November 29, 2007

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Curtain Calls
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

• Anti-holiday: Striking 12 is part musical and part concert from indie trio Groove Lily. Two Tony winners co-wrote and directed this show about trying to hide out from the required New Year’s Eve revelry in New York. The New York crew brings shows Saturday, Dec. 7, at 4 and 8 p.m. to The Music Hall at 104 Congress St. in Portsmouth. Ticket costs range from $26 to $32. Call 433-3100.

• No shortage of Dickens: Nebraska Theater Caravan includes traditional British carols and boasts of ghostly stage effects in their productions of A Christmas Carol, Thursday, Nov. 29, at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive in Manchester, 641-7700. Ticket prices range from $10 to $29.50. See www.nebraskatheatercaravan.com or www.anselm.edu/dana.

New York Stage Originals presents Scrooge, a musical with live orchestra and “lavish costumes” Saturday, Dec. 1, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. at The Music Hall. Tickets prices range from $20 to $45.

The Palace Theatre in Manchester continues its tradition of staging A Christmas Carol with three weekends of shows. About 60 area kids perform in two teams, plus 20 adults, usually local and New York professionals. Performances are Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, at 2 p.m. from Friday, Dec. 7, through Sunday, Dec. 23. Ticket prices range from $20 to $40.

The professional Nashua-based Northern Ballet Theatre is touring southern New Hampshire with a production of The Nutcracker. They stop at the Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy, 5 Pinkerton St. in Derry, Saturday, Dec. 1. Next, they hit Keefe Auditorium at Elm Street Middle School, 117 Elm St. in Nashua, on Saturday, Dec. 8. They wrap up Saturday, Dec. 15, at The Colonial Theater, 95 Main St. in Keene. Shows are at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Ticket costs range from $13 to $26. See www.nbti.org or call 889-8406.

• Audition tips: Pick up a few pointers at the Majestic Academy of Dramatic Arts’ “Audition Workshop” Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at 281 Cartier St. in Manchester. Learn how to tailor the right piece to spotlight your skills. Register at www.majestictheatre.net or call 669-7469. The cost is $30 and the workshop is open to ages 15 through adult. Teens can use their new knowledge to try out for Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco. Ionesco wrote the satire in response to witnessing Nazi troops marching down his Paris streets. Auditions are Monday, Dec. 3, and Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Acting Loft studio, 516 Pine St. in Manchester, for ages 12 through 19. Phillip Allen directs. See www.actingloft.org or call 666-5999.

• Goodbye: Leah Belanger is giving up her role as Acting Loft’s education director for a job with the Manchester School Department. However, she’ll still be working with the Acting Loft and the 21st Century after-school program and will teach some Acting Loft classes. Belanger has also worked with the professional Yellow Taxi Productions.

• Broadway stars: Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown appears with his band, The Caucasian Rhythm Kings, and Broadway actress and vocalist Lauren Kennedy on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Stockbridge Theatre, 5 Pinkerton Drive in Derry. The concert is a fundraiser for Yellow Taxi (www.yellowtaxiproductions.org). Brown composed Parade, The Last Five Years, Songs for a New World and 13. Kennedy originated the role of Cathy in the two-role The Last Five Years in Chicago. On Broadway she’s appeared in Spamalot, Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard and Side Show. Tickets cost $25 for balcony, $45 for orchestra or $65 for Dress Circle, which includes a private reception with the band. Buy them at www.theatermania.com or call 791-4558.