This year, the art world’s ability to rally and produce engaging and vital works has been a constant glimmer of hope amidst global turmoil. With the revived Friday Five, we bring you our weekly choice of the top five things to check out in the near future—highlights from all over, as well as from the Flynn. And as you enjoy, please consider supporting these artists and arts organizations. Every donation counts. We hope these diverse works from all corners of the art world ignite your curiosity, fuel your imagination, and help strengthen and energize our community.
In addition to these weekly selections, we also keep a more comprehensive rolling list of ongoing and upcoming happenings at our ONLINE ARTS GUIDE.
Pianist/composer/educator extraordinaire Marcus Roberts has come through Burlington a number of times over the years with his acclaimed, long-running trio. Now, he presents a different facet of his incredible musicianship with a solo piano virtual performance, on demand through December. A quintessential musician's musician, Roberts crafts a set that expresses the full range of his instrument, covering a mind-boggling array of idioms—gospel, blues, swing, ragtime, and familiar jazz standards, plus a pristine take on a holiday staple ('tis the season, after all)—all gelled together by his intelligence and his fluid, intuitive technique. With just Roberts and his signature Steinway on stage, this is a pure showcase for his range and his chameleonic playing. It's the most fun you can have while getting schooled on 20th-century American music. Like the man himself, this program is witty, warm, welcoming, and dazzling.
This performance will stream through the Flynn website. The pre-taped show is available December 20 at 7 pm through December 31. Tickets can be purchased and redeemed any time within that period.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis continues a beloved New York tradition that plays to sold-out audiences every December. Big Band Holidays is renowned for showcasing some of the most exciting and charismatic players and vocalists on the scene. This virtual edition of Big Band Holidays welcomes Rubén Blades, Catherine Russell, Kurt Elling, and Ashley Pezzotti.
Featuring soulful, big band versions of classics like Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, and Brazilian Sleigh Ride, Big Band Holidays is an uplifting program with holiday cheer for jazz fans of all ages. It’s the most wonderful time of year in the House of Swing!
Catch the premiere performance on December 19 at 7 pm or watch on-demand through December 26. A portion of each ticket purchased through this unique link at the JLCO site goes to support the Flynn.
Yo La Tengo has spent most Hanukkahs since 2001 performing eight nights of sold out benefit shows across the festival of lights. As if Ira, Georgia, and James weren’t enough, their surprise guests have included John Oliver, Ray Davies, David Byrne, Syl Johnson, Sarah Silverman, Lucinda Williams, and Graham Nash. They cannot come together in person this year, but for just one night, you’re invited to join them online for a less-frills, stripped-down Hanukkah concert streamed live from The Greene Space’s Lower Manhattan studio. They'll be keeping two decades of tradition alive with a three-hour performance featuring the classic format of an opening act, a comedian, and then a set by Yo La Tengo.
Vermont Ballet Theater is pivoting—actually, pirouetting—to bring you their annual, all-local production of The Nutcracker (usually performed live at the Flynn) virtually to your home! The event features videos of two casts of company dancers performing selected pieces from The Nutcracker (clips from both VBT studio and past Flynn performances) including audience favorites Coffee (Arabian Dance), Waltz of the Flowers, and Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.
Get your free tickets via reservation with EventBrite now through December 31. Please consider donating at the time of your ticket reservation in support of VBT. The event will be accessible via a link provided to ticket holders and available for viewing starting at noon on December 20 through December 31.
Miracle on Green Tree Drive is a Christmas special celebrating Lyric’s survival through these tough times and their unwavering commitment to ring in the holiday through song and dance and storytelling. It’s a completely original Lyric version of a 1960s' variety Christmas television show… think Lawrence Welk except packed full of Lyric members doing holiday songs and sketches with full costumes, scenery, and special effects. A few songs, a few jokes, a few tears, a few memories, and a whole lot of fun.
Join members of the Lyric creative team on Facebook at 6:30 pm for a festive talkback and a virtual toast then catch the premiere at 7:30 pm. You can show off your opening night look on social media with #lyricopeningnight.
View on demand through ShowTix4U for $20 for an individual viewer or $45 for a household for 48 hours (available for purchase and viewing from December 20 at 7:30 pm EST through January 20 at 12 am EST).