By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
• Maine experience: There’s a trend toward providing an “experience” at a theater, and the relatively new Harbor Light Stage definitely has that concept down. The group was founded in 2006 by Kent Stephens and has been producing staged readings in its Bold Faced Play Reading series until now.
Craig Wright’s The Pavilion is set in a lakeside dance pavilion in Minnesota where the characters gather for their 20th high school reunion, class of 1988. Harbor Light has found a barn by a marsh for a venue — a restored 19th-century barn at Brave Boat Harbor Farm on Route 103 in Kittery Point, Maine, near the marsh of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. To get there, audience members will take a trolley shuttle with fellow “alumni” from overflow parking.
Wright has written scripts for HBO’s Six Feet Under and is the executive producer of ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money. The Pavilion was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2000.
Chris Curtis plays Peter, who is intent on winning back now-married Kari, played by Kristan Raymond Robinson. Susan Poulin, of Ida: Woman Who Runs with the Moose fame, plays a narrator and the rest of the classmates.
The Pavilion runs Friday, May 9, through Sunday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Ticket costs range from $15 to $30. Dinner and ticket packages can be arranged with Anneke Jans restaurant for Fridays. Call (207) 439-5769 or visit www.harborlightstage.com.
• Food for funds: Fundraising efforts to overhaul the city-owned 14 Court St. theater in Nashua continue with a dinner theater murder mystery presentation from Mayhem & Murder Productions at Valentino’s in Hudson. The Altos... Like the Sopranos Only Lower commences after a 6:30 p.m. cocktail hour with cash bar Saturday, May 17. There’s also buffet-style dinner, followed by dessert. The dinner and show cost $45. Valentino’s is at 142 Lowell Road. Call 320-1431. See www.mayhemandmurder.com for more on the show. For more on what Friends of Court Street Theatre are up to, see www.courtstreettheatre.org.
• Accolades for MRT: The professional Merrimack Repertory in Lowell, Mass., has had quite the year. For the first time in its 29-year-history, one of its shows was transferred to an off-Broadway theater in New York. Bob Clyman’s Secret Order has since been nominated for a John Gassner Award by the Outer Critics Circle — writers who cover New York theater for out-of-town publications. The Gassner award honors new American playwrights. Outer Critics winners will be announced May 12. Merrimack Rep’s Charles Towers directed the New York production and will be directing the show again for the Tony-winning Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, in the fall. “MRT illustrates how a region that once made and exported textiles can transform itself into one that now makes and exports cultural products,” Towers said. MRT’s most recent show in Lowell, Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, has been nominated by Boston critics for Elliot Norton Awards for outstanding production by a midsize company, outstanding director in a midsize company (Charles Towers) and outstanding actor in a small or midsize company (Jack Davidson as Tobias). The awards ceremony is May 12 at Harvard. There are a few more chances to see the last MRT show of the season.
The Four of Us, by Itamar Moses, is a contemporary comedy about best friends. Novelist Benjamin and playwright David find as they grow older, and one grows more successful, that their relationship is tested. Shows continue Thursday, May 8, and Friday, May 9, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 10, at 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 11, at 2 p.m. at at 50 East Merrimack St., Lowell, Mass., (978) 654-4678, merrimackrep.org.