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Highlights: Shaker Bridge actor finds castmates in the audience

  • Actor Theresa Kloos stars in "Every Brilliant Thing" at Shaker Bridge Theater in Enfield, N.H. Kloos was on stage for a run-through of the play on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Enfield, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Actor Theresa Kloos, left, hugs audience member Roanne Rogerson, of Plainfield, N.H., during a run-through of "Every Brilliant Thing" at Shaker Bridge Theater in Enfield, N.H., on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. The one-woman show brings members of the audience into the telling of the story. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Director Bill Coons goes over notes with actor Theresa Kloos after a run-through of "Every Brilliant Thing" at Shaker Bridge Theater on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Enfield, N.H. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/5/2020 7:29:10 PM
Modified: 2/7/2020 5:28:44 PM

Theresa Kloos expects to stick to the script of Every Brilliant Thing during Shaker Bridge Theatre’s production of the one-person play.

Well, up to a point: The rest is up to whoever comes to Whitney Hall in Enfield between Thursday night and Feb. 23. The play calls for Kloos’ character to recruit members of the audience to help her sort through a troubled childhood and subsequent dark periods of her life.

“I love that it’s a mix of a text and things you absolutely can’t plan for,” Kloos said between rehearsals last week. “What’s exciting for the audience is, it will never be the same play.”

Indeed, Every Brilliant Thing is what Shaker Bridge artistic director Bill Coons calls “a very different animal,” even by the standards of the inventive plays he’s produced and directed over the years.

Kloos brings a set of skills to match. A stand-up comic by trade, she’s also paid her dues in more conventional plays at regional theater around the Northeast, including co-starring roles for Shaker Bridge in The How and the Why in 2015 and Dry Powder in 2019.

“It is kind of a hybrid of the different things I do,” Kloos said. “Bill knew that, which was why he wanted to work on this and I wanted to. I’d done a couple of my own autobiographical one-woman shows and a little improv in New York City, which were good preparation, though they didn’t really involve audience participation. This script really, inventively tells the story with aspects of improv.”

As the Narrator — originally a man in Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe’s script — Kloos’ character opens the show by calling out numbers 1 through 7. To each number, a member of the audience chosen at random beforehand reads from a piece of paper one of the first seven “brilliant things” that make life worth living, on the list that the Narrator started assembling at age 7 — the first time her mother attempted suicide:

Ice cream.

Water fights.

Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV.

The color yellow.

Things with stripes.

Roller coasters.

People falling over.

“In all,” Kloos said, “there are 50-something different things for people to call out.”

The more variations the better, for Kloos’ money.

“Given the ways the play can go,” she said, “maybe people will want to come more than once.”

Theresa Kloos performs Shaker Bridge Theatre’s production of Every Brilliant Thing through Feb. 23 at Whitney Hall in Enfield. For tickets ($16 to $35) and more information, visit shakerbridgetheatre.org or call 603-448-3750.

Best bets

For his next act in the Upper Valley — on previous visits he’s performed solo and with the Silkroad Ensemble and Brooklyn Rider — versatile fiddler Johnny Gandelsman adapts Bach’s cello suites to violin on Friday night at 7 at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon. Part of the Lebanon Opera House’s “On Location” series; for tickets ($18 to $33), visit lebanonoperahouse.org. On Thursday evening at 5:30 at the church Gandelsman leads a master class for students of the neighboring Upper Valley Music Center, which the public is welcome to attend for free.

■ Lebanon-native soprano Mary Bonhag leads the Scrag Mountain Music ensemble through a program of folk and fairy tales set to classical and folk music, on Friday night at 6 in the Esther Mesh Room of the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph. Admission by donation.

■ Jazz pianist Sonny Saul plays his latest compositions on Friday night from 8 to 11 at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners, accompanied by trumpeter/flugelhorn player Glendon Ingalls, percussionist Tim Gilmore and bassist Peter Concilio. For reservations, call 802-436-2139.

