August 13, 2009

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Curtain calls
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

Gay Bride in the Big Apple: Locally made Gay Bride of Frankenstein takes the stage in Manhattan in September. Billy Butler and Dane Leeman staged a workshop of their “comic book rock musical” at the Players’ Ring in Portsmouth last fall. Butler has said it’s a nod to Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein novel, Scooby Doo, Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Rocky Horror Show and comic books.

Leeman is currently technical director and scenic designer at the Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth. Equity actor Butler had been known for acting and directing around New Hampshire (he received an Excellence in American Theatre award from the New England Theatre Council in 2007) but he now lives in New York.

Their creation (more Granite Staters are involved) will be part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, which showcases 30 new musicals over three weeks this fall.

More than 40 shows launched at NYMF since its 2004 start have moved on to Broadway, off-Broadway, regional, international and touring productions, according to www.nymf.org.

Gay Bride’s makers sent an e-mail to supporters in July, hoping to raise $5,000 by Sept. 28 through donations. That’s a “fraction” of their festival production costs but if they raise at least that, they’ll “make budget,” Butler wrote in an e-mail to the Hippo.

If you want to help, you can do so tax-free via a “Donation to a specific production” drop-down menu at www.nymf.org/donate.html. Or buy a copy of their Gay Bride workshop cast recording to help the cause.

Learn more and listen to the music at www.gaybrideoffrankenstein.com. Gay Bride of Frankenstein runs six times between Sept. 28 and Oct. 11 at TBG Theatre 312 W. 36th St. in New York.  

• Not so far: Get your new theater fix in Hanover, where the New York Theatre Workshop is doing a three-week residency at Dartmouth College. Public performances of four pieces are scheduled at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 22. Tickets cost $10 ($6 for students) to see these works in progress. The details are at hop.dartmouth.edu or call 646-2422.

Wild and an untamed thing: Among other things Butler was known for, he performed in The Rocky Horror Show at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth for at least 10 years. There are still a few weekends left to catch the current cast in this longtime Rep summer tradition. The Rocky Horror Show runs at midnight Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 22 at 125 Bow St. in Portsmouth (www.seacoastrep.org, 433-4472, $20).

NYMF graduate: One of the new musicals that left NYMF to enjoy off-Broadway success is Altar Boyz. The five locals who played members of a Christian boy band in a June Stagecoach Productions performance are back for a “Second Coming” Friday, Aug. 21, and Saturday, Aug. 22, at 8 p.m., at the Derryfield School, 2108 River Road in Manchester. Tickets cost $18 at www.etix.com. StageCoach’s first non-musical runs that weekend as well — Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap, at 25 Front St., Suite 501, in Nashua. Visit stagecoachproductions.org or call 320-3780 for details.

Ripped from the headlines: Catch tabloid-inspired musical Bat Boy Friday, Aug. 14, and Saturday, Aug. 15, at 7:30 p.m., at the Derryfield School. Timothy L’Ecuyer directs both Altar Boyz and Bat Boy, but the latter is a production of the Derryfield Repertory Theatre, “a company of young performers with professional aspirations.” It includes some Derryfield alumni and staff from the summer theater camp which started at Derryfield (an independent day school with an awfully nice campus) a few years ago. Tickets cost $15 at www.etix.com (derryfieldrep.org, 669-4524 ext. 4103).  

• Still more: RB Productions presents Little Shop of Horrors Thursday, Aug. 13, through Saturday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m., at the Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince St. (rb-productions.com, 225-7779). Ticket costs range from $15 to $18. 

Actors’ Circle Theatre closes its “Shakespeare in the Park” production of The Taming of the Shrew with performances Saturday, Aug. 15, and Sunday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m., in Depot Square Park in Peterborough (924-3876, www.actorscircletheatre.org). Admission is free but donations are accepted. Order in advance for a $10 picnic dinner from Aesop’s Table (call 924-1612 by 3 p.m. Aug. 14). Shrew’s rain location is the Peterborough Historical Society, 19 Grove St.


Panels by Severed Head comics for Gay Bride of Frankenstein.

