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Highlights: Myra Flynn Comes Home to Chandler Music Hall

  • Myra Flynn returns to Randolph's Chandler Music Hall for a performance Saturday night, Oct. 13. Flynn grew up in the Randolph area and performed at the Chandler as a child and young adult. (Jack Rowell photograph)

  • "Silvia and Mary at Sea," a play by Thetford resident Duncan Nichols, opens tonight at the Eclipse Grange Theater in Thetford Hill in a production by Parish Players. See 'Best Bets' for more information. (Jim Schley photograph)



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Myra Flynn long ago lost count of how many shows she sang, danced or acted in at Chandler Music Hall while growing up in the Randolph area in the 1980s and 1990s.

The indie soul and R&B singer-songwriter does recall, during the countdown to her concert there on Saturday night, how much she relished the Mostly Mud variety extravaganzas the Chandler hosted each spring, to give local kids a spotlight and audiences relief from cabin fever.

“I remember one year doing a re-enactment of The Spice Girls,” Flynn said with a laugh during a phone conversation last week. “It was pretty wild in the town at the time.”

During her first Chandler appearance in five years, Flynn and her new band, FLYNN, will show her hometown a more contemplative side while unveiling their new CD, Never Mind the Mourning.

“There aren’t many direct references to current events, but the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements were all going on while we were recording,” Flynn said. “There’s a general sadness for America in it.

“In a way, I’m weeping.”

Mourning Time, for example, plays like a funeral march, including a trumpet lament. “There’s a line, ‘Bye, bye, Baby,’ that is about our president,” Flynn said.

Other songs in the CD are camouflaged with bouncier pop and reggae rhythms, while continuing to deal with subjects of war, infidelity and domestic abuse. With keyboard player Andric Severance, bassist Paul Boffa and drummer Caleb Bronz, Flynn assembled the album with Grammy-winning producer Jared Lee Gosselin and Tony Ghantous.

It’s a long way from Flynn’s three years writing about entertainment for the Burlington Free Press between late-night gigs.

“I’d be covering classical music or festivals and, after deadline, going onstage till about 2 in the morning,” she recalled. “The whole thing was abusive.”

Flynn took the hint after the Free Press laid off her and many of her colleagues in the middle of the Great Recession.

“I threw all my eggs into the musical basket and went into it full-time,” she said. “It’s been a serendipitous thing for me.”

For her debut album, Crooked Measures, which she unveiled at the Chandler in 2009, Flynn turned to former Windsor resident and Kimball Union Academy graduate Colin McCaffery to produce and engineer the sound. After observing that process, and recording three subsequent albums, Flynn has begun producing a record for three of the musicians to whom she’s been teaching songwriting.

“I never sought this kind of opportunity, but it’s a natural thing when you’ve been watching it for so long,” Flynn said. “I would do it again and again and again.”

She added that she might not be doing the producing and the performing — not to mention modeling — at all, if not for the atmosphere she found as a biracial kid growing up in central Vermont.

“Randolph could have been sports-oriented, but culturally and climate-wise the community chose the arts,” she said. “I never felt like a loser for being in choir. I felt like a cool kid. That confidence you carry to the rest of the world. Imagine you have a whole town rooting for you. You feel held. You have room to learn in a safe space.

“In rough waters, you never really doubt yourself.”

Myra Flynn leads her band into the Chandler Music Hall on Saturday night at 7:30. Admission is $15 for students, and adults pay $24 in advance and $27 at the door. To reserve tickets, visit chandler-arts.org or call 802-728-6464. Flynn also will appear with her bassist, Paul Boffa, on Friday night at 7 at the Fresh Tracks Winery in Berlin, Vt.

Best Bets

Baritone Daniel Belcher and soprano Amy Owens kick off the Dartmouth College Opera Lab’s celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday tonight at 9, by performing at the Top of the Hop with the Dartmouth Glee Club and the Hanover High School Footnotes. Admission is free to the cabaret-style collaboration mixing Bernstein’s operatic, oratorio and musical-theater compositions. To learn more, visit hop.dartmouth.edu.

■The Parish Players unveil Duncan Nichols’ time-traveling drama Silvia and Mary at Sea tonight at 7:30 at the Eclipse Grange on Thetford Hill. Norwich’s Nora Jacobson is directing the eight-show production, which runs through Oct. 21. For tickets ($12 to $15) and more information, visit parishplayers.org or call 802-785-4344.

■Shaker Bridge Theatre opens its production of John Patrick Shanley’s Tony Award-winning romantic comedy Outside Mullingar tonight at 7:30, at Whitney Hall in downtown Enfield. The play runs through Oct. 28, with 7:30 performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and 2:30 matinees on Sunday afternoons. For tickets ($16 to $35) and more information, visit shakerbridgetheatre.org or call 603-448-3750.

■Singer-actor Lea DeLaria, aka Big Boo in HBO’s women’s prison series Orange Is the New Black, performs her blend of cabaret and comedy in Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium on Friday night at 8. To reserve tickets ($27 to $60) and learn more, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

■Derek and the Demons play Windsor Station on Friday night at 9:30. Bandleader Derek Young said this week that it’s probably the rock trio’s last in-person gig until spring, not counting a possible series of live-streaming performances.

■The B3 Brotherhood welcomes organist and bandleader Tom Caselli’s blood brothers from New York state, guitarists John and Ron, as guests for a session of soul and funk on Saturday night at 9, at Salt hill Pub in downtown Lebanon.

