Free meals from GMFTS in Albany and Island Pond

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A beautiful lettuce harvest.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

A beautiful lettuce harvest. Photo by Joseph Gresser

Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) has partnered with Northeast Kingdom farms this fall to bring delicious, free meals to the community. There are two more upcoming meals:

On Saturday, October 25, from 12 to 5 p.m., at Flourish Day Farm and Nursery, at 422 McRae Road in Island Pond. This will be a casual meal provided by the Lunchbox featuring produce from local farms. There will also be kid friendly activities. This event is $3 for families, and includes a free meal.

On Saturday, November 1, at 11 a.m., at Peace of Earth Farm, at 43 West Griggs Road in Albany. There will be a mulching demonstration plus chicken and vegetable soup prepared by the Lunchbox featuring ingredients from Peace of Earth Farm.

For more specific information or directions, e-mail khansis@gmfts.org.

Donations are encouraged to help fund the work of GMFTS. — from GMFTS.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Toussaint and Preservation Hall Jazz Band October 21

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Allen Toussaint will perform with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in St. Johnsbury on October 21.  Photo courtesy of Kingdom County Productions

Allen Toussaint will perform with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in St. Johnsbury on October 21. Photo courtesy of Kingdom County Productions

Kingdom County Productions will present the exclusive northern New England production of “Legends of New Orleans Jazz” featuring rhythm-and-blues ace and six-time Grammy nominee Allen Toussaint joining forces with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the first time, on tour. Showtime is 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21, at Fuller Hall, at St. Johnsbury Academy. Tickets are on sale at kingdomcounty.org or by calling 748-2600.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has toured the world since its founding in the early 1960s, as the essential vehicle to keep traditional New Orleans jazz traditions alive. During recent years, the band has played 150 annual dates at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl. And they have branched out to ensure a future as a living and breathing group driven by fresh influences and inspirations, adding a number of dynamic new musical directions to their rock-solid repertoire of the classic New Orleans style.

Preservation Hall has appeared on stage with artists ranging from Dr. John, Wynton Marsalis, and the Grateful Dead, to The Black Keys, Bonnie Raitt, and Tom Waits. In an Oval Office White House ceremony, the group was awarded the 2006 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence. In 2010, the San Francisco Examiner called Preservation Hall, “the best jazz band in the land.”

Mr. Toussaint ranks as a key figure in the development of R&B, and his songs have been recorded by a staggering array of artists including Otis Redding, Phish, Boz Skaggs, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Aaron Neville, The Doors, Glenn Campbell, Warren Zevon, The Yardbirds, Jerry Garcia, Paul Butterfield, Derek Trucks Band, Ringo Starr, Trombone Shorty, Three Dog Night, and The Hollies. Other collaborations include The Band, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Bo Diddley, Levon Helm, Robert Plant, and Alison Krauss. Mr. Toussaint’s many awards and recognitions include his 1998 induction into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

“When I meet someone like Allen Toussaint — that for me is like meeting, you know, someone the equivalent of the Dalai Lama, because for me, he influenced the way I played the piano,” said Elton John. “He’s an historical part of rock-and-roll.”

For more information, visit kingdomcounty.org or contact series producer Jay Craven at jcraven@marlboro.edu. — from Kingdom County Productions.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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QNEK presents thriller, Wait Until Dark

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Pictured are members of the cast from QNEK’s production of Wait Until Dark.  In the top row, from left to right, are Ross Murray, Victoria Young, and Nathan Sargent.  In the middle row, from left, are Mike Desjardins, Mary Hoadley, and Brian McCrea.  In the bottom row, from left, are Eric Alexandre, Brian McCrea, Ross Murray, Mike Desjardins, and James Cross.  Photo courtesy of QNEK

Pictured are members of the cast from QNEK’s production of Wait Until Dark. In the top row, from left to right, are Ross Murray, Victoria Young, and Nathan Sargent. In the middle row, from left, are Mike Desjardins, Mary Hoadley, and Brian McCrea. In the bottom row, from left, are Eric Alexandre, Brian McCrea, Ross Murray, Mike Desjardins, and James Cross. Photo courtesy of QNEK

QNEK Productions, the award-winning international theater company in residence at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line, finishes its twenty-first main stage season with the highly entertaining and suspenseful thriller, Wait Until Dark, directed and designed by Susan-Lynn Johns with a set built under the guidance of Tom Rooney by the North Country Union High School building trades class.

