Entertainment Highlights: Well-Traveled Trio Wailin’ Jennys Comes to Randolph, Vt.

Thursday, May 08, 2014
The Wailin’ Jennys will pull into Randolph Sunday for their fifth concert in as many nights, after gigs in Connecticut, greater Boston, western Massachusetts and Maine. So why is the folk/roots trio’s co-founder Ruth Moody not worried about burnout going into their Mother’s Day concert at Chandler Music Hall?

“In the old days, a four- or five-state tour would have been a short one,” Moody, the group’s soprano, said during a break after a comparable swing through the Northwest. “Now that (mezzo) Nicki (Mehta) and (alto) Heather (Masse) have kids, we have to pace ourselves a little differently.”

Which isn’t to say that they’ll be downshifting on Sunday night in Randolph. For one, with an upcoming four-week break from the road, they’ll be catching their breath and catching up with family and solo projects.

For another, they’re seizing every opportunity to rev up audiences who come for their harmonic blend of voices and acoustic instruments to consider contributing to their favorite cause, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), especially during this Mental Health Awareness Month.

“We ask people at our concerts to donate, and give prizes of Jennys’ merchandise,” Moody said. “We all have been feeling, because of our schedules, we had to help out or volunteer somehow. We figured out a way to do it while we’re traveling.”

They’ve been traveling more than recording since releasing their CD Bright Morning Stars in late 2011, which earned them a second Juno Award — Canada’s answer to the Grammy — for Roots and Traditional album of the year.

“We haven’t gotten to the point of putting together another Jennys album yet,” Moody said. “We probably won’t before 2015. These things take a while.”

Thanks in no small part to frequent appearances on public radio’s Prairie Home Companion variety show, and public television’s continued rebroadcasting of their Infinity Hall performance (youtube.com/watch?v=dr1jVawBeWY), the Jennys have been playing to sellout crowds at many of their venues.

“In the States, Prairie Home has helped a lot with exposure,” Moody said. “We can go almost anywhere and have a full house.”

Since 2011, they’ve mostly been traveling with Moody’s brother Richard Moody as their sideman on viola, violin, mandolin and guitar.

“It’s nice to have his energy onstage to bounce off of,” Ruth Moody said. “It’s nice to have all those instruments he plays to fill out what we do with textures and colors.”

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25-$45. For information visit chandler-arts.org, call 802-728-6464 or visit the box office between 3 and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Best Bets

Far from resting on the laurels of Old Yellow Moon, his Grammy-winning collaboration with Emmylou Harris from 2013, Americana/country veteran singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell is swinging through The Flying Monkey in Plymouth, N.H., on Friday night in the midst of his tour in support of Tarpaper Sky, his latest solo CD. In addition to his parade of Grammys and membership in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, he holds a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the American Music Association, thanks to a catalog of songs covered by artists ranging from Van Morrison and ex-father-in-law Johnny Cash to Etta James and Bob Seger. The doors for Friday’s show open at 6, and the show starts at 7:30. For tickets (which start at $29) and more information, call 603-536-2551 or visit flyingmonkeynh.com/.

∎ Dartmouth College’s Native American Program will play host to its 42nd annual Pow-Wow Saturday and Sunday. On both days, between noon and 7 p.m. on the Hanover Green, Native Americans in a wide range of traditional costumes will drum and sing and dance, and crafts and food will be for sale. In the event of bad weather, particularly lightning, the Pow-Wow will move into the college’s main basketball court, Leede Arena at Alumni Gym. A community dinner will be served Saturday night at 7.

Looking Ahead

The New England Classical Academy of Claremont is gearing up to perform Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at Claremont Opera House on May 16 and 17. Under the direction of Heidi Fagan, who adapted the play, more than 30 students in grades 3 to 12 will take the stage, including senior Samantha Lavertue as Paulina and junior Angelo Domina as Leontes. The curtain rises both nights at 7. For tickets and more information, visit newenglandclassicalacademy.com.

∎ In the regional equivalent of public radio’s From the Top program for rising young classical musicians, Chandler Music Hall in Randolph will play host to its sixth annual “The Next Generation” show on May 16, with 25 performers from around the Upper Valley and central Vermont. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., covering composers ranging from Bach and Handel in the early classical period through a composition by 16-year-old Felix Herron of Hanover. For tickets (costing $10-$20) and more information, visit chandler-arts.org, call 802-728-6464 or visit the box office weekday afternoons between 3 and 6.

