Ooooo, sign me up for this one. At the end of your work week, kick back with wine and cheese in a gorgeous, historic library, with cherry trees blossoming in the private garden... then pull up a chair to listen to a supreme art historian, Mary Crawfod-Volk, discuss and present a slide show titled: Sargent and Boston: Love at First (and Second!) Sight. Volk has won awards for her engaging lecture style from Harvard Extension Schol.
The Salem Athenauem, a hundreds-year old society, is housed on historic Essex Street in Salem. Its halls have the echos of many prominent members: Edward Augustus Holyoke, physician and a founder of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences,author Nathaniel Hawthorne, mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, author of the still-used New American Practical Navigator, United States Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, American Impressionist painter Frank W. Benson, and more. Wine and cheese at 7 pm, lecure presentation 7:30 pm. Friday, May 1st.
Be the star or be the audience-- celebrate the Bard's birthday with an open mic in his honor. Read a scene, a monologue, a sonnet-- whatever you love that Mr. Shakespeare produced. This has become an annual event for the Salem Theatre Company, now in its 6th season and running strong in Salem, MA. And the event is in the Gulu-Gulu Cafe, an artsy spot with a mighty long list of beers, and a slightly European flair to its cafe menu. For me, it's all about the crepes. Happy Birthday, dear William, Happy Birthday to you!
You don't have to convince me to spend a Saturday in Newburyport, amidst cafes, unique boutiques, brick sidewalks, and ocean air. I'll head North up 1A through Wenham, Ipswich, and eventually past the Federal mansions of Newburyport anytime. But if you need extra incentive, the 4th Annual Literary Festival is April 24 & 25. This town is teeming with big time authors: Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog; Keith Ablow, Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson; Frieda Arkin, author of Hedwig and Berti; Elisabeth Brink, author of Save Your Own; and Mark Karlins, Music over Manhattan-- plus Oprah's live-well guru Cheryl Richardson, and the poet/translator Rhina Espaillat.
Yarrrrrrr. Pirates come ashore in Salem, for a rollicking adventure at the Salem State College Mainstage Theatre that includes a Major General who knows nothing about military strategy, a young man who falls in love with the first woman he's ever seen, a bumbling group of constables who know nothing about capturing pirates, and two stunning surprises that lead everyone to a happy ending. Gilbert & Sullivan fans know that G&S are the Monty Python of Victorian England! No joke is too cheap. April 16-18, 23-26.
April 24, 8:00pm-Boston Artists Ensemble performs with Thomas Bloch, the most prominent glass harmonica player in the world! Hear the U.S. Premiere of Sonatina By C.P.E. Bach for Glass Harmonica and Strings at the Peabody Essex Museum.
When you search for Glass Harmonica on Wikipedia, you get a picture of Thomas Bloch! No, seriously.
Wow. Did you take part in any of the fabulous offerings this weekend? Marblehead Little Theatre finished its sold out run of the musical Blood Brothers, and Marblehead and Salem Arts Associations opened the Green Show: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at the Hooper Mansion in Marblehead.
So what's next?
I'm especially excited about the Percussion and World Music Ensembles performing at Salem State College Recital Hall, Monday, April 13, 7:30 pm. Student music majors perform music written entirely for percussive instruments-- and yet, you'd be surprised how lyrical it still is-- dont forget, marimba, glockenspiel, bells-- these are all part of the percussive world. And then! Sitar players sitting on the floor with Ethnomusicology Professor Peter Kvetko show their stuff. I love it!
Nevermind sitting in the audience. For this classical music performance, you are the singer. When do you get the chance to sing with established musicians, fabulous vocal soloists and an orchestra to sing the Mozart Requiem? This is a 19 year tradition for Music Director Robert Littlefield, at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, on Cabot Street in Beverly. The event is free and open to anyone, attending a rehearsal is encouraged but not required. Free, or make a good-will offering of any size. Friday, April 10, 8 pm
Here it is. One stop shopping. Want to know what's coming up in the arts & culture scene North of Boston? This is your place. I'm excited to tell you about more options than you'll know what to do with!
Kathleen McDonald Murphy is the Director of the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at Salem State College, and an avid patron of the arts North of Boston. In addition to her college administrator position, Ms. Murphy is a freelance arts and non-profit publicist.