Archive for category Performances

Burlesque Night Live Presents a SantaMental Christmas

BNL Cast Members Nerrishia and Rick

A SantaMental Christmas December 8th at Pitman’s

Laconia NH-
Saturday December 8th at 7:30pm Pitman’s Freight Room is proud to present A SantaMental Christmas featuring the same crazy characters that brought you the hit 2012 series “Burlesque Night Live” at Pitman’s. Come enjoy a night of holiday festivities with the colorful personalities of the Burlesque Night Live cast as they sing, dance, and laugh you into submission as only they can.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong on Christmas?

The zany cast of Burlesque Night Live of Laconia NH asks the time-honored question, “It’s Christmas, so what could possibly go wrong?” As many of you know all too well, there are plenty of things that can go wrong at Christmas. We all know the drill of “getting into the holiday spirit,” don’t we? Well now is YOUR chance to watch the cast of Laconia’s beloved Burlesque Night Live crew as they stumble, bumble, plot, kick and scream their way into that special holiday cheer that makes Christmas so special.

While the boys of BNL will have you in stitches you can also expect to see a lot from the ladies of BNL as well. The show will also once again feature the passionate singing of favorite artists Saphaedra Renee and Steve Gonzalez. Come by Pitman’s Saturday December 8th at 7:30pm for fun hijinks in adult themed comedy atmosphere. Call (603) 494-3334 for ticket details.

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Burlesque Night Live in Laconia Opens to Amused Audience

Burlesque Night Live Laconia NH

The rowdy cast of Burlesque Night Live poses under the lights at Pitman's Freight Room. The show opened Wednesday April 25th, 2012 (photo credit: Maureen Bieniarz-Pond)

Laconia NH – A lively audience was entertained by the zany antics of the cast of Burlesque Night Live – a new music, dance, and comedy production of local NH talent. A collaborative effort of two local performing arts companies, acts ranged from the sultry and seductive to the absurd. The audience had something to look at, listen to, and laugh about all night – and guests continued to chuckle even as they said goodnight after the performance.

Special Guest Performance by Steve Gonzalez

Joining the regular cast members was local baritone Steve Gonzalez – whose vocal performances of selections from Opera and Broadway were nothing short of stunning. Steve is originally from Laconia currently attending college in state.

Upcoming Show Wednesday May 2nd

Tickets are on sale at Pitman’s Freight Room for the upcoming show dates – Wedsnesdays 4/25 through 6/13 with no show scheduled for May 16th.

Burlesque Night Live is a collaborative show featuring the artists of the ARTSFEST Performing Arts Company, Tabula Rasa Theatre Company, and is produced by Pointless Forest Productions. (photo: Maureen Bieniarz-Pond)

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The Streetcar Company Presents The Miracle Worker

Nerrishia Bodwell as Annie Sullivan and Sophia Joyal as Helen Keller rehearse a scene from The Miracle Worker being presented by The Streetcar Company December 2nd-4th at Laconia High School

Laconia, NH-
The Streetcar Company will present William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker at Laconia High School on December 2nd, 3rd and 4th. With two months of rehearsals behind them, cast and crew will spend the last few days before opening night fine tuning their roles and acclimating themselves to the newly constructed set. Director J Alward and assistant director Carolyn Desrosiers are quite pleased with the progress made by the cast, especially as a number of them have had little or no previous stage experience. One thing Streetcar tries to encourage is for new members to come and be a part of the live theater experience. While lead actress, Nerrishia Bodwell as Annie Sullivan has a number of shows under her belt with Streetcar and other surrounding companies, this is the first show Heidi Erhard, as Kate Keller, has performed in since high school. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of this presentation.” said Erhard. “It’s been a really positive experience; I feel I have joined a whole new family and I hope the audience appreciates all the work everyone has put into this production.”

Sophia Joyal, a sixth grader at Laconia Middle School, has been seen in a number of Streetcar productions and shows a capacity beyond her years as she portrays the deaf and blind Helen. New to Streetcar, but not to the stage, are Suzanne Banister as Aunt Ev and Eric L. March as Capt. Keller. Others performing in the production are Braeden Alward as James, Dawn Thompson as Viney, Doug Embree as Mr. Anagnos, Riley Alward as Percy, Sharleigh Thomson as Martha, Peter Ayer as Ezekiel, Johan Andersen as the doctor, Rebekah Roy, Hannah Watson, Alexa Dembiec, Cecilia and Kayla Zarella as the blind girls, Alec Thomson as Jimmy and Marcia Haven and Melissa Bigler as the crones.

