January 17, 2008

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Curtain Calls
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

• In secret: StageCoach Productions presents Secret Garden Friday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts at 56 Mont Vernon St. in Milford. The musical is based on the 1909 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mary Lennox has lived a privileged life in colonial India until her parents die during a cholera outbreak, and she is sent to live with her uncle Archibald Craven. When Mary, played by Kat Bolling, hears strange noises in the night, she discovers her cousin, Colin, played by Daniel Schwartzberg, who has been hidden away. The mothers of both Bolling and Schwarzberg are in the cast. Ticket costs range from $15 to $18. Visit www.stagecoachproductions.org or call 320-3780.

• History alive: Kathryn Woods performs the one-woman play Sojourner Truth: A Woman Ain’t I Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. as part of Rivier College’s “Engaging the Times” initiative. The performance is in the Dion Center, 420 South Main St. in Nashua, 888-1311. The founder of the 19th-century civil rights movement, Sojourner Truth, is known for her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention.

The play Six Nights in the Black Belt is about Jonathan Daniels of Keene, a young seminarian who died fighting for civil rights. Nashua playwright Lowell Williams premiered it in May 2007 with the professional Yellow Taxi Productions in Nashua. The show is a finalist in six New Hampshire Theatre Awards categories. Williams has revised the script, adding two characters, for a production in Daniels’ hometown directed by Kim Dupuis, a Keene State College adjunct faculty member, for Keene’s Martin Luther King / Jonathan Daniels Committee. The free community performances are Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. at Heberton Hall at Keene Public Library, 60 Winter St. See www.jonathandaniels.org or call 352-5657.

• Culture clash: Hollywood invades a small village in County Kerry, Ireland, in Stones in His Pockets, by Irish playwright Marie Jones. Two actors portray 15 different characters. Lighthouse Theatre Company presents Stones in His Pockets at the Players’ Ring, 100 Marcy St. in Portsmouth, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. through Jan. 27. See playersring.org or call 436-8123. Ticket costs range from $8 to $12.

• Golden ticket: Van Otis Chocolates is the fitting sponsor for The Acting Loft’s youth production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Two casts take the stage on following weekends to perform the Roald Dahl tale. The Acting Loft has a “cast everyone” policy for youth shows. Twice the usual number of kids auditioned for Charlie. “We knew we didn’t want to turn anyone away, and we knew that casting 1,000 Oompa Loompas wasn’t the answer,” said producing artistic director John Sefel. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory runs Saturdays and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. from Jan. 19 through Jan. 27 at 516 Pine St., Manchester, www.actingloft.org, 666-5999. Ticket costs range from $5 to $10. The Acting Loft is holding an open house to inform the public about their classes for adults, teens and children, Thursday, Jan. 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.