduated from Milton Academy and Harvard University, but he says his true education began as a 19-year-old, when he was a patient at Bowditch Hall, the men’s locked ward at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. The trauma of that experience has informed his life and artwork ever since.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Tuesday; admission is $8, $6 for seniors, $4 for students; call 802-257-0124, or go online to www.brattleboromuseum.org. BMAC is located in historic Union Station, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142.


Maggie Gyllenhaal

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 its MNFF 2018-19 Winter/Spring Screening Series at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. 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.


Trains, trees and tinsel

The Sheldon Museum is bursting with creativity and excitement this holiday season. Don’t miss the amazing operating train layout, miniature Christmas tree display, and two holiday exhibits.

“Ho Ho Historical Holidays to You” features classic Christmas images, antique postcards, seasonal cards, written holiday memories, and toys from the Sheldon’s collections. “Over-the-Top Holiday,” a glittering holiday display, includes numerous lighted trees, tinsel, silver balls, antique sleds and skates, traditional Santas, and traditional red and green paper chains. Melania Trump’s red Christmas trees pale in comparison to the orange trees in the exhibit. This year the Middlebury Garden Club has added a festive touch throughout the Museum with lots of vibrantly adorned ornaments and tinsel.

In what has become an annual holiday tradition in Middlebury, the elaborate Lionel train layout stands three levels high, with tracks running Lionel O gauge trains, Lionel 027 gauge trains, and an upper track running HO trains. New this year is an entire remake of the mountain including a gondola ski lift, skiers, snowboarders, rock climbers, and tunnels through the mountain to show off the HO train. The backdrop of the Green Mountains painted by local artist Gayl Braisted adds atmosphere.

Also on view are 19 colorful, one-of-a-kind miniature Christmas Trees decorated by local artists, to be raffled in support of the Museum’s children’s activities. Sarah Pope’s “Birds of a Feather” tree is covered with three-dimensional birds made from vintage kimono and sari scraps. “Grammy’s Tree” by Marge Drexler presents delicate white ornaments that were originally part of her grandmother’s afghan coverlet, made using the technique of tatting. For Scrabble fans, Sarah Stahl’s tree, “Words for the Season,” features ornaments made from Scrabble tiles spelling out words like “Joy” and “Wish.”

Holiday hours are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23; admission is $5, $3 for ages 6-18, $4.50 for seniors, $12 per family; call 802-388-2117, or go online to www.henrysheldonmuseum.org. The Henry Sheldon Museum is located at 1 Park St., across from the Ilsley Library.

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