∎ On May 17 and 18 the Handel Society of Dartmouth College will offer Mozart devotees two shots at hearing one of the Austrian wunderkind’s choral masterpieces — his Mass in C minor. While Mozart didn’t live long enough to complete the piece, Harvard pianist and scholar Robert Levin did the honors more than two centuries after the master’s death. Under the baton of conductor Robert Duff, the Handel Society’s 100 voices (about a third of them Dartmouth students, the rest from around the Upper Valley) and orchestra will take on the challenging work at Spaulding Auditorium on Saturay, May 17 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $10-$15. For more information, call 603-646-2422 or visit hop.dartmouth.edu.

Theater/Performance Art

Shaker Bridge Theatre in Enfield continues its May run of Joe Egg, by Peter Nichols, from Friday to May 18. Brian and Sheila keep their marriage alive by believing it’s better to laugh than cry, but after 10 years of caring for their disabled daughter, nicknamed “Joe Egg,” the “wheels of their fine-tuned comedy act start to fall off.” The play has been heralded by London’s National Theatre as one of the most significant of the 20th century. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30. For information call 603-448-3750.

∎ In the culmination of their after-school training with artist-in-residence Rick Davis of Circus Smirkus, Thetford Elementary School students on Friday will perform the school’s grand Circus Show Friday night at 6:30. With Davis as ringmaster, students will showcase skills in juggling, tumbling, human pyramids, tightwire and comedy magic. For more information call Sally Bugg at 802-785-4098.

∎ Everybody Loves Opal enters its second weekend at Old Church Theater in Bradford, with shows Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 4. This comedy follows Opal, a junk-retrieving recluse living on the edge of town whose path crosses with three bumbling crooks. Tickets are $5-$10. Information is at www.oldchurchtheater.org or 802-222-3322.

∎ ∎ Tonight at 7, Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center will screen the second of two live broadcasts in HD of the UK’s National Theatre of Shakespeare’s King Lear, under the direction of Sam Mendes, at Loew Auditorium. Running 3½ hours, the production stars Simon Russell Beale in the title role of the aging monarch who triggers a whirlwind of chaos while trying to divide his kingdom among three daughters. Tickets are $23. A second screening is a week from tonight, at the same time.


If you happened to miss the New World Festival in downtown Randolph last Labor Day weekend, or if you’re just suffering withdrawal, the Chandler Music Hall is offering a dose of foot-tapping French-Canadian folk music with two visits from the TradNation Project on Friday. At 10 in the morning, the five young musicians of Les Poules a Colin will perform a student matinee. And at 7:30 that night, the veteran New World group Dentdelion will open for Les Poules a Colin. Tickets for the evening show cost $10-$20. Before the evening production, students studying French will serve dinner in the Esther Mesh Room of the Chandler’s Upper Gallery. For more information on the matinee, call Emily Crosby at (802) 431-0204. For tickets and additional information, call 802-728-6464 between 3 and 6 on weekday afternoons or visit chandler-arts.org.

∎ Electric guitar Zen master Nobby Reed will wring the blues up and down the scale during his 8 p.m. appearance at Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction on Friday. Tickets cost $15. To reserve tickets, visit tupelohallvermont.com. For more information, call 802-698-8341.

∎ On Saturday night at 8, members of Dartmouth’s Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble will fill Spaulding Auditorium with the Big Band era music of Duke Ellington, Tito Puente, Count Basie, Thelonius Monk and more. Featured performers include Hanover High senior Becky Zegans (piano and vocals) and Dartmouth seniors Alex Lessard (trumpet and flugelhorn), Ryan McWilliams (bass trombone, bass guitar, Sousaphone) and Zack Cutler (guitar and vocals). Tickets cost $9- $10. For more information, call 603-646-2422 or visit hop.dartmouth.edu.

∎ Professor Louis & The Crowmatix swoop into the Upper Valley from Woodstock, N.Y., on Saturday for a night of classic rock ‘n’ roll dance-hall music at the Plainfield Town Hall. The performance kicks off at 8 o’clock. For tickets, which cost $15-$20, and for more information, call 603-675-5454 or send e-mail to twincloud@pobox.com.

∎ As part of the Claremont Opera House’s Cafe 58 series, the Incognito duo of Patty Murro Miller and Brian Devenger will join forces with their friends from Smoke and Mirrors on Saturday night to perform a mix of contemporary hits, classic rock, country, folk, blues, jazz, swing and pop. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $17.64 (marking Claremont’s 150th anniversary) to $20. For more information visit claremontoperahouse.org or call 603-542-4433.

∎ The Canta Chorale ensemble of seven Dartmouth students and Oberlin College soprano Rebekah Schweitzer will perform works of Brahms, Debussy, Mendelssohn and more during their “Eight Voices in Celebration of Mother’s Day” concert Sunday night at 8 in Hanover’s United Church of Christ. Joining Schweitzer are mezzo-soprano Olivia Kang, countertenor Jonathan May, alto Jacqueline Smith, tenors Benjamin Weinstock and Patrick Yukman, and basses Nick Tacke and Ben Rutan. While admission is free, donations are welcome.

