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US: Clinton, MD – American History Buffs This Tour is for you

On the night of April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by the dashing young actor, John Wilkes Booth, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington City. While Lincoln lay dying, his assassin was making his escape into Southern Maryland.

Over the next twelve days, Booth and his accomplice, David Herold, were tracked through the lower counties of Maryland and across the Potomac River into Viriginia. They were finally trapped at Garrett’s Farm near Bowling Green, Virginia, where Herold was taken prisoner and Booth was shot and killed by federal troops. Herold was hanged along with Mary Surratt on July 7, 1865.

 John Wilkes Booth Escape Route Tour – The Surratt Society sponsors tours each fall and spring along Booth’s escape route. Many of the same roads and houses used by Booth are still in existence and are visited on this excursion which is narrated by nationally-recognized authorities on the Lincoln assassination and John Wilkes Booth’s flight.

Follow the trail of President Lincoln’s assassin from Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. to his death near Port Royal,  Virginia. Relax and enjoy the history and scenery on this
12-hour, fully narrated bus tour. The cost is $85 per person ($80 for Surratt Society members). Proceeds go toward the preservation of the Surratt House Museum which was the first stop on Booth’s flight south.

To reserve your spot fill out this form.

Location: The Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735
Dates: Sat, September 8, 15 & 22, 2018
Time: 7 am –7 pm
Tel: 301-868-1121
surrattmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitmaryland.org

 

US: Savannah, GA – This Three Week Festival Will Strike the Perfect Chord

Savannah VOICE Festival brings classical vocal excellence to Savannah, with over 25 performances, through a two week celebration of operas, concerts,  food and wine events, and masterclasses during the month of August.

Every year, the Festival is inspired by a theme—2018’s is “Stories Great & Small.” Offering music from opera, musical theatre and song, this year’s highlights include Verdi’s La Traviata, Menotti’s The Telephone, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Michael Ching’s comedic opera Speed Dating Tonight!

It is a celebration of the classical voice with over 25 performances, including operas, concerts, food and wine events, and masterclasses. Offering music from opera, musical theatre and song, this year’s highlights include Verdi’s La Traviata, Menotti’s The Telephone, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Michael Ching’s comedic opera Speed Dating Tonight!

The sixth annual festival, will be staged Aug. 4-26, The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort is the backdrop for many events as well as in and around Savannah in a variety of venues. This will mark the second year of the festival’s expansion to three weeks, treating patrons to several extra days of delightful musical offerings.

Through his VOICE Programs, legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes will take attendees on a lighthearted journey through memorable concerts featuring over 100 artists from 15 countries, who will share operatic stories from the past and present, and modern songs of today.

As part of the intensive programs of the Festival Season, opera industry leaders will offer the next generation of artists tools to improve their performance during hour-long mini master class sessions. The free mini master class series provides attendees with the opportunity to meet the faculty members of the VOICExperience Programs while learning more about vocal music, technique and about the “masters” themselves.

This non-stop celebration of the voice will impress the most avid fans and newcomers alike. For the complete 2018 line-up: savannahvoicefestival.org/festival-events

For Free Events: savannahvoicefestival.org/free-events

Location: Various
Dates: Aug 4 – 26, 2018
Times: Various – see schedule
Tel: 855-766-7372
savannahvoicefestival.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitsavannah.com

Canada: Hudson Village Theatre – Savannah Sipping Society is Light Summer Fun

Many of us enjoy a light read to while away a lazy summer afternoon. At the Hudson Village Theatre, you don’t even have to read to have fun – you can just listen and watch as four women meet, mingle and moan – and become a family of friends.

The director, Ellen David, takes this (Jessie) Jones (Nicholas) Hope (Jamie) Wooten delightful script and gently guides the dynamic quattro of actors as they learn “what is holding you back from one’s past and self-imposed limitations towards a compelling future”.  This could be any one of us.

The performers David chose are as well cast and strong as the four sides of a square. Randa Covington (Jane Wheeler) has defined herself by her work, and doesn’t know how to re-define herself beyond that. She tries to hold on to her safe proper business countenance, but is weighed down by feeling second best in her family. Marlafaye (Lisa Bronwyn Moore) gets the classic “dumped for a younger woman” part, so feelings of anger and rejection are keeping her from moving forward. “I swear the older you get the harder it is to jump start a new life”, she says.

