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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Chris Bohjalian's 'The Red Lotus' to Become TV Series

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2020 at 2:45 PM

[image-4] Fans of bestselling Weybridge author Chris Bohjalian have something new to look forward to on the small screen. Deadline reported Monday that producers Sherry Marsh ("Pose," "Vikings") and Julie Gardner have joined forces with TV writer Kate Brooke ("Bancroft," "A Discovery of Witches") to turn Bohjalian's international thriller The Red Lotus into a TV drama series.

Bohjalian's 21st book is about a young ER doctor whose boyfriend goes missing during a vacation in Vietnam. As she attempts to unravel the mystery of his disappearance, she learns dark secrets about her beau, uncovering plots that involve, in a timely twist, a lethal pathogen.

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Drag Queen Sasha Velour to Speak at Center for Cartoon Studies Commencement

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2020 at 11:15 AM

The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction announced on Friday that its 2020 commencement speaker will be Sasha Velour, a CCS alumnus and an internationally acclaimed gender-fluid drag artist.

Velour, who graduated from CCS in 2013, became a household name after winning the 2017 season of "RuPaul's Drag Race." In an interview with WCAX-TV after being crowned "America's Next Drag Superstar," Velour told host Darren Perron that her performance career began in White River Junction, when she would dress up to attend "Drag Race" watch parties.

Through her performances, Velour said, she channels her background in cartooning: "I always think about designing a character that would read in a comic book, and then I just get to put it out into the world," she said. 

"Cartooning played a crucial role in Sasha Velour's origin story," said James Sturm, cofounder and director of CCS. "She was asked to be the commencement speaker because she is brilliant and inspiring. I don't know what Sasha will say, but I do know that Sasha knows exactly what it feels like to be on the other side of the podium and can speak to the excitement and dread the graduates may be feeling as they leave a tight-knit community to make their way in the world."

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Vermont PBS Announces Season Two of 'Mister Chris and Friends'

Posted By on Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 2:51 PM

  • File photo courtesy of Vermont PBS
  • Chris Dorman
The talking Wishing Well on Vermont PBS has granted another big wish: "Mister Chris and Friends" is coming back for a second season of family-friendly music and merriment.

Filming has already begun on six new episodes of the Emmy-nominated children's television show,  Holly Groschner, president and CEO of Vermont PBS, announced Monday.

The show, which launched in November 2018, features live music, movement and "everyday adventures" throughout Vermont, which allow kids to explore science, nature, and emotional and social development. Designed primarily for preschoolers, "Mister Chris and Friends" is hosted by the show's eponymous co-creator and star, Chris Dorman of Shelburne.

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Monday, October 1, 2018

'SNL' Skewers Vermont, Where 'the Leaves Change Colors But the People Never Do'

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 2:52 PM

Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney - SCREENSHOT: SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
  • Screenshot: Saturday Night Live
  • Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney
The long-running NBC sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live" opened its 44th season on Saturday with actor Adam Driver as host and musical guest Kanye West. Alongside bits on the Kavanaugh hearings and the video game Fortnite — as well as an impromptu speech by West in support of President Trump that didn't air in the original live broadcast — was a sketch that lampooned Vermont, the second whitest state in the country, for its lack of diversity.

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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

  • 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

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

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

  • 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

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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