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Entertainment Highlights: Letters From Vermont

Singer Jay Nash Shows Influence of His New Home

Jay Nash’s 10th collection of songs, Letters from the Lost, is the first full-length record the musician wrote entirely in the Upper Valley after spending nearly a decade in Los Angeles, and the influence of the Northeast shows.

Or, rather, the influence of a Vermont winter shows, especially on the opening track Wander . It’s an immediate departure from the folky, Americana niche Nash has traveled in through his career, eschewing acoustic guitar in favor of atmospheric electric guitar, piano and effects. His voice stays the same, but the ambiance darkens.

“The lack of sunlight, I think, was sinking in,” he said of his time writing Wander.

Nash will bring songs from May’s Letters from the Lost, as well as his extensive back catalog, to Woodstock’s Town Hall Theatre tonight at 8 p.m. It will be Nash’s first show in the states following a two-week tour of Europe in September, and the beginning of a set of shows that will take him from New England to California.

Nash’s base of operations for the past three years has been Hartland, on a property that includes a recording studio. It’s the first studio of his own, something he couldn’t afford before, considering the price of real estate in Los Angeles, and Nash said it provided him the opportunity to try a different style of recording, one in which the songwriting process is tied more directly to the recording process.

The flip side of gaining his own place, of course, was abandoning the fertile West Cost music scene.

“There’s obviously some fear involved in moving from a center of all things music and entertainment to the middle of nowhere, relatively speaking,” he said.

But according to Nash, his time traveling the country has led to the establishment of fan bases in cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago and even overseas in Amsterdam. And after city hopping, he can come back to Vermont.

“It’s really nice when I’m not on the road, when I’m not working on a project,” Nash said. “It’s really nice to be away from the noise.”

The quiet was attractive to Nash since he was young, growing up near Syracuse, N.Y. and visiting his extended family in the Killington area. He was drawn to the topography and the pride that Vermonters took in their home state. When it came time for him to attend college, he matriculated at the University of Vermont.

Afterwards, he drifted west. At one point, he met Josh Day, who recently stopped drumming for singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles after a decade. Day, who is based in Nashville, Tenn., will be joining Nash for a duo performance in Woodstock.

Past that, Nash said he hopes to partner with Day in some form, to go into creative hibernation during the upcoming Vermont winter and emerge with a new music group. At the very least, he has the studio to catalog his ideas.

“Now that I have this space where I can chase any creative impulse to fruition, it’s been very rewarding for me,” Nash said.

Jay Nash will perform at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre tonight at 8 p.m., with doors opening a half-hour earlier. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 day of show, and can be purchased at pentanglearts.org/jay-nash/.

Best Bets

Florida-based GFour productions will bring Menopause the Musical, the show that follows four women who meet at a Bloomingdale’s lingerie sale and sing about their middle-aged crises, to the Lebanon Opera House tonight. In the play, the four women use new lyrics to the tunes of various songs from the 1960s through 1980s. Song titles include My Thighs (from My Girls) and In the Guest Room or on the Sofa, My Husband Sleeps at Night (from The Lion Sleeps Tonight). Tickets can be purchased at the venue in person, by phone at 603-448-0400 or at lebanonoperahouse.org. They range from $32.50 to $52.50.

∎ “Satisfaction: The International Rolling Stones Show,” a tribute to the famed group, will come to the Lebanon Opera House at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, playing the Rolling Stones’ various hits. Tickets are $25 for the show, which is a benefit for Vital Communities, and can be purchased by phone at 603-448-0400 or at lebanonoperahouse.org. Upper Valley rock band Baldilocks will open.

Music

The Claremont Opera House opens its season at 7:30 p.m.on Saturday with a concert from the East Bay Jazz Ensemble, a 10-piece group that plays in the style of the 1940s. The event, which takes place under the clock tower at the City Hall complex, is free but ticketed. Tickets can be picked up at the box office or by calling 603-542-4433.

