RR Arts Preview

Award-winning jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner to perform at the Vermont Jazz Center at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9.

Jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner

BRATTLEBORO – The Vermont Jazz Center will present American Pianists Association laureate Sullivan Fortner at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9. He will be performing with bassist Barry Stephenson (best known for his work with Jon Batiste), and drummer Kassa Overall (formerly of Geri Allen’s Timeline band).

In an interview with Neon Jazz for the 2017 Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Kansas City, Fortner was asked why he loved jazz so much. He responded: “It’s the same reason why I hate jazz so much! It’s the only musical art form that forces you to bring your complete self to it in order for it to work. And while being vulnerable, you have to sacrifice for the music and for the other players; when the sacrifice level is the same (within the group) that’s when the music really explodes.”

Lauded as one of the top jazz pianists of his generation, Fortner is the winner of three prestigious awards: a Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship, the 2015 Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association, and the 2016 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists. The American Pianists Association Cole Porter Fellowship in Jazz provided Fortner with a $50,000 prize and the opportunity to record for Mack Avenue Records, as well as two years of professional career services and development.

Tickets are $20 (plus fees), $15 for students with I.D.; call 802-254-9088, ext. 1, or go online to www.vtjazz.org.

Cutting Edge readings

MIDDLEBURY – Middlebury Actors Workshop’s Cutting Edge Staged Reading Series kicks off its 2019 season and promises to heat up the room with “The Mystery of Love and Sex” by Bathsheba Doran at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, in the Byers Studio at Town Hall Theater. Refreshments and a talkback follow the performance. (Adult content: not recommended for children under 16.)

From the writer of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” comes a tender and funny story about love in all its forms, and that blurry space between friendship, romance and erotic desire. “The Mystery of Love and Sex” is also about families: the family we are born into and the family we create. She’s white, he’s black; she’s Jewish, he’s Christian.

Admission is by donation ($10 suggested); call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhallteater.org.

‘Be Beethoven’

BRATTLEBORO – Guest conductors who won the chance to lead the Windham Orchestra take to the podium at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11. “Be Beethoven” is a Windham Orchestra fundraiser offering would-be maestros the opportunity to conduct a musical work of their choice at a special evening at the Brattleboro Music Center.

The guest conductors are Janet Wallstein, Peter Amidon, Pedro Pereira, Tom Baehr, and Gene Murrow, along with a very special guest, L. Beethoven. Windham Orchestra maestro Hugh Keelan has worked with the lucky conductors on their chosen pieces.

Tickets are $10, available at the door; for information, call 802-257-4523, or go online to https://bmcvt.org. The BMC is located at 72 Blanche Moyse Way.

‘Young Picasso’

MIDDLEBURY – Pablo Picasso is one of the most famous names in art history. His image and his art are everywhere, yet few know the remarkable story of his rise to greatness. “Young Picasso,” part of Town Hall Theater’s Great Art Wednesdays series, takes an in-depth look at the journey of Picasso’s life and traces his path to genius, and will be shown at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 13.

This extraordinary detective story looks in detail at the elements that drove one small boy from southern Spain to such heights. Three cities play a key role: Málaga, Barcelona and Paris. “Young Picasso” explores each and illustrates why they were so significant. In close collaboration with five major European museums, “Young Picasso” offers unique insight into the artist’s masterpieces at each of these remarkable institutions.

Tickets are $13, $8 for students; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhallteater.org.

Artist Tom Pirozzoli

CHESTER – DaVallia’s 39 North Gallery is presenting a fine art show featuring a new collection of work by painter Tom Pirozzoli.

The New Hampshire artist and musician is most at home with a fresh canvas on the easel and a weather-worn guitar within reach. The joy, discoveries and challenges of music, art and travel have guided Pirozzoli’s rich life to a quiet home beneath Mount Sunapee. A highly accomplished painter in both oil and watercolor, he is a self-taught artist who has exhibited widely in the New England region.

For more information, or to schedule a private viewing, call 802-875-8900, or go online to https://thedavallia.com. DaVallia’s 39 North Gallery is located on Route 103 in the historic Stone Village of Chester.

‘Light Show’

MIDDLEBURY – The Jackson Gallery at Town Hall Theater presents “The Light Show,” unique lamps by Vermont artists, Feb. 15-March 24. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.

Emerging from the darkness of a chilly winter and in anticipation of the warmth and renewal of spring, the Jackson Gallery presents an exhibit of unique lamps and lanterns created by Vermont artists. Among the group are Clay Mohrman, Kristian Brevik, and York Hill Pottery artisans Elizabeth Saslaw and Susan Kuehnl, and Cindi Duff. The exhibit features artful and surprising choices of design and materials to decorate each source of illumination.

Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and an hour before public events; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.

Theater auditions

DORSET – Auditions for the Dorset Players 16th annual One Act Festival will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 12 and 13, at the Dorset Playhouse. The festival will be held on two weekends, March 29-31 and April 5-7.

This is a chance for actors and would-be actors to be onstage without the time commitment of a major production. The one-act plays run anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes, and there are a variety of roles ranging in age from 18 to 70.

For more information call producer Lynne Worth at 802-375-5717.

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