Highlights: Skate Park Celebrates a Renovation

  • Brian Cohen, of Skateparker Construction, smooths the face of a ramp with a tool made from a skateboard deck at the Rusty Berrings Skatepark in West Lebanon, N.H., Monday, July 10, 2017. Michael Parker and his crew, some coming from as far away as Ashville, N.C. to help, are at work this week on the second phase of the park named for Norwich skater Tyler Kirschner who died in November 2015. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — James M. Patterson

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    Mikey Sheehan, of Northfield, N.H., works out at the newly-opened Rusty Berrings Skatepark in West Lebanon, N.H., on September 24, 2016. After driving an hour and forty minutes to be part of the grand opening, Sheehan was planning to return the next day. "It's brand new and amazing," he said. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Geoff Hansen

  • The Americana trio Lula Wiles, from left, Ellie Buckland, Isa Burke and Mali Obomsawin, plays Haverhill's Alumni Hall on Friday night, Oct. 20 and at Chelsea Town Hall on Saturday night, Oct. 21, 2017. See 'Best Bets' for more information. Courtesy photograph

  • Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble plays its fall concert on Saturday night, a program of works by women composers, on Saturday night. See ‘Music’ for more information. (RobStrong photograph) Rob Strong photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/19/2017 12:05:10 AM
Modified: 10/19/2017 12:05:18 AM

West Lebanon’s Rusty Berrings Skatepark celebrates its reopening on Saturday afternoon after a refurbishing that included replacing the park’s original wooden features with concrete.

Buddy Kirschner, who raised through donations and a concert series the $350,000 the city spent on the park, sees the grand opening as a way to thank the 200-plus people and institutions who donated to help make the park a more durable, and enjoyable, monument to Kirschner’s late son.

“Of that, probably 80 percent were individuals, maybe more,” Kirschner, a Hanover resident and longtime concert promoter, said this week. “Then you have foundations like the Byrnes, Timken, Hypertherm, and a lot of social-service organizations. It’s all kind of, like, ‘Wow!’ It’s a pretty wide spectrum, from, like, teenagers to great-grandparents. And all kinds of socioeconomic paths, including people with just about no money for whom five or 10 bucks is a big deal.”

To celebrate skaters, donors and supporters of all kinds, Kirschner is bringing jazz trombonist Don Glasgo and his R.B.S. Brass Band, the Dave Clark Trio, Americana guitarists Bow Thayer and Doug Perkins, Northeast Kingdom roots-rocker Kali Stoddard-Imari and the hard-rockers of The Rowdy to the new-look Rusty Berrings Skatepark.

And while those Upper Valley musicians provide the soundtrack to the celebration, Kirschner will encourage everyone to indulge in free hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream and marvel at the skateboarders and inline skaters trying out the new facility.

The park is named for Tyler Kirschner, who blogged about skating and life under the cyber-name Rusty Berrings. He died in November of 2015, at age 28, after what his family described as almost a decade’s struggle with mental illness.

Buddy Kirschner credits donors of time and logistical assistance, as well as those giving money to the fundraising effort, with helping him and his family heal.

“Dave is lending us all kinds of gear for the show,” Kirschner said of Clark, the White River Junction-based bassist and concert promoter. “He’s been very, very supportive and involved with the project through his Yellow House Media contacts.”

With that support, Kirschner hosted several concerts, mostly at Lebanon Opera House and at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, that raised nearly $80,000 toward the project.

“That came not only from the box office but from people who contributed at the shows,” Kirschner said. “Some of the artists also gave discounts on their fees, and it all went into the till.”

One of the biggest draws, in a series that generally sold out in advance, was an acoustic concert last January by Grammy-winning Americana singer-songwriters Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt at Lebanon Opera House.

“Lyle was great,” Kirschner recalled. “He went on and on about the skatepark and Tyler. It was really very touching.”

