RR Arts Preview

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents its 12th annual Domino Toppling Extravaganza Sept. 29.

Contributions should be sent to jim.lowe@rutlandherald.com at least two weeks in advance.

Toppling dominoesBRATTLEBORO – Veteran domino toppler and YouTube superstar Lily Hevesh returns to the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) for the 12th Annual Domino Toppling Extravaganza at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29. Hevesh will be joined by fellow domino artists Nathan Heck, Shane O’Brien and Chris Wright.

BMAC’s domino topplings began in 2008, when brothers Mike and Steve Perrucci traveled to Brattleboro to build a course created specifically for BMAC. The Perruccis returned to Brattleboro each of the next four years, creating bigger courses each time. In 2011, they enlisted the help of other domino-toppling enthusiasts, who eventually took the helm after the Perruccis retired from domino duty. Now in its 12th year, BMAC’s annual topple is the longest-running event of its type in the world.

Heck, Hevesh, O’Brien and Wright will arrive in Brattleboro 48 hours ahead of the toppling to begin setting up the spectacle. The four will fill the floor of BMAC’s Wolf Kahn & Emily Mason Gallery with an elaborate pattern of dominoes. Audience members will have a chance to guess how many dominoes make up the course; whoever comes the closest will get to start the entire chain reaction. The toppling itself will last about five minutes.

“This event has attracted quite a following,” said BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld. “Every year, the museum has been filled to capacity, with audience members squeezed around the perimeter of the main gallery. It’s loads of fun, but also nerve-wracking, since one false move could trigger the entire chain reaction.”

Admission is $5, free for 8 and younger; call 802-257-0124, or go online to www.brattleboromuseum.org.

Anastasio on BroadwayMIDDLEBURY – Trey Anastasio became a legend in the world of rock ’n’ roll with his Burlington-based jam band Phish. Not many people know, however, that he wrote the songs for a Broadway musical, “Hands on a Hardbody,” in 2013. The show received decent reviews, but it had a surprisingly short run.

Town Hall Theater is giving the show its Vermont premiere Sept. 20-22. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.

Based on a 1997 documentary, the show centers on a bizarre contest in Texas. Ten people put their hands on a brand-new pick-up truck and stand there in the wilting Texas heat. The last person standing with their hand on the truck wins the truck.

“What Trey and his co-writers Amanda Green and Doug Wright did with this story is amazing,” says director Doug Anderson. “Every character gets a solo, and we start to learn what the truck would mean to these disadvantaged people. By the end of the musical, you know everything about them.”

Anastasio serves up a wide range of musical styles, including country, blues, gospel and Broadway-type ballads. Chuck Miller is at the keyboard and conducts the four-piece band.

Tickets are $18-$36 plus applicable fees and taxes; call 802-382-9222, or go online to https://townhalltheater.org.

John Funkhouser TrioBRANDON – The John Funkhouser Trio returns at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, for its annual show at Brandon Music, which can now be best described as a Brandon Music tradition.

Funkhouser’s eclectic influences include music from South Africa, the Great American Songbook, Appalachia, India, New Orleans funk (Funkhouser lives up to his name!), ‘70s prog-rock, modern jazz, Balkan folk music, and much more. Along with Funkhouser on piano, are Greg Loughman (bass), and Mike Connors (drums) — a trio of forward-thinking jazz musicians who are “often wildly inventive and great fun to watch and listen to” but “can also play with grace and sweetness,” according to Middletown Eye.

Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or email info@brandon-music.net. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road; go online to www.brandon-music.net.

Trio BourgasMANCHESTER – Taconic Music invites the public to a concert by Trio Bourgas at Zion Episcopal Church in Manchester Center at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. The concert program features works for piano trio: Rachmaninoff, Turina, Trio Gardel, Piazzolla, Albert and Staynov.

Trio Bourgas is named after the city on Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast where violinist Joy Tedford, cellist Petia Kassarova and pianist Sally Wave grew up and went to school together. After graduating from the National Academy of Music in Sofia, they all pursued individual professional opportunities in different places across the globe: Petia and Joy moved to America, Sally remained on the Old Continent. After more than two decades, they again met in Bourgas and decided to perform as a trio, celebrating their reunion in 2016 with a highly lauded concert in London.

Admission is by donation ($10 suggested); go online to www.taconicmusic.org.

Larry Allen Brown liveBELLOWS FALLS – Larry Allen Brown’s Celtic-blues-jazz music wears influences of Dave van Ronk, John Fahey, and Martin Simpson. He performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept, 28, with no opener, at Stage 33.

Born and raised in Chicago, a Berklee College of Music alum, and rumored to have gone to high school with John Prine, Brown’s latest album, “Stories That We Wrote,” was produced by Grammy-winning Will Ackerman, founder of the Windham Hill label.

Brown also heads the Acoustic Earth Orchestra ensemble. Before his solo career as a composer and performer on acoustic finger-style guitar, he played lead guitar for more rock, jazz and blues groups in Chicago, Washington D.C. and Boston than he can remember.

“This man sings songs of startling intelligence in a voice you know is telling the truth ... songs with some serious miles on the tires; born of a life deeply and passionately lived,” said Will Ackerman.

Admission is by donation ($5-plus suggested) at the door; for information, go online to http://stage33live.com. Stage 33 Live is located at 33 Bridge St.

Our own ‘Moth’MIDDLEBURY – Middlebury College hosts the live performance event “Cocoon,” inspired by the popular PBS storytelling phenomenon “The Moth,” at 8 p.m. at the Mahaney Arts Center. Six handpicked storytellers will tell a diverse range of stories around the theme of “resilience.” The audience is invited to a reception with the storytellers after the show.

This year’s storytellers will include: Middlebury College students Sabian Edouard ’21 and Hawa Abdullahi Adam ’22; alumna Tania Flores ’18; Education Studies professor Tara Affolter; and community members Jack Mayer and Pierre Vachon. Ambient guitarist and Mahaney Arts Center Technical Director Mark Christensen will provide the musical interludes. The event has two rules: one, all stories must be true; two, no notes.

Tickets are $15, $8 for youth; call 802-443-MIDD (6433), or go online to http://go.middlebury.edu/arts. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 south/S. Main Street.

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