Dot (Kathleen Fee), the oldest of the bunch, has just lost her husband, the only man she has known, and with whom she had planned to retire. She has no idea how to figure out what comes next. Her subtle acting is deliciously wonderful as she delivers many funny zinger lines. Paula Costain as Jinx moves and talks with the right zippy attitude to convince them, as their new “life coach”, to go (as David says)” beyond their comfort zone to a brave new world where they eventually find themselves”. Jinx reminds us that her older sister (now incapacitated with dementia) taught her that “it’s the happy in life that counts”.

The set by Jean-Claude Olivier is a comfortable porch, so the women have an informal place to gently and liquidly reveal their sagas. As this is a “Sipping Society”, drinking props (by Lea Robertson) were a fun challenge due to the many iterations of serving different kinds of alcohol. Marlafaye once toasted, “Girls, here’s to living single and drinking doubles”.

There were more costume changes than you would expect (by Elisabeth De Medeiros), creating a fashion show which helped define the scenes and the forward movement of their lives.

Jamie Wooten, one of the playwrights, was a writer for The Golden Girls, so the quality of their patter and the giggly one-liners is in the same genre of that hysterical show.  When Marlafaye sees Randa’s house for the first time she opines, “Yeah, sure is a pretty place. Everything’s so neat and clean. I’m not like that. Instead of cleaning my house, I just turn off the lights”.  When Randa comments on drinking mead, “This really isn’t so horrible”, Marlafaye responds, “The very words I said on my wedding night”.  Marlafaye also says,  “Sex is like a brownie – when it’s good it’s really good. And when it’s bad….it’s still pretty good!”.

Andrea Romaldi, the artistic director writes, “friendships are our lifelines and support structures. Good friends cheer us, challenge us, bewilder us and irritate us, but ultimately they support and help us grow into our best selves”. Head out to Hudson and lift a glass to friendship.

Location: 28 Rue Wharf, Hudson, QC J0P 1H0
Phone: 450- 458-5361
Dates: til July 22
https://villagetheatre.ca/

 

US: Newport, RI – Enjoy a Night Full of Great Food and Entertainment

Looking for a great night out while you are on route…this dinner theatre will fit the bill. At Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant you can enjoy a great buffet, an entertaining play and a fun-filled cabaret all under the same roof. The air conditioned, handicap accessible theatre is conveniently located at the foot of the Newport Bridge and has plenty of parking.

Their expansive buffet does not skimp on quality or selection. Feast on a large variety of hot and cold foods, main entrees, side dishes, beverages and homemade desserts and everything is prepared on the premises.  Alcohol is available table-side or at the bar.Newport Theater Buffet2017-10-03_12-26-15

After dinner stroll into the theater, where you have reserved seating,  for a delightful comedy. After the play, return to the dining room for a cabaret filled with songs and laughter.

Now Playing: The Crazy Time – A laugh-filled look at the joys and perils of May/December romances. Miles has left his wife Kate for a younger woman whose youthful lifestyle is both exciting and exhausting. Kate has found a way to deal with her loss. Throw in a daughter with her own marital problems and Miles’ scheming business partner Jerry, and you have all the makings of a full-fledged struggle between the sexes, as Kate and Miles deal with what they each have lost and gained.

Newport Theater Crazy Time2017-10-03_12-21-19You have the choice to purchase Dinner Theatre or Theatre only tickets. The Newport Playhouse and Cabaret gives you a lot of bang for your buck, a full night (or afternoon) of entertainment.

Location: Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant, 102 Connell Highway,
Newport, RI 02840
Dates: Thurs, Oct 12 – Sun, Nov 19, 2017
Times: Matinee or Evening depending on the day
Tel: 401-848-7529
newportplayhouse.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

US: Providence, RI – Five Days of Dance, Storytelling, Music and Theater at Providence’s Fringe Fest

Providence’s 4th annual Fringe Festival, FRINGEPVD 2017 – will be held July 24-29, 2017 and it has grown rapidly since it started.

The Providence Fringe Festival (FRINGEPVD) is open to anyone who wants to produce their own show. For some artists, it’s a once-a-year opportunity to create a show and for others it can be an opportunity to try something new.

This year more than three hundred individual theatre, music, dance, multi-media, and performing artists  will be brought together for five nights in traditional and non-traditional performance venues throughout the Providence area.

