Saturday, June 26, 2010

Will time make man more wise?

Now, fresh from the warped minds that brought you "The Reindeer Monologues," an hilariously disturbed look at the holiday season, comes something, well, a little more refined. Here's a hint: The life of the wife is ended by the knife. No, wait a minute, that's Stewie trying to work through his matricidal fantasies while passing off a guttersnipe as a lady in the Family Guy's Reindeer-like take on "My Fair Lady," which was adapted from Shaw's "Pygmalion." Which Neptune Sushi, a New Hampshire-based film and theater company, drags kicking and screaming, but thankfully not singing, into the 21st Century in "The Shapes of Things."  A modern drama set at a small California liberal arts college, the play follows the lives of four twenty-something students, focusing on the psychology and intimacy surrounding the nature of art and the limits of the human will. The production stars  Marc Pelletier, Audrey Claire Johnson, Greg White and Gina Kattar. Aaron Foss directs. It runs at 8 p.m. July 9 and 10, and at 3 p.m. July 10 and 11 at The Actors Studio, Mill 1, Suite 5, the Tannery, 50 Water St. Tickets are $12 general admission and $10 for students and seniors. There is a special $8 admission for students and seniors for the Sunday show only. For more information, log onto or email And, in case you didn't catch the reference, the headline is a lyric from the old Yardbirds song "Shapes of Things." Got nothing to do with the show. Great song though. Like the Bowie cover on Pin Ups better. Been stuck in my head since getting the release. Anyhow ...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chairy, chairy baby

The business of the arts (besides the art itself, of course) is getting seats into the seats, but that's not what's going on with those crazy kids at the Actors Studio. They're trying get seats, fifty of them, for people to put their seats into. New chairs, comfy chairs. Which turns out to be  a surprisingly expensive proposition and one that presents an opportunity for those of you with disposable income (whatever that is) to if not see your name up in lights then at least see it in the theater. On a plaque on the chair in front of you. Or you could think of it as a reserved chair. Hey, it will have your name on it. You'll have ignore the inconvenient truth that there will be other seats in "your" seat when you're not there. It'll cost you a hundred bucks, but, seriously, you can't put a price tag on the warm feeling you get from helping out an arts group that gives a voice to emerging artists and local voices. And when you donate the hundred bucks, somebody else, an anonymous donor, will pony up about hundred so you will be doubling your pleasure — everyone's pleasure, really, since the new chairs will be so comfy so your seat won't get numb, and even if it does there won't be any of that creaking when you shift your weight. Everyone's a winner. So, if you've got any of that disposable income stuff and wanna help out, whip out the old checkbook and make out a tax-deductible check to the Actors Studio.  Tell them the name you want on the plaque. Heck, they're even planning an appreciation night for you. Want more information? Check out the Actors Studio web or call 978.465.1229. And, by the way, those seats in the picture aren't the specific seats. They're just for illustration purposes only.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sunchunck: Spinning a celebration

Okay, my head is spinning. Everything seems backwards here. Usually you buy the tickets, then you see the show. But Sunchunck, those crazy kids, are mixing it up a little next time out. On July 2, the Port rockers will be playing a short set just outside the ticket entrance at LeLacheur Park, home to the Lowell Spinners, whipping up the crowd before the game starts. Then, during the seventh-inning stretch, the boys will be bringing out the big gun, playing their powerhouse cover of "God Bless America," on the right side of the 5,000-seat stadium. It's all part of the minor league Sox affiliate's  Americana Celebration. And they've got something to celebrate besides the country's birthday: They're sitting on top of their division, with a 45-30 record, a 9.5-game lead over Oneonta and an 11-game lead over the Vermont Lake Monsters, who they'll likely demolish when Sunchunck's in town. The hometown rockers, by the way, are no strangers to playing at sports events. They played "God Bless America"during the Pats/Dolphins game at Gillette Stadium on Veterans Day last year — in front of 60,000-plus fans, after the National Anthem, accompanied by an Air Force flyover. Yikes! For more information, check out the Spinners or Sunchunck webs.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A launch for Mia, a taste for mangos

Now, this is unusual ... and sounds like family fun. A book launch. In the great outdoors. In Market Square. At a tiki hut cafe. Where they'll be serving free mango smoothies all afternoon. The tiki hut is a re-creation of the Green Flash CafĂ©,  featured in "Hurricane Mia: A Caribbean Adventure," the new book by award-winning author Donna Marie Seim. In the book, which is recommended for kids age 8 to 12, Mia learns that her mom is sick. Then she and her younger brother are whisked away to their grandparents’ home in the Caribbean for the summer. She's furious ... until she meets Neisha, an island girl, who tells her about “the tea that cures everything.” An incredible adventure follows, taking Mia and friends on the high seas, where they meet barracudas, explore uninhabited islands and search for the magic tea. Seim is a graduate of Ohio State University and holds a master's degree in special education from Lesley University. Her first  book, "Where is Simon, Sandy?," about a little donkey that wouldn’t quit, also takes place in the Caribbean It won the Mom’s Choice Award for 2009 for best children’s picture book, and was a finalist in the picture book category for the National Indie Excellence Awards for 2010. The blender will be whirring from noon to 4 p.m. June 26 outside of the Dragon's Nest. Seim will read a selection from the book. She and illustrator Susan Spellman will be on hand to sign the book.