By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
• Helping out: Citizens Bank has committed to provide another $150,000 over the next three years to support the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Citizens has already donated more than $450,000 since 2000. Its support created the Citizens Bank Performing Arts Series, which includes Palace-produced professional musical theater, according to a Palace press release. Forever Plaid, CATS, The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, Noises Off, Swing Fever, RENT and The Full Monty are scheduled for the 2009-2010 season (www.palacetheatre.org).
Also a presenting house, the Palace hosts more than 240 production nights each year, and had more than 150,000 patrons last year, according to the release.
Built in 1915, the 865-seat Palace is the only remaining such stage of 22 that were in Manchester in that era. It’s on the National Register of Historic Buildings, according to the release. More than 10 years ago, programming organization New Hampshire Performing Arts ended performances and building owners, the Palace Theatre Trust led by former Mayor Sylvio Dupuis, worked to reopen the theater.
Citizens Bank sponsors the Palace through direct and in-kind donations. The Palace provides Performing Arts Series tickets for donation to community groups selected by Citizens Bank. The Palace also provides discounts to Citizens Bank employees and customers.
• One of many: ACT ONE, Artists’ Collaborative Theatre of New England, launches its third “Festival of Fun” — about three months of comedies, concerts and storytelling (think Susan Poulin of Ida: Woman Who Runs With the Moose fame) in Portsmouth, with Jack Neary’s The Porch. Watch discounted preview shows Thursday, Aug. 6, and Friday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m., for $10 at West End Studio Theatre, 959 Islington St. The comedy “goes a long way toward proving that, despite what you may have heard, ‘70, not 50, is the new 30,’” according to an ACT ONE press release. It’s recommended for mature audiences, and continues Aug. 8, 14, 15, 26, 27 and 28; tickets cost $16 and $18. Visit www.actonenh.org or call 300-2986.
• Coming up: Peacock Players present Grease as one of their summer Main Stage productions Friday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 8, at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 9, at 2 and 7 p.m., at the 14 Court St. theater in Nashua. Note that this show may contain some mature language and content. Call 886-7000 or visit www.peacockplayers.org for tickets, which cost $12 and $15. Broadway veteran Keith Weirich directs. Jeffrey Prescott musically directs and Valerie Psoinos choreographs. RB Productions in Concord presents High School Musical 2, Friday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 8, at 2 p.m., at the Concord City Auditorium at 2 Prince St. Tickets cost $5. RB follows with Little Shop of Horrors Thursday, Aug. 13, through Saturday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m., at the Concord City Auditorium. Tickets to that show range in cost from $15 to $18. Visit www.rbproductions.org or call 225-7779. The Derryfield Repertory Theatre presents Bat Boy Friday, Aug. 14, and Saturday, Aug. 15, at 7:30 p.m., at the Derryfield School Auditorium, 2108 River Road in Manchester. Tim Lecuyer directs with musical direction from Laurel Devino. Tickets cost $15; visit derryfieldrep.org. The Majestic Theatre in Manchester presents Nunsensations: The Vegas Revue from Aug. 14 through Aug. 23; call 669-7469 or visit www.majestictheatre.net.