Archive for category Entertainment

Pippin Comes to PSU Silver Center

This Show Altered My Life

Those of you who know me know that Playing the Role of Pippin Changed My Life. It should come as no surprise to you then that I would highly recommend you visit the PSU Silver Center this week to see the PSU Theatre students perform this amazing show. Incomparable music, dance choreography, and imagery are hallmarks of this Tony Award winning classic. Below is the official press release from the Silver Center with details on ticketing and cast info.

Plymouth, N.H. –The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Plymouth State University will present a modern interpretation of the musical Pippin, October 20-23 in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

Bob Fosse directed and choreographed the original Broadway show in 1972, starring Ben Vereen as “the Leading Player” and John Rubenstein as Pippin. The production addresses adult themes.

The musical uses the device of a mysterious acting troupe led by a “Leading Player” to follow a young prince, Pippin, eldest son of Charlemagne, through his quest to discover the secret of true significance and fulfillment. Pippin plows through obstacles, seeking that fulfillment in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh, and the intrigues of political power.

Adjunct faculty member Morgan Murphy directs the PSU production. Murphy is a film and theater producer, director, actor and instructor with Whitebridge Farm Productions, Plymouth State University and St. Paul’s School. He says, “If done the way Bob Fosse envisioned it, Pippin is surreal and disturbing. We’ve added today’s technology addiction to the array of obstacles and objectives thrown Pippin’s way in the original script. Facing this gauntlet, Pippin has to navigate his way to his own sense of identity and purpose…what does he want to be when he grows up?”

Murphy challenges the audience to consider trying to grow up today when we don’t have time to keep up with our smart phones, let alone figure out why we invented them, or why we buy them. “Perhaps you don’t have to use your imagination at all to recall this common technopoly we live in,” he says. “It can be worth turning it all off occasionally. That moment has always been in the Pippin script, and it’s my favorite moment in the show. Pippin gets to taste simplicity when everything stops for a few seconds.”

The cast includes theatre arts majors Luke Meierdiercks, a junior from St. Johnsbury, Vt., portraying Pippin; Mervin Marvey a senior from Rustenburg, South Africa, portraying the Leading Player; Samantha St. Onge, a senior from Londonderry, portraying Catherine; Alyssa Dumas, a sophomore from Manchester, in the role of Fastrada; Ben Cesare, a junior from Boxborough, Mass., portraying King Charlemagne and Laura Daigle, a sophomore from Salem, portraying Berthe. DJ Spinelli, a senior psychology major from Chester, portrays Lewis and Sam Ebner, an 8th-grade student from Plymouth, portrays Theo.

PSU alumna Amanda Munton is the music director for Pippin, with Lisa Travis as choreographer and Gary Corcoran as conductor.

Performances are Oct. 20 and 22 at 8 p.m., October 21 at 7 p.m., October 22 at 2 p.m. and October 23 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $17 for seniors and $15 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869.

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1 Comment updated July 26, 2013

Annie’s Overflow Re-Opens in Plymouth NH

Annie's Overflow in Plymouth NH Re-Opens after Hurricane Irene

Annie's Overflow Re-Opened October 6th

Signs of Life Returning to Normal in Plymouth After Hurricane Irene

Things are finally starting to get back to normal after hurricane Irene in Plymouth NH with the re-opening of Annie’s Overflow on Rt 175 in Holderness NH. Located just across the border from Plymouth across the bridge on Rt 175, Annie’s is placed mid-way between the Plymouth State University main campus and the Field House. If you’re familiar with the lay of the land at all in Plymouth you know that location put Annie’s square in the middle of the flood damage zone from hurricane Irene in early September 2011.

From Flooding to Recovery in Plymouth NH

Regular readers of our blog will recall the sad videos we posted of the hurricane Irene flooding damage in Plymouth NH just after hurricane Irene flooded the town. Regular patrons will tell you of their feelings for local business-woman and friend Ann Currier, who had recently installed beautiful new carpeting in her restaurant. All the money spent remodeling and redecorating the place was barely paid when Irene blew into town and made a mess of her newly remodeled place.

Patrons React to the Damage by Putting Hands to Work

Lauren, Patty, and Annie of Annie's Overflow in Holderness NH

(from left): Lauren, Patty, and Annie Look Forward to Seeing You Soon!

Friends and patrons of Annie’s showed up by the dozen on Tuesday morning ready to put their gloves on and get to work. With no questions asked the work to clean up and re-model the re-modeling began. Finally this past Thursday (October 6, 2011) Annie’s was ready enough to turn the lights back on and re-open the doors. For folks like yours-truly, it wasn’t a moment too soon – not having had a proper breakfast in 4 weeks!

Now Serving Breakfast and Lunch 7 Days a Week in Plymouth NH!

