Friday, October 26, 2007

Phishy Anniversary at the Flynn, Part II

posted by Lani Stack
Flynn Marketing Manager, Editor

In April, I blogged on a Phishy Anniversary at the Flynn, in commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of a special Phish benefit concert for Lake Champlain during which Ben & Jerry's debuted its decadently delicious Phish Food. This past spring, the Vermont sweetailer was offering three special online downloads of the show to customers. Now, the concert downloads are available to everyone!

According to the site, "These four, previously-unreleased selections comprise a special audio download EP.... These selections were compiled and mastered from the soundboard reference tapes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 3/18/97 Benefit for Lake Champlain and launch of Phish Food ice cream.

"This special show at Phish's hometown Flynn Theatre marked the worldwide debut of the new ice cream flavor and the beginning of Phish and Ben and Jerry's combined efforts to harness the magic of music, ice cream, and local synergy to clean up the Lake Champlain Basin. More than a decade later, royalties from Phish Food still fund The Waterwheel Foundation which the band created to support Lake Champlain cleanup efforts."

Selections include:
  • Ben & Jerry Intro by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (preceded the start of the show)
  • Cars Trucks Buses with Dave "The Truth" Grippo on alto saxophone and James Harvey on trombone
  • Phish debut of I Told You So, with Tammy Fletcher on vocals

Phish Archivist Kevin Shapiro posted a wonderful, 10-year retrospective essay about the show, recalling the collaboration between the band and Ben & Jerry's, the Flynn Box Office's heroic ticketing efforts, and prior Phish concerts at "their hometown theater." Check it out!

photographs of Phish at the Flynn from

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can't Beat Global Drum Project

posted by Lani Stack
Flynn Marketing Manager, Editor

We love to hear feedback about our shows, and so I was especially pleased to find the following blog post from a patron who attended Saturday's performance of Global Drum Project.

Brameltunes writes:

"I went out and caught the Global Drum Project at the Flynn last Saturday night. The sampling of international drummers was excellent (Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussein from India, Sikuru Adepojo from Nigeria, Giovanni Hidalgo from Puerto Rico)—and they were unbelievably skilled."

I happen to know that Brameltunes is a talented musician who frequently performs in Burlington area hotspots, so we especially appreciate his expert comments!

Friday, October 12, 2007

VSA Audiences Write In

As part of our community outreach programming, the Flynn is delighted to have a strong partnership with VSA Vermont, the Winooski-based branch of the national organization dedicated to making the arts accessible to people of all abitlities. Part of this partnership includes ticket vouchers to select Flynn performances.

VSA Vermont recently passed along some wonderful emails from patrons who attended two of our recent MainStage performances, Ballet Folklórico de México on Thursday, October 4 and Weston Playhouse's "Master Harold"... and the boys (and the related pre-preformance lecture) on Friday, October 5.

Following the Ballet Folklórico de México performance, the mother of a son with a disability wrote:

"I heard glowing reports about the show this morning. My 11-year-old son, Jack, said he loved it, 'especially all the foot stompin' and costumes and music and the big paper mache heads.' Our thanks to you and the Flynn for making this opportunity possible. The performance deepened my son's excitement for Spanish, a language and culture he's studying in school. The event also provided my husband a chance to share an enjoyable music-alicious evening out with this darling little boy. The ticket stubs from this memorable night out are definately scrapbook worthy!

"!Viva La Artes!"

A patron who attended "Master Harold"... wrote:

"I'm very glad to tell you about my experience Friday evening at the Flynn seeing the Athol Fugard play, 'Master Harold'...and the boys.

"I took a friend with me who has MS, and we met for the presentation before the play in the Tarrant Gallery. One of the three producers spoke eloquently of the playwright, the play, the historical setting, and previous productions of the work. I had often heard the name Athol Fugard, but had never seen any of his plays. The speaker told us about Fugard's own childhood in South Africa and explained that the play was really autobiographical.

"At the actual play, the stage had a box setting of an English Tea Room on a rainy day. There were only three characters in the play—two black men who worked in the tea room and a white youngster, 17, who was the owner's son. What a performance! Within moments, my friend and I were transported to the locale, the times, and the story unfolding in front of us. The actors were excellent, flawless. At the end, the audience gave them a standing ovation, a long one.

"My guest and I talked a long time after the play, commenting on how much the pre-play talk helped us to understand better what was happening, amazed that three actors could remember all their lines in a play that went on without intermission with complete attention in the theater the entire time.

"Thanks so much for sending me the vouchers."

For more information about VSA Vermont, visit or email

For information about the Flynn's commitment to accessibility, visit

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Critical Acclaim

The current issue of Seven Days turns a critical eye to two plays at the Flynn this week.

Theater reviewer Erik Esckilsen says of American Machine, "...the play has an immense heart," "compelling working-class agitprop drama," and takes "a mighty swing at a formidable topic."

He writes that actor Seth Jarvis' portrayal of Ipsy is "touching" and one that shows us, "that a single character, deeply explored and well-portrayed, can speak movingly about the general 'us' by confronting the particularities of his individual condition."

Read the full review in this week's Seven Days.

Feature writer Elisabeth Crean takes a look at Weston Playhouse's touring production of “Master Harold” . . . and the boys, arriving on the MainStage tomorrow night.

"Great theater reaches across the footlights and elicits a visceral response," she writes. "This genuine stage magic is infrequent. But occasionally the alchemy of writing, acting and subject matter is so electrifying that no one experiencing it can remain a detached observer." Crean recalls how Athol Fugard’s autobiographical masterpiece "grabbed me by the throat when I first saw it 25 years ago," as a college freshman at Yale.

The play examines the changing relationship between a young white boy, his friends, and his surrogate father—a black man—at the height of South African apartheid.

In writing her story, Crean discovered that the Fugard's powerful message about racism still resonates today.

"In 2007, the play continues to connect with young people," she writes. "Weston’s 'Master Harold' received an 'overwhelming response,' says [Weston Producing Director Steve] Stettler, from its school matinee audiences—numbering more than 1,000 middle and high school students. He found that the kids readily identified with teen protagonist Hally. [Actor Guiesseppe] Jones believes “the student audiences were some of the best audiences... They get that these three guys have a wonderful relationship, and that it goes askew... And I think that’s the heart of the play.”

Crean conclude with the advice that "Readers should be skeptical of anyone christening something a 'must-see.' But there is a stunning moment toward the end of 'Master Harold'—and if you see it, you’ll know exactly which one I mean—that I can picture as clearly today as when I saw it a quarter-century ago. Fugard taught me something about myself, about how strongly I feel. It’s a rare moment in theater, or in life, that does this, and it’s one I still cherish."

Read the full preview in this week's Seven Days.