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Friday, May 11

Summer @ The Music Hall 2012

Summer @ The Music Hall 2012!
Concerts.  Comics.  Cinema. And Celebrated Authors.
Plus: Historical Tours

What’s new?
Vaud and the Villains Member Appreciation Night ($10)
Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti returns!
Molecular mixology/Summer menu

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
The cool place to be on hot summer nights!

Welcome to Summer at The Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire! Find out why the Miami Herald calls Portsmouth “New England’s most appealing city”—with an unprecedented variety of authors, comics, concerts, and cinema coming to The Music Hall in June, July, and August. “An increased population during the Summer has led our curators to ramp up offerings of our signature series—with more Intimately Yours concerts, more authors in our two literary series, and more comics in Hilarity @ The Music Hall,” says Patricia Lynch, Executive Director and Lead Curator.  “And, we will be programming film during the summer on a monthly basis with the hottest ‘of the moment’ films, combined with the popular Film Matters. From Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Billy Bragg, from Chris Cleave to Chris Botti, The Music Hall curators are bringing the best in live performance and film this Summer, providing dynamic entertainment choices during the most vibrant season in downtown Portsmouth.”

Adds Therese LaGamma, Deputy Director of Programming, “The Summer is for laughing, singing, dancing, listening, and watching when you’re at The Music Hall. Be prepared to enjoy the wit and charm of Nellie McKay, the yodeling of the Sweetback Sisters along with our member’s appreciation night with Vaud & The Villains. These are just a few of the many things coming our way this summer in our two venues. Hope to see you here!”

According to Margaret Talcott, Associate Producer of both writers’ series (Writers on a New England Stage and Writers in the Loft), “In the lazy days of summer so many of us are turning book pages, on the beach, on the porch, on airplanes – it’s a great time to get in the swim of current fiction and nonfiction.  Why not meet the authors behind the summer top reads at The Music Hall.  Travel with us to Nantucket, with Elin Hilderbrand; to the summer Olympics, with Chris Cleave; or back through your favorite movies and also midlife in all its hilarity with everyone’s favorite character actor Stephen Tobolowksy!”

What’s new this Summer

In addition to ramping up its popular signature series programming in both the landmark Historic Theater on Congress Street and the chic, intimate Loft around the corner, The Music Hall is rolling out several new initiatives this summer:

*** Members always have the opportunity to buy tickets first and snag the best seats—now, starting at 10 am on June 2, they can buy tickets to newly announced shows on the First Saturdays of every month. First Saturdays for Members will include not only exclusive ticket sales but also early bird box office hours, merchandise discounts, curator talks, and free historic tour “highlights” every first Saturday of every month.

**** On Saturday, July 14, the sexy and soulful New Orleans band Vaud & The Villains will be performing The Music Hall’s first Member’s Appreciation Night, with $10 tickets for members (and normal priced tickets for everyone else).

*** Bartender Scot Johnson gets creative with gels, powders, and foams at Molecular Mixology Nights at the Loft, serving multi-dimensional cocktails garnished with “Midori pearls” that range from Pearl Harbor (vodka, Midori, and pineapple juice) to High Fluting (St. Germain champagne). Summer menu offerings—at prices averaging $5, the best value in town— include Greek Escape, a medley of olives, manchego, and proscuito served with a baguette; Sweet & Salty, with marcona almonds, salt caramels, and strawberries; Spanish Night, with manchego, cheddar and goat cheese topped with hot pepper jelly and served with a baguette; plus dessert selections of dark chocolate layer cake or tiramisu with sabayon cream.

***The Music Hall’s newest series, Innovation and 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 and Leadership Forums will expand on the lively and informative conversations around issues that are part of the Music Hall’s celebrated Film Matters series.

***This summer, The Music Hall will show a new “of the moment” film starting each week—plus, special hard to find gems in the Film Matters and Wildcard series.

***In late August, the Historic Theater will close for renovations of the upper lobby, and reopen for the Telluride by the Sea weekend September 14-16. The Music Hall Loft will be open throughout that renovation period.

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!

