Falmouth Arts Alive: Entertainment for All

Moonlighters Big Band at Arts Alive 2017

Arts Alive, Falmouth’s vibrant three-day celebration of the performing and visual arts, takes place Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17, on the Falmouth Library Lawn, Shore Street Extension, and Peg Noonan Park. All events are free.

Coordinated by ArtsFalmouth and the Falmouth Village Association, Arts Alive features nearly 40 different music, theater, spoken word, and educational performances, a Town Dance on Friday night, Rockin’ Saturday Night, activities for children, more than 50 artisans and craftspeople, face painting, artists painting Arts Alive scenes as they happen, food vendors, and much more.

The event opens Friday evening at 5 PM in the Performance Tent (the large tent on the left as you face the library) with a performance by singer/songwriter Dawna Hammers, who is known for her Joni Mitchell tribute concerts, as well as for her original songs. She will be followed by Infamous Jack, an original rock ‘n’ roll band featuring Mark Melville on vocals, Bill Peterson and Neil Ganju on guitar, George Wirtz on bass, and Doug Shine on drums.

The Town Dance is one of the highlights of Arts Alive and takes place from 7 to 9 PM on Friday night. This year, Puffy Elvis plays classic rock hits to dance to. Puffy Elvis is a big, old-time rock ‘n’ roll band made up of teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators at Falmouth High School. Young in spirit and high in energy, the band will get you moving.

On Saturday, performances start at 10 AM and run until 9 PM. The Performance Tent hosts the Sonnay Fiddlers at 10 AM. The group is made up of the very accomplished students of Nikki Engstrom, from very young students to adults. They play traditional Celtic and international fiddle tunes.

The Falmouth Theatre Guild follows with a medley of tunes from recent and upcoming shows. Turning Point Dance Studio takes the stage next, with students performing a variety of classical and contemporary dances under the artistic direction of Laura Sciortino.

At 1 PM, Tradewinds, a men’s a cappella quartet, takes the stage and will sing selections from the Great American Songbook, jazz, and pop tunes. Next, it’s the Moonlighters Big Band, offering waltzes, tangoes, cha-chas, rhumbas, bossa novas, swing music, foxtrots, and more.

At 3:30 Elena Griffin leads a troupe of Middle Eastern belly dancers in colorful costumes. The Falmouth Songbirds, a women’s vocal ensemble led by Susan Laite, are next, singing classical music, spirituals, jazz, folk, popular music, and standards in three-part harmony.

Meanwhile, there is also a lot happening in the Music Tent, located on the right as you face the library. Anytime Fitness is offering a participatory workout class at 10:30 AM—a great way to start the day. Workout clothes or casual dress is fine. Michael Scena and Neil Ganju follow at 11:30 AM. This vocal and guitar duo plays new and old soul music with jazz and hip hop influences.

Laughing Crow Band takes over at 1:30 PM, offering blues, folk, gospel, and Americana music on guitar, lap steel guitar, bass, and drums. Cat’s Melodeon, led by Bill Black, performs at 2:30 PM, playing traditional Irish dance music—jigs, reels, and more, on fiddle, flute, recorder, accordion, banjo, guitar, uilleann pipes, and bodhran.

At 3:30 PM, Michael Shea plays acoustic guitar and sings original songs and covers. The Andrew Sexton Trio is next, with Andy on guitar and vocals, Alec Zeuli on alto sax, and Craig Hamilton on bass. Yesterday’s Country performs old-time traditional country music at 5:30 PM.

The Library Tent (the middle tent) offers performances and activities for children and the young at heart. Miss Donna starts things off with stories and songs at 10 AM. Lee Drescher, as Mrs. Treasure, follows at 11 AM with stories and songs based on a children’s book. From noon to 3 PM, Moana will sing songs and paint faces. Finally, at 3 PM, Shannon Sylvia of the Woods Hole Theater Company presents a puppet show: “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.”

Donna Skinner offers a half-hour participatory BollyX class at 5:30 PM. BollyX is a Bollywood-inspired dance-fitness program that combines dynamic choreography with the hottest music from India and around the world.

