Coming Up: Get ‘Fired’ up for Thomas’ Flametree exhibit

The works of a Florida potter inspired by nature, whimsy and imagination are in exhibition all this month at Flametree Clay Art Gallery in Vero. “Out of the Fire” showcases earthy, beautiful pieces by well-known local clay artist, clay art teacher and storyteller Peggy Thomas.

Her pottery, sculpture and other ceramic art are typically  fired using the Raku style, and charm with deep color palettes and earthy textures. No surprise when you’ve seen her appealing pieces, Thomas is “passionate” about nature (and is an avid kayaker and yoga instructor).

She loves “everything about clay – choosing it, shaping it, glazing and firing it.” And she wears a tee that proclaims “licensed to kiln.” Open: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. 772-202-2810.

 

A couple of shows by our astoundingly talented high school performing and visual arts students: I never, never cease to be amazed (sometimes to the point of tears, I freely admit) at the talent these savvy, gifted kids possess.

This Thursday and Friday, Nov. 15-16, it’s the Indian River Charter High School’s “20th Anniversary VAPA (visual and performing arts) Spectacular: A Look Back Through History,” featuring current VAPA students and VAPA alum. Visual Arts displays open, 6:15 p.m.; show, 7 p.m. Tickets: $10 to $45. 772-567-6600 ext. 118.

 

Then, this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17-18, at the VBHS Performing Arts Center, it’s one of the most popular musical revues ever, featuring the songs of iconic Broadway and film composer Stephen Sondheim.

“Side by Side by Sondheim” is presented by the students of the Vero Beach High School performing arts department, via Music Theatre International. Time: Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets, $10 and $12. 772-564-5537.

 

Live. On Stage. One night only. It’s the 34th anniversary of the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour, coming to the King Center in Melbourne this Monday, Nov. 19. Founded by record producer and composer Chip Davis, this neo-classical new-age group, according to Wikipedia, is known for its “Fresh Aire” album series, blending classical music with elements of new age and rock, and its modern Christmas music recordings.

From way, way out in Nebraska, former teacher and jingle writer Davis creates innovative music inspired by the sounds of another age. Undaunted when industry executives told him his 18th-century instrumental rock sound would never sell, Davis founded the music industry’s largest independent recording label, American Gramaphone, in 1974 and … Wah-La, in addition to a Grammy Award, he’s “largely credited with establishing the New Age music category.”

So, what’s up with that name? The group’s website explains that Mannheim Steamroller began as an alias for Davis, taken from an 18th-century German musical technique – Mannheim roller – meaning crescendo. King promo says the show will feature Mannheim Steamroller classics, plus “dazzling multimedia effects in an intimate setting.” Time: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: start at $45.50. 321-242-2219.

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