About Us

Wednesday, May 16

Just Announced! The Music Hall 2012-2013 Season

Just Announced!
The Music Hall
2012-2013 Season
Tickets on sale to members Saturday June 2
to non-members Saturday June 16

Season Highlights
Chris Botti, Shaolin Warriors, Natalie MacMaster,
Juston McKinney; Joshua Bell, and more!

New shows on sale to members First Saturday every month
Stay tuned for monthly announcements of new shows:
Sign up for Music Hall Enews!

On stage, on screen in two theaters
Unprecedented entertainment year-round

The Music Hall, the performing arts powerhouse featuring entertainment from around the world in its landmark 900-seat Historic Theater and the chic, intimate Music Hall Loft, has announced its 2012-2013 season of music, theater, dance, cinema, and literary events both onstage and onscreen in its two theaters. Tickets for the season go on sale first to Music Hall members Saturday June 2 and on sale to non-members on Saturday June 16.

June 2 at 10 am also marks the launch of First Saturdays for Members—a new member benefit that allows members to purchase tickets for just-announced shows on the first Saturday of every month. “We’re excited about this new member benefit,” says Executive Director and Lead Curator Patricia Lynch. “Members can bring friends and family for a fun morning in Portsmouth on the first Saturday of every month—in addition to special ticket onsales for just-announced shows and early bird box office hours, we’ll have merchandise discounts, curator talks, and free historic tour highlights. Don’t miss it!”

Lynch also points to the unprecedented number and variety of shows, writers, cinema, and innovation & leadership forums coming to the Music Hall in the season ahead. Season standouts range from Joshua Bell and Natalie MacMaster, to Juston McKinney and Chris Botti, to name just a few. “This summer we launch twelve month programming in both venues, with signature series all year long,” she notes. “Film will now be programmed monthly so we can get the freshest films out there.  The shows going on sale June 2 will give patrons a real flavor for the depth and quality of the performances and literary events that our curators will be announcing each month throughout the year. The message is clear - Get your tickets this June 2nd and every first Saturday all season long as new shows will be coming every month!”

Unprecedented Entertainment

Already on sale for the 2012/2013 season are the belly-laugh trio The Irish Comedy Tour (The Loft, June 1&2), followed by the hysterically funny drag show Miss Richfield (The Loft, June 9, and also July 1 and August 5); the venerated, joyful Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Historic Theater, June 15); the witty singer-songwriter Nellie McKay (The Loft, June 23); the unique Boston band Jim’s Big Ego (The Loft, June 29); and the famed UK singer-songwriter Billy Bragg (Historic Theater, June 30). July brings the renegade-retro band The Sweetback Sisters (The Loft, Friday, July 13); the fabulous, genre-bending Vaud & The Villains (Historic Theater, Saturday, July 14—also Member Appreciation Night with ridiculously low-priced $10 tickets for members only); and the hilarious, multi-media Super Secret Project (The Loft, July 20 and July 21).

Writers series authors already on sale include bestselling authors across all genres— celebrated comic strip creator Alison Bechdel (The Loft, June 14); National Book Award winner Joan Didion (Historic Theater, June 19); bestselling page-turner author Elin Hilderbrand (The Loft, June 26); New York Times bestselling fiction writer Deborah Harkness (The Loft, July 19); remarkable British author of the #1 best seller Little Bee, Chris Cleave (Historic Theater, July 25).

Add to these the just-announced summer shows going on sale June 2—superstar jazz trumpeter Chris Botti (Historic Theater, August 7); the astonishing electric violinist-vocalist Valerie Vigoda (The Loft, August 11); the National Book Award winner Jonathan Kozol (The Loft, September 20); the celebrated character actor and author-tells-all Stephen Tobolowsky (The Loft, August 21)—plus, a weekly roster of hot new films—and The Music Hall venues will be hopping all summer.

After closing for renovations of the upper lobby in late August, the Historic Theater will reopen for the wildly popular, 14th Telluride by the Sea weekend September 14-16. (The Music Hall Loft will be open throughout that renovation period). From there, the 2012-2013 season ranges from flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual (The Loft, November 17) to the Kung Fu masters Shaolin Warriors (Historic Theater, November 18); from Christmas shows that include Natalie MacMaster (Historic Theater, December 2) and Juston McKinney (Historic Theater, December 21) ; from violinist superstar Joshua Bell and Sam Haywood (March 1) to Celtic rockers The Fighting Jamesons (March 10) just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. And, continuing a Music Hall tradition, a classical ballet will usher in spring—The Russian National Ballet’s Cinderella (Historic Theater, March 30).

More About The New Season

The Music Hall’s newest series, Innovation & Leadership Forums, will launch new programming this summer, beginning with a discussion/Q&A about technology and modern life called iDentity in an Apple World at 5 pm on Thursday, June 21, prior to the 7:30 pm Kent Stephens’ STAGE FORCE performance of The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs at the Loft. Continuing Innovation & Leadership Forums will expand on the lively and informative conversations around issues that are part of the Music Hall’s celebrated Film Matters series.

Watch for Film Matters showings throughout the season as well, including The Island President, about the extraordinary former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed—a man confronting the literal survival of his country and everyone in it—on June 20. And on July 18, in affiliation with Seacoast Local, Portsmouth will one be one of more than 100 communities across the country to see the premier of the documentary Fixing the Future, in which host David Brancaccio visits locations across America that are attempting to reinvent the American economy using sustainable and innovative approaches.

Historical tours with Music Hall Historian Zhana Morris will take place throughout the summer on most alternating Tuesdays at 5:30pm. The tours bring visitors behind the scenes and across three centuries, detailing the restorations, renovations, and dazzling performances in the 1878 Historic Theater.

Tickets are already on sale to members for the sellout series, Met @ The Music Hall, with performances broadcast live from Lincoln Center in vivid high definition. Twelve fabulous productions, beginning October 20 and ending on April 28, are coming to the series this season. Tickets go on sale to the public May 26.

Watch for coming announcements about the next season of National Theatre of London HD Broadcasts!

About First Saturdays – for Members - Starts June 2 at 10am

Members always have the opportunity to buy tickets first and snag the best seats—this summer, starting at 10 am on June 2, marks the beginning of First Saturdays – when members can buy tickets to newly announced shows, and take advantage of early bird box office hours, merchandise discounts, curator talks, and free historic tour “highlights.” Not yet a member? Join and start taking advantage of this benefit asap!

Tickets for all performances

Tickets for 18 shows in 2012-2013 season, plus patron and weekend passes for Telluride by the Sea, go on sale to Music Hall members Saturday June 2. Walk-up sales begin at 10am; phone, online, mail orders begin at noon. Tickets go on sale to non-members noon Saturday June 16. Tickets for shows at both the Historic Theater and the Music Hall Loft can be purchased at The Music Hall box office in the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at 603-436-2400, or on our website.

About Membership and Early Purchasing

To become a member today and enjoy early ticket purchasing, call the Membership Office at 603-433-3100, ext. 3014 or go online

New Shows on Sale June 2
Season Sponsor:

The River House

Tuesday, Aug. 7 • 7:30pm • Historic Theater • $68; $57
Touring behind his new April 2012 CD, Impressions, the superstar jazz trumpeter returns to The Music Hall stage for another “smoothly sublime” (Billboard) concert. “Mr. Botti has burnished an image of pensive romance, achieving stardom in the realm of adult contemporary pop”—The New York Times
Series Sponsors: 92. 5 The River, Moxy
Evening Sponsor: Clear Eye Photo

Saturday, August 11 • 7pm & 9pm • The Loft
Tickets: $30 includes one house beverage
This electric violinist/vocalist wowed Music Hall audiences on her previous visits with her band, GrooveLily. Her riveting solo show features her smoky/angelic voice and innovative six-string electric violin in a one-woman loop-driven pop symphony of song, created in real time on stage. “Valerie Vigoda unleashes a diva-worthy torrent of passion…”—The Washington Post
Series Sponsors: WOKQ;  The Shark


Tuesday, August 21, 7pm, in the Loft


Ticket package: $38, $35 members. Includes reserved seat, book ($24), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
Don’t miss this night of fabulous storytelling and comedy!  The celebrated character actor – in over 100 movies and 200 television shows, including unforgettable roles in Groundhog Day (as “Ned Ryerson”), Mississippi Burning, and Glee - joins us with a first book.  THE DANGEROUS ANIMALS CLUB is a drop-dead witty report on his life to date and its intersection with other remarkable real-life “characters” including legendary film directors, physicists, ghosts, pygmy hippos, and hostage takers. “No one spins yarns and knits them into a lyrical fabric of self like Tobolowsky: deep, warm and a little itchy but you love it.”—Marc Maron, host of WTF with Marc Maron
Series Sponsor: Citizens Bank

September 14-16 • The Historic Theater and the Loft
Weekend Festival of New Cinema! Films fresh from their debuts at the 39th Telluride Film Festival in Colorado will be on screen at The Music Hall as Telluride by the Sea gets its 14th year under way. In keeping with the tradition, film titles will be announced, and individual film tickets will go on sale, over Labor Day weekend. Patron and Weekend Passes are on sale to members Saturday June 2. Patron passholders will be the first to see the upper lobby renovation of the Historic Theater! In recognition of the start of Rosh Hashana and the Jewish New Year at sundown on Sunday evening of the Telluride by the Sea weekend, we are planning an additional screening of our Sunday night movie for Sunday morning at the Historic Theater. The Music Hall sends best wishes for shanah tova—a sweet and happy year ahead.
Sponsors: BayRing Communications; Seatrade International, Inc.; New Hampshire Public Television; The Wire; WSCA Portsmouth Community Radio 106.1FM; Smuttynose Brewing Company

Thursday, Sept. 20 • 7:30pm • Ticket package: $41. Includes reserved seat, book ($27), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
Winner of The National Book Award discusses his major new book Fire in the Ashes, about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years and their fascinating journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood.
Series Sponsor: Citizens Bank

A Night of Flamenco
Saturday, November 17 • 6pm & 8pm • the Loft
Tickets: $26 includes one house beverage
Jonathan “Juanito” Pascual is acclaimed as one of the top young
flamenco guitarists on the international music scene. He is recognized in Spain as a unique and creative voice with mesmerizing virtuosity, warm and evocative playing, and original compositional style. “A flamenco phenom… A rising star of the
Spanish guitar form”– The Boston Globe

Sunday, November 18 • 3pm & 7:30pm • Historic Theater
Tickets: $42; $38
Remarkable skill, breathtaking movements, and incredible
showmanship make for an astounding theatrical production by these Kung Fu masters trained in disciplined and deadly martial-arts skills in the Shaolin schools. “The agility and grace of gymnastics with the showmanship of Cirque du
Sponsor: New Hampshire Public Radio

Vintage Christmas
Christmas in Cape Breton
Sunday, December 2 • 2pm & 7pm • Historic Theater • $44, $35
An electrifying performer thrilling audiences from Carnegie Hall to Prairie Home Companion to The Music Hall, this Cape Breton Island fiddler weaves her skill, passion, and incredible musicianship to produce performances filled with foot-tapping rave-ups, heart-wrenching ballads, world-class step dancing, and fiddling fireworks. “A ball of fire…
irresistible.”—The Los Angeles Times
Holiday Shows Sponsor: 94.9 WHOM
Sponsors: Northeast Delta Dental; Piscataqua Savings Bank; Robert’s Maine Grill; Whole Life Health Care

Vintage Christmas
Sun., Dec. 16 at 7pm & Mon., Dec. 17 at 7:30pm • The Loft $18 includes one house beverage
Get in the spirit of the season with this holiday celebration of stories, laughter, poetry, and song - featuring new material and old favorites from a wide array of both classic and contemporary sources. Audiences will love the intimate feeling of this readers’ theatre. “The excellent Kent Stephens directs a scintillating cast.”—The Portland Phoenix
Holiday Shows Sponsor: 94.9 WHOM

