Out & About: Dogs have their day in Randolph event

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    "Mutts Gone Nuts" will perform Saturday at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph. (Eric Forburger photograph) Eric Forburger photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/11/2022 11:26:53 PM
Modified: 5/11/2022 11:26:53 PM

RANDOLPH — Chandler Center for the Arts is being taken over by dogs in “Mutts Gone Nuts” this Saturday.

The family-friendly comedy program features nine dogs performing an array of acrobatic tricks under the guidance of Scott and Joan Houghton. The show runs from 7 to 9 p.m., and tickets, which cost $10 to $40, must be purchased ahead of time at chandler-arts.org. The show can also be livestreamed for $20 and is available up to 48 hours after the event.

In some ways, the program heralds what Chandler Executive Director Karen Dillon hopes will be a return to in-person events for children.

“I had been hesitant to program as much children’s stuff because a lot of little kids couldn’t get vaccinated, and therefore their families didn’t want to take them to programs,” Dillon said. Now that younger children can be vaccinated, “I feel like we’ll be able to get back into full family programming very soon.”

Plans had been in the works for “Mutts Gone Nuts” to perform prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They looked really fun, and I knew they’d be a big audience pleaser,” Dillon said. “We booked a show, and then COVID happened.”

Since the Houghtons have concerns about the dogs contracting COVID-19, the canine stars will not have a meet-and-greet with the audience.

The Chandler is currently selling tickets at half capacity to ensure there is room for social distancing. Families can sit together and be separated from other groups by a seat on each side. Every other row is also left empty. Masks are not required. Selling roughly 275 to 300 tickets will put the theater at half capacity, depending on the number of people in each group.

“I think because we are only selling half the house, people are feeling comfortable to get out,” said Dillon.

There are plans in the works for an outdoor children’s concert, and the youth musical will be Legally Blonde this summer. Dillon is happy that dogs will be performing at the Chandler in the first animal-based program in quite some time.

“Kids are going to love it. In fact, everyone’s going to love it,” she said. “It’s adorable.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.

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