Based on Gibson’s 1957 teleplay, The Miracle Worker was first presented on Broadway in 1959 starring Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan and Patty Duke as Helen Keller. Gibson’s adaptation of Keller’s autobiography, The Story of My Life, garnered rave reviews for the production and lead to the Academy Award winning movie also starring Bancroft and Duke in 1962. The struggle by Sullivan to teach a deaf and blind Keller to communicate with the outside world is a powerful story of compassion and strength of character. Battling her own demons as well as the frustrations presented by the Keller family having coddled Helen for so long, Sullivan’s progress is slow but eventually all parties grow and adapt to the challenges in the end.

Show times are at 7pm on Friday and Saturday night, December 2nd and 3rd, with a 1pm matinee on Sunday the 4th. Tickets are available at Greenlaw’s Music in downtown Laconia, Danbury General Store 705 US Route 4 (at the junction of Routes 4 and 104), and will also be available at the door. Ticket prices are $10.00 each with an advanced sale price of $8.00 for 4 or more tickets purchased at the same time. All tickets will be $10.00 at the door.

For more information go to the company website at www.streetcarcompany.com

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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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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.

LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

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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A Couple of Upcoming Shows in Lakes Region | Wedding Singer | Drood

I am really excited about a couple of upcoming shows in the region. My goof friends at Franklin Footlight Theatre are putting on the hit musical “The Wedding Singer” featuring up and coming local talents Jake Schaffner and Katie Nadeau.

The show is based on the hit romantic comedy that featured NH’s own Adam Sandler. The show opens at Franklin Opera House July 22nd and runs on consecutive weekends. Visit http:\www.franklintheatre.org for ticket information.

Next up is a show getting ready to run casting auditions in Laconia.The Streetcar Company is holding casting auditions for Drood – a musical based on the last (unfinished) work of Charles Dickens. Visit http:\www.streetcarcompany.com for further details. Casting nights are Aug 1st and Aug 3rd.

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Keeping New Hampshire’s Historic Performing Spaces Alive

SHARP Dance Company

National touring artists such as SHARP Dance Company (shown here performing a selection from their original piece Blind Faith) make historic venues such as Rochester Opera House come alive. SHARP comes to Rochester May 8th. Tickets 603-335-1992


Local Group Links Community Artists Together to Fill Beloved Old Landmark Performance Spaces

One local group of performers has made itself into a key link amongst a growing network of individual artists, performers, and dancers who live for the thrill of performing in classic theatrical stage venues. While a small group of performers themselves may not have the mass necessary to pull off a performance at mid-size venues like the Rochester Opera House and similar classic theaters, the ARTSFEST Performing Arts Company has found that they can build the necessary mass by drawing on talented people in the surrounding community where they are performing. A classic example of this leveraging strategy is their upcoming 2010 Showcase performance at the Rochester Opera House on May 8th.

Erin Lovett Sherman

Erin Lovett Sherman (shown here at a recent fundraiser for a local community theater group) uses her network of contacts to bring artists of all kinds together for unique and entertaining performances. Erin's ARTSFEST Showcase 2010 is May 8th at Historic Rochester Opera House.

Creative Director of ARTSFEST Dance Company Erin Lovett Sherman has used her networking skills to bring together talented performers from the Lakes and Seacoast Regions of New Hampshire to create the dream opportunity for community artists to perform in the landmark historic theaters in the state. Some of the acts in the upcoming Rochester Opera House performance include a relatively new Barbershop Quartet, Lake City Sound. Other performers include Relevation, a Reggae Jam band, Xtreme Dance Productions (Broadway dance numbers) and several comedic sketches and song and dance numbers from the outrageous Tabula Rasa/ARTSFEST joint production of “A Good Ole Burlesque Show” which recently sold out performance space at the Historic Franklin Opera House to rave reviews.

Also featured in the upcoming May 8th ARTSFEST 2010 Showcase will be SHARP Dance Company of Philadelphia, PA. By bring in a national touring group like SHARP, ARTSFEST has reached beyond the borders of the Granite State to invite professional dancers from SHARP to perform some of their signature original thematic dance pieces. Adding SHARP Dance Company to the playbill for the evening really is the icing on the cake for the show, adding something so special even the ARTSFEST performers can’t wait to see and experience it.

The beauty of this sort of collaboration is that everyone involve ends up benefiting. The historic venues like the Rochester and Franklin Opera Houses get to host the types and kinds of acts they were originally designed for. The national/traveling artists are able to travel light, relying on the local acts to provide and handle the space, production, and much of the technical aspects of putting on a show. Similarly, the local artists such as ARTSFEST have the opportunity to showcase their own unique talents while finding joy and inspiration in seeing the creative talents of others. Finally the community has the opportunity to share the performance experience with a great deal of civic pride in their own unique and special historic theater.

Providing the opportunity for young and talented community artists never gets old. Seeing local performers develop and expand their skills while also enjoying the wonder and creative inspirations of others makes ARTSFEST’s Showcase performances a great source of pride and enjoyment for the Granite State.