Written by Frederick Knott — author of the classic mystery, Dial M for MurderWait Until Dark captures the audience with its complex story and noir undertones. In a time when gore and extreme violence run rampant in film and television, audiences will find it refreshing to find horror in the chase, more so than in a pool of blood.

The heroine of the story, set in the 1960s, is blind housewife Susy Hendrix (Mary Hoadley of Newport). Independent and resourceful, Susy is learning to cope with her blindness, which resulted from a recent accident. She is aided by her difficult, slightly unreliable young neighbor, Gloria (Victoria Young of Newport), with whom she has an exasperated but lovingly maternal relationship. Susy’s life is changed as she is terrorized by a group of criminals who believe she has hidden a baby doll used by them to smuggle heroin into the country. Unknown to Susy, her photographer husband, Sam (Nathan Sargent of Newport), took the doll as a favor for a woman he met on an international plane flight and unwittingly brought the doll to the couple’s New York apartment when the woman became afraid of the customs officials. Alone in her apartment and cut off from the outside world, Susy must fight for her life against a gang of ruthless criminals, led by the violent, psychotic Roat (Ross Murray of Stanstead, Quebec). The tension builds as Roat and his accomplices Carlino (Brian McCrea of Newport) and Mike Talman (Mike Desjardins of Newport), impersonate police detectives and friends of her husband in order to win Susy’s confidence, gaining access to her apartment to look for the doll. The climax of the play, a vicious physical confrontation between Susy and Roat in her dark kitchen, is one of the most memorable and frightening scenes in theater history. Rounding off the cast as policemen are James Cross of Island Pond and Eric Alexandre of Magog, Quebec.

Performance dates are October 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and October 12 at 2 p.m. at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line and Stanstead, Quebec. Reserve tickets by calling the QNEK Box Office at (802) 624-1490; charge tickets via phone or online through Catamount Arts, 1-888-757-5559, www.catamountarts.org; or purchase at The MAC Center for the Arts in Newport.

For information, and group rate quotes, contact the QNEK business office at 334-2216. — from QNEK.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Free American Winter screening rescheduled for October 6

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WEB American WinterThere were technical difficulties at the last scheduled screening of American Winter, so Rural Edge is sponsoring another free showing on Monday, October 6, at 6 p.m. at the Gateway Center in Newport.

American Winter presents an intimate snapshot of the state of the nation’s economy as it’s playing out in the lives of real American families.

Few people would argue that “the American dream” has changed and controversy swirls around why people end up homeless or in poverty and what they should or can do about their situations and what the government and fellow citizens should or can do. American Winter, by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, highlights the work of “211 Info” in Portland, Oregon, a hotline connecting callers with community resources and social services. The film follows eight families who experience homelessness after loss of employment.

The film shows a lot of spirit and creativity, and a big change in attitudes in the people featured who once shared the idea that people became poor from being lazy, or that cutting social assistance was a good way to save money and better the nation. One woman in the film said that prior to her own need for assistance, she thought it was “easy for people who depended on government programs” and that “the system bred abuse.” Now she thinks that safety net programs “help keep families like [hers] just barely above water.”

A community discussion will follow the film.

The screening is sponsored by Rural Edge, the Newport Community Justice Center, HealthWorks ONE Coalition, and Northeast Kingdom Learning Services.
For more information, call Healthworks ONE at 334-6532, extension 8. — from Healthworks One.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Old Stone House Cheese and Apple Tasting September 28

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Light hits the morning fog at Crystal Lake in Barton.      Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Light hits the morning fog at Crystal Lake in Barton.
Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar

Celebrate fall and food at the Old Stone House Museum’s annual Cheese and Apple Tasting on Sunday, September 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held in and around the Samuel Read Hall House, which is the big gold house on the corner of Old Stone House Road and the Hinman Settler Road in Brownington. Visitors will be able to taste and purchase locally produced cheeses and other dairy products, apples, maple products, honey, smoked meat, baked goods, spirits, wine and beers, and more.

There will be over 30 varieties of heirloom apples, sliced up on plates, to sample. The museum apple press will be grinding and pressing apples all day, and serving up cups of the sweet essence of the apple harvest. There will be a “Good Ole Apple Pie” contest at 2 p.m. Besides bragging rights, the winner will take home a hand forged pie spatula made by Courtney Mead at the Moffat Forge, the Old Stone House Museum’s teaching blacksmith shop. And there will be an apple chomp contest where kids are challenged to take a bite of an apple dangling from a string in mid-air, which is quite an amusing spectator sport.

