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Valley stage vets share passion plays

  • Jenna Gallagher, left, and Kerrigan Quenemoen in a rehearsal for Anthony Clarvoe's "The Living" at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. (Rob Strong photograph)

  • Holden Harris and the company in a rehearsal for Anthony Clarvoe's "The Living" at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. (Rob Strong photograph)

  • Kerrigan Quenemoen in a rehearsal for Anthony Clarvoe's "The Living" at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. (Rob Strong photograph)

  • Rehearsal for Anthony Clarvoe's "The Living" at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. (Rob Strong photograph)

  • Jonathan Verge will be performing "On The Verge : An Evening with Jonathan Verge" at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction, Vt., on Nov. 16, 2019, at 7 p.m. (Brandt Casper photograph)

  • From left, Perry Allison, Daniel Patterson and Andrew Carmichael are the cast in Faith Catlin's "DNR," directed by Sharon Trautwein at Parish Players' Ten Minute Play Festival on Nov. 14-17, 2019. (Courtesy photograph)

  • Mary Ann Stanford, left, and Jeannie Hines are the cast in Richard Pauli's "The New Me," directed by Faith Catlin at Parish Players' Ten Minute Play Festival on Nov. 14-17, 2019. (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/13/2019 10:16:33 PM
Modified: 11/14/2019 9:41:15 PM

One says goodbye and three say hello (again) on stages around the Upper Valley this weekend.

And theatrical veterans Jonathan Verge, Jamie Horton, Faith Catlin and Perry Allison all will share passion plays.

While Verge is bidding a bittersweet farewell to his native Upper Valley with the one-night, one-man show On the Verge at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction on Saturday night, Horton is directing four performances of the deceptively dystopian drama The Living at Dartmouth College’s Moore Theater.

And Catlin and Allison have their footprints and fingerprints on several of the productions that the Parish Players are staging during their annual Ten Minute Play Festival at the Eclipse Grange Theatre on Thetford Hill.

Got all that? Verge hopes so, considering how many other plays and forms of live entertainment Upper Valley audiences can choose from this weekend. This is his last appearance on a stage here before heading to Holland, Mich., to run the award-winning drama and debate programs at the town’s high school.

“Even before the new opportunity presented itself, it had been in the back of my mind for a while that I was ready to do another concert-style show like I did when I was in Chicago,” Verge, who spent the last several years running the drama program at Lebanon High School, said last week. “It certainly would have had a different focus to it if I were staying around.

“Now, the third act, I’ve been referring to it in rehearsal as The Long Goodbye.”

He bade a much shorter farewell in 2000, graduating from Lebanon High and leaving the Upper Valley to pursue a career in theater. Verge expects to reminisce about these last three years since his return, and to sing songs from shows in which he’s performed.

Between rehearsals, he made time to see some of the kids he guided at Lebanon High perform in the Trumbull Hall Troupe’s recent production of the musical Newsies.

“It was so rewarding to see my students on that stage, to see the artists they’ve grown into,” Verge said. “I was proud to be part of a community that values the arts so much.”

Jonathan Verge performs his farewell show On the Verge on Saturday night at 7:30 at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction. Admission $20.

Ever since he returned to the Upper Valley in 2006 to teach in Dartmouth College’s Department of Theater, Jamie Horton had longed to direct The Living, written in response to the AIDS crisis.

“This play has stuck with me,” Horton, a 1972 graduate of Hanover High School, said between rehearsals in mid-October, recalling his acting role in the world premiere at the Denver Center for Arts, in 1992. “The AIDS deaths were just off the charts. We were losing friends at a deeply alarming rate, and there was so much misunderstanding and the ignorance about how it was transmitted.”

“I think it’s quite resonant, the message it sends about our humanity,” Horton said. “As we’re seeing now, human nature and politics so often get in the way. It shows that all of those challenges are centuries old.

“To bring this play here now, it’s quite a circle for me.”

The Dartmouth College Department of Theater stages The Living Friday night through Sunday afternoon at the Hopkins Center’s Moore Theater. For tickets ($15 to $40), visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

In addition to directing the gender-bending comedy The New Me during the Parish Players’ Ten Minute Play Festival, Faith Catlin is watching Perry Allison co-star in Catlin’s DNR, about residents of a senior assisted-living facility, looking down the barrel of their mortality.

But wait: There’s more! Allison somehow is finding time to direct Yours and Mine, a drama about a long-married couple.

“We’ve also got plays featuring everything from a man getting relationship therapy from his dog to gun violence, gay parents,” Parish Players co-chairwoman Toni Egger said recently. “It’s a true community effort.”

The Parish Players wrap their annual Ten Minute Play Festival with performances between Thursday night and Sunday afternoon, at the Eclipse Grange Theatre on Thetford Hill. For tickets ($10 to $20) and more information, visit parishplayers.org or call 802-785-4344.

Best bets

Claremont’s Off Broad Street Players stage Eileen Moushey’s mystery, Murder in Black and White, during dinner on Saturday night at American Legion Post 25, on Court Street in Windsor. For tickets ($25), call 802-674-9967.

■The Slambovian Circus of Dreams grinds out its repertoire of folk, pop and “surreal Americana” on Saturday night at 7:30, at Court Street Arts’ Alumni Hall in Haverhill. To reserve tickets ($20 to $22), visit courtstreetarts.org or call 603-989-5500.