Rockin’ Saturday Night starts at 6 PM in the Performance Tent. The Rhythm and Blues Conspiracy plays at 6 PM. The band draws its inspiration from postwar rhythm and blues, 1960s rock, and 1950s to ‘70s soul. Band members are brothers Sam Puopolo on bass and lead vocals and Henry Puopolo on guitar and back-up vocals, and their father, Scott Puopolo on drums.

At 7 PM, 12-Step Boogie takes the stage. Band members Gregory Fones, Kevin St. Pierre, and Wayne Morea play R&B, blues, and rock. All three struggled with alcohol and drugs in the past; but through sobriety and unity, they have joined together to revive their dreams and their music, or as they put it, “from 12 bars to 12 steps to 12-Step Boogie.”

Good Advances performs funk, soul, and R&B at 8 PM. Band members are Michael Scena on lead vocals, Neil O’Connor on lead guitar, Dave O’Connor on drums, Mike Burke on bass, and Dorian Tolis on rhythm guitar.

Sunday is Father’s Day, and what better way to start things off at 11 AM in the Performance Tent than with the Dawna Hammers Band performing a special set, “Songs for My Father,” a tribute to Dawna’s father, the late Johnny Hammers, who was a tenor sax and clarinet player on the Cape. Dawna will sing original songs she wrote for her Dad, along with ballads, bossa novas, blues, and swing songs. She will be joined by Klem Klimek of Entrain and NRBQ on sax, Lisa Esperson on percussion, and a bass player.

The Falmouth Fiddlers and friends follow at noon, playing and singing old-time, bluegrass, and Celtic tunes on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, dobro, tin whistle, bodhran, cello, and string bass. At 1 PM Troupe Mirage entertains with lively Egyptian-style dance, led by Katrina Valenzuela.

The New Classics Company is on at 2 PM with their own special brand of improv comedy. College Light Opera Company (CLOC) brings its talented cast of 32 college students at 3 PM to perform a sneak preview of its opening show of the summer season.

In the Music Tent, Jeff Brown plays folk, country, and bluesy covers and originals at 11 AM. The Seaside String Ensemble follows at noon. Led by Lary Chaplan of the Cape Conservatory of Music and Arts, the ensemble will play classical music, country music, and show tunes.

The Familiars of Cape Cod, Manny and Linda Dias, sing and play folk, fiddle, country, Irish, and popular music from the 1950s through the 1980s. Ladies’ Choice is up next, playing favorite fiddle tunes and songs on fiddle, guitar, tin whistle, flute, cello, and bodhran. At 3 PM, Roger and Me plays traditional country with a bounce and modern folk music.

Sunday starts off quietly in the Library Tent with Yoga with Alex Tice at 11 AM. All are welcome to attend. Alex focuses on breath, mindfulness, and calmness in poses.

At 1 PM, Allen Russell and the FCTV Youth Producers will create a stop-motion video on the theme of Father’s Day. Learn how to create clay characters, how to animate using backgrounds and a green screen, and how to add voices and music to create a finished project.

At 2 PM, Hillary Osborn will do a live oil painting demonstration, laying in a composition and blocking in colors to finish a quick sketch. Co-owner of the Osborn and Rugh Gallery in Falmouth, Hillary draws inspiration by painting directly from nature. She has received numerous awards for the landscape paintings.

All Arts Alive events are free, but attendees can support the arts in Falmouth by buying raffle tickets—and the chance to win the Taste of Falmouth basket, with gift certificates from La Cucina, Anejo, Simply DiVine, Maison Villatte, LeRoux, The Black Dog, Soft as a Grape, Eight Cousins, and more.

Arts Alive is sponsored by the Falmouth Road Race, Wood Lumber Company, MusicDrivesUs.org, the Mass Cultural Council, The Enterprise, Falmouth Village Association, Cape Cod 5, The Woods Hole Foundation, Eastern Bank, and Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank.

A full schedule of performance times is posted at ArtsFalmouth.org.


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