Arts News

Paul Cavaliere and Rachel Smith in a scene from the Valley Players production of the classic farce “Noises Off” Sept. 24-Oct. 10 in Waitsfield.

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‘Noises Off’

WAITSFIELD — The Valley Players will present the classic slapstick comedy “Noises Off” — “a play within a play, a farce within a farce” by Michael Frayne, Sept. 24-Oct. 10 at the Valley Players Theater, 4254 Main St. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays.

In the play, the cast is a touring company rehearsing for a British farce called “Nothing On,” set to open after only two weeks of rehearsal. The show involves lots of slamming doors and plates of sardines as well as romantic relationships both on and off stage. Act I ends when the cast finishes rehearsing Act I of “Nothing On”; Act II takes place four weeks later and relationships are beginning to change and get frazzled, but as seen from backstage. Act III takes place four weeks later, with Act I of “Nothing On” seen again from the audience’s point of view. The show is directed by Joanne Puente.

The Valley Players request all audience members to wear masks/face coverings inside the theater during the production, regardless of vaccination status.

Call 802-583-1674 or go online to for tickets or information.

Imani Winds / Catalyst Quartet

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Performing Arts Series opens the fall 2021 season with a long-awaited concert by two dynamic chamber ensembles. Imani Winds and the Catalyst Quartet will join forces for a special program titled “(im)migration: music of change,” including a newly commissioned work by leading American composer Jessie Montgomery.

Imani Winds and the Catalyst Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24 at the Mahaney Arts Center (MAC)’s Robison Hall. This concert is the first live, in-person event from the Middlebury Performing Arts Series since March of 2020, when the pandemic first struck. Please note the MAC’s health and safety protocols, including required vaccinations (or valid medical or religious exemptions) and masks.

The highlight of the evening is the Vermont premiere of Montgomery’s new work for nine musicians, “Sergeant McCauley,” which brings together spirituals and work songs that reflect her great-grandfather’s route on the Great Migration, from Mississippi through the West, north to the Dakotas, and eventually back to Georgia. The program also includes the Imani Winds playing an arrangement of Mongo Santamaría’s “Afro Blue”; the Catalyst Quartet playing Florence B. Price’s “Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint”; and both ensembles together in Roberto Sierra’s Concierto de Cámara.

Admission is free; no tickets are required for the in-person concert. The event will also be streamed, both live and for 48 hours after the show; registration required.

Call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go online to for more information. The MAC is located at 72 Porter Field Road.

‘Words Out Loud’

CALAIS — “Words Out Loud” marks the seventh year of Sunday afternoon readings by Vermont writers at the historic 1823 meetinghouse, Old West Church, presented in tandem with the Fall Art at the Kent exhibit in Kents’ Corner. Unplug and listen as these six engaging wordsmiths share what they’ve wrought & written — words forged into fiction, memoir, poetry, and more:

— Sept. 19: Mary Ruefle and Kathryn Davis;

— Sept. 26: Benjamin Aleshire and Martin Philip;

— Oct. 3: Megan Buchanan and Toussaint St. Negritude.

Book sales and signings and a chance to meet the authors will follow the readings. Masks required indoors. Donations suggested. No tickets required for the readings.

Go online to for more information. Visitors wishing to enter “20/20 Hindsight” should reserve free tickets.

Planet Zydeco

PUTNEY — Twilight Music concludes its 18th Twilight on The Tavern Lawn series of folk, world beat, zydeco, Celtic, jazz, rock, and bluegrass summer concerts at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19 with zydeco sextet Planet Zydeco. Co-presented with Next Stage Arts Project, the concert is on the Putney Tavern lawn (bring a lawn chair or blanket) or at Next Stage at 15 Kimball Hill in case of rain.

Planet Zydeco captures the essence of traditional rural-style accordion-driven dance music as it is played in clubs and dance halls in southwest Louisiana today. The band plays a popular mix of up-tempo songs, as well as slower blues-inspired numbers and traditional waltzes, for enthusiastic audiences throughout the Northeast.

Admission is free to the public (donations are welcome) and food will be available. Call 802-387-5772 or go online to for more information.

François Clemmons

MIDDLEBURY — Hear Middlebury singer, author, and celebrity François Clemmons read from his debut memoir “Officer Clemmons,” now out in paperback, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the Mahaney Arts Center’s Robison Hall.

Clemmons will offer remarks, readings, and song, followed by a book signing in the lobby. Known to the world from his role on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Clemmons has long been known locally as the Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence and director of the Martin Luther King Spiritual Choir at Middlebury College, where he served from 1997 until his retirement in 2015. He is also an actor, activist, and Grammy Award–winning singer.

A portion of the Vermont Book Shop proceeds from this event will benefit WomenSafe, a nonprofit based in Middlebury that works toward the elimination of physical, sexual, and emotional violence through direct service, education, and social change.

The event is free; masks and vaccinations (or valid medical or religious exemptions) are required. Call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go online to for more information.

Catapult Entertainment

RANDOLPH — Chandler Center for the Arts will host the Catapult Entertainment Dance Company for a two-week artist residency. Public performances are at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23 and 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24.

The renowned dance troupe mesmerizes audiences by creating shadow puppetry with their entire bodies. The Catapult dancers will be practicing for their tour scheduled to perform across the United States. Their residency at Chandler will culminate in a one-of-a-kind interactive workshop for kids, and two events, one matinee for local families, school groups and homeschoolers, and an evening general audience performance.

Founded in 2008, Catapult Entertainment has received international acclaim for their live shadow dance performances in over 100 cities. Performing on The Conan O’Brien Show to America’s Got Talent, Catapult Entertainment prides itself on melding cutting edge technology with classic dance technique.

Tickets are $10; call 802-728-9878 or go online to for more information.

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