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Friday, July 27, 2018

Vermont Expat Comic Carmen Lagala on Taping 'Colbert' Set

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 3:49 PM

Carmen Lagala - JENNI WALKOWIAK
  • Jenni Walkowiak
  • Carmen Lagala
On July 19, the Burlington comedy scene took a victory lap when comedian and Vermont native Carmen Lagala made her national television debut with a set on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Check it out below:

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Norwich University Staffer Jonathan Trutor to Appear on 'Jeopardy!'

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Jonathan Trutor, right, with Alex Trebek - SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Jonathan Trutor, right, with Alex Trebek
When a "Jeopardy!" staffer phoned Jonathan Trutor in early December to inform him that he'd been selected to be on the television game show, the Norwich University instructional technologist put the caller on hold.  “I felt kind of bad about it, but I had a meeting,” explained Trutor. “I wasn’t trying to be jokey.”

The Colchester resident’s journey to be on the game show took just a few weeks. Soon after taking an online "Jeopardy!" quiz, Trutor received an invitation to an audition in Boston the weekend before Thanksgiving. By mid-January, he was on his way to Los Angeles for a taping before a live audience.

The show will be broadcast next Monday, March 26, 7 p.m. on local NBC affiliate WPTZ-TV.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cannabis
Rick Steves Urges Vermont to 'Take the Next Step' in Weed Legalization

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 4:13 PM

Rick Steves - COURTESY OF RICK STEVES
  • Courtesy of Rick Steves
  • Rick Steves
If you're only familiar with his travel show, "Rick Steves' Europe," you might not guess that the mild-mannered PBS personality is one of America's most prominent advocates for marijuana legalization.

Indeed, the affable TV host and guidebook author has made legal weed a personal crusade, personally donating hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to legalization efforts across the country, including in his home state of Washington.

But his push for legalization in the U.S. isn't rooted in a particular personal affinity for kind bud. Rather, his stance on marijuana stems from his extensive travels overseas and the "pragmatic harm reduction" approach that many European countries take towards the drug. For Steves, who sits on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), marijuana legalization is not a recreational issue, it's a matter of civil liberties.

This week, Steves' travels take him to Vermont. On Thursday, he'll appear at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier for a news conference with legislators advocating for Vermont to "take the next step" in its legalization process by taxing and regulating a commercial cannabis market. Earlier this year, the state legislature legalized possession of certain amounts of marijuana, but it is still illegal to sell or purchase weed.

On Friday, Steves will give a free lunchtime presentation at the Skinny Pancake on the waterfront in Burlington. The event is cohosted by Heady Vermont, which will livestream the talk on its Facebook page. Later that afternoon, Steves will take part in an interactive livestream hosted on the Marijuana Policy Project's Facebook page

Seven Days caught up with Steves by phone ahead of his Vermont visit.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

'The Bachelor' Comes to Vermont

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 11:27 AM

'The Bachelor: Winter Games' Arrival Celebration flyer - VERMONT PRODUCTION COUNCIL
  • Vermont Production Council
  • 'The Bachelor: Winter Games' Arrival Celebration flyer
"The Bachelor" is coming to Vermont — Manchester, specifically.

Earlier this fall, reports began circulating that ABC television would be shooting  "The Bachelor: Winter Games," a spinoff of the network's hit reality dating series, "The Bachelor," at a ski resort in Vermont. Details have been sparse these past few months — including where, precisely, the show would be filmed.

On Tuesday the Vermont Production Council circulated a flyer on Facebook and Twitter announcing an "arrival celebration" parade for the show. The shindig is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5, on Main Street in Manchester. (BTW, given its proximity to Manchester, the smart money would seem to be on Stratton Mountain Resort as the filming locale.) Fans of the show can take part in welcoming, as the above flyer puts it, "Bachelor nation favorites … from across the globe as they prepare for winter competitions & a journey to love."

According to a report from the Bennington Banner, those wishing to join in the love journey — as spectators, that is — can register at the Stratton Magazine office in Manchester from now until Saturday, December 2.

"The Bachelor: Winter Games" is scheduled to air on ABC in February.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Alison Bechdel Is One of Three Female Cartoonists Spoofed in "The Simpsons"

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 12:11 PM

imrs.php.jpeg
You know you've made it in the world of entertainment when you get drawn with yellow skin and four fingers. (Unless you're Jesus or God. Then you get five.)

Chalk up yet another comic coup for longtime Bolton resident Alison Bechdel. The 57-year-old Vermont Cartoonist Laureate and veteran Seven Days  contributor  is perhaps best known for her syndicated  comic strip, "Dykes to Watch Out For" and for her graphic novel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. The latter was later adapted into a 2015 Tony Award-winning musical. (Find a review of the current Vermont Stage production in this week's issue of Seven Days.)

On Sunday night, Bechdel played herself as one of three female cartoonists — along with Roz Chast and Marjane Satrapi — spoofed in classic "Simpsons" style. The episode's title, "Springfield Splendor," is a riff on the late comic Harvey Pekar's "American Splendor."

