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Rock n' roll to help opera house raise needed funds

VERGENNES-The Friends of the Vergennes Opera House will open the doors of the Little City's historic theater on March 6 at 8 p.m. for an evening of rock and roll, dancing and merriment all to raise money for a sprinkler system. The event will include a silent auction, raffles, door prizes, snacks, a cash bar by Bar Antidote and music by local favorites Panton Flats and Justin Levinson.

A veritable super-group of local talent, Panton Flats features: Andy Smith (Prydien, Jenni Johnson, Mighty Sam McClain) on bass, Bob Levinson (Bob Levinson Trio, Myra Flynn Band, Moving Music Studio) on lead guitar and vocals, Chris Myers (Wagan, Shotgun Blues, Uncle Buzz) on drums, Chris Wyckoff (Stone Cold, Native, Uncle Buzz, Blues Vipers) on keyboards and vocals, and Josh Brooks on rhythm guitar, harmonica and vocals.

The music is a sweltering blend of Motown, blues, funk, country and rock and roll, including songs by Neil Young, Amos Lee, the Rolling Stones, the Band, Bill Withers and more.

Justin Levinson has been a rising star on the northeastern singer-songwriter scene for a number of years. His original music is full of personal narrative and expertly infused pop sensibilities.

The push to install a sprinkler system began in June when the organization that restored and now operates the 1897 theater above the Vergennes City Hall learned that due to changes in Vermont Fire Safety Code, that the hall would now be required to have a sprinkler.

Since then work has been done to secure key funding sources to cover the roughly $70,000 project costs including a Vermont Cultural Facilities Grant for $20,000 and a Vermont Downtown Tax Credit for $32,000. A series of upcoming events beginning with the Sprinkler Party will help the organization close the roughly $20,000 funding gap.

Admission is $8 and advanced tickets may be purchased at Classic Stitching and the Vergennes Opera House. For information, call 877-6737 or visit www.vergennesoperahouse.org.

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