∎ The nonprofit Upper Valley chamber music group Classicopia will present two shows this weekend that together form “Hobo Oboe,” featuring Vermont native and oboist Alicia Chapman, who has played with the Metropolitan Opera and now teaches at Appalachian State University. The first show, which will feature composers including Handel and Poulenc, will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon. Tickets are $20. At 7 p.m. Saturday, Chapman and Daniel Weiser, pianist, will play a “Candlelit Concert” at the home of the Bisnos in Hanover. Tickets are $40, and reservations are required. Email marcia@classicopia.org to reserve.

∎ Ruth Moody, the Canadian singer-songwriter who co-founded the Wailin’ Jennys, will perform at White River Junction’s Tupelo Music Hall at 7 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased from tupelohallvermont.com.

∎ On Sunday, Tupelo will host “Old Home Day,” a show featuring four New England bands that rose to prominence in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. The Band News Band, Boomer Sellers, Far Cry and Better Days will all play, starting at 4 p.m. Tickets are $5.

Theatre

Northern Stage continues its production of 12 Angry Men this week, with shows tonight through Sunday, Tuesday through next Sunday and Oct. 15 through Oct. 20. Tickets range from $23 to $60, but tickets to tonight’s and Friday’s preview shows are all $30. They can be purchased at northernstage.org or by calling 802-296-7000. All shows are at 7:30 except Sunday matinees at 5 p.m. and Thursday matinees at 2 p.m.

∎ The Hopkins Center will present a showing of Shakespeare’s Othello at 7 p.m. tonight as part of National Theatre Live in HD, in which plays performed at London’s National Theatre are simulcast to local theaters. Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear star in the production, which will be broadcast in the Black Family Visual Arts Center. Tickets are $23, and can be purchased by calling 603-646-2422. The broadcast is also being shown at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre.

∎ A similar simulcast — this time for Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin — will be shown at the Black Center on Saturday and Sunday as part of the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series. The four-hour opera will be shown at 1 p.m. both days, and tickets range from $26 to $29. They can be purchased by calling 603-646-2422 or going to hop.dartmouth.edu.

∎  Theatreworks USA will bring Junie B. Jones , a play based on the popular children’s book, to the Hop’s Spaulding Auditorium at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets range from $13 to $23, and can be purchased at hop.dartmouth.edu.

Bar and Club Circuit

Acoustic rocker Jim Hollis, who specializes in ’60s and ’70s covers, will play at Jesse’s in Hanover on Friday, starting at 5 p.m.

∎ The Sunapee Community Coffee House will host Hiroya Tsukamoto, a Japanese guitarist and banjoist with Latin American influences, on Friday. The Berklee College of Music-educated musician will start playing at 7 p.m.

∎ Roots music blend the Boneheads, from Maine, will come to The Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille in New London at 8 p.m. tonight.

∎ The Peter Concilio Jazz Trio will perform at the Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland for the club’s first Friday jazz night, starting at 9 p.m.

∎ Nashville recording artist Clay Canfield brings his talents to the River Stones Tavern in Quechee on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 8 p.m. He also performs at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock on Sundays, beginning at 7 p.m.

Open Mics

∎ Salt hill Pub in Hanover runs an open mic, hosted by Chad Gibbs, on Mondays at 7 p.m.

∎ At Salt hill in Lebanon, Brian Warren and Seth Barbiero will host an open mic tonight starting at 8.

∎ Brian Warren also hosts an open mic at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock. It’s on Mondays, starting at 8:30 pm.

∎ Bradford’s Colatina Exit hosts an open mic on Tuesdays starting at 8 p.m.

∎ The Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon runs an open mic on Wednesdays, beginning at 8 p.m.

∎ Gregory Brown hosts an open mic at Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern, beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Jon Wolper can be reached at jwolper@vnews.com or 603-727-3242. Send Highlights to Highlights@vnews.com.