So Annie would just like to take a moment and say, “THANK YOU!” to all the folks who had come in to help and otherwise wish them a speedy recovery. She’s got a pot of coffee on and Lauren, Patty, and the gang are eager to see all there friends again – and to make new friends as well! So stop by and take a friend or your family out for a great breakfast or lunch at Annie’s Overflow today. See you soon!

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Thanks so Much

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No Comments updated July 26, 2013

Boston Bruins Stanley Cup

Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Champions. It has a nice ring to it, at least on the shores, hills, valleys, and towns of New England. With all the articles and posts I’ve written over the years, it truly is odd that this is my first regarding sports of any kind. I doubt it will be my last.

Recapping the Impressive Stanley Cup Championship Season of the Boston Bruins

There were a lot of ups and downs on the road to the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins. Expectations were fairly high going into the season however a lot of questions remained. Many thought that Tuuka Rask would replace Tim Thomas as the #1 goalie. Many wondered how well injured players, particularly those with concussion injuries (such as Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron) would hold up in the 2010-11 NHL season. I think the biggest cloud over-hanging the team however was the utter collapse in the playoffs last season against the Flyers. Suffice to say there were a number of fans who wondered how on earth the team would recover from that painful memory.

Cool Management Reaction to End of 2009-10 Campaign Got Team Off on Right Foot

Credit management however, for keeping the bulk of the team intact. The draft (enhanced by a savvy trade of sniper Phil Kessel to Toronto) yielded the second pick, used on speedy sniper Tyler Seguin. Like many high picks to enter the NHL before him, Seguin had high expectations placed on him by the fan base. Mercifully however he was not thrown to the wolves by coach Claude Julien and management. Cool management decision-making clearly was a hall-mark of the 2010-11 season for the Bruins. Although there were many times the team or management could have reacted with hot heads and made bad plays or reactionary trades, this management team of Julien, Neely, Chiarelli, and Jacobs waited before making rash decisions. The strategy clearly paid off.

Consider the fan-base and their desire to see the new kid on the block get bigger minutes. Those who know the game best could see he had a lot of talent – certainly talent enough to play in the NHL. On the other hand I think it pretty clear (from watching him get man-handled in the dirty areas of the ice) that his body was not yet strong enough to compete in the areas where he needs to to be effective. As a result Tyler had to earn his minutes most of the time, although some of his minutes definitely came as a result of injury to better, more established players. The reward for making the young player earn his time on the ice? Howabout those flashy goals in the conference finals? Did one cause lead to the result? There’s no way to answer the question but clearly Seguin’s play will get better as time goes on. Sitting him at times for uninspired play didn’t hurt his long term development, that’s for sure. Julien took criticism for that, but who can judge his decision making now?

Injuries Threatened Key Bruins Players

Injuries to a number of the top players, most notably Marc Savard, put the Bruins’ season in jeopardy. The injury to Savard crippled the Bruins power-play, which had been functioning respectably during the season. The combination of play-makers Savard and Bergeron with Chara and snipers Ryder and Horton kept teams honest on the man-advantage. Once Savard was cut down by another shot to the head it seemed like the power-play (and the Bruins chances at making the playoffs) were dwindling.

Enter the Jacobs and the Opening of the Checkbook

Although the Bruins were hanging around near the 8th spot in the playoff race, it was evident to seasoned fans that the roster they had wasn’t going to cut it: the forward line was not deep enough, the power-play was abominable, and the defense was relying too much on Tim Thomas night in and night out. Enter Peter Chiarelli and the management team: good-bye Mark Stuart, Blake Wheeler, a prospect and this year’s 2011 1st round pick in the draft and hello Chris Kelly, Rich Peverly, and Tomas Kaberle (source: aolnews).

Kelly and Peverly paid immediate dividends, combining for scores immediately upon pulling on the spoked-B sweater. I don’t think any GM will tell you that they know exactly how things will work out when they pull the trigger on the trade, but Bruins-brass has to be happy with the way the deals worked out. Critics will complain that the addition of Kaberle did not improve results on the power-play, but anyone who watched those games with a critical eye pre- and post-Kaberle will tell you different. True, the scoreboard didn’t show any surge in power-play goals, but the quality of play on the man-advantage went WAY up with Kaberle in the mix. His ability to move the puck sharply from the blue line to teammates was evident. The fact that this was a great improvement without netting many goals is testimony to HOW BAD the power-play was BEFORE Kaberle’s arrival.

Fighting Their Way into the Playoffs

Two of the biggest games of the season in my mind were played against Montreal. The first resulted into a 7 goal rout in which the Bruins beat the stuffing (both with fists and goals) out of the hated habs. The second key game resulted in the devastating hit by Chara on Max Pacioretti. Although many complained the hit was dirty and comprised of intent to injure – again cooler heads prevailed (this time at league offices) and Chara was not further disciplined.

