December 20, 2007


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If all they want for Christmas is two good seats…
Theater tickets make great gifts
By Heidi Masek

How’s your holiday shopping list going? If you are frantic and need to find presents for people who don’t necessarily need more stuff but would enjoy a trip to the theater, tickets to 2008 Broadway touring shows could be a solution.

The Producers, A Mel Brooks musical, won the most Tony Awards ever. Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick were featured on Broadway and Austin Owen and Brad Nacht cover the leads in the tour. The Producers, a story of a down-on-his-luck theatrical producer and his mousy accountant, visits the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord on Sunday, April 6, at 4 p.m. There are still tickets left for $45 and $60. There’s also a performance Thursday, April 10, at 8 p.m., at Lowell Memorial Auditorium with balcony seats available for $45.50. The tour stops at The Colonial Theatre in Keene on Wednesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. Ticket costs there range from $40 to $54.

Billy Joel and legendary director-choreographer Twyla Tharp created the musical Movin’ Out, a sequence of dance segments to Joel’s songs that tell the story of a generation on Long Island. The national tour stops at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Friday, March 28, at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $29.50 to $55.50. Movin’ Out returns to the area Thursday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Center for the Arts.

While those are the big Broadway numbers this year, a few older shows are coming through the area sooner. The Lowell Memorial Auditorium hosts Evita, Thursday, Jan. 10, at 8 p.m., and Chicago, Thursday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m. Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance comes to Lowell in its 10th-anniversary tour in North America, Sunday, March 16, at 7 p.m. It’s a blend of traditional and modern Celtic music and dance, around a story based on mythical Irish folklore.

The Capitol Steps return to the area in January. A Saturday, Jan. 12, 8 p.m. performance from the Washington, D.C., comedy troupe who turn popular songs into political satire is at the Capitol Center for the Arts to benefit CATCH Neighborhood Housing. They also perform to support affordable housing at The Music Hall on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 5 and 8 p.m.

Radio theater company L.A. Theatre Works returns this year to the Capitol Center with Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, a docudrama featuring John Heard, who has appeared in The Sopranos and Prison Break, and Susan Sullivan, who was on Dharma & Greg. The radio-style production is Wednesday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.

H.M.S. Pinafore, a Gilbert & Sullivan classic that melds popular and operatic music elements, visits Capitol Center for the Arts on Friday, March 14, at 8 p.m.

For the musicians, there’s Bowfire, a theatrical violin production on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008, at 4 and 8 p.m. at the Capitol Center. Bowfire visits Lowell Friday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. And for the band geeks, Blast comes to Lowell on Thursday, March 6, at 8 p.m. Brass, percussion and visual performers bring high-energy precision marching band style off the field.

Ring of Fire is a Broadway musical that doesn’t seek to dramatize Johnny Cash’s life or copy his style but brings the tales within his songs to the stage. Ring of Fire comes to The Music Hall on Thursday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m. It’s at Capitol Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m.

• Capitol Center for the Arts: 44 South Main St., Concord, 225-1111,
• The Music Hall: 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, 436-2400,
• Lowell Memorial Auditorium: 50 East Merrimack St., Lowell, Mass., (978) 454-2299,
• Colonial Theatre: 95 Main St., Keene, 357-1233,
Tickets for most performances range from $29.50 to $55.50.