∎ The Sensible Shoes Duo will cover B.B. King, Randy Newman and Johnny Cash and even play some originals at Cafe 232 in South Strafford on Friday night at 7:30. For more information, visit cafe232.com.


As a fundraiser and tune-up for their upcoming trip to the Manhattan Dance Sport Championships, the Newport Youth Ballroom Dancers will perform Saturday night at the Newport Ballroom from 7 to 10, during a swing dance hosted by Mount Royal Academy. For more information call 603-863-2222 or visit newportballroom.com or send e-mail to natalie@thenewportballroom.com .


The Dartmouth Film Society will screen Linsanity, the documentary about point guard Jeremy Lin’s unlikely rise from the Ivy League (Harvard) to the National Basketball Association, on Sunday morning at 11:30 in Loew Auditorium. And that’s just for openers: At 1:15 p.m., producer Brian Yang, who plays crime-lab technician Charlie Fong on the updated TV version of Hawaii Five-O, will answer questions about the production. Admission is free.

∎ Not squirming enough while you laugh your way through some of the pictures from the Wes Anderson series at Dartmouth? An alternative cometh on Friday night at 7 in Loew Auditorium: comedian Steve Coogan’s first feature film in his role as obnoxious TV talk-show host Alan Partridge. Make that ex-TV talk-show host Alan Partridge, who moves on down to a small radio station where he alienates almost everyone. Coogan gives free rein to all of Partridge’s ticks/pathologies after one of the station’s disc jockeys, played by Colm Meaney, is downsized and holds the staff hostage at gunpoint. Tickets cost $5 to $8.

∎ Whether you read then-teenager Robin Graham’s series of stories in National Geographic about his attempts to sail around the world in the early 1970s, or you followed with fascination the effort five years ago by Dutch 13-year-old Laura Dekker to become the youngest to do so, take a look on Saturday night at Maidentrip, a documentary about the latter voyage. It starts at 7 in Dartmouth’s Loew Auditorium, with tickets costing $5 to $8.

∎ The first (fully) animated picture in his oeuvre finds director Wes Anderson adapting Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox into a transcendent, mesmerizing romp that parents of impressionable children might want to read up on before bringing them to the 4 p.m. screening at Dartmouth’s Loew Auditorium on Sunday. Tickets cost $5 to $8.

Bar and Club Circuit

John Perrault comes from New Hampshire’s seacoast on Friday at 7 to perform his poems and songs at the Sunapee Community Coffee House, downstairs in the Sunapee Methodist Church.

∎ Granite State Blues Challenge winner Arthur James goes solo at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon at 9 on Friday night. And on Saturday night at 9, the Northern Ridge Bluegrass Band comes to the venue.

∎ Randy White comes to Jesse’s in Hanover on Friday night at 5.

∎ The Boston-based duo Whiskey Geese lands at Salt hill Pub in Hanover at 9 on Friday night with blues and rock sound. And 24 hours later, the five-piece Strawberry Farm Band will bring its Vermont-style bluegrass to the venue.

∎ The Squids will splash into Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Friday night, starting at 8.

∎ The Conniption Fits bring their covers of hits of the last 35 years to Salt hill Pub in Newport on Friday night starting at 9. The Saturday night set at the same venue will feature North of Nashville’s outlaw-country sound, also at 9.

∎ Vermont’s Chris Kleeman shares his blues guitar and vocal chops at Windsor Station at 9 on Saturday night, followed Tuesday night at 6 by Erik Boedetker.

∎ The weekly parade of music performers at the Canoe Club in Hanover starts tonight at 7 with jazz guitarist Ted Mortimer playing a mix of ballad standards, swing and Latin rhythm. Next up, all starting at 7, are eclectic pianist Keith Bush on Friday, seacoast folk veteran Cormac McCarthy on Saturday, pianist Gillian Joy on Sunday, singer-guitarist David Greenfield on Tuesday and the jazz duo of Billy Rosen and David Newsam on Wednesday. Marko the Magician makes his weekly tableside appearance at the club on Monday night at 6:30.

Open Mics

Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater hosts an open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Participants get a free large cheese pizza.

∎ With Jim Yeager as host, the Artistree Community Arts Center & Gallery in Woodstock holds an open mic for all levels and abilities on alternating Thursdays (May 8 and 22 this month) holds an open mic for all levels and abilities.

∎ 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 p.m.

∎ 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.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com or 603-727-3304. Send Highlights notices to Highlights@vnews.co m.

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy