Every spring for more than 20 years, local homeowners open their kitchen and dining spaces for The Music Hall’s always popular kitchen tour. This year, the tour is back in Portsmouth on May 4 to tour chic homes in the Mill Pond areas, allowing privileged peeks into some of the most dazzling, inspiring, and innovative kitchens in the region.
To get the inside scoop, I spoke with Dominique Jackson, Special Events Manager at The Music Hall:
RB: Sustainable design is a huge trend. How is it reflected in this year’s kitchens?
DJ: Several homes have green details in their kitchens, from energy efficient appliances to countertops made from recycled materials. One home is only 10 percent on the grid, with elements like solar heat that is stored in cement flooring and then slowly radiates back into the house. Sustainability is very important to The Music Hall, and we’re excited that these homes reflect initiatives we feel strongly about.
I love catching the big name acts that come to the Music Hall—who wouldn’t swoon to Al Green? But I get even more jazzed about seeing emerging talent push musical boundaries—known to music critics and fans but new to me—like the infectious, high-energy band David Wax Museum, who played to a sold-out house at the Loft on Sunday April 7.
And, as a writer, I hate to miss any of the Writers on a New England Stage or Writers in the Loft events. It’s fascinating to get a privileged peek inside the heads of these authors, each with a singular voice and point of view.
So it goes without saying that I’m excited about the expanded lineup of the Portsmouth Singer-Songwriter festival this year, starting with the Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon with his book The Word on the Street: Rock Lyrics on Wednesday, April 17; and ending with a double bill of Aimee Mann and Sharon Van Etten on Sunday, April 21. (All appendages crossed that Aimee and Sharon will decide to sing a song or two together for us. . .)
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes came into Portsmouth with one goal in mind: to bring the New Jersey rock to The Music Hall. Southside Johnny, who is sometimes referred to as the “Godfather of the New Jersey sound,” started playing just after 9 p.m. to a massive roar of applause. For over an hour and a half, Johnny & the Asbury Jukes rocked the crowd filling the Music Hall almost to its entirety. The fans sang along and clapped to every song, including their hit “I Don’t Want To Go Home.” The band also added a personal touch to their performance, interacting with the crowd during the entire show. The rock ‘n’ roll that echoed through The Music Hall was nostalgic for many people in the crowd, bringing them back to earlier days when they listened to Southside Johnny (and similarly Bruce Springsteen). The fantastic performance by Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes was felt all throughout downtown Portsmouth – something that is always welcome.
Jared Diamond is one of America’s most celebrated scholars. His arrival at The Music Hall on January 17 coincides with the release of his latest work, The World Until Yesterday. Diamond is a Professor of Geography at UCLA whose groundbreaking work, Guns, Germs and Steel won the Pulitzer prize in 1997.
The legendary actor John Barrymore, who appeared on stage at the Historic Theater in The Dictator in 1904, years before filming the better known silent film version in 1915, returns in the form of Christopher Plummer in our latest HD Broadcast: Barrymore.
HD Broadcast: Barrymore
Saturday December 29, 2012 1pm the Loft
$27.50 Student ticket price: $15.
An unforgettable portrayal of legendary actor John Barrymore, a man of colossal talent and contradictions and one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of all time. Set in 1942, the final year of John Barrymore’s life, the play takes place on the stage of a Broadway theater, where the actor is struggling to recreate his performance in the title role of Shakespeare’s Richard III. It leads him to look back on the highs and lows of his stunning career and remarkable life. Directed, and adapted for the screen, by Érik Canuel (Bon Cop, Bad Cop), the play stars Christopher Plummer in the tour de force film performance of his career.
“Christopher Plummer really deserves a Best Actor Oscar for Barrymore… it’s the role—and the performance—of a lifetime, and he plays every color, nuance, mood shift and variety of vocal power and body language in his enormous range. The artistry leaves you with your mouth wide open… stunned and cheering. So bring out the Oscar. “ – Rex Reed, New York Observer
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