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Ben Stiller Brings Casting Call for Prison Escape Series to Plattsburgh

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 1:08 PM

Ben Stiller - DREAMSTIME
  • Dreamstime
  • Ben Stiller
In recent weeks, Ben Stiller has been spotted in various locations around Plattsburgh and upstate New York.

And just what is the famed comedic actor doing in the sleepy Lake City, exactly? Pounding Bud Light Limes at the Naked Turtle, perhaps? Getting in some quality "me time" after splitting with longtime wife and fellow actor Christine Taylor? Scouting locales for Zoolander 3, Meet the Grandparents or (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease) Mystery Men 2?

Almost, but not quite.

Stiller is indeed scouting locations for a new project. He's directing an untitled miniseries for Showtime centered on the June 2015 prison escape of two inmates from the Clinton Correctional Facility in nearby Dannemora, N.Y.

And guess what? You can be in it! A casting call for the series is slated for this Saturday, July 22, at the Strand Center Theatre in downtown Plattsburgh.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

PBS to Air Documentary on Rutland Basketball and Racism

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM

'Divided by Diversity' film poster - COURTESY OF DUANE CARLETON
  • Courtesy Of Duane Carleton
  • 'Divided by Diversity' film poster
Local filmmaker Duane Carleton's documentary, Divided by Diversity, premieres on Vermont PBS  on Thursday, May 18, at 7 p.m. The doc centers on the Mount St. Joseph Academy basketball team that won the 2011-12 Division II high school state championship.

Specifically, Carleton's film chronicles the racism that five black athletes from the Bronx faced after enrolling at the private Catholic school in Rutland to play basketball. Some parents and players complained about losing playing time to "outsiders." The five players also endured racist epithets from rival fans during games.

Cam Whittemore, a postal service worker
 who played surrogate mother to the athletes, was featured on the cover of Seven Days in December.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Tanner on Tanner" Launches Film Series at Main Street Museum

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Michael Murphy and Cynthia Nixon in "Tanner on Tanner" - SUNDANCE CHANNEL
  • Sundance Channel
  • Michael Murphy and Cynthia Nixon in "Tanner on Tanner"
Burlington resident Allan Nicholls may be best known to movie lovers for his role as team captain Johnny Upton in the 1977 hockey comedy Slap Shot. Canadiens fans apparently still feel the same: When Nicholls, a Montréal native, attended a game earlier this year, the Centre Belle camera operator found Nicholls in the crowd and broadcast his image on the mega-screens. The crowd roundly cheered.

Nicholls’ career in film is better defined, however, by his decades-long collaboration with Robert Altman. He worked with the renowned director in a variety of capacities on some two dozen films. That makes him uniquely qualified to introduce a screening of Altman's incisive 2004 political mockumentary series “Tanner on Tanner.”

On Friday, April 1, the event kicks off a new monthly series called Alt: Cinema at White River Junction’s Main Street Museum. Its mission is to use film as a catalyst for community discussion.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Vermont PBS Begins Series With Tech Star Victoria Taylor

Posted By on Sat, Jan 16, 2016 at 1:49 PM

Victoria Taylor - COURTESY OF VERMONT PBS
  • Courtesy of Vermont PBS
  • Victoria Taylor
Last fall Vermont PBS announced that Victoria Taylor, former organizer of the popular "Ask Me Anything" forum on reddit, would be the face of its new tech-focused show, "InnoVaTe." The six-episode mini-series, which features Vermont's tech entrepreneurs, launches in its entirety online on Tuesday, January 19.

Each 10-minute episode takes viewers behind the scenes of tech-centric companies such as Generator, Burlington's maker space; and Logic Supply, the manufacturer of compact industrial computers. Seven Days' annual Tech Jam gets a spot, too. 

When reporter Ethan de Seife wrote about Taylor's new gig in October, he called her an "ideal choice" to host the show because of both her love for public television and her tech savvy. Find out more at Vermont PBS, and watch the promo below:

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Vermont's Ernest 'E-Knock' Phillips Competes on 'The Amazing Race'

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 11:29 AM

Vermont dancer Ernest "E-Knock" Phillips is no stranger to reality television. He's shown off his sizzling moves on "So You Think You Can Dance" and "America's Best Dance Crew." But this summer, Phillips went after something even bigger: the $1 million grand prize on CBS' globe-trotting competition "The Amazing Race." He and his brother, Jin Lao, were one of 11 teams competing on the hit show's 27th season, which hits the air waves on Friday, September 25.

How far around the world did E-Knock get? You'll have to watch to find out. Meanwhile, watch the CBS video embedded here, in which he and Lao introduce themselves and explain why they're after the prize. Phillips describes himself as working "four jobs" and sleeping in his car. He also says he doesn't like flying with his brother — which could cause some ratings-bait friction as they race from one pit stop to the next. For his part, Lao describes Phillips as the "Eddie Murphy" of the duo, because he's seldom at a loss for words.

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