Hippo Manchester
September 1, 2005

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10th anniversary at Capitol Center

2005-06 season celebrates with big names, new programs, physical changes

By Michelle Saturley           

After sitting in disrepair for almost a decade, one of Concord’s last remaining concert halls received an extreme makeover in 1995. It took 250 volunteers more than 3,000 hours to restore the theater, including its one-of-a-kind Egyptian motif artwork. The doors of the grand venue opened once again to the public in November of that year, and the Capitol Center for the Arts was born.

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Capitol Center for the Arts, and the lineup looks to be one of the best ever. The venue will host a season chock-full of big musicals, expanded children’s programming, big-name headliners, and comedy acts. The lineup was just announced last week.

While the venue has always been noted for its children’s programming, this year marks an extended series.

“We’ve added more children’s shows, to the school series and to the daytime performance series,” said Ric Waldman, director of marketing at the Capitol Center. “Many of this season’s shows are based on popular children’s literature, while others are based on the classics.”

For example, Walk Two Moons is a show based on the award-winning youth novel of the same name about a Native American girl. Cam Jansen is based upon the titular character of a series of popular children’s mysteries, and The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales is a show based on the recent picture book that puts a modern spin on some classic fairy tales. Meanwhile, kids can also take in productions of Cyrano, Hamlet and My Heart in a Suitcase, a moving drama about a Jewish family fleeing their home during WWII.

The roster looks just as varied for the grownups in the audience, ranging from comedy to opera to classic holiday fare. The season kicks off with a night of standup, “The Three Wise Men,” on Sept. 17. Local celebrity Charlie Sherman will host the night’s festivities, featuring comedy by Teddy Bergeron and Tom Cotter.

National best-selling author and N.H. resident Jodi Picoult will take center stage on Sept. 24 in “An Evening With Jodi Picoult,” a program that will serve as a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Writers Project. Joining Picoult will be N.H. writer and humorist Rebecca Rule. This promises to be an evening of humor and intimate discussion — all for a good cause.

Classical music will be  a large part of this 10th anniversary season. The Granite State Opera company will make three appearances at the Capitol Center this season, with a gala hosting the Metropolitan Opera’s newest singing sensations on Sept. 30, a performance of the Bel Canto classic L’Elisir d’Amore on Oct. 14 and 16 and their version of Madama Butterfly on May 7. The NH Philharmonic will perform a children’s program, Babar the Elephant,  on March 12. The St. Paul School of Ballet will present The Nutcracker, Dec. 16 and 17. while the renowned Helikon Opera will return to the Capitol Center on Feb. 12 to perform Die Fledermaus.

In addition to New Hampshire-based talent, several international stars will be coming to Concord, including Lily Tomlin, B.B. King, Bright Eyes, Flamenco Vivo, Loretta LaRoche and The Capitol Steps.

This season will also be significant for the venue’s structure. The Kimball House, a Victorian-style mansion attached to the theater that is used primarily for opening night receptions, will receive a historic facelift this fall.

“We’re doing extensive cosmetic work inside to restore some of the look and feel of the original house, which was built in the 1860s,” Waldman said. “We’re also repairing the slate and copper roof, which has been leaking.”

For more information about the 2005-06 season, call the Capitol Center of the Arts at 225-1111, or visit www.ccanh.com.

Capitol Center 2005-06 season

  • The Three Wise Men: An Evening of Stand-Up Comedy, Sept. 17

  • An Evening With Jodi Picoult, Sept. 24

  • Granite State Opera’s Opera Gala,  Sept. 30

  • An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin, Oct. 7

  • Granite State Opera presents L’Elisir d’Amore, Oct. 14 and 16

  • Manhattan Transfer, Oct. 20

  • Best of North Shore Comedy, Oct. 22

  • The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Nov. 1

  • Loretta LaRoche, Nov. 5

  • The Robert Cray Band, Nov. 12

  • Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant 40th Anniversary Massacre Tour, Nov. 20

  • Bright Eyes in Concert, Nov. 23

  • A Christmas Carol, Dec. 1

  • The Empire Brass Holiday Concert, Dec. 4

  • Cream of the Crop Comedy Show, Dec. 10

  • The Nutcracker, Dec. 16 and 17

  • Best of North Shore Comedy II, Jan. 21

  • B.B. King in concert, Jan. 26

  • Bowfire, Feb. 2

  • The Capitol Steps, Feb. 10

  • Ray: A Tribute, Feb. 11

  • Die Fledermaus, Feb. 12

  • The Legends of Comedy, Feb. 17

  • Flamenco Vivo, Feb. 19

  • The Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist, Feb. 23

  • Willy Wonka, March 10

  • Forbidden Broad SVU: Special Victims Unit, March 11

  • NH Philharmonic presents Babar the Elephant, March 12

  • The Mikado, March 15

  • Tap Dogs, March 30

  • Four Bitchin’ Babes, April 7

  • Swan Lake, April 20

  • Hypnotist/Comedian Frank Santos, April 22

  • Comedy and Pet Theatre, April 23

  • The Teddie B Chock Full of Comedy Special, May 5

  • Granite State Opera presents Madama Butterfly, May 7

  • The Floor Lords, May 18

  • Daytime Children’s Series

  • Cam Jansen, Oct. 26

  • Cyrano, Nov. 14

  • Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Nov. 21

  • Walk Two Moons, Nov. 22

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dec. 7 and 8

  • Bowfire, Feb. 2

  • Fiesta Flamenca, Feb. 20

  • My Heart in a Suitcase, March 13

  • Gold Rush, March 16

  • The Stinky Cheese Man, March 17

  • Hamlet, April 5 and 6

  • Play to Win, April 10

  • If You Give a Mouse A Cookie, April 14

  • The FloorLords, May 18