Five years since the Town Hall Theater opened in Middlebury, executive director Doug Anderson decided a celebration was in order. This past Memorial Day, he planted five pianos — painted and adorned by local artists — around downtown, then floated by in a glorified truckbed in the Memorial Day parade, playing a sixth piano. The idea was that passersby would sit down to the ivories and give impromptu concerts.
The THT's festivities culminate on Saturday, June 22, at the Town Hall Theater’s 5th Benefit Birthday Gala. Performers from past productions — including bluegrass duo the Connor Sisters, dancer Patty Smith, the cast of Annie, and the Hadippa Dancers, among many others — return for two shows, at 5 and 8 p.m. In between those performances, Merchants Row will be roped off for a street party, complete with snacks, birthday cake and music.
As for those pianos, they're only up through July 4, so take advantage while you can.
I recently spent some time loitering by the pianos and capturing the sounds of Middlebury's newest street performers.
Henry, age 9/2 — born on a leap day, he explained.After playing, Benny made a wish in the fountain. Art by Claudia Carl. Heavenly, playing one key at a time. Sophie gets a free piano lesson. Found in the box on top of a piano.