Season Sponsor

River House

Summer Shows

Friday and Saturday, June 1 & 2 • 7:30pm and 9pm • Loft, Tickets: $36
The Irish Comedy Tour takes the party atmosphere of a Dublin pub and combines it with a boisterous, belly-laugh trio. The group includes Detroit native Derek Richards; Boston-born Mike McCarthy; and Keith Aherne, from Dublin. They have performed around the country and released a DVD titled Dublin’ Over. The show is a mix of howling tales, no-holds-barred humor, authentic Irish music. They’re Irish, they’re American, and they’re not holding back.
Series Sponsors: Kennebunk Savings Bank; WHEB
Evening Sponsor: Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.

HILARITY @ THE MUSIC HALL: Miss Richfield 1981
“2012 – We’ll All Be Dead By Christmas!”
Saturday, June 9 • 8pm; Sunday, July 1 • 7pm; Sunday, August 5 • 7pm, Loft, Tickets: $35
This hysterical storyteller is winning over theater and cabaret audiences around the country with an interactive one-woman drag show featuring edgy one-on-one improv, a professionally trained singing voice, and an athletic approach to physical comedy. “The must-see show in Provincetown.” - New York Daily News
Series Sponsors: Kennebunk Savings Bank; WHEB
Evening Sponsor: People’s United Bank

INTIMATELY YOURS: Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Friday, June 15 • 8pm • Historic Theater, Tickets: $39; $33
Named for the venerable music venue in the heart of the French Quarter, this “quintessential New Orleans institution” (NY Times) has traveled the world since the early 60s perpetuating the art form of New Orleans Jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center or for British or Thai royalty, their music embodies a joyful timeless spirit. “It only takes a few opening notes for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to transport listeners to 1950’s New Orleans. With members ranging from 20-somethings to octogenarians, these musicians play the indigenous, traditional Crescent City jazz in a way that might make fans believe the saints are really marching in” – New York Times
Series Sponsors: 92.5 The River; Moxy
Evening Sponsors: Wells Fargo Advisors; Oak Point Associates; Clear Eye Photo, People’s United Bank

LIVE @ THE LOFT: Nellie McKay (solo)
Saturday, June 23 • 7pm & 9pm • Loft, Tickets: $33
This London singer-songwriter wowed the Music Hall audience when she opened last year for Madeleine Peyroux. Brilliant is not a word we use often, but when it comes to Nellie, it feels like an understatement.  Whether she’s performing her own material or new takes on old standards, Nellie can do no wrong. Name one other performer who can so easily move from torch songs to duets with insult comic dogs to a musical review based on Silent Spring?  We haven’t found one.
Evening Sponsor: Radici

LIVE @ THE LOFT: Jim’s Big Ego
Friday, June 29 • 8pm • Loft, Tickets: $18 includes one house beverage
Jim’s Big Ego has carved a unique place in the music world by rocking harder, fresher, louder, sweeter, and better than everyone else. Their secret to awesomeness is singer, songwriter, and all around super-genius, Jim Infantino. “One of those rare songwriters whose wit is as sharp as his sense of melody, and whose intellect is broad and beautifully skewed as his jumble of musical influences.”– The Boston Globe
Evening Sponsor: People’s United Bank

INTIMATELY YOURS: An Evening with Billy Bragg
“Ain’t nobody that can sing like me”
Billy Bragg Wishes Woody Guthrie Happy 100th Birthday
Saturday, June 30 • 8pm • Historic Theater, Tickets: $32, $26
Billy Bragg, described by The Times as a British “national treasure,”celebrates Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday by exploring and expanding the Guthrie song book. Expect an indelible evening of consciousness raising from the current master of socially aware music. “Bragg’s plain spoken vocals are an inspired match for Guthrie’s lyrics” The New Yorker.”
Series Sponsors: 92.5 The River; Moxy; Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Café
Evening Sponsors: BayRing Communications, Blue Mermaid Island Grill, Clear Eye Photo, See Hear Gear, Trade Wings, Vigilant Capital Management, The Wire