■The Villalobos Brothers play Latin American roots music on Sunday night at 7 at The Engine Room in White River Junction. Admission $15 to $40, with proceeds benefiting GlobaLocal’s 2020 concert series of world music; visit sevendaystickets.com or email globalocalvt@gmail.com.

■Violinist Saul Bitran and pianist Sally Pinkas perform works of Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos, Ravel, Faure and other French and Latin American composers on Tuesday night at 7:30 at Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium. For tickets ($25 to $40) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

Theater/performance art

King Lear, performances of Northern Stage production through Sunday, at Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction. Admission $17.75 to $57.75.

■Monthly Comedy Club Night, Thursday night at 8 at The Engine Room in White River Junction. CW Foley hosts, and performers include Lebanon resident Peter Pardoe.

Music

Violist Jordi Savall, Iberian masterworks of Baroque era, Thursday night at 7:30 at Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover. Admission $30 and up.

■Folk singer-guitarist Zak Trojano, Friday night at 7 at Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse. Admission by donation.

■Bluegrass bassist Missy Raines and her band, bluegrass/Americana, Friday night at 7:30 at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret. Admission $20.

■Nancy Tripp Quartet, jazz, Saturday night at 7 at Whipple Hall in New London. Tickets ($30 to $35) available at centerfortheartsnh.org, and at Morgan Hill Bookstore and Tatewell Gallery in New London.

■Pianist William Ogmundson, original compositions and works from Great American songbook, Saturday night at 7 at First Congregational Church of Lebanon. Admission by donation.

■Turnip Truck, roots, Saturday night at 7 at Reading, Vt., Town Hall. Admission $10, proceeds benefit area nonprofits.

■Jazz saxophonist Dan Moretti, Sunday afternoon at 4 at Center at Eastman’s Bistro Nouveau in Grantham. For tickets ($18 to $20), call 603-763-8732 or visit josajazz.com.

Dance

Muskeg Music contra dance with band Blind Squirrel and caller Mary Wesley, Saturday night at 7:30 at Tracy Hall in Norwich. Walk-through for new and rusty dancers at 7:15. Admission $8 to $12. Visit uvdm.org for information on this and upcoming dances.

■“Midwinter Funk” dance party with Boston-based band Funktapuss, Saturday night at 8 at The Little Theater in Woodstock. Doors open at 7:30 for refreshments. Tickets $20 to $25. To learn more, visit www.popup.social.

Bar and club circuit

Mad Hazard Band, jazz, bossa nova and blues, Thursday night at 5:30 at the Quechee Club’s Davidson’s Restaurant.

■Fiddle Witch, newgrass and bluegrass, Thursday night at 6 at Peyton Place restaurant in Orford.

■Dan Blaise and Bernie Moss, roots-rock, Thursday night at 7 at Windsor Station; Super Stash Brothers, rock, Friday night at 9:30; Dark Stars Project, Grateful Dead-style rock, Saturday night at 9:30.

■Royalton singer-songwriter Alison “AliT” Turner, Friday night at 7 at Margarita’s restaurant in Lebanon, and Tuesday night at 6 at Windsor Station.

■FROMO, classic-rock and -pop covers, Saturday afternoon at 4 at Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon.

■Singer-songwriter Jim Yeager, Monday night at 6:30 at 506 on the River in Woodstock.

Open mics, jam sessions

Jim Yeager’s twice-monthly open mic, Thursday night at 7 at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret. Free.

■Alec Currier’s weekly open-mic at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon, Thursday night at 8.

■Jakob Breitbach hosts two jam sessions in White River Junction over the coming week: jazz on Friday night at 6 in the Hotel Coolidge’s Cafe Renee, and acoustic roots on Tuesday night at 7, at The Filling Station Bar and Grill.

■Tom Masterson’s open mic, Tuesday night at 7 at Colatina Exit.

■Peter Meijer’s open mic, Wednesday nights at 8 at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com or 603-727-3304. Send entertainment news to highlights@vnews.com.




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