Looking Ahead

Pomfret-native multi-instrumentalist Tristan Henderson and his Pete’s Posse bandmates will play the Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets at the door cost $20. To learn more, visit sevenstarsarts.org.

■On the theme of “Return of the Jewdi,” clarinetist Steve Loew and Classicopia pianist Daniel Weiser explore the links between jazz and klezmer music in the works of Bernstein, Gershwin and Goodman, at three Upper Valley venues over the weekend of Oct. 19 to 21. Performances are scheduled for the 19th at Windsor’s Old South Church, the 20th at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon and the 21st at Dartmouth College’s Roth Center for Jewish life in Hanover. To reserve tickets ($18) and learn more, visit classicopia.org.

Theater/Performance Art

The ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival performs Suds: The Rocking 60s Musical Soap Opera, nine times between tonight and Oct. 20 at the Grange Theatre in South Pomfret. To reserve tickets ($18 to $25 for the preview, $28 to $35 for all other shows) and learn more, visit artistreevt.org or call 802-457-3500.

■The BarnArts Center for the Arts kicks off its production of Mel Brooks’ Tony Award-winning musical comedy The Producers on Friday night at 7:30 in Woodstock’s Town Hall Theatre. The play runs through Oct. 21, with Max Comins and Christian Coffman co-starring, respectively, as Broadway producer Max Bialystock and accountant Leo Bloom, whose effort to get rich with a disastrous play backfires. For tickets ($18 to $26) and more information, visit barnarts.org or call 802-234-1645.

■The Opera Company of Middlebury performs a Roaring ‘20s adaptation of the Donizetti comedy The Elixir of Love on Sunday afternoon at 3 at the Chandler Music Hall in Randolph. For tickets ($15 to $41) and more information, visit chandler-arts.org or call 802-728-6464.

■The Boston-based Classic Repertory Company stages a contemporary adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Court Street Arts in Haverhill on Saturday night at 7:30. Admission is $15.

Music

Kafari and Jake Hoffman play old-time country and blues during the weekly Feast and Field Market in Barnard this evening starting at 5:30.

■The Hot Tuna duo of Jefferson Airplane alumni Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassidy plays Chandler Music Hall in Randolph tonight at 7:30. For tickets ($40 to $85) and more information, visit chandler-arts.org or call 802-728-6464.

■The Suitcase Junket, aka multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz, performs rock, mountain ballads, blues manifestos and dance-hall tunes at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover tonight at 8. Admission costs $15 in advance and $18 at the door. To learn more, visit skinnypancake.org or call 603-277-9115.

■Singer-songwriter Youssra El Hawary plays music of Egyptian and Mediterranean origins, with a dash of French influence, at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon on Friday night at 7:30. For tickets ($8.50 to $18.50) and more information, visit lebanonoperahouse.org or call 603-448-0400.

■The Tabor Valley Singers perform the final folk concert of the season at the East Corinth Congregational Church on Sunday afternoon at 3. Admission is free. For directions and more information, call 802-439-6469.

■The Windborne Singers perform roots music at the Fairlee Town Hall auditorium on Tuesday night at 6:30. To reserve tickets ($5 to $10) and learn more, call Fairlee Community Arts at 802-333-9881 or email ldfitzhugh@yahoo.com.

Bar and Club Circuit

Royalton singer-songwriter Alison “AliT” Turner plays at Peyton Place Restaurant in Orford tonight at 6. The Road Home trio performs a mix of original songs and classic rock and pop there next Thursday night at 6.

■The Stringfield Springers pull into Windsor Station tonight at 7 to play a set of Americana music. Jester Jiggs performs there at 9:30 on Saturday night and the folk trio Never Too Late appears next Thursday night at 7.

■Singer-songwriter Rory Loughran plays the Common Man in Claremont on Friday night from 6 to 9.

■The Norwich-based Brian Cook Band performs a set of rock at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover on Friday night at 8. And on Saturday night at 7:30, Argentine-American singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Ashlae Blume appears.

■Better Days plays classic rock at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners on Friday night at 9.

■Singer-songwriter Amanda McCarthy performs at Salt hill Pub in downtown Lebanon on Friday night at 9, and at Hanover’s Salt hill on Saturday night at 9.

■Singer-songwriter Jim Hollis plays Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Friday night at 9, and Tirade rocks the house on Saturday night at 9.

■DJ Traci hosts the karaoke session at Newport’s Salt hill Pub on Friday night at 9, and rocker Chris Powers appears there on Saturday night at 9.

■Saxophonist Mike Parker and singer-guitarist Alison “AliT” Turner perform at Big Fatty’s BBQ in White River Junction on Saturday night at 6.

■Pianist Sonny Saul plays jazz at the On the River Inn in Woodstock on Saturday and Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 9.

■The Soule Monde funk duo of Hammond B3 organist Ray Paczkowski and drummer Russ Lawton performs at the Flying Goose Brewpub and Grille in New London next Thursday night at 8. To reserve tickets ($20) and learn more, visit flyinggoose.com or call 603-526-6899.

Open Mics

Woodstock musician Jim Yeager hosts open mics at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret tonight at 7, and on Wednesday night at 8 at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners.

■String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

■The Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse hosts its monthly open mic at the Methodist church in Sunapee Harbor on Friday night at 7.

■Joe Stallsmith leads his weekly hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass on Monday night at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

■Fiddler Jakob Breitbach leads a weekly acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music on Tuesday nights at 7 at The Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

■Tom Masterson hosts the weekly open mic at Colatina Exit in Bradford, Vt., Tuesday nights at 8.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304. Entertainment news also can be sent to highlights@vnews.com.