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Thursday, August 25

Hilarity @ The Music Hall Launches with Life in a Marital Institution

The Music Hall launches new comedy series:

Hilarity @ The Music Hall

Meredith Viera Productions Presents

Life in a Marital Institution

“20 years of monogamy in one terrifying hour”
September 9-11, 2011

“Gaspingly funny” —Variety

Meet the Artist after Friday Sept 1 performance!

2011-2012 season includes
Paula Poundstone, Lily Tomlin,
Women Fully Clothed

Series sponsors Kennebunk Savings Bank and WHEB

The Music Hall joins sponsors Kennebunk Savings Bank and WHEB to launch its new signature comedy series, Hilarity @ The Music Hall. “We are thrilled that two leading Seacoast organizations agree with us that now more than ever, people need to laugh,” says Executive Director Patricia Lynch. “Starting with the must-see James Braly, whose sold out one-man show in New York City – Life in a Marital Institution – about the perils of monogamy, will be at the Music Hall Loft September 9-11, we have an exciting and side-splitting roster of comic talent coming to The Music Hall this season.” Next up is Women Fully Clothed (10/28) featuring four Second City veterans riffing on life and family; Lily Tomlin (11/9) makes her Music Hall debut; and Paula Poundstone (11/20) returns with her trademark spontaneous and hilarious interactions with the audience. And, as Lynch continues, “if you like Hilarity, you’ll love Merry Funny New England Christmas (12/8,9), last year’s standout holiday comedy with Comedy Central star Juston McKinney.”

About Life in a Marital Institution – from Meredith Vieira Productions

Likened to a new Spalding Gray, acclaimed monologist and This American Life contributor James Braly comes to the Music Hall Loft following his sold-out runs in New York City and Philadelphia, to perform his darkly comic tale of attraction, repulsion, death, and the afterlife for three performances in September: Friday, September 8 at 8 pm, Saturday, September 10 at 7 pm, and Sunday, September 11 at 7 pm. Produced by Meredith Vieira Productions, his monologue, Life in a Marital Institution, was hailed by New York Times as a Critic’s Pick and by The Broad Street Review as “a required course before anyone says, ‘I do.’” The first two-time winner of the GrandSLAM Storytelling Competition sponsored by the The Moth—a popular true-storytelling organization cited by The Wall Street Journal as “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket”—Braly has a wide, multi-generational following. His razor-sharp wit resonates with anyone who has ever been in a relationship: straight or gay, long-married or single, young or old.  Time Out New York described him as “a comic raconteur who can hold a room captive.” His stories have been broadcast nationally on This American Life, NPR, and Marketplace, and his essays appear in the recently published anthologies, Afterbirth (St. Martin’s Press) and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood (W.W. Norton). He has performed autobiographical stories at New York’s Whitney Museum, Long Wharf Theatre, and The Moth, where he was featured on the TNT National Story Tour.  His full-length monologue, The Monthly Nut, directed by Seth Barrish (director of the Off Broadway hit, Sleepwalk with Me) is in development at The Barrow Group Theatre. His full-length monologue, Asylum, premiered at Dixon Place in April, and is in development as a television series with Meredith Vieira Productions.

“We can’t wait to welcome James Braly to The Music Hall Loft,” said Thérèse LaGamma, Deputy Director of Programming and Curator for The Music Hall. “The Loft’s intimate environment is the perfect setting in which to enjoy his brilliantly funny and deeply insightful monologue. Patrons are in for a treat they won’t soon forget.”

Life in a Marital Institution, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, began a national tour last year after playing more than 120 performances in New York City.  An autobiographical comedy, it cuts back and forth between the deathbed wedding of Braly’s sister, and his own hilarious marital adventures of more than 20 tumultuous years. Optioned for film and television by Meredith Vieira Productions, with Braly as the writer, Life in a Marital Institution is also a forthcoming memoir from St. Martin’s Press. Said Philadelphia Style Magazine, “. . .when his book becomes a best seller (and it might, given the success of his show), you can say that you knew him back when.”

Meet James Braly after Fri Sept 9 performance – all ticket purchasers welcome!

Hilarity @ The Music Hall Series Sponsors
Kennebunk Savings Bank; WHEB

Season Sponsors
River House Restaurant

American Treasure Sponsor

To purchase tickets
James Braly will perform Life in a Marital Institution at The Music Hall Loft on Friday, September 9 at 8pm; Saturday, September 10 at 7pm; and Sunday, September 11 at 7pm. Tickets are $38 and are on sale now. They can be purchased at The Music Hall box office at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by phone at 603-436-2400, or online.

More Hilarity @ The Music Hall Shows

Music Hall Presents: Women Fully Clothed

Friday, October 28, 2011 8pm
Historic Theater
Tickets: $29; $22

“...funniest women in Canada!” – Eugene Levy

Four Second City vets riff on career and family. “An all-estrogen comedy dream team” (Toronto Star):  Kathryn Greenwood of Whose Line Is It Anyway; Robin Duke of Saturday Night Live; Jayne Eastwood from My Big Fat Greek Wedding; and Teresa Pavlinek of The Jane Show.

Evening Sponsors: Carpe Diem Coffee Roasting Company; Harbour Women’s Health; Whole Life Health Care; WSCA 106.1 FM Portsmouth Community Radio; Secure Planning Inc.

More Info/Buy Tickets

Music Hall Presents: Lily Tomlin

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 7:30pm
Historic Theater
Tickets: $68; $64

“...catching her in action is a hoot and a joy.” – Seattle Times

One of America’s foremost comediennes, Lily Tomlin burst on the national scene with Laugh-In and continues to pick up awards for work in television, theater, motion pictures, animation, and video: six Emmys; two Tonys, and one Grammy. Her Music Hall debut!

Evening Sponsors: Wells Fargo Advisors; Carpe Diem Coffee Roasting Co; Homewood Suites by Hilton in Portsmouth NH; Barbara Henry, Hampton NH; Permanent Cosmetics by Jamilla; Bottomline Technologies; Martin’s Point Health Care

More Info/Buy Tickets

Music Hall Presents: Paula Poundstone

Sunday, November 20, 2011 7:30pm
Historic Theater
Tickets: $38; $24
On sale to members now
On sale to non-members noon Fri Sep 2

“A great comic. . .a disarming ease in her craft.” – Boston Globe

Armed with nothing but a stool, a microphone, and a can of Diet Pepsi, Paula Poundstone’s ability to create humor on the spot has become the stuff of legend—her spontaneity and razor-sharp wit have made her one of the most popular panelists on NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.” Her debut performance at The Music Hall two years ago left patrons marveling at her riotous spontaneous interactions with audience members. Back by popular demand!

Evening sponsors: Bottomline Technologies; The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric

More Info/Buy Tickets


Music Hall Presents: A Merry Funny New England Christmas

starring Juston McKinney and The Gaudy Baubles
Thursday December 8, 2011 7:30pm; Friday December 9 8pm
Historic Theater
Tickets: $40; $30

“Juston McKinney is destined for stardom” – New York Times

Comedy Central star Juston McKinney is back in New England with top young comics and the effervescent Vegas band, The Gaudy Baubles, for a hilarious holiday extravaganza featuring down-home Yankee sensibility colliding head on with a glittery showbiz Xmas! Recommended for ages 14 and over.

Evening Sponsors: 94.9WHOM; GreenPages; SharpeWorks Strategic Design Corp

More Info/Buy Tickets

About Hilarity @The Music Hall
Hilarity @ The Music Hall, the new live comedy signature series, is designed to provide the most therapeutic treatment known to man or woman, laughter! It features top national acts, improv troupes, comedy dynasties , and discovery acts in both the historic theater and the Loft, with shows coming from Vegas, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and our greater Seacoast region. In addition to James Braly, this season Hilarity @The Music Hall welcomes Women Fully Clothed, Lily Tomlin, and Paula Poundstone (and if you like these, you’ll love Juston McKinney and the Gaudy Baubles’ comic holiday extravaganza).

About The Music Hall
The Music Hall is a performing arts powerhouse featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus - one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner from the Historic Theater. Acclaimed signature series bring top authors and artists to both stages, while HD broadcasts and independent film fill both screens. Two radio shows broadcast on NH Public Radio originate here. This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor cultural organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy. The Music Hall is 501c3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board.  Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 business supporters and 40 community partners.  Welcoming more than 100,00o patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget.

“The beating cultural heart of New Hampshire’s seacoast” – Boston Globe

About The Music Hall Loft: The Center for Performing Arts, Literature and Education
Just around the corner from the Historic Theater, the Music Hall Loft is a critical extension of The Music Hall’s mission to be an active and vital arts center for the enrichment of the Seacoast community. It significantly increases capacity for The Music Hall’s existing educational and community programs, and allows for creative new programming initiatives. Whether in a theater, cabaret, or master classroom configuration; or arranged for a small workshop or artist reception, The Music Loft engages children, teens, and adults.  Music Hall Loft audiences experience the same fabulous programming they have come to expect at in the Historic Theater, but in a more intimate setting, with gourmet food and cocktails that can be taken right to each seat.  The 125-seat theater provides deeper, richer experiences of music, theater, dance, and literature plus master classes and Explore + Learn opportunities for all ages.  Signature programs include Writers in the Loft and Currents@the Loft, hip programs which bring a new dynamism to Portsmouth’s cultural scene and further illuminate the city as a center for inspiration and entertainment in coastal New England.

“The art-rich Seacoast is richer still with the opening of The Music Hall Loft.” – Portsmouth Herald

(603) 436-2400
24-hour Film Line:
(603) 436-9900
Business Office:
(603) 433-3100