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Highlights: One-man show tackles youth, celebrity and laughs

  • Eric Love (Shani Hadjian photograph)

  • The bluegrass band Bob Amos and Catamount Crossing performs with Jim Rooney on Friday evening at the Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon. See 'Best bets' for more information. (Courtesy photograph)



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Barely a year out of college, Eric Love tackled the roles of a tony restaurant’s reservationist and of 39 entitlement-poisoned wanna-be diners in the Lost Nation Theatre’s staging of the farce Fully Committed in Montpelier in 2010.

So surely now he’s finding it a snap to prepare to portray four characters — including an out-of-work actor, the two people helping him land a temp job sorting the possessions of a mega-celebrity, and the celebrity herself — in Northern Stage’s production of Buyer & Cellar,

Right?

“In some ways this is harder,” Love, who most days directs Northern Stage’s education programs, said last week between rehearsals. “Committed was rapid-fire, but this show is a very vulnerable, intimate experience — very, very challenging. Fully Committed was mostly dialogue, characters talking to each other. In Buyer & Cellar, there are long monologues, and the language is very detailed.”

Take Alex More’s recounting of his arrival at the client’s estate in Malibu, from Jonathan Tolins’ script:

(T)he gates opened. And suddenly, I was in another world, like when Dorothy steps from sepia into Technicolor. The grass was Irish golf course green. The leaves on the trees shimmered in the breeze like sequins on Liza Minnelli. A babbling brook slowly turned the giant red mill, while fish, all of them a tasteful black and white, swam happily but not too fast. I steered my Jetta along an irregular stone road, and yet the ride was smooth until I nearly ran over a chicken! Who has chickens in Malibu?

Barbra Streisand, that’s who, Alex and the audience learn fairly quickly. Love said he recorded himself spinning the yarn early in the rehearsal process, and “I listen to the whole thing every morning. I’ve also been walking around the reservoir between Hanover and White River, performing my lines for the trees.”

In rehearsals at Northern Stage’s Barrette Center, Love has been testing his interpretation out on the technical and artistic crews.

“During the designer run, they laughed at jokes that I had no idea were funny,” he said. “But I was, like, ‘Great. I’m glad to know this now: Every night, it’s going to depend on the audience.’ If an audience member laughs extra loud, I can acknowledge them directly.

“It’s a verbal dance, an emotional dance. You have to ride the circumstances of the story very clearly.”

Northern Stage kicks off its production of the Jonathan Tolins comedy Buyer & Cellar with previews on Thursday and Friday nights at the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction. Opening night is Saturday. Admission $17.75 to $32.75 for the previews, and $17.75 to $57.75 starting Saturday. A few seats remain for Tuesday night’s show, for which admission costs $20. For tickets and more information, visit northernstage.org or call 802-296-7000.

Best bets

Bob Amos and Catamount Crossing trade bluegrass notes with Grammy-winning record producer and veteran folk musician Jim Rooney on Friday night at 7:30, at the Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon. Admission is $15 in advance (visit mtnfolk.org) and $20 at the door.

■Organist Paul Ayres opens a weekend of teaching and performance at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon on Saturday afternoon at 1, with a “Singing the Psalms” workshop for choruses.

During the church’s 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Ayres premieres his The Spacious Firmament, a composition that the congregation commissioned to celebrate its 250th anniversary.

And on Sunday afternoon at 2, Ayres performs works of Bach, William Herschel, The Beatles and many composers in between. Admission is by donation.

■Annie & The Hedonists perform the songs of female blues composers of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s on Saturday night at 7:30, at the monthly Shindig at Tunbridge Town Hall. Admission $10.

■The Burlington-based Stellaria Trio of violinist Letitia Quante, cellist John Dunlop and pianist Claire Black play chamber works of Haydn, Brahms and contemporary composer Jennifer Higdon on Saturday night at 7:30 at the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley in Norwich. Admission $20.