Founded in 2014 by The Wilbury Theatre Group, the festival offers affordable tickets for outside-the-box performances that run from 40-60 minutes. Some are Free, while other tickets are $5 or $10 and can be purchased at the door. Audiences are encouraged to take full advantage of the variety of performing and visual artists participating in the fringe and attend performances that you wouldn’t normally attend, see things you wouldn’t otherwise see. Keep an open mind, have fun and check out multiple shows each night. Hringe Festival Profile2017-07-19_13-34-22

Downtown venues include AS220 Black Box Theater, Aurora, Big Nazo Satellite Space, The Dean Hotel, Mathewson Street Black Box Theater, and the RISD Museum and more. Eleven venues in total. fringepvd.org/venues.html

Location: The Wilbury Theatre Group, 393 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02907 and various other venues
Dates: July 24 – July 29, 2017
Times: 6pm – 11pm
Tel: 401-400-7100
fringepvd.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

US: Columbia, MD – Stop for a Broadway Show in Columbia

Wow. Instead of a night with the boob tube while you travel, why not get energized by a  live musical production. Located in the heart of Columbia, Toby’s Dinner Theatre offers award-winning Broadway and original musicals with a tasty buffet-style dinner.

The featured production is Sister Act: A woman hiding in a convent helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she rediscovers her own. Sister Act is the feel-amazing musical comedy based on the smash hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet. Featuring original music by TONY and 8-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), this uplifting musical was nominated for 5 TONY Awards including Best Musical. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, Sister Act is a reason to REJOICE! sister-act-tobys-dinner-theatre

The quality of the performance would make New York proud.  The dinner buffet offers: turkey, ham, baked fish, chicken, roast beef, onion/pepper mashies, spinach phunque, fresh salad bar and “Make-your-own” ice cream Sundae bar for dessert. Keep an eye on your servers, for they become the performers.

Location: Toby’s Dinner Theatre,5900 Symphony Woods Rd, Columbia, MD 21044
Dates:  running until Nov 13, 2016 (Tues – Sun)
Hours: Tues – Sat Evening – Doors open 6pm, Buffet Served 6:15-7:30, show starts 8pm, Sunday Evening – Doors open 5pm, Buffet Served 5:15-6:30, show starts 7pm
Wed & Sun Matinee Brunch Doors open 10:30am, Buffet 10:30-11:50,  Matinee 12:30
Tel: 1-800-888-6297
tobysdinnertheatre.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visithowardcounty.com

US: Portsmouth, NH – Tour of Fairy Houses in Portsmouth

:Put on your fairy wings and get to The Portsmouth Fairy House Tour. It’s one of the largest fairy house tours around and takes place each fall in the historic South End Neighborhood of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Presently in its 12th year, the Tour will feature over 200 handcrafted fairy houses built by creative professionals, local artists, florists, garden clubs, community members, families and students and will be on display on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum , Governor John Langdon HousePrescott Park  and Peirce Island. The annual Fairy House Tour attracts more than 8,000 families and fairies each year.Fairy House

Inspired by local award-winning author and illustrator Tracy Kane’s Fairy Houses Series® of books, which popularized fairy house building worldwide and served as the original inspiration for the Portsmouth Fairy House Tour. Tracy Kane will be on hand both days to greet fairy fans and sign books.

Visitors will also have the chance to see excepts from “Fairy Houses–the Ballet” performed both days on the Prescott Park Arts Festival Stage and see the magic of Tracy Kane’s Forest Secrets brought to life by the NH Theatre Project in the Langdon grove. Families are also invited to build their own fairy house on Peirce Island where Basic materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own special embellishments. For a complete list of activities: portsmouthfairyhousetour.com/activities–food.html

The centerpiece of the Tour is the Artists Invitational competition. Ten select fairy houses build by imaginative connoisseurs will be judged by a panel of three judges, including Fairy Houses Series® Author/ Illustrator, Tracy Kane.

Tour Summary:

  • Ticket includes entrance to Strawbery Banke and Governor John Langdon House
  • Meet Tracy Kane, author/illustrator of the multi-award winning Fairy Houses Series® of books and video.
  • Artists Invitation
  • Excepts from “Fairy Houses–the Ballet” performed both days on the Prescott Park Arts Festival Stage
  • See the magic of Tracy Kane’s books brought to life by the NH Theatre Project in the Langdon grove
  • Build your own Fairy House on Peirce Island and help create the World’s Largest Fairy Houses Village
  • The Amazing Bubble Machine
  • All within walking distance
  • FREE PARKING available at Peirce Island

Tickets and tour maps are available by the flag pole at Prescott Park, Governor John Langdon House, and on Peirce Island (by the main parking areas).