Community members are welcome to come to the May 8th ARTSFEST Showcase at the lovely Rochester Opera House. Show time is at 7pm, tickets are $16-18 and available at 603-335-1992 or online at www.rochersteroperahouse.com

Mike Manning and Alison Henchey

Mike Manning and Alison Henchey rehearse a lift prior to the upcoming ARTSFEST Showcase May 8th at Historic Rochester Opera House

Relevation's Cody James

Cody James forms the center of Relevation's unique sound. Relevation will be performing as part of the ARTSFEST Showcase May 8th at the Rochester Opera House

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ARTSFEST 2010 Showcase Comes to Rochester Opera House

Featured Artist: SHARP Dance Company of Philadelphia, PA

Click Image for Tickets

ArtsFest Showcase 2010 Features SHARP Dance Company

Rochester NH -
ARTSFEST SHOWCASE is a dynamic mix of Dance, Music, Comedy, Theatre and Art, and this year’s show won’t disappoint, bringing together home grown performing artists from NH and reaching out to our friends from the Mid-Atlantic States to share their talents with our great state.

May 8th’s “2010 Showcase” features SHARP DANCE COMPANY from Philadelphia – a modern thematic performance dance company. SHARP Dance Company brings to the stage modern thematic dance, and will be featuring two exquisite pieces – Blind Faith (part 3) and Woman’s Story (part 2). In “Blind Faith (part 3)” audiences will be inspired by the performance featuring a 34 foot long skirt designed by Brian Strachan revealing the strong helping the weak through trust and faith.

In woman’s story (part 2) “A Women’s Quartet” the performance reveals a woman’s ability to overcome personal and social obstacles. “Woman’s Story” empowers and celebrates the vitality, beauty, grace, and individuality of women and how they can and share these strengths with other women in their lives.

Formed in 2005 by Diane Sharp-Nachsin, SHARP Dance Company is quickly becoming recognized for their combination of inspired artistry, imagination capturing “stories of performance” and the discipline required of such performance mastery. They feature professionally trained dancers from both the Philadelphia area and some of the Mid-Atlantic States. Their mission is to translate raw human emotion utilizing contemporary movement to connect the audience through individual interpretation. SHARP is a modern dance company, and its theory of “Meaning behind Movement” is showed prominently throughout their work. SHARP feels that dance should be more than a performance; it should be an experience. We at ARTSFEST think you’ll agree your experience will be fantastic, and we are THRILLED to bring them to NH.

Click for Tickets

ARTSFEST performing artists pose for a group shot for their upcoming 2010 showcase May 8th at the Rochester Opera House. Pictured are (back from left) Simone Henderson, Briana Plume, Alison Henchey, Barry Livingstone, Kevin Borella, Amanda O'Riordan and (front L to R) Rori Dawes and Nicole Buttermore. Tickets are on sale at www.rochesteroperahouse.com or by phone (603) 335-1992. Don't miss this one time only event!

Also performing May 8th will be ARTSFEST friends RELEVATION, an original Reggae jam band from NH, featuring their irresistible lively sound that just keeps you moving. Joining SHARP and RELEVATION will be the ARTSFEST DANCE COMPANY, performing their Hip Hop style numbers. They will be joined by their outrageous counterparts, the comedy skits of the ARTSFEST PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY.

Tickets ($16-$18) are on sale at Rochester Opera House box office, through the Opera House website (http://www.rochesteroperahouse.com), or via phone (603) 335-1992. The Opera House and ARTSFEST would like to thank major season sponsors Eastern Propane & Oil, L. Wynn Sound, Citadel Broadcasting Corp., Foster’s Daily Democrat, and Holy Rosary Credit Union.

You won’t want to miss this incredibly entertaining, one night only, one of a kind performance of professional artists from New England and beyond.

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ARTSFEST/Tabula Rasa Present “A Good Ol’ Burlesque Show”

Click for Tickets

Burlesque and Vaudeville-style entertainment return to the historic Franklin Opera House as ARTFEST and Tabula Rasa present “A Good Ol’ Burlesque Show” on April 16 & 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this program of old-time comedy sketches, music and dance are available from The Middle at 603-934-1901 or at www.themiddlenh.org. Shown here are (front) Erin Lovett Sherman and Rori Dawes, (back) Nicole Buttermore, Barry Livingstone, Kevin Borella, Nerrishia Bodwell and Mike Manning.

FRANKLIN NH- Burlesque is a humorous theatrical entertainment involving parody and sometimes grotesque exaggeration. In early 20th century America, the form became associated with a style known as Vaudeville, a particular genre of variety entertainment made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. By the late 19th century, most cities and large towns in America boasted a theatre or “opera house” featuring live entertainment, and the City of Franklin was no exception. From its opening in 1893 until the 1940s, the Franklin Opera House hosted thousands of burlesque and vaudeville shows, until the genres’ popularity declined with the increasing popularity of movies and later, television, resulting in the closing of the venue in the 1970s.

