Posts Tagged artsfest

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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1 Comment 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

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

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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No Comments updated August 5, 2012

ARTSFEST 2010 Showcase Comes to Rochester Opera House

Featured Artist: SHARP Dance Company of Philadelphia, PA

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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.

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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 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 (, 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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No Comments updated July 26, 2013

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

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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 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).

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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 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

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No Comments updated July 26, 2013