The event also includes an heirloom vegetable exhibit. People are invited to bring in old varieties of vegetables they have grown from heirloom seeds, along with the name and story behind the variety. The museum will be selling raffle tickets for a cord of dry maple firewood, for $5 a ticket, with only 100 tickets sold per drawing, and a winner will be drawn during the afternoon. The Brownington Ladies Aid will serve a lunch of hot soup and bread, as well as hot coffee and rhubarb punch in the parlor of the Hall House.

Admission to the Cheese and Apple Tasting is $8, but free for those over 90, under 12, or for people who bring an apple pie for the contest or an heirloom vegetable, with the story behind it, for the exhibit. Admission includes a free self-guided tour of the first floor of the Old Stone House Museum, with the new special photography exhibit “Newport Now and Then.”

For more information, call the museum at 754-2022, or visit oldstonehousemuseum.org. — from the Old Stone House Museum.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Compete in Newport’s Scarecrow Contest September 20

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The Brown Cow’s 2013 entry in the Scarecrow Contest to be held during Newport’s Fall Foliage Festival.

The Brown Cow’s 2013 entry in the Scarecrow Contest to be held during Newport’s Fall Foliage Festival.

The Newport Fall Foliage Festival Scarecrow Contest is expected to add a lot of fun to this year’s festival.  Families and businesses will make scarecrows and place them outside their homes, businesses and along Newport’s Main Street.

Prizes will be awarded for the Most Traditional, Most Creative, and Most Colorful in both the Business and Family categories.  Prizes have been donated by the Newport Daily Express and radio station Moo 92. Greens fees and golf passes at area golf courses will be given courtesy of the newspaper, and an advertising certificate will be given courtesy of the radio station, in the business category. Families will compete for the prize of a Moo 92 Pizza Party.

Contest rules and an entry form are available online at NewportFallFoliageFestival.com. Both businesses and families should pre-register to make sure their scarecrows are judged. Judging will take place Saturday, September 20, with the winners announced on Moo 92 during its broadcast from the festival and on Monday in the Newport Daily Express.

For more information on the Scarecrow Contest or the Newport Fall Foliage Festival schedule of events, go to NewportFallFoliageFestival.com, or write event coordinators at NewportLive@Live.com.  — from Newport Live.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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Free screening of American Winter September 17

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WEB American WinterA free screening of the documentary American Winter will play at the Gateway Center in Newport on Wednesday, September 17, at 6 p.m.

American Winter presents an intimate snapshot of the state of the nation’s economy as it’s playing out in the lives of real American families.

Few people would argue that “the American dream” has changed and controversy swirls around why people end up homeless or in poverty and what they should or can do about their situations and what the government and fellow citizens should or can do. American Winter, by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, highlights the work of “211 Info” in Portland, Oregon, a hotline connecting callers with community resources and social services. The film follows eight families who experience homelessness after loss of employment.

The film shows a lot of spirit and creativity, and a big change in attitudes in the people featured who once shared the idea that people became poor from being lazy, or that cutting social assistance was a good way to save money and better the nation. One woman in the film said that prior to her own need for assistance, she thought it was “easy for people who depended on government programs” and that “the system bred abuse.” Now she thinks that safety net programs “help keep families like [hers] just barely above water.”

A community discussion will follow the film.

The screening is sponsored by Rural Edge, the Newport Community Justice Center, HealthWorks ONE Coalition, and Northeast Kingdom Learning Services.

For more information, call Healthworks ONE at 334-6532, extension 8. — from Healthworks One.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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Vermont Watercolor Society’s MAC show opens September 12

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“Breath Taking Ride” by Ann Lisner is one of the watercolors which is part of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 show at the MAC in Newport.  Image courtesy of Darlene Ratte

“Breath Taking Ride” by Ann Lisner is one of the watercolors which is part of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 show at the MAC in Newport. Image courtesy of Darlene Ratte

Opening day of the Vermont Watercolor Society’s fall 2014 watercolor show at the MAC Center for the Arts in Newport is Friday, September 12, with an opening reception that day from 5 to 7 p.m.