Vintage Christmas
Tuesday, December 18 • 7:30pm • Historic Theater • Tickets: $14; $16
New this year! Rehearsal at 6:30 for ticketholders
Grab your score and join best-loved area choruses and conductors in a transcendent community sing in our glorious Historic Theater. It’s a “happening” - great fun and one of the best ways to celebrate the true meaning of the holidays. “The audience members were the stars.” — The Portsmouth Herald
Holiday Shows Sponsor: 94.9 WHOM

Vintage Christmas

Friday, December 21 • 8pm • Historic Theater • Tickets: $40, $28
Due to snow on the ground in Boston it looks like Comedy Central comedian Juston McKinney won’t make it back home to New England for Christmas from Vegas. Allegedly, Juston said that he “wished he never lived” so his Guardian Angel, Lawrence, sets out to show him what that world would be like—it becomes clear that everyone would have been better off! With new material, new guest comedians, and some new music from the Gaudy Baubles, this is a holiday show you don’t want to miss. For mature Audiences.”Juston McKinney is destined for stardom.”The New York Times
Holiday Shows Sponsor: 94.9 WHOM
Sponsor: Troiano Wealth Advisory Group

Happy Valentines Day!
Thursday, February 14 • 8pm • The Loft
Tickets: $38, includes choice of tiramisu or French truffle
Join us for a night of romance on Valentine’s Day, featuring the Gaudy Baubles and their marvelous chanteuse, Renee. Escape to Manhattan for the evening with this Metropolitan themed retro cabaret—great songs and a great vibe! This one’s for you and your baby.

Friday, March 1 • 8pm • Historic Theater • Tickets: $82; $68
Classical music superstar. Poet of the violin. Joshua Bell returns! Enchanting audiences worldwide with his breathtaking virtuosity and tone of rare beauty, Bell is dazzling. “Joshua Bell is the greatest American violinist active today”—The Boston Herald
Sponsor: Northeast Delta Dental, New Hampshire Public Radio

Dogs Gone Wild
Saturday, March 9 • 8pm • Historic Theater • Tickets: $34, $29
Todd Oliver’s fun, zany, sophisticated act will have you rolling in the aisles. Fans know him from his appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Today Show. Don’t miss his side-splitting comedy at The Music Hall! “Knocked us over! So funny and amazing.” Penn & Teller
Series Sponsor: WHEB
Evening Sponsor: Fosters Daily Democrat

Sunday, March 10 • 7pm • Historic Theater • Tickets: $22; $18
Gear up for St. Patrick’s Day with this aggressive, energetic modern-day approach to Celtic rock. After sharing the stage with legendary Irish rock acts as Dropkick Murphys, The Saw Doctors, and Young Dubliners, the band is touring behind its debut album. “Rollicking hybrid of Irish traditional and American rock ‘n’ roll. — Pop-Break

Saturday, March 30 • 3pm • Historic Theater • Tickets: $50; $38
Each Spring, The Music Hall’s ballet becomes a special occasion in Portsmouth when families get dressed up and come out on the town. The 3pm timing of the performance means that it is easy to make a festive day of the experience with a Sunday brunch beforehand or dinner afterward at one of the local restaurants. And, the price is right – with the “$15 for 15 and under” ticket.

Saturday, April 6 • 8pm • Historic Theater • Tickets: $30, $25
Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, John Belushi – these are just a few of the alumni of the most famous brand in improvisational live comedy. Funny and fast-paced, The Second City is always topical, highly interactive, and sure to have audiences rolling in the aisles as they create sketch comedy to satirize politics, culture, and news of the day. “A comedy empire!”—The New York Times
Series Sponsor: WHEB
Evening Sponsor: Fosters Daily Democrat

Saturday, April 27 • 8pm • The Loft • Tickets: $48; $34
The legendary San Francisco string quartet—pioneers in “broadening the very notion of classical music to embrace world music and popular music” (New York Times)—has
performed thousands of concerts worldwide, released 45 albums, collaborated with eclectic composers and performers, and commissioned 750 works and arrangements for string quartet. Their singular artistic vision and fearless exploration return to our stage! “The world’s best known, most innovative contemporary music quartet.”—The New York Times
Sponsor: New Hampshire Public Radio

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