Summer concerts heat up the Tri-PAC

Travis Wetzel.
Travis Wetzel.
Maggie and Mark Moliterno.
Maggie and Mark Moliterno.

Jen Chapin, Travis Wetzel and Maggie and Mark Moliterno highlight this summer’s concert series at the Tri-County Performing Arts Center, 245 E. High Street, Pottstown.  The series opens with the Jen Chapin Trio on Friday, July 16, continues with the Travis Wetzel Trio on Friday, July 30, and finishes on Friday, August 20 with Maggie and Mark Moliterno performing in a benefit for Habitat for Humanity and the Tri-PAC.  The appearances by the Jen Chapin Trio and Travis Wetzel Trio are sponsored by Maillie Falconiero and Cabot Supermetals. Tickets for all shows are available at www.tripac.org.

On July 16, Jen Chapin brings her urban folk to the Tri-PAC - story songs that search for community and shared meaning, powered by the funk, soul and improvisation of the city. Critics have hailed her work as “brilliant ※ soulfully poetic” (NPR), “thoughtful ※ worth-savoring” (People), “addictive” (Boston Globe), “smart, observant, lyrically deft, politically aware and emotionally intuitive” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). JazzTimes has called her “a first-rate storyteller”. She has been featured on “Late Nite with Conan O’Brien,” honored by the USA Songwriting Competition, appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen and opened up for Bruce Hornsby and the Neville Brothers. Her performances are powerful, spotlighting the world-class musicianship and rare chemistry of husband/acoustic bassist Stephan Crump and guitarist Jamie Fox. As an activist, educator and mother, Jen also brings the knowledge and insight of varied experience to workshops and presentations to college, community and church groups.

A virtuosic musician, on July 30, Travis Wetzel and his trio perform contemporary Bluegrass, Rock, Gospel, Country and Jazz on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, upright bass and vocals. With numerous albums to his name, Travis and his gang have performed and recorded with nationally known bluegrass artists such as Bill Monroe, Bill Harrell, Dell McCoury, Doyle Lawson, and Mac Wiseman and mandolin legend, Jesse McReynolds. He also performs on the Grand Ole Opry and in touring concerts with McReynolds. Travis is also part of the Johnny Cash musical called “Ring of Fire” at the Roxy Theater in Clarksville, TN. Concert and radio experience has included performances with Franny Beecher, former guitarist of Benny Goodman’s band and an original member of Bill Haley’s Comets. On-stage performances also include such recognizable names as Stephane Grappelli and Charles Osgood of CBS’ Sunday Morning, Bill Anderson and Winona Judd.

We welcome back Maggie and Mark Moliterno on August 20, for an evening of Broadway “Songs That Go Like This.”  The Moliternos will perform along with approximately 25 young vocalists from the surrounding area, in a concert that will benefit Habitat for Humanity and the Tri-PAC.  Maggie is an award-winning dramatic coloratura soprano and Pottstown native and has been applauded by audiences in the United States and Europe for her refined vocalism and powerful stage presence. A versatile actress, she has appeared in principal roles in opera, operetta and musical theater such as the Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, Laurie in Oklahoma and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.   Mark, bass-baritone, has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain and the Far East, with numerous opera companies, symphony orchestras and festivals. His vocal repertoire covers a wide range of eras and composers, including leading opera roles such as Falstaff in Falstaff, Escamillo in Carmen, Germont in La Traviata, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La Bohème, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Leporello in Don Giovanni and Falke in Die Fledermaus. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ.

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Tickets for all shows are available at www.tripac.org, and range from $13 to $17 for the July concerts, and $20 to $30 for the August benefit.  Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more for the July concerts.  Tickets will be sold at the door if available.  See you in July and August!

Village Productions is a dynamic nonprofit performing arts organization that seeks to strengthen community, inspire creative exploration, educate, and entertain, through the presentation of quality performing arts events and educational opportunities geared toward a diverse audience. The new Tri-County Performing Arts Center is the home of Village Productions. You may contact Village Productions through their website at  www.tripac.org, or by telephone at 610-970-1199.