LIVE @ THE LOFT: The Sweetback Sisters
Friday, July 13 • 7pm & 9pm •  Loft, Tickets: $26, includes a house beverage
On sale to members now; to non-members May 18
Crowds go wild for the Sweetback Sisters’ raucous stage shows. A self-dubbed “renegade retro band that mixes up country, swing and honky tonk,” the group’s precise harmonies recall the best of country music.  “The sextet definitely has some warped records in their jukebox, quick to dive into hard-western barn burners as much as classic yodeling.”—The Village Voice
Series Sponsor: WOKQ and The Shark

INTIMATELY YOURS: Vaud & The Villains
Member Appreciation Night
Saturday, July 14 • 8pm • Historic Theater, Tickets: $10 members, $25 non-members
On sale to members now; to non-members May 18
With echoes of Bruce Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions Band, they mine the rich soil of the American Songbook – roots, traditional jazz, gospel, zydeco, folk… but they are more than a genre-bending musical/concert haymaker punch. The band is at once seedy and inspiring…gritty and sublime. “Sultry ballads, steamy solos, seductive dancers.”– LA BUZZ
Series Sponsor: The Red Door, 92.5 The River
Evening Sponsor: Clear Eye Photo

HILARITY @ THE MUSIC HALL: Super Secret Project
Friday, July 20 • 7pm & 9pm; Saturday, July 21 • 7pm • Loft • Tickets: $21
On sale to members now; to non-members May 18
Super Secret Project returns with its “multi-media fused comedy rap show thingy” featuring classics and their latest material. With over 7 million views on YouTube, the self-described “comedy trio hell-bent on conquering the internet” is known for such viral videos as Granite State of Mind, RealisticLove Song, and Titletown (Boston Sports Fan Anthem). For mature audiences. “Do yourself a favor and catch their live show.”- New Hampshire Magazine
Series Sponsor: WHEB

Tuesday, Aug. 7 • 7:30pm • Historic Theater • $68; $57
On sale to members Sat June 2; to nonmembers Sat June 16
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

LIVE @ The LOFT: Valerie Vigoda
Saturday, August 11 • 7pm & 9pm • Loft, Tickets: $30 includes one house beverage
On sale to members Sat June 2; to nonmembers Sat June 16
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

Summer Writers

Thursday, June 14 • 7pm • Loft
Book: Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama
Ticket package: $36, Includes reserved seat, book ($22.00), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet. 

The bestselling author of Fun Home, Time Magazine’s No. 1 Book, and celebrated creator of the comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, joins us with her poignant and hilarious graphic memoir about becoming the artist her gifted mother always wanted to be.  In this richly layered book, Bechdel takes readers on her wildly humorous and deeply moving quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. “sort of like a comic book by Virginia Woolf…you won’t believe it until you read it – and you must” – Gloria Steinem
Series Sponsor: Citizens Bank

Tuesday, June 19 • 8pm • Historic Theater, Tickets: $13 Book: Blue Nights $15.00 ($13.50 if purchased in advance)
One of today’s most powerful writers joins us with her national bestseller Blue Nights, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter.  Don’t miss this celebrated National Book Award winner, a “master of American prose” and her “breathtaking follow-up to The Year of Magical Thinking” (Newsweek).
Series Partners: NHPR, Yankee Magazine
Series Sponsors: Auger Building Company, Inc; Calypso Communications; New England Audio Tech LLC; Piscataqua Landscaping Co., Inc.; Haunted Milk Design; RMC Research
Companion Bookstore: RiverRun in Portsmouth

WRITERS IN THE LOFT: Elin Hilderbrand
Tuesday, June 26 • 7pm • Loft Book: Summerland
Ticket Package: $40; includes reserved seat, book ($26.99), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
The New York Times bestselling author of Island and Silver Girl joins us with her newest page-turner, taking us again to Nantucket, where, on a summer’s night, a deadly car crash changes four lives forever. Summerland is a tale of loss, love, and the power of healing. “Another winner… a sensitive and suspenseful tale.” -Booklist

WRITERS IN THE LOFT: Deborah Harkness
Thursday, July 19 • 7pm • Loft, Book: Shadow of the Night
Ticket package: $43. Includes reserved seat, book ($28.95), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
A Discovery of Witches, her debut novel, was a New York Times bestseller, now being published in 34 countries. The sequel Shadow of Night is highly anticipated: the Wall Street Journal picked the series as one of the biggest vying to be the next Harry Potter.  “Harkness attends to every scholarly and emotional detail with whimsy, sensuality and humor.”— O, the Oprah Magazine
Series Sponsor: Citizens Bank