8/6/2009 Curtain calls

7/30/2009 Finding direction
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7/16/2009 Germany, France and England
7/9/2009 The Bard and Disney!
7/02/2009 Robots!
6/25/2009 Curtain calls
6/18/2009 Altered souls
6/11/2009 Curtain calls
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5/28/2009 This one time at theater camp ...
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5/14/2009 Curtain calls
5/7/2009 Review:Actorsingers produces The Producers
4/30/2009 Journey to and through Motherhood
4/23/2009 Concord does the Full Monty
4/16/2009 Courtroom drama
4/9/2009 Scotland- bound
4/2/2009 Curtain calls
3/26/2009 The original sitcom
3/19/2009 Palace to produce The Producers
3/12/2009 British farce and new romantic comedy
3/5/2009 Curtain calls
2/26/2009 Serious stories
2/19/2009 Curtain calls
2/12/2009 On Golden Pond writer honored
2/5/2009 Divorce and death
1/29/2009 Red carpet?
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1/15/2009 Money, powqer and family
1/8/2009 Offer your two cents
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12/18/2008 BIg things that come in envelopes
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12/04/2008 Remains of an affair
11/27/2008 Ballet — not for the faint of heart
11/20/2008 Mary's new home
11/13/2008 Company, Secret garden and Doubt
11/6/2008 That Broadway sound
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10/23/2008 Busy theaters
10/16/2008 All in one weekend
10/9/2008 Merrimack Rep at 20
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9/18/2008 Stage sports
9/11/2008 Second Life to the rescue
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8/28/2008 Tennessee Williams at Weirs
8/21/2008 Change for the moment
8/14/2008 Curtain calls
8/7/2008 Wicked experience
7/31/2008 Merry tales
7/24/2008 Review: the great outdoors
7/17/2008 Curtain calls
7/10/2008 Musical monsters
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6/26/2008 Curtain calls
6/19/2008 Summer stock
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6/5/2008 This one time, at drama camp...
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5/22/2008 Making it big
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5/1/2008 Forging ahead
4/24/2008 The Bard, condensed
4/17/2008 'Balance' in Bedford
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4/3/2008 Singing for a cause
3/27/2008 These aren't recitals folks
3/20/2008 Albee at MRT
3/13/2008 Murder and rhinos
3/6/2008 Murder and rhinos
2/28/2008 The art of theater criticism
2/21/2008 Breaking the cycle
2/14/2008 Curtain Calls
2/7/2008 NH Theatre awards sixth year
1/31/2008 Elvis fans and ghost stories
1/24/2008 Building an audience
1/17/2008 Curtain Calls
1/10/2008 Fate of Annicchiarico
1/3/2008 A little confidence
12/27/2007 Stage notables in 2007
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12/13/2007 Summer stock vs. southern NH
12/06/2007 Curtain Calls
11/29/2007 Curtain Calls
11/22/2007 Broadway composer and actress hit Granite State
11/15/2007 One-man play turns audience into students
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11/1/2007 First times
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10/11/2007 American History
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9/27/2007 Stringing single
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9/13/2007 Free range
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8/2/2007 That deaf, dumb and blind kid
7/26/2007 Potty humor
7/19/2007 Ease on down the road
7/12/2007 Jekyll vs. Hyde
7/5/2007 If it's free, it's for me
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6/14/2007 No really, you'll get it
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5/24/2007 Putting the camp in camp
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4/26/2007 Still going strong
4/19/2007 Vietnam the the Palace
4/12/2007 Confluence
4/5/2007 First look
3/29/2007 Reluctant star
3/15/2007 In a town far away
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3/1/2007 Into the future
2/22/2007 But will it play in New Hampshire
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2/8/2007 Family affair
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1/25/2007 Curtain calls
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1/4/2007 Fork in the road
12/28/2006 Standout performances of '06
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12/14/2006 Players remember Peter Bridges
12/07/2006 Young talent
11/30/2006 Lighthearted farce for the holidays
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11/16/2006 Good theater
11/9/2006 Preview roundup
11/2/2006 Access to the ancients
10/26/2006 Aida on a Nashua stage
10/19/2006 Children of a Lesser God brilliantly played
10/12/2006 A true love triangle
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09/28/2006 Bringing people back to life
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07/27/2006 A match made in Maine
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07/13/2006 I Hate Hamlet
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06/22/2006 Da Vinci to Rube Goldberg
06/15/2006 Peter Bridges remembered
06/08/2006 From Hairspray to monkeys
06/01/2006 Special Theatrics
05/25/2006 Live Brit-com
05/18/2006 Evil stepsisters earn the yuks
05/11/2006 A message to mom
05/04/2006 Meet the cast
04/27/2006 'I hope i get it'
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03/16/2006 Actor-director wants your ideas
02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An†actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
01/26/2006 Spring theater season warming up
01/19/2006 Gearing up for the big night
01/12/2006 This Phantom is not a menace
01/05/2006 Jim Kelly, sci-fi writer and alternate historian
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10 Ways To Survive The Audition
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A 'Living Newspaper' on stage
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A Tribute To Music
Actorsingers Deliver On Superstar
Beauty and the Beast
Bedford Off-Broadway Gets Spooky
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Bringing NYC to Wilton
Creating the venue from antiques
Crimes Of The Heart
Curtain to rise on Dana Center
Dana Center Takes Center Stage
Ensemble elevates Palaceís Godspell
From stage to the silver screen
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Greater Tuna
Humble Boy
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Jesus Christ Superstar
Kids Tackle Edgar Allan Poe
Local boy hits the big time, doesnít lose his head
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Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Meet John Sefel, Director
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New Thalian Players
Palace announces 2005-06 season
Peterborough Playersí Solidarity is solid gold
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Proud of the Peacock
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Stages of learning
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Theater Of The Imagination
Theater Kids Without A School
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The Drawer Boy
The Festival
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The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Russian/American Kids Circus
The Senator Wore Pantyhose
The Tony Awards, they're grrrrreat
The Warmth Of The Cold
Three nights, three shows at the Palace
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Wake up to Ďnight Mother