More concerts are likely if the city of Lebanon approves phase three of the project: the installation of lights for nighttime use of the park. Kirschner said that he has been talking with the Recreation Department and meeting with lighting contractors, including the one that lit Nashua’s skatepark. He estimates that shedding light on this park could cost around $75,000.

“That would be the icing on the cake,” he said.

Don Glasgo’s R.B.S. Band, Bow Thayer, Doug Perkins, the Dave Clark Trio and Kali Stoddard-Imari serenade the grand opening on Saturday afternoon of the Rusty Berrings Skatepark at West Lebanon’s Riverside Park. Admission is free to the gathering, which runs from 1 to 5. To learn more about the skatepark, visit Remembering Rusty Berrings on Facebook.

Best Bets

Seven months after they sold out Newbury, Vt.’s West Newbury Hall, the Americana trio Lula Wiles returns to the Upper Valley this weekend with performances at Alumni Hall in Haverhill on Friday night at 7 and at Chelsea Town Hall on Saturday night at 7. South Newbury, Vt., fiddler Patrick Ross, who is promoting their swing through northern New England, describes string players and singers Isa Burke, Mali Obomsawin and Ellie Buckland as an ensemble “that heals wounds.” To reserve tickets ($20) and learn more, visit rockfarmer.com or call 802-866-3309. The trio also plays at the Lancaster, N.H., Town Hall on Sunday afternoon at 3.

The Old Church Theater in Bradford raises the curtain on its production of Ethan Frome on Friday night at 7:30. Subsequent performances this weekend of Gary Blackwood’s adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel of rural inhibition and redemption are scheduled for Saturday night at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 4. The production concludes on Oct. 29. For tickets ($6 to $12) and more information, visit oldchurchtheater.org or call 802-222-3322.

Thetford-area musicians play and sing classical, bluegrass and choral music at the First Congregational Church on Thetford Hill on Saturday night at 7:30, in a variety show benefiting the congregation’s efforts to maintain its building and to help needy families in the community. Admission, as well as a dessert buffet, is by donation.

Caravan of Thieves plays gypsy folk music at the Bellows Falls, Vt., Opera House on Saturday night, in a concert benefiting the Norris Cotton Cancer Center’s Transportation Assistance Program, which provides gas cards to patients who travel long distances for treatment at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The Americana duo The Meadows Brothers will open the concert, scheduled to run from 7 to 11. For tickets ($20 to $40, plus service fee) and more information, visit the Caravan of Thieves page on Facebook.

The all-woman Latin-American quartet LADAMA joins drumming guru Hafiz Shabazz and Dartmouth College’s World Music Percussion Ensemble in performing contemporary jazz with African and Latin-American influences at Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover on Wednesday night at 7.

Looking Ahead

The central Vermont-based quintet Bull & Prairie will play its mix of Americana, folk and rock at the Tunbridge Town Hall on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. For tickets ($15) and more information about this second show of MountainFolk’s fall series, visit mtnfolk.org.

The Cameo Baroque ensemble of flutist Leslie Stroud, singer/recorder player Beth Hilgartner, harpsichordist Ernie Drown and violist Laurie Rabut will perform baroque music in the Church of Christ at Dartmouth in Hanover on Oct. 29, as a benefit for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Admission to the concert, which starts at 4 p.m., is by donation.

The Gibson Brothers and the VT Bluegrass Pioneers will perform on the theme of “Bluegrass for a Sunday Afternoon” at Chandler Music Hall in Randolph on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $23 in advance and $25 at the door. To reserve seats and learn more, visit chandler-arts.org or call 802-728-6464.

Theater/Performance Art

The ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival takes a bow this weekend, with performances of The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Grange Theatre in South Pomfret tonight and Friday night at 7:30, on Saturday afternoon at 3 and Saturday night at 7:30, and Sunday afternoon at 2. For tickets ($15 to $25) and more information, visit artistreevt.org or call 802-457-3500.

