The Magnificent 7: Must See, Must Do, December 17 to 23 | Magnificent 7 | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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The Magnificent 7: Must See, Must Do, December 17 to 23


Published December 17, 2020 at 6:30 a.m.

'Miracle on Green Tree Drive' - COURTESY OF LYRIC THEATRE
  • Courtesy of Lyric Theatre
  • 'Miracle on Green Tree Drive'

1. Razzle Dazzle

Over the course of several months, more than 100 performers and dozens of crew members came together (safely) to harness the spirit of the holiday season. The result is Lyric Theatre's Miracle on Green Tree Drive: A Lyric Family Christmas Special. From December 20 through January 20, audience members may access the South Burlington theater company's original take on a 1960s variety show, prerecorded at Vermont locations including Lyric's rehearsal space on Green Tree Drive (hence the show's title). Prepare to be dazzled by music, dancing, sketches and sequins.

2. Otterly Fascinating

"Mutant Otters Destroy Town Hall Theater" by Daniel Houghton - COURTESY OF DANIEL HOUGHTON
  • Courtesy of Daniel Houghton
  • "Mutant Otters Destroy Town Hall Theater" by Daniel Houghton
Artist and Middlebury College Animation Studio director Daniel Houghton had several iconic, oversize figures in mind when conceptualizing his recent sculpture on display at National Bank of Middlebury: Godzilla, King Kong and Town Hall Theater. The diorama's title, "Mutant Otters Destroy Town Hall Theater," describes what viewers can expect when peeping the project through the bank's front window through January 4. Curious about Houghton's techniques? Check out his YouTube channel on which he documented his creative process.

3. Finding Feathered Friends

  • © Jostein Hauge |
Cozy evenings cuddled up with cocoa and holiday movies are wonderful, but it doesn't hurt to get off the couch every once in a while. For those looking for fresh-air festivities, the National Audubon Society offers the Christmas Bird Count, an annual citizen science project that helps the organization monitor changing avian populations. Montpelier's North Branch Nature Center organizes two local circles: One in the Plainfield area on December 19 and another in the Hunger Mountain area on December 20. Preregister to tally feathered fliers in a portion of your town or in your own backyard.

4. Building Blocks

  • Courtesy of Samantha Ford
  • Samantha Ford
What can old roads and stone structures reveal about the history of a landscape? Samantha Ford, a Vermonter and owner of Turn Stone Research, addresses this question in "Stonewalls & Cellar Holes," presented online as part of the Green Mountain Club's James P. Taylor Outdoor Adventure Speaker Series. Preregister for this free lecture taking place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 17, to learn about interpreting forested farmscapes and agricultural architecture for information on bygone residents.

5. Warm Words

Patti Casey, Pete Sutherland, Kathryn Blume and Mark Nash - COURTESY OF TIM STOWE
  • Courtesy of Tim Stowe
  • Patti Casey, Pete Sutherland, Kathryn Blume and Mark Nash
At the end of a challenging year, virtual viewers may find comfort and joy in Stories for a Winter's Eve, an annual performance that, as the event website puts it, "creates the magic and warmth of gathering around a fireplace with family to share stores and songs of the season." Music by locals Pete Sutherland and Patti Casey punctuate original short stories by Vermont authors Mark Nash and Kathryn Blume. Tales of friendship, generosity and connection are sure to warm hearts via a video available from December 19 through January 3.

6. Near But Far

  • © Drawlab19 |
When Mr. Rogers sang "Won't you be my neighbor?" he couldn't possibly have imagined that in 2020 neighbors would have to stay at least six feet apart. Craftsbury area residents looking to reconnect with fellow community members can do so from a distance during 20 Questions: A Virtual Town Party for the NEK. Once online, participants are randomly paired with someone new every two minutes, during which they answer fun and quirky questions aimed at getting to know each other a little better. Preregister and don your party hat on Tuesday, December 22.

7. Author's Cut

  • Courtesy of Geoff Hansen
  • Willem Lange
When local raconteur Willem Lange reads Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol on Friday, December 18, he'll use a version of the novel that the author himself used to perform the tale. Lange brings Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the trio of ghosts to life during a dramatic reading livestreamed from the Lost Nation Theater stage in Montpelier City Hall. Donations benefit White River Junction homeless shelter and antipoverty group Upper Valley Haven.

This is just a small sampling of the state's in-person and virtual happenings in the coming days. Browse our art, calendar and music + nightlife listings for more.

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