A Multi-Arts Journey through The Depot Theatre in Westport

The 2013 performance season has not yet begun at The Depot Theatre but this May evening brings together a gathering of art and theatre lovers. It is a reception for artist Gharan K. Burton whose colorful and provocative paintings are displayed on the lobby walls of this lovely old multi-purpose building.

I arrive early enough to take my time and absorb each atmospheric piece. The artist is present and happy to discuss his work and technique with folks as they arrive. I hear tidbits of discussions between Gharan and fellow local artist Linda Smyth and join in with other folks who are eager to talk to the artist and listen to what has inspired his work. He tells me that he is originally from the Dominican Republic and how much that has influenced his style. Some of his subjects have Creole themes, performance themes, and now that he also resides in Plattsburgh, even North Country themes.

According to the press information, Gharan's colorful and meaningful work represents his experiences growing up in a rural village located on the Caribbean island of Dominica to his relocation to New York State. This body of work spans a few years and makes use of varying textures and color relations.

The Depot has paired this artist reception with a wine tasting put on by Amazing Grace Vineyard & Winery from Chazy. As I converse with the owner, I realize this is not a run-of-the-mill vineyard, but one that offers entertainment during the summer months. In fact, she tells me that last year they produced "Nunsense." It turns out these are folks who used to music direct for Chazy Music Theatre and still run the theatre Summer Safari at SUNY Plattsburgh. I find we have a lot in common and look forward to getting to the vineyard sometime this summer for the wine as well as the performance stage.

Of course, The Depot Theatre itself has an exciting summer season lined up for 2013--which is its 35th anniversary season--beginning with the world premiere musical "Route 66". It is a new romantic comedy about a neurotic city journalist and the cowboy photographer with whom she teams up to tell stories of the historic old highway. Next in the line-up is "Boeing-Boeing" billed as a hilarious farce. Then another world premiere musical, "Funked Up Fairy Tales," an off-beat cartoon brought to life with jokes, songs and characters who will appeal to all ages. The season closes with "Lombardi," which tells the real story of the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers and his relationship with wife Marie and three of his legendary players.

For more about The Depot Theatre's 35th Anniversary Season, click through to the web site and to learn more about upcoming events in the Lake Champlain Region click to lakechamplainregion.com.

Kathleen Recchia has been enjoying the arts in the Adirondacks for about 20 years—both as observer and participant (acting, directing, and producing). She also enjoys cross-country skiing, swimming, juggling, and hosting visitors to the area at her bed & breakfast in Jay. 

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