Get your drag on: BMAC hosts
’Royal Flush’ for
drag queens and kings

BRATTLEBORO -- Forget about chocolates and roses. If you’re ready for something completely new and different this Valentine’s Day, then head to the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center on Friday at 8 p.m. for "Royal Flush: A Drag Queen (and King) Valentine’s Day Party." Presented in collaboration with The Harral Show, this raucous evening will feature live cabaret performances, a dessert buffet and a cash bar by Windham Wines. Admission is $15 at the door and $12 in advance. It is for ages 18 and over. Purchase tickets at www.brattleboromuseum.org or by calling 802-257-0124, ext. 101.

Led by Brattleboro native Harral Hamilton, The Harral Show is a collection of Brattleboro-area theatrical talent committed to showcasing alternative, experimental and original performances. Best known for his turn as Hedwig in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" at Headroom Stages in 2011, Hamilton will serve as host as BMAC’s Kahn-Mason Gallery is transformed into the Double Deuce Lounge and the stage is filled with Killer Queens, Goblin Kings and local talent like you’ve never seen. Performers Candi Schtick and Lavie Putain will take turns at the mic, as will the likenesses of David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and the Mona Lisa herself. Admire the glittering goddesses and steamy kings decked out in their finest. Join them in drag if you wish. Either way, don’t miss what’s sure to be a fabulous Valentine’s Day party for the ages.

Located in historic Union Station at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142, the museum is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.

As prelude to workshop, Western Wind offers
’A Musical Valentine’

WEST BRATTLEBORO -- On President’s Day weekend, The Western Wind vocal ensemble presents its annual "Winter Wonderland" Workshop in Ensemble Singing at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. These workshops are opportunities for singers at all levels to experience the joy of ensemble singing.

Focusing on the small group experience, participants sing music from a diverse repertoire: medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Early American; 19th and 20th century part-songs, rounds, hymns and folk songs; jazz, pop, doo-wop, and improvisation. Coaching is offered in vocal style, performance practice and ensemble techniques.

Enrollment is open to everyone from professionals to amateurs, soloists and ensemble performers, conductors and music teachers. For workshop information, visit www.westernwind.org. Scholarships and discounts are still available for last-minute enrollees.

The workshop begins with a Western Wind concert, "A Musical Valentine," on Friday at 8 p.m. at All Souls Church, 29 South St. The program includes music about the pains and joys of love by Renaissance, early American, and contemporary composers including Luca Marenzio, Orlando di Lasso, Orazio Vecchi, Thomas Bateson, John Dowland, William Billings, Kurt Weill, Duke Ellington, Lionel Bart, James Taylor and more.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. For tickets and information, visit www.westernwind.org or contact The Western Wind by e-mail info@westernwind.org, or phone 212-873-2848 or 800-788-2187. Reservations can be made the day of the concert by calling 212- 873-2184.

Since 1969, Western Wind has devoted itself to the special beauty and variety of a cappella music. In addition to performing, the group runs an arts-in-education program for the New York public school system and presents an annual series of singing workshops in New York as well as in Northampton, Mass., and Brattleboro and Woodstock in Vermont. They have also produced a series of holiday programs for National Public Radio and Public Radio International, and have released 19 recordings, one of which was nominated for a Grammy.

Members of the group are Michele Kennedy, soprano, Linda Lee Jones, soprano, Todd Frizzell, tenor, Elliot Z. Levine, baritone, David Vanderwal, tenor, and William Zukof, countertenor.

Samirah Evans presents program of classic tunes and love songs

GREENFIELD, Mass. -- Jazz and blues vocalist Samirah Evans will present an evening of swingin’ classics and love songs for those who still feel the love in the air beyond Valentine’s Day on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., at the Arts Block, 289 Main St.

A friend pointed out to Evans that because it’s 2014 it should be considered the "Year of Love," therefore as the song goes "each day is Valentine’s Day." "So I took the idea and ran with it," says Evans.

Evans has invited some of her friends to help her present the appropriate music for the occasion. Pianist Bob Merrill adds another dimension to the show with duet vocals. Bassist Peter Concilio has performed with Merrill and Evans before. Drummer Claire Arenius is a long-time heavy hitter on the New York and New England scenes, performing with Melba Liston, Slide Hampton, Archie Shepp, Mose Allison and Sheila Jordan. Arenius was also recently featured during the last installment of Evans’ "Ladies in Jazz" series.

Advance tickets can be purchased for $15 at theartsblock.com or by calling 413-774-0150. Tickets will be available at the door the evening of the concert for $18. Smithsonian Cafe will serve dinner from 5 to 8 p.m.

Evans was a fixture on the New Orleans music scene for more than 15 years before relocating to Brattleboro, Vt., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She has shared stages with James Brown, B.B. King, Irma Thomas, Sheila Jordan, Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison, Jr., among others, and has toured Europe, Asia and South America as a headliner.