Greed, loss, song, dance
The Middlebury College Department of Theatre and Dance will present “Enron,” directed by professor Cheryl Faraone. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 3 and 4, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 6, in Wright Memorial Theatre.
In this sprawling, dynamic play that is sometimes a musical, by Lucy Prebble, one of the most infamous scandals in financial history is transformed into theatrical epic. Mixing classical tragedy with savage comedy, “Enron” spins a narrative of greed and loss with video, song, dance and raptors.
When “Enron” opened in Chicester, England in 2009, the critical and audience response was immediate: “It’s a gloriously guilty pleasure … a cross between an insightful analysis and a savage satire of high capitalism” (Variety).
Tickets are $6-$15; call-802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to go.middlebury.edu/arts. The theater is located at 96 Chateau Road, just off Route 125/College Street.
Ladies’ Night Out
Ladies’ Night Out Women’s Chorus will present spring concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, at Grace Church in Rutland, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday May 5, at Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Middlebury.
The program, “The American Songbag Plus!” includes traditional American folk music, popular music from the 1940s and ‘50s, and some other special “plusses” like “Jolene” by Dolly Parton and “Silvy” by Huddy Ledbetter (known as Lead Belly,) arranged with body percussion by Moira Smiley.
The 16 women are accompanied by Charles Madsen on piano, Glendon Ingalls on bass, and Mary Barron on fiddle. There will also be a trio of women singing Andrews Sisters-style music, and a special entr’acte with magician Jonathan Pendragon.
Admission is by donation ($10 suggested) at the door.
Mile Twelve bluegrass
See the remarkable Boston-based band Mile Twelve at Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5.
Mile Twelve is a young band walking the line between original and traditional bluegrass. It was awarded the 2017 International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Award for newcomer band for its significant contribution to bluegrass music. Banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka says, “Mile Twelve is carrying the bluegrass tradition forward with creativity and integrity.”
Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.
‘Last Five Years’
Vermont Theatre Company presents “The Last Five Years,” a musical by Jason Robert Brown and directed by Ryan Buck, April 27-29 and May 4-6. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, at the Dummerston Evening Star Grange, 100 East-West Road.
The story explores a five-year relationship between Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist, and Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actor. Cathy’s story is told in reverse chronological order (beginning the show at the end of the marriage), while Jamie’s is told in chronological order (starting just after the couple has first met). The two meet when they are in their early 20s, Jamie a college dropout, and Cathy a determined and hard-working actor.
Tickets are $15, $13 for students and seniors (cash or check); call 802-258-1344 or email email@example.com.
J.S. Bach’s Partitas
Italian pianist Enrico Elisi presents an evening of Bach as a culmination of his Yellow Barn residency exploring the last of the composer’s keyboard dance suites. At 8 p.m. Saturday, May 5, Elisi will perform at Next Stage. The concert is presented free of charge as a part of Legacy Putney, a 10-day collaborative celebration of Putney history, arts and culture.
During his residency at Yellow Barn, Elisi is preparing the Partitas for a recording project to take place in Italy. With this opportunity for undistracted study, Elisi said, “The life of a performing musician who is simultaneously juggling the many responsibilities of a full-time professorship is hectic. Occasionally, I feel the need for a short escape to find protected time for my practicing and personal studies. When that retreat takes place at Yellow Barn — an idyllic place with studio space in quiet, spacious settings — one feels grateful.”
Elisi will focus on the study of choices of ornamentation and articulations in selected Partitas, as well as the variety of possibilities that the original text suggests. Building on historical evidence and his own insight, he will also study selected ornaments and articulations used by keyboard players who have recorded this repertoire, creating a compendium of possibilities that can be drawn upon in an improvisatory way.
Admission is free, however, advance reservations are strongly encouraged; call 802-387-6637 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Percussionist Cyro Baptista
Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista has performed on five Grammy-winning albums and toured with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Trey Anastasio, Herbie Hancock, Sting and Paul Simon. At Middlebury College, he leads his quartet Banquet of the Spirits on a virtuosic trek through Afro-Brazilian beats with improvised jazz, at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts’ Robison Hall.
Banquet of the Spirits anchors a grand celebration of the arts that begins with food, music and Museum of Art tours at 6 p.m. and continues with performances and receptions around the Mahaney Center through the night. (For more information, visit go.middlebury.edu/MCA25.) Concertgoers are invited to free events both before and after the show.
Tickets are $22, $10 for 18 and younger; call 802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south.
Artist Dave Fifield
The Brandon Artists Guild (the BAG) presents the new paintings of Dave Fifield in a collection titled “Head In The Clouds,” May 4-June 26. The public is invited to the opening reception, 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 4.
Fifield grew up in Vermont and graduated from UVM, where he studied audio art and philosophy. He said, “I am fascinated by the infinite possibilities of abstract art. I almost feel like it’s more about discovery than creation. Not knowing how a particular painting is going to resolve is what is exciting about it. There is a freedom and wonder to the process that can be very satisfying.”
The BAG, at 7 Center St., is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; call 802-247-4956, or go online to www.brandonartistsguild.org.
In celebration of its 60th anniversary, United Counseling Service of Bennington County will present the ME2/Orchestra, the world’s only classical music organization created for individuals with mental illnesses and the people who support them. The concert will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at the Arkell Pavilion at Southern Vermont Arts Center.
“We are so excited to have the ME2/Orchestra perform in our community,” said Lorna Mattern, UCS executive director. “Every performance brings them closer to meeting their mission to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness. This is going to be a very special event and a wonderful evening of music.”
Tickets are $25, $15 for students (under 10 free); call 802-442-5491, or go online to www.ucsvt.org.
Cello and piano
The Brattleboro Music Center will present a faculty duo recital with cellist Paul Cohen and pianist Nicholas Burns at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at the BMC Auditorium. The program features Beethoven’s Sonata in F major, Op. 5, No.1; Thuille’s Sonata in D minor, Op. 22; and Mendelssohn’s Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op 58.
Cohen has performed on major concert stages throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. His playing has been described as “especially eloquent” by New Yorker Magazine, “radiant” by the Boston Globe, and “virtuosic” by Strad Magazine. Burns, a British pianist, has performed in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Germany and all around the U.K., and he has recorded three critically acclaimed albums for Nimbus.
Tickets are $20, $10 for students, $30 for patrons; go online to bmcvt.org.
The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center will dedicate a public artwork at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5, at the Castleton town offices in partnership with the town. Led by master sculptor Nora Valdez, a team of teen carvers created the Stone Bench this past summer. The group included Ohan Bradley, Leo Kearns-Stanley, Alexandria Martell, Faith Murray, Erland “Bud” Powell, Jadella Rivers and Emily Wigmore.
The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center is looking for teens to participate in the 2018 Stone Bench Project; call 802-438-2097, or email email@example.com.
The internationally acclaimed Cashore Marionettes redefine the art of puppetry. They make their Town Hall Theater debut at 7 p.m. Friday, May 4.
In the performance “Life in Motion,” Joseph Cashore presents his collection of marionette masterworks. The performance is a series of scenes taken from everyday life and set to music by composers such as Beethoven, Vivaldi, Strauss and Copland. Through a combination of manipulation, humor, pathos, classic music and poetic insight, The Cashore Marionettes take the audience on a journey that celebrates the richness of life.
Tickets are $18, $10 for 12 and younger; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.
Arts Preview: April 26-May 2, 2018