Wednesday, July 25 • 7:30pm • Historic Theater • Book: Gold Tickets: $13
The author of the #1 bestseller Little Bee joins us with his new novel, Gold. Again, he paints a portrait of our highly charged modern world, set in London during the 2012 Olympics and illuminated by the complex friendship of rival women athletes. Don’t miss hearing from this remarkable British author. “An audacious, provactive voice.” New York Times Book Review
Series Sponsors: Auger Building Company, RMC Research Corporation, Calypso Communications, Haunted Milk

WRITERS IN THE LOFT: Stephen Tobolowsky
Tuesday, August 21 • 7pm • Loft; Book: The Dangerous Animals Club
Ticket package: $38, $35 members. Includes reserved seat, book ($24), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet.
On sale to members noon Saturday June 2; to non-members noon Saturday June 16
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

Summer Cinema

Fresh new films weekly, all summer long, plus Film Matters and Wildcards.

Professional film enthusiast Paul Goodwin puts the “talk” in talkies, encouraging audiences to speak their minds and hear all about the movies, their backgrounds, and even trivia and the latest gossip about the stars. Free to the public after the end credits roll. Complimentary coffee courtesy of Carpe Diem!
Monsieur Lazhar - Tuesday, June 5
Footnote - Tuesday, June 12
Damsels in Distress - Tuesday, June 26

FILM MATTERS: Mother - Caring for 7 Billion
Wednesday, May 30 • 7pm • Historic Theater
Mother, the film, breaks a 40-year taboo by bringing to light an issue that silently fuels our largest environmental, humanitarian and social crises - population growth. Postfilm discussion and Q&A with Henry Barbaro, long-time environmental and population activist and Board member of the New England Coalition for Sustainable Population; and Mike Hanauer, sustainability, climate change and population activist for over twenty-five years, has been co-chair of the New England Coalition for Sustainable Population, and chair of Zero Population Growth of Greater Boston. He has also served as a Director on the National Board of Zero Population Growth (now Population Connection).
Series Sponsors: BayRing Communications; Cocked Hat Ventures, LLC; Fosters Daily Democrat; WSCA 106.1FM Portsmouth Community Radio

FILM MATTERS: The Island President
Wednesday, June 20 • 7:30pm • Historic Theater
The Island President is the story of former President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. A rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1,200 islands of the Maldives enough to make them uninhabitable. The film captures Nasheed’s first year in office, culminating in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009—with an unprecedented glimpse of political horse-trading between world leaders. Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.
Series Sponsors: BayRing Communications; Cocked Hat Ventures, LLC; Fosters Daily Democrat; WSCA 106.1FM Portsmouth Community Radio

FILM MATTERS: Fixing the Future
Wednesday, July 18 • 7:30pm • Historic Theater
Host David Brancaccio (of NOW on PBS) visits locations across America that are attempting a revolution: the reinvention of the American economy. By featuring communities using sustainable and innovative approaches to create jobs and build prosperity, Fixing the Future inspires hope and renewal in a people overwhelmed by economic collapse. Presented in affiliation with Seacoast Local, the screening will be followed by a taped panel discussion.
Series Sponsors: Ram Printing, PortsmouthNH.com, 96.7 The Wave, NH Gazette

Historical Tours

Historical tours take visitors behind the scenes and across three centuries, detailing the restorations, renovations, and dazzling performances in the 1878 Historic Theater. Discover the landmark Historic Theater’s backstage secrets; celebrated patrons and performers; enchanted Beaux Arts lobby with its cherub-adorned proscenium arch; and magnificent horseshoe balcony. Music Hall Historian Zhana Morris gives you an exclusive view of the oldest operating theater in northern New England. Take a peek at antique riggings still operating today and once-hidden paintings, restored to their 19th century splendor. Tours throughout the summer on most alternating Tuesdays at 5:30pm.

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