This year’s theme will be “It Happens In Vermont.”  There will be stunning works of art painted by over 20 very talented watercolor artists that live and create in Vermont and mostly in the Northeast Kingdom.

The show will be open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Sundays, through October 3.  The exhibit will be in the lower gallery at the MAC.  All work is for sale.

At the reception, the Wind Quintet of the Newport Area Community Orchestra will play music, and there will be light refreshments.  MAC writer-member Catherine Holm will read a short excerpt from her work at 6:15 p.m., after an awards ceremony to three of the artists, when prizes will be announced with a first prize of $75.  — from the MAC and Darlene Ratte.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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Most complete T. rex comes to the Montshire museum May 17

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 4.37.22 PMThe most iconic dinosaur that ever lived is on its way to the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich. The exhibit, “A T. rex Named Sue,” scheduled to open Saturday, May 17, features a cast of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) ever discovered.

At 42-feet long, 3,500 pounds, and 12 feet tall at the hips, this fully articulated cast skeleton is the keystone piece of this traveling exhibition which also includes replicated dinosaur fossils, video footage, free-standing interactive exhibits and colorful graphics.

Montshire visitors will be able to get hands-on with replicas of Sue’s arm bone, tail, rib and teeth, engage in interactive activities, learn how the T. rex saw, ate and sniffed out prey, and view footage showing the changing perceptions of T. rex over the past 100 years.

Sue is the largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever unearthed and is one of the most significant fossil finds to date. Fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson found the specimen in 1990 in the Hell Creek Formation near Faith, South Dakota. In 1997, the Field Museum purchased the 67-million-year-old fossil at auction for $8.4-million, setting the world record for the highest price ever paid for a fossil.

Only four T. rex specimens containing more than 60 percent of their original skeleton have been found. Sue is at least 90 percent complete — only a foot, one arm, and a few ribs and vertebrae are missing. Because of its near completeness, the specimen has presented the scientific community with a variety of new evidence, and with it Field Museum scientists made important new discoveries about the biology and evolution of Tyrannosaurus rex.

Sue will be assembled in Montshire’s Main gallery and offers visitors the chance to discover what these professionals have learned.

The exhibit “A T. rex Named Sue” runs from May 17 through September 7, at the Montshire Museum of Science. It will be the first time the exhibition has been to northern New England.

Admission to “A T. rex Named Sue” is free with museum admission; $16 for adults, $14 for children ages two to 17, and free for Montshire members and children under two years of age.

The Montshire Museum will be closed from May 12 to 14 during the installation of “A T. rex Named Sue.”

This exhibit was created by the Field Museum in Chicago, and is made possible through the generosity of McDonald’s Corporation. Local sponsorship is provided by Geokon, as well as Lake Sunapee Bank, and King Arthur Flour. Media sponsorship is provided by WCAX and NHPR. — from the Montshire Museum of Science.

For more things to do, see our Events page.

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Spamalot is full of medieval tomfoolery

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King Arthur and the Lady of Lake welcome the Knights of the Very Round Table to Camelot in the Vermont Family Theater production of Spamalot.  From left to right, in the back row, are Joan Racine, Donna Arnold, Lucas Roy, Jade Piette, Greg Tocci, and Rachel Carter.  Seated in the middle row are the knights:  Jake Blankenship, Brendan Hadash, Todd Jones, and Zeb McCoy.  In front are Alan Franklin, Deborah MacKay, and Cassie Tarbox.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

King Arthur and the Lady of Lake welcome the Knights of the Very Round Table to Camelot in the Vermont Family Theater production of Spamalot. From left to right, in the back row, are Joan Racine, Donna Arnold, Lucas Roy, Jade Piette, Greg Tocci, and Rachel Carter. Seated in the middle row are the knights: Jake Blankenship, Brendan Hadash, Todd Jones, and Zeb McCoy. In front are Alan Franklin, Deborah MacKay, and Cassie Tarbox. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle April 9, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

ORLEANS — In days of yore a band of bold men adventured across the green and pleasant land of England.  Their adventures have been repeated down through the generations and continue to inspire listeners to this day.

I’m speaking, of course, of Monty Python, the progenitors of the musical comedy now playing at the Orleans Municipal Building — Spamalot.

The show, written by Eric Idle, one of the Pythons, opened on Broadway in 2005, where it had a very successful four-year run.  It has now made its way to Orleans in the form of a very entertaining production by the Vermont Family Theater.

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