■The Sostenuto Quartet and the Kentucky Warblers Piano Trio perform works ranging from the Americana repertoire of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason to chamber compositions of Beethoven, Brahms and Rameau on Sunday afternoon at 3, at the Village at White River Junction senior-living community. Admission by donation to AmeriCares’ relief work in the Bahamas post-Hurricane Dorian.

■Canadian fiddle wizards Andrea Beaton and Veronique Plasse blend the folk rhythms of Cape Breton and Quebec on Sunday afternoon at 3:30, during a house concert in Braintree, Vt. Advance tickets cost $8 for kids and $17 for adults; prices at the door are $10 and $20, respectively. To reserve seats, snail-mail a check, payable to Andrea Beaton, to Beth Telford, 1060 Bend Hill Road, Braintree, VT 05060.

■Northern Stage kicks off its production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music next week, with preview performances on Wednesday night, next Thursday night and on Nov. 22 at the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction. The play officially opens on Nov. 23 and runs through Jan. 5. For tickets ($17.75 to $32.75 for preview shows, $17.75 to $57.75 from Nov. 23 on), visit northernstage.org or call 802-296-7000.

Theater/performance art

Other Desert Cities, BarnArts production of Jon Robin Baitz’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated family drama, performances Friday night through Sunday afternoon at Barnard Town Hall. Tickets $15 to $20; visit barnarts.org.

Music

Rod Abernethy, Southern folk, Friday night at 7 at Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse. Admission by donation.

■“Jazzical,” weekend performances at three Upper Valley venues by violinist Timothy Schwarz, bassist Craig Sandberg and Classicopia pianist Daniel Weiser. Tour begins Friday night at 7:30 at First Congregational Church of Lebanon, ends on Sunday afternoon at the Fairlee Town Hall auditorium; admission $18. In between, on Saturday night, trio plays house concert in Hanover, at which seating is limited and reserve tickets cost $35.

■Singer-songwriter Joshua Davis, Friday night at 7:30 in upper gallery of Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph. Admission by donation.

■“Community Festival of Song,” hosted by choir at Bethany Church in Pike, N.H., on Saturday afternoon at 3 in church sanctuary. Repertoire ranging from gospel to show tunes and patriotic songs. Admission by donation.

■Singer-songwriter Jenna Rice and guitarist Greg Goedwaagen, Saturday night at 7 at Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon. Admission $15.

■Save Room for Pie, jazz, monthly Corinth Coffeehouse on Saturday night at 7, at the Corinth Town Hall in East Corinth. Admission by donation to Chelsea-based SafeArt school for survivors of abuse and other traumas.

■Pat Daddona, folk/roots, Saturday night at 7 at Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse in Springfield, Vt. Free.

■Handel Society of Dartmouth College, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Saturday night at 7:30 at Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover. Admission $25 to $40.

■Neave Piano Trio, chamber works of woman composers, Saturday night at 7:30 at Chandler Music Hall in Randolph. Admission $25.

■Chad Hollister Band, rock, Saturday night at 8:30 at Pierce’s Inn in Etna. Admission $45 to $65. For reservations, visit piercesinn.com or call 603-643-2997.

■Classical guitarist William Ghezzi, works of Bach, Couperin, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Joe Pass, Johnny Smith, Antonio Ruiz-Pipo, Antonio Lauro and Henry Martinez, Sunday afternoon at 4 at Dartmouth College’s Faulkner Recital Hall in Hanover. Admission free.

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.

■Sensible Shoes, danceable rock and pop, Thursday night at 7 at Windsor Station; The Wheelers, rock, Friday night at 9:30; Soulstice, ska and reggae, Saturday night at 9:30.

■FryDaddy, Friday night at 8 at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners.

■Guitarist Ted Mortimer, Friday night at 8 at Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon; Rich Thomas and Logan Flewelling, country rock, Saturday night at 8.

■The FROGZ, classic rock and country, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover; Adam McMahon Duo, acoustic rock, Saturday night at 9.

■The Boneshakerz, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon; That One-Eyed Kid, Americana duo, Saturday night at 9.

■Rich Thomas, rock, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in Newport.

■John Lackard Blues duo, Saturday night at 7 at The Public House Pub in Quechee.

■Singer-songwriter-guitarist Michael McNaughton, Sunday at noon at SILO Distillery and Tuesday night at 6 at Windsor Station.

■Jes Raymond and Jakob Breitbach, folk/roots, Sunday night at 5 at Harpoon Brewery in Windsor.

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

■Saxophonist Michael Parker and guitarist Norm Wolfe, jazz, Wednesday night at 5:30 at Quechee Inn at Marshland Farm.

Open mics, jam sessions

Fiddler Jakob Breitbach hosts jam sessions at two White River Junction venues over the coming week: jazz on Thursday night at 6 at Cafe Renee in Hotel Coolidge; roots on Tuesday night at 7 at Filling Station Bar and Grill.

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

■Joseph Stallsmith’s hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass, Monday nights at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

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

■Jim Yeager hosts open mics on Tuesday night at 8 at The Public House pub in Quechee, and next Thursday night at 7 at ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret.

■Jes Raymond’s String Band Karaoke, Wednesday night at 6 at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover.

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

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304. Send notices of upcoming live performances to highlights@vnews.com.




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