Middlebury Actors Workshop, Town Hall Theater’s professional theater company, will present a new comedy by David Ives, “The Metromaniacs.” Performances are Oct. 19-22: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.
“The Metromaniacs” (people addicted to poetry, or to writing verses) is based on an obscure French Farce by Alexis Piron, but Ives has updated the script with modern references, zippy language and rhyming couplets, making it incredibly enjoyable for today’s audience. It might be called “Dr. Seuss for adults.”
The original “Metromaniacs” is based on a true-life incident involving celebrated satirist Voltaire, who fell in love with the poems of a mysterious poetess from distant Brittany (read Appalachia), and publicly declared his love for the lady, only to have it revealed that the poetess was actually a guy living in Paris who took his revenge on the poetry establishment for not appreciating his genius.
Director Melissa Lourie explains, “I picked the play for our Fall Classic series because, in trying times, sometimes what we really need is an escape, to a world of champagne, love and gorgeousness. A world elsewhere. A purer world, where characters are drunk on language and high-comic passion. And that is what The Metromaniacs delivers in spades.”
Tickets are $22, $12 for students; call 802 382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.
The music of The Twangtown Paramours has been called “sophisticated Americana,” and is a hybrid of the Nashville and Austin music scenes. This husband-and-wife acoustic duo is known for its well-crafted and award-winning songs. They have opened for Joe Ely, Claire Lynch, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Carrie Newcomer, and Kim & Reggie Harris, among others. They perform at Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.
MaryBeth Zamer and Mike T. Lewis are “well accomplished musicians” who “bring a blend of thought-provoking lyrics with angelic vocals” (WDVX-FM, Knoxville, Tenn.) to their fun and energetic performances.
Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.
Tom Harrell Quartet
At 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, the Vermont Jazz Center will welcome the legendary trumpeter Tom Harrell to the stage. He will be touring with pianist Danny Grissett, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Joe Dyson in support of their new release, “Moving Picture.”
Although Harrell has recorded 30 discs as a leader, this current album is the first that features him as the sole horn in a quartet setting. Like Miles Davis before him, Harrell can most often be found in a quintet setting pairing him with a tenor saxophonist (usually Wayne Escoffery), but, for this project, he has intentionally chosen to record and tour without another frontline instrument. This gives him room to work on unexplored textures and stretch out on his solos.
Steve Futterman of The New Yorker writes in Moving Picture’s liner notes that Harrell’s “capacious horn, in tandem with a top-notch ensemble, is a veritable definition of musical joy.”
Tickets are $20, $15 for students with ID; call 802-254-9088, ext. 1, or go online to www.vtjazz.org.
Middlebury College hosts the live performance event “Cocoon,” inspired by the popular storytelling phenomenon “The Moth,” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Six handpicked storytellers will tell a diverse range of stories around the theme of “boundaries.” The audience is invited to a reception with the storytellers after the show.
This year’s storytellers will include: Middlebury College students Ben Sanders ‘18 and Josh Goldenberg ‘18; alumnus and former chaplain Howard Fauntroy ‘89; American literature professor Brett Millier; Middlebury College parent Kathryn Bervin-Mueller P’18; and community member Hannah Manley of Homeward Bound. Ambient guitarist and Mahaney Center for the Arts Technical Director Mark Christensen will provide the musical interludes.
Tickets are $15; call 802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to go.middlebury.edu/arts.
Dave Keller Band
Dave Keller, one of the finest soul and blues men of his generation, is returning to the Stone Church Arts concert series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. He will be joined by his band — Ira Friedman, Hammond B3 organ and piano; Gary Lotspeich, bass; and Brett Hoffman, drums — and this time the The Mo’ Sax Horns will also be there — Jessica Friedman, baritone and alto sax, and Joe Moore, tenor sax. This extravaganza of soul and blues will take place at Immanuel Episcopal Church, the stone church on the hill, 20 Church St.
Renowned for his live-wire shows — where you’d find him 50 feet out in the audience, teasing whisper-soft licks from his Strat, singing off-mike to the enrapt crowd, before digging into the strings and tearing the roof off the proverbial sucker — Keller earned a devoted fan base extending far beyond Vermont. He “paid his dues” — and his bills — with thousands of gigs, from coffeehouses and bars to the largest festivals in the northeast.
Tickets are $25, $20 for seniors; $20 and $15 in advance; $45 for premium; call 802-460-0110, or go online to www.stonechurcharts.org.
RAMParts Presents, in partnership with Exhibition on Screen, brings “The Impressionists — and the Man Who Made Them” to the Bellows Falls Opera House at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19.
Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir: They are the world’s most popular artists and their works fetch tens of millions of dollars. But just who were they really? Why and how did they paint? What lies behind their enduring appeal? The 90-minute feature film, the most comprehensive ever made about the Impressionists, follows the exhibit as it traveled from the Musee d’Orsay Paris to the National Gallery, London and on to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Tickets are $10; go online to www.rampartstickets.com.
James Bond’s ‘Spectre’
FOLA’s (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) next movie will be “Spectre,” a James Bond feature, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium.
“Spectre” (2012) is the 24th spy film in the James Bond film series, Daniel Craig’s fourth performance as James Bond, and the second film in the series directed by Sam Mendes. The story sees Bond pitted against the global criminal organization Spectre and its leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Bond attempts to thwart Blofeld’s plan to launch a global surveillance network, and discovers Spectre and Blofeld were behind the events of the previous three films.
Admission is free (donations are appreciated); call 802-228-7239, or go online to www.fola.us.
Arts Preview: October 12-18, 2017