September 20, 2007

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Curtain Calls
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

• Song master: Irene Deschanes of Bow is back with her 14th stage extravaganza. She started a tradition in 1993 of creating shows around music and a theme as a fundraiser for Concord City Auditorium’s renovation effort. A 1950s-themed show in 1997 was one of her most popular and raised more than $30,000. Deschenes has used her productions to raise money for the Rotary, the Concord Library Children’s Room and Community Players, who were paying off a loan to build their studio. “Say It With Music: The Melodies of Irving Berlin, America’s Songwriter,” is running as part of the 111th season of the Walker Lecture Series, which means free admission for you. See it Friday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, Sept. 30, at 3 p.m. at the Audi, 2 Prince St. Deschenes describes Irving Berlin’s music as “warm and friendly, not pretentious.” The show includes “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” with Jim Regato of Laconia leading the 31-member cast in a Dixieland-style rendition. Noreen Christensen of Bow and Bo Guyer of Sanbornton team up for “A Couple of Swells.” The audience can sing along with “The Easter Parade,” “Always,” and “Play a Simple Melody.”  Stage veteran Hector Emond of Allenstown is choreographing the show, and he’ll put on an Army uniform to sing “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.” The community efforts include Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sink playing saxophone in the pit. See the rest of the Walker schedule at walkerlecture.org.

• In advance: The 53-year-old community musical theater company Actorsingers would like to book you in advance for their two-show season. Season tickets are on sale for Thoroughly Modern Millie, their fall musical, which runs Nov. 9 through Nov. 11, and Beauty and the Beast, their spring show in May. Both are produced at Keefe Auditorium in Nashua at the Elm Street Middle School. Subscriptions cost $24. Individual ticket costs range from $15 to $18. Call 320-1870 or visit Actorsingers.org.

• Be in charge: Nashua Theatre Guild needs directors and producers with play ideas for the 2008-2009 season. Submit your proposal by Oct. 15. Contact mikewoodnh@comcast.net for details. NTG, a community theater group, considers artistic value and marketing capability in its choices and will begin interviews in November.

• MRT opens: The professional Merrimack Repertory Theater starts its new season with Pursuit of Happiness, by Massachusetts playwright Richard Dresser. It’s the second play in Dresser’s trilogy on class in America. Characters in this comedy are the paper-pusher, the cubicle-dweller and the food court sales clerk. When the daughter suddenly refuses to attend college, Mom, Dad and daughter all engage in a self-seeking journey. The play runs from Oct. 4 through Oct. 28 at 50 E. Merrimack St. in Lowell, Mass. Ticket prices range from $25 to $55. See merrimackrep.org or call (978) 654-4MRT.