As a result the captain was able to continue his physical tough play without constantly looking over his shoulder. Habs fans should remember that Chara is a big target night after night, and he doesn’t get a break when someone goes out of their way to get a back-side hit on him when he’s chasing down a puck in his own zone. I think history will look kindly on the way the NHL ruled on the Pacioretti hit: an unfortunate hit on a fast moving skater by a large man at the worst possible part of the ice – a.k.a. part of the game. Move on.

Enter the Playoffs and Those Dreaded Montreal Canadiens

At the beginning of this year’s playoff run, there were only two teams I was genuinely concerned about: the Canadiens (for obvious reasons to any hockey historian) and the New York Rangers. WHAT?!?! You heard right: the Rangers. Not one other team in the league had Boston’s number this year the way the Rangers did. That New York team was TOUGH, in the same way that our boys were TOUGH. Had the Bruins not advanced, the Rangers would have been my team for the playoffs. Tough play is Boston hockey, and there was no way I was going to root for some Oscar winning bunch of divers (like far too many teams up north and west, though decorum prohibits me mentioning them by name). Hockey for any real Boston fan is grind it out, bang-’em, bruise ’em, out-work and out-tough ’em hockey. Gordie Howe would have been welcome on our team for sure.

We wouldn’t have our Bruins any other way. Speaking of taking the grind it out, out-work, out-tough, out-play effort – is there any better story in hockey EVER… than the story of Tim Thomas? This guy was playing in nerf land out over in Europe. Anybody else would have packed it up and called it a career, but not true New Englander Thomas. The former UVM goalie stuck with it, kept believing the hockey pond kid’s dream of making the big play to win the Stanley Cup… and as a result yesterday Tim Thomas raised the Conn Smythe trophy for Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP. To this life-long New Englander, sweeter words I have never written for public consumption.

Considering just how many words I have written in my lifetime… that should say alot.

I loved watching this team this year. It would have been a shame if they had been knocked out by the Canadiens or the Lightning (a worthy opponent IMO). But there will be no shame in Boston this year. This year, the Cup belongs to New England’s Boston Bruins. WELL DONE!

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No Comments updated November 20, 2013

Belmont Welcomes el Jimador

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Yesenia (third from left) and her friendly staff look forward to serving you

Belmont NH-

The Lakes Region has a new site of culinary delights, thanks to the Grand Opening of el Jimador restaurant at 171 Daniel Webster Highway in Belmont, NH. New owner Yesenia Arellano was very excited to open the doors this evening and serve her first customers, including yours truly.

A Long Family History in Mexican Fare

Owner Yesenia Arellano explained her desire to open a restaurant came from a long family history of restaurant ownership, including her parents and siblings. Although her family has a numer of restaurants in the Detroit Michigan area, Yesenia had moved to New Hampshire to be closer to her husband’s family. So here she is on opening night in Belmont NH.

Fine Mexican Dining Fare in an Attractive and Comfortable Setting

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The dining area in el Jimador is attractive, spacious, and relaxing

As you might expect from the name, el Jimador’s charming staff serves quality authentic Mexican dishes, along with enough of the Americanized south of the border favorites for the diner with a less authentic appetite. While my lovely and charming companion enjoyed her taquitos with excellent spanish rice, I selected the less adventurous Americanized standard taco. We both had a good time and enjoyed the great food while listening to the light latin folk music playing in the background.

Welcome Yesenia and el Jimador restaurant, y buenas suerte!

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No Comments updated August 5, 2012

ARTSFEST Takes Manhattan

Times Square at Night Can't Be Beat

Amy, Meet Times Square. Times Square, Meet Amy

So here I am with my favorite people on the ARTSFEST party bus heading down to New York City for an on location video shoot in Times Square and other locations throughout this great American city.

ARTSFEST has a lot of great gigs lined up for the next several weeks. We’ll be taking over the Flying Monkey in Plymouth NH on Nov 6th then we have muultiple gigs lined up for the Beacon Inn in Lincoln, Steele Hill Resort in Sanbornton, and the The Middle Arts and Entertainment Ctr in Franklin NH.

Tonight however is all about having a great trip with friends down to NYC, to vogue it up for the camera tomorrow, then rehearse like s.o.b.s for the next couple of weeks for all these amazing shows.


This was Amy’s first trip to New York and Times Square… and I think you can see from the photo that the bright lights suit her just fine. She and her boyfriend Ray and I pretty well walked just about everywhere you can possibly walk worth going to and still had time to do some great video shooting with the rest of the gang in Central Park. What a great trip we had.

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No Comments updated August 5, 2012