Arts Preview: September 6-12, 2018

Evening with Joel Cage
Joel Cage is an award-winning veteran singer-songwriter and guitarist from Boston who stands alone. You can’t compare Cage to any other player. He’s an original, completely subsumed by the instrument. Spend the evening with the virtuoso guitarist and impassioned vocalist at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Brandon Music.
In his 20 years as a soloist, Cage’s music has evolved. He says, “Over the years my songwriting has gone from imitating my favorites, to trying to write the ultimate folk song, to timeless rock anthems, to architectural experiments in the science of song structure and stylistic influence, eventually evolving into the discovery of my own voice and point of view; a travelogue of my personal spiritual journey … observations, hypotheses, and conclusions regarding the nature of existence.”
It has been said that “Joel Cage plays every song he plays exactly the same way: differently.” Each show is a unique performance. “Joel puts on a show you are sure you will never see again. Every time,” said Ray Brady of Dedham Square Coffeehouse.
Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or e-mail for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.

Royal Frog Ballet
Strap on your sturdiest footwear and head for the hills! The Royal Frog Ballet returns to Feast and Field Market this fall with its “Surrealist Cabaret,” Sept. 21-23, a glittering, contemplative, and comedic performance set in the apple-kissed orchard at sunset. The outdoor performance and installation event walks the audience through the farm landscape, where they encounter a surreal collection of short stories, dance, installation pieces, and roving characters that explore and celebrate themes of season, place, and what it means to be human in these times. It’s a folky, comedic, and deeply thought-provoking evening for all ages.
This year’s theme of symbiosis explores complex questions within balance, identity, boundary and group consciousness. Says producer Sophie Wood, “Our group of collaborators is asking, ‘What is me? What is not me? Where do I begin and end?’ We are exploring themes of identity, boundary, balance and self. How do we live in balance with others, whether the others are human, object, species, or energetic?”
Outdoor performances take place at 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Sept. 21-23 (please arrive early). Tickets are $18, $9 for children; go online to

‘Wicked Vermont’
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, Phoenix Books Rutland will host Thea Lewis for a talk on her new book, “Wicked Vermont.”
Vermont is a picturesque landscape, but the idyllic setting hides a sometimes dark and desperate past. H.H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer, may have been the University of Vermont’s deadliest student. A Burlington resident made an empire partly by carrying contraband goods to and from Canada. The first United States president subject to a birther movement wasn’t 44, but a much lower number. A Burlington schoolboy ran away with the circus and became an international sensation under the big top. Lewis takes a revealing ride through the unique and colorful history of the Green Mountain State.
Lewis is a Vermont native and resident with a writing career that has spanned more than three decades. In addition to her latest offering, titles include “Haunted Burlington,” “Spirits of Vermont’s Queen City,” “Ghosts and Legends of Lake Champlain” and “Haunted Inns and Ghostly Getaways of Vermont.” A book for children, “There’s a Witch in My Sock Drawer!” was published by Peapod Press in 2011. Lewis is also the creator of Queen City Ghostwalk, the Burlington, Vermont walking tour chosen “Best Scary Stroll” by Yankee Magazine.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078, or go online to Phoenix Books Rutland is located at 2 Center St.

Creole Soul
The Vermont Jazz Center lifts off its 2018-19 concert season at 8 p.m. Saturday Sept. 15, with Trinidadian trumpeter, composer and percussionist, Etienne Charles. He will be flying in from Michigan to perform with his band Creole Soul.
JazzTimes critic Bill Milkowski called Charles,’ music “a fascinating, fully realized hybrid.”
Creole Soul is one the many projects that Charles uses to investigate and perform music that aligns with his Caribbean heritage. He uses this ensemble as a musical laboratory to mesh the roots music of indigenous cultures with the language and arrangements of jazz. He has traveled the world, seeking connections and differences between the rhythms and forms of Caribbean folkloric music.

‘Alpaca Lunch’ story time
At 11 a.m. Saturday, Sep. 22, Phoenix Books Rutland will welcome John Churchman for a story time and book signing featuring “Alpaca Lunch,” the fourth book by the authors of the media sensation and instant New York Times bestseller “The SheepOver.”
Poppy the alpaca is excited to discover new plants, fruits and vegetables growing around Moonrise Farm. She tries dandelions in the spring, strawberries in the summer, pumpkins in the fall, and so much more. But when a frost arrives, Poppy can’t find any more tasty treats. What happened to the mint and flowers? Where did the apples and squash go? What will she eat for lunch? Lucky for Poppy, someone has filled the barn to the brim with a surprise that she and her animal friends can eat all winter long.
“Alpaca Lunch” encourages healthy eating and trying new foods as the animals explore an array of colorful fruits and vegetables — some that kids may never have seen before.
John Churchman is a photographer, artist and farmer. Jennifer Churchman is a multimedia artist and writer. They have made their home on a small farm in the countryside of Essex.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078, or go online to

Hitchcock comedy/thriller
“The Trouble with Harry” will be the next FOLA movie at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Heald Auditorium at the Ludlow Town Hall.
In this 1955 American black comedy film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the action takes place during a sun-filled autumn in the Vermont countryside. The fall foliage and the beautiful scenery around the village, as well as Bernard Herrmann’s light-filled score, all set an idyllic tone.
The story is about how the residents of a village react when the dead body of a man named Harry is found on a hillside. The film is, however, not really a murder mystery; it is essentially a romantic comedy with thriller overtones. It stars Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick, Jerry Mathers, and Shirley MacLaine in her film debut.
Admission is free (donations are appreciated); call 802-228-7239, or go online to

‘Ongtupqa: Hopi Music’
Gary Stroutsos, world flute master, brings his new film, “Ongtupqa: Hopi Music and Cultural Connections to Grand Canyon,” to Stone Church Arts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7:30. The screening will take place in the chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, the stone church on the hill, 20 Church St.
Working with Hopi singer Clark Tenakhongva, Stroutsos has produced a CD and DVD featuring ancient music recorded inside the Desert View Watchtower in Grand Canyon National Park. This recording is the very first of its kind — featuring the oldest sounds of the southwest in a culturally and spiritually significant location.

Community music
Join Middlebury Community Music Center at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at Town Hall Theater, for a benefit concert featuring the center’s faculty members. They will perform classical, jazz, and more, sharing lots of great music to kick off their fifth year.
Performers may include Bear Irwin, trombone; Dayve Huckett, guitar; Glendon Ingalls, trumpet; Jessica Allen, voice; Sadie Brightman, piano; Karen Kevra, flute; Robert Wyatt, piano; and Ron White, bass. The goal is to offer high-quality music instruction to all who seek it in the community, and to give students access to the life-changing power of music.
Tickets are $10, $20 generous; call 802-382-9222, or go online to