By Heidi Masek email@example.com
• Pats on the back: Thirty nominated businesses will be honored and winners will be announced for supporting the arts through sponsorships, employee volunteerism or product or service donations at the 23rd annual Business in the Arts Awards gala Monday, May 14, at 6 p.m. The bash is organized by the NH Business Committee for the Arts and features performances by the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir, New England College Theater Department, and the UNH Department of Theater and Dance and a reading by Chester College of New England professor Robert Crawford. Guests can play a cultural trivia game to win Southwest plane tickets or arts prizes. Tickets cost $75, or $650 for a table for 10, at the Center of New Hampshire Radisson in Manchester. Artists and arts administrators can request discount ticket prices. Call 224-8300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Eat for a good cause: The Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley, which owns the Amato Center in Milford, scheduled a mystery dinner theater fundraiser from Hudson’s Mayhem and Murder Productions before the theater and Club flooded in April. With water damage costs to cover, the Saturday, May 5, benefit is now even more imperative, say Amato users. Elisha’s Restaurant in Milford is sponsoring the dinner. The show takes place inside the Club at 56 Mont Vernon St., Milford. Call 672-1002 for tickets, which cost $35.
• Local words: Six Nights in the Black Belt by Nashua playwright Lowell Williams premieres Friday, May 4, at 8 p.m. at 14 Court St. Theater in Nashua. The play examines the life and the aftermath of the death of Keene civil rights martyr and Episcopal junior priest Jonathan Daniels. Professional company Yellow Taxi Productions, where Williams is a playwright-in-residence, presents the show through May 13. Ticket costs range from $15 to $25; visit theatermania.com. Also, see the one-hour documentary film Here Am I, Send Me: The Journey of Jonathan Daniels Sunday, May 6, at 4:30 p.m. and discuss it with filmmaker and Keene State College Professor Larry Benaquist.
• Prairie life: Actorsingers’ big spring show is the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma! Michael Coppola, recently seen as Koko in New Thalian’s Hot Mikado, which claimed several NH Theatre Awards, stars as Curly. Another Hot Mikado player, Mandy O’ Neil, stars as Laurey. Oklahoma! runs at Keefe Auditorium on Elm Street in Nashua at 8 p.m. Friday, May 4; at 2 and 8 p.m. May 5, and at 2 p.m. May 6. Visit actorsingers.org or call 320-1870 for tickets, which cost $10 to $15.
• Joys of the familiar: New Hampshire actress Sally Nutt and actor Phil Thompson demonstrated strong chemistry in Distant Music. The two played middle-aged college friends debating their respective impending life decisions among other things over Guinness. Image Theater premiered the new James McLindon play in a Lowell, Mass., pub in April, selling out four of six performances with room for about 90 people total. Set in a Cambridge bar, lines made riotous reference to Boston, Harvard, Irish, Irish-American and Catholic culture. New Hampshire bars, take note: eating an Irish supper and heading upstairs with drink in hand for a new performance makes for a lovely evening, and The Old Court’s dining room was packed.