Shaker Bridge Theatre wraps its production of the Melissa James Gibson comedy This with performances at Whitney Hall in Enfield at 7:30 tonight and on Friday and Saturday nights, and on Sunday afternoon at 2:30. To reserve tickets ($16 to $32) to the play and learn more, visit shakerbridgetheatre.org or call 603-448-3750.

Northern Stage heads into the homestretch of its repertory run of A Doll’s House and Robert Frost: This Verse Business this week at the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction. Stagings of the new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House are scheduled for Friday night at 7:30, Saturday afternoon at 2 and Saturday night at 7:30, and on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

In addition to playing Doctor Rank in the Ibsen play, Emmy Award-winning actor and Norwich resident Gordon Clapp takes center stage as poet Robert Frost on Sunday afternoon at 5.

Both plays run through the final weekend of October. To reserve tickets ($13.75 to $57.75) and learn more, visit northernstage.org or call 802-296-7000.


Traveling instrumentalist-composer Ben Cosgrove stops at the Open Door wellness clinic in White River Junction on Saturday night at 7, to perform music he describes as “inspired by landscape, place and ecology.” Admission is free.

The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble plays works of Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, Sally Lamb McCune and Julie Giroux at Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover on Saturday night at 8. For tickets ($9 to $10) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

The Samara Piano Quartet performs music of Mozart, Mahler and Strauss on Sunday afternoon at 4, during a concert at Dartmouth’s College Faulkner Recital Hall in Hanover. Admission is free. To learn more about this concert and others in the Vaughan Recital Series, visit music.dartmouth.edu.

Rusted Root shares its reggae-influenced rock at the Lebanon Opera House on Sunday night at 6. For tickets ($25 to $45) and more information, call 603-448-0400, visit lebanonoperahouse.org or stop by the box office in City Hall.

Bar and Club Circuit

Folk/soul singer Abigail Stauffer performs at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover tonight at 7. The New Nile Orchestra fills the venue with Ethiopian rhythms on Friday night at 8:30, while the Shana Stack Band plays country on Saturday night at 9 and Bow Thayer performs his weekly session of Americana on Wednesday night at 7.

Singer-songwriter Jim Yeager and The Magic Box Band pull into Windsor Station tonight at 7:30. Soulfix performs Friday night at 9:30, the Enfield-based quintet Shaker rocks the house on Saturday night at 7:30 and saxophonist Mike Parker and singer-guitarist Alison “AliT” Turner appear on Tuesday night at 6.

The indie-rock ensemble Sirsy kicks off the weekend of music at Salt hill Pub in Newport tonight at 9. Acoustic rocker Rory Loughran follows suit on Friday night at 8 and the country-rock duo Truckstop Honey plays on Saturday night at 9.

The Conniption Fits rock Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Friday night at 9. Mo Combo frontman Will Michaels brings his guitar and his voice to the venue on Saturday night at 9.

Truckstop Honey plays countrified rock at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon on Friday night at 9, and the Tricksters perform a round of rock there on Saturday night at 9.

Acoustic rocker Chris Powers play Salt hill Pub in Hanover on Friday night at 9. And on Saturday night at 9, the Turner Round quartet of drummer Shane Walton, guitarists Joe Mitchell and Chad Gibbs and bassist Brian Peck plays classic rock and hits from the 1990s.

Singer-guitarist David Greenfield performs an acoustic set in the tavern at Jesse’s restaurant in Hanover on Friday night at 5.

The Party Crashers sets the rockin’ rhythm for dancing on Friday night at 9 at the Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners.

Open Mics

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

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.

Al Carruth and EJ Tretter lead the monthly open mic in the basement of the Sunapee Methodist Church in Sunapee Harbor on Friday night at 7.

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

Jim Yeager hosts the weekly open-mics on Monday night at 8 at Bentley’s in Woodstock, at the Public House in Quechee on Tuesday night at 7:30, and at 8:30 Wednesday night in Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern.

Bradford’s Colatina Exit holds an open mic, Tuesday nights at 8.

David Corriveau can be reached  at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304.

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