The City Council and Franklin District Court used the opera house auditorium space for many years until, after a community fundraising drive and the renovation and restoration of the space, it was re-opened for entertainment. Now operated by the non-profit Middle New Hampshire Arts & Entertainment Center (“The Middle”), the historic Franklin Opera House will once again shake with laughter, as burlesque returns to its well trod stage for the first time in nearly fifty years.

Two Laconia-based community performing arts groups, ARTSFEST Performing Arts Company and Tabula Rasa Theatre Company, have teamed up to present a vaudeville-style musical comedy revue, entitled “A Good Ol’ Burlesque Show,” to be presented two nights only, April 16 & 17 at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Rick Morten with choreography by Erin Lovett Sherman, lighting by Jordan Tankard and musical accompaniment by Phil Breton, the two-act show contains many classic routines made famous by such show-biz immortals as the Marx Brothers, Abbott & Costello, Gypsy Rose Lee, Milton Berle and Ann Corio (whose late-career show, “This Was Burlesque” played at the Lakes Region Playhouse in Gilford in the 1960s and -70s).

Click for Tickets

Burlesque and Vaudeville-style entertainment return to the historic Franklin Opera House as ARTFEST and Tabula Rasa present “A Good Ol’ Burlesque Show” on April 16 & 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this program of old-time comedy sketches, music and dance are available from The Middle at 603-934-1901 or at www.themiddlenh.org. Shown here (L to R) are Rick Morten, Nicole Buttermore and Mike Manning.

(“A Good Ol’ Burlesque Show” also includes excerpts from the 1979 burlesque-revival broadway show, “Sugar Babies,” starring Mickey Rooney. With a cast of well-known area actors and dancers, including Melissa Bigler, Nerrishia Bodwell, Kevin Borella, David Bownes, Peter Brunette, Nicole Buttermore, Rori Dawes, Ray Feola, Amey Garnett, Alison Henchey, Simone Henderson, Barry Livingstone, Erin Lovett Sherman, Mike Manning, Elis Marcoux, Rick Morten, and Kris Snow, and featuring several lavish production numbers by the ARTSFEST Dance Company, “A Good Ol’ Burlesque Show” promises to shake the historic Franklin Opera House to its foundations. Those interested in further information or purchasing tickets may call The Middle Box Office at 603-934-1901 or online at www.themiddlenh.org.

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ArtsFest Fall 2009 Showcase at The Middle

The Lovely and Dynamic ArtsFest Dance Company

The Lovely and Dynamic ArtsFest Dance Company

Franklin, NH – Come join this celebration of the Arts, September 19th, 7pm, at THE MIDDLE NH ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CENTER at the Historic Franklin Opera House in Franklin, NH. The Franklin Opera House is a beautiful and historic theatre, a lovely setting for the ARTSFEST Fall feast of the Performing and Visual Arts.
ARTSFEST has put together stunning line-up of professional artists and companies for this special one night only event. Featured artists include: QWILL, RELEVATION, JUSTIN JAYMES, ARTSFEST PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY, PAUL THIBEAULT AND SHARON DANSON, TEAGAN MORIN, EEGAD, ZACH FOOTE, KATE LEMAY, and THE NEW ENGLAND TAP ENSEMBLE. It’s going to be a wonderful night of inspired performing arts and artists!

ARTSFEST turns ten years old this year, beginning with an all day festival with workshops, art exhibits, and performances, on a beautiful summer day overlooking the Lake in Centre Harbor, NH. Since that summer, we’ve had 10 fun, exciting years full of festivals, retreats, workshops and performance tours. Thanks to all the artists who have jammed together over the years! ARTSFEST sends kudos to artists everywhere, expressing themselves with their unique gifts! Creation, Collaboration and Community have always been at the core of the ARTSFEST mission. Hundreds of collaborative projects, partnerships, professional connections and friendships have been made. The artistic community is its own greatest advocate and benefactor. Thank you all for coming together to support one another in so many ways. What a wonderful Community of Artists! Artists of all genres have the same intangible spark inside them, and the same drive to express it. That’s why the more we come together, the more we feel at home.

So come, enjoy, meet new and old friends, make connections, feel the vibe, dance a little, sing along, wonder at a piece of artwork, smile, laugh and have a wonderful night. Artists and Art Lovers Unite! Let’s take an evening off from our busy lives and enjoy each other.

Saturday, September 19th, 7pm.

Get your tickets! Pick your seats! Tickets at www.themiddlenh.org or call the Box Office at 603-934-1901. Reserved Tickets are $17/$15/$13

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