■Trumpeter Mike Conerty and trombonist Danielle Conerty join former Dr. Burma vocalist Linda Boudreault, guitarist Ted Mortimer, bassist Casey Dennis and drummer Marcus Copening on Saturday night at 9, to serenade the pre-Mardi Gras party at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

■The northern-Japanese drumming ensemble Kodo beats out rhythms on the theme of “Evolution” on Monday night at 7, at Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium. Admission is $19 to $60.

Theater/performance art

Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim’s musical at Dartmouth College’s Moore Theater, Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. Tickets $10 to $15. After Friday night’s show, the cast and creative team answer questions. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, director-choreographer Keith Coughlin and Dartmouth music professor Steve Swayne lead a free discussion, on the theme of “Once Upon a Time: The Magic of Sondheim,” at Top of the Hop.

■Friday is the deadline to submit ideas for the “Shooting for the Moon” storytelling session that Norwich’s Montshire Museum of Science will host on March 15. Modeled after public radio’s The Moth storytelling broadcast, the Montshire Unleashed features true stories lasting no longer than seven minutes that are based around science. To submit a story or learn more, email jennifer.rickards@montshire.org.

Music

Singer-songwriter Ari Heist, Thursday night at 8, Flying Goose Brewpub & Grille in New London. Admission $20.

■Singer-songwriter Will Hatch, Lindsey Schust & The Ragged Mountain Band, folk and roots, Friday night at 7 at Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse. Admission by donation.

■Dartmouth Youth Wind Ensemble, Hopkins Center’s Spaulding Auditorium, Saturday afternoon at 1:30. Free.

■ Clamare, “French Fest” of Renaissance and baroque choral compositions at Dartmouth College’s Faulkner Recital Hall, Saturday night at 7:30. Free.

■Vermont Chamber Artists, “Revival” concert of classical choral works of Arvo Part and Gwyn Arch, and the pop song Somewhere Out There, Saturday afternoon at 5 at Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon. Admission for adults $10 to $15 in advance; tickets at the door $5 (ages 17 and younger) to $20; order via vermontchamberartists.weebly.com.

■Mezzo-soprano Deirdre Brenner and pianist Sarah Nelson, German and American art songs celebrating nature, Wednesday night at 7 at Hopkins Center’s Spaulding Auditorium. Admission $14 to $25.

Dance

Dartmouth Dance Ensemble and Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, works-in-progress, Sunday at noon and 1 at Hopkins Center’s Hop Garage. Free.

Bar and club circuit

Sky King, folk-roots singer-songwriter, Thursday night at 6, Peyton Place restaurant in Orford.

■Bassist Peter Concilio, saxophonist Ian Golub, keyboard player Tom Robinson and drummer Tim Gilmore play jazz, Friday night at 8 at Skunk Hollow Tavern.

■Singer-songwriter Alison “AliT” Turner, Friday night at 9, Margaritas restaurant in Lebanon.

■ GrooveSum, rock, Friday night at 9 at Crossroads Bar and Grill in South Royalton.

■Saxophonist Michael Parker, bassist Peter Concilio and keyboard player John Lovejoy play jazz at Carpenter and Main in Norwich, on Tuesday night at 6.

■Jazz pianist Sonny Saul, Wednesday night at 6:30 at On the River Inn in Woodstock.

Open Mics

Fu’Chunk bandleader Jim Yeager hosts weekly open mic at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret on Thursday night at 7, and at Skunk Hollow Tavern on Wednesday night at 8.

■Flew-Z frontman Alec Currier’s weekly open-mic at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon, Thursday at 8 p.m.

■Weekly acoustic jam session on Friday night at 6:30, at BALE Commons.

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

■Fiddler Jakob Breitbach’s weekly acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music, Tuesday night at 7 at Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

■Tom Masterson’s weekly open mic, Tuesday night at 7 at Colatina Exit in Bradford, Vt.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304. Send entertainment news to highlights@vnews.com.