Location: various -Portsmouth, NH 03801
Date: Sat & Sun, Sept 24 & 25 2016
Time: 11am till 3pm Rain or Shine
Tel: 603-659-1300
portsmouthfairyhousetour.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goportsmouthnh.com

US: Providence, RI – 3 Days of Fun: National and Local Improv

Providence, RI Exit 21: Three days of amazing national & local improv talent at The 13th Annual Providence Improv Festival taking place in the heart of downtown Providence on September 22-24, 2016. Providence Improv Fest

This year’s Fest will feature top improv comedy troupes from throughout the country including Susan Messing and Rachael Mason as “The Boys”. The FEST remains dedicated to showcasing a broad spectrum of theater artists who excel at creating scenes, characters, and situations in the moment offering shows by top performers in the local, regional, and national improv comedy scenes.

Be a part of the festival, rub elbows with some incredible performers, partake in the workshops, after-parties and other fun events at their downtown theatre spaces. Experience some of the world-class food, art, and entertainment that Providence can offer within an intimate and picturesque cityscape.

  • Location: AS220
  • 95 Empire Street, Providence, RI
  • 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
  • Providence, RI 02903Dates: September 22 – 24, 2016
    Times: Various check schedule
    Tel: 401-241-9556
    providenceimprovfest.com
    For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

Photo credit – David Rickerby

Canada: Montreal , Quebec – Centaur Theatre’s Last Night at the Gayety

George Bowser and Rick Blue have an amazing way with words. True to the their well-known genre it’s the songs at Centaur’s Last Night at the Gayety, that really “sing”. They are just so darn clever. The play, about Montreal’s infamous years of “Casinos, Bordellos and Booze” (one of the songs) could have been formulaic, but manages to relate a story which not only keeps you interested, but giggling and titillated throughout.

A tale of this era could not be told without the usual suspects: the gangster, nightclub owner, priest and cops (the good and bad). The glue holding it all together is the famous stripper Lili St. Cyr. Julia Juhas is a knockoff, so perfectly cast; she elegantly glides across the stage dressed to kill in early 50’s fashions, yet bumps and grinds so provocatively with those sinuous long legs.

What could be wrong with a night of inside jokes, overacting, silly songs, erotic dancing, love, lust, murder, gangsterism and priestly disgust – all so definitively Montreal. Bowser and Blue make sure to point out, tongue-in-cheek this city was made for burlesque because there’s a main street named Beaver Hall Hill and the crossroads of downtown is after all, called “Peel”. Lili retorts that she prefers Las Vegas because its main street is known as “The Strip” (bada boom).

Centaur's Last Night at the Gayety

Germany: Munich Residenz

The Wittelsbach dynasty ruled the German territories of Bavaria from 1180 to 1918 – that’s 738 years,  pretty impressive.  Munich Residenz,  their former royal palace, is  located right in the center of Munich and very much open to the public. After 4 centuries of building it, the giant palace is made up of  many styles: late Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classicism.PalaceMunich

Though spartan on the outside, it is very opulent inside. You can tour it for its architecture, over-the-top room decor (130 rooms), and displays from the former royal collections. After WWII, the Cuvilliés Theatre was built into the Festsaalbau wing. You can also catch the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Hercules Hall. In his time, Mozart performed in this palace.

The Treasury houses the jewels of the Wittelsbach dynasty and spans 1,000 years, from the early Middle Ages to Neo-classicism, and includes: crowns, swords, golden objects, rock crystal, ivory, goblets, icons, tableware and toiletries.

The palace suffered huge damages during WWII, but the curators managed to store furnishings, art and  details of its architecture in mines. When you are wandering around the 10 PalaceStatuecourtyards, see if you can find this fountain with statues of  fire, water, earth and air on its corners.

The Wittelsbach family’s head, since 1996, is Franz, Duke of Bavaria, and he still hangs out in Munich. During WWII, the Wittelsbachs were anti-Nazi and were arrested when Franz was 11. He spent time in several Nazi concentration camps. After the war, he studied at the University of Munich and became a collector of modern art. Some of his collection is on loan to the Pinakothek der Moderne Museum (see other post).

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html