, Newburyport, MA

October 25, 2012

Lookout: Mystix plays at Blue Ocean

The Lookout Katie Lovett
Newburyport Daily News

---- — The Americana roots ensemble, The Mystix, are taking their Ramble Roots Tour to Blue Ocean Music Hall on Saturday at 8 p.m.

This is the first visit to the Salisbury Beach venue by the group, who recently finished their fourth album, “Mighty Tone.”

Following their tour across country, The Mystix hopes to launch a European tour, as well.

The group has said they feel at an all-time career high as their newest album earns critical acclaim and their shows draw sell-out crowds.

Their talented line-up, Bobby Keyes, Jo Lily, Marty Richards, Marty “Bear” Ballou, and Tom West, will be joined by several special guests during the show on Saturday. Guitarist and singer/songwriter Ricky “King” Russell, who has appeared with acts such as Duke Robillard, Roomful of Blues and James Montgomery, has been touring with the group, and so has legendary Blues Harpist Jerry Portnoy.

Newburyport-based band, Liz Frame and the Kickers, will open for The Mystix, in their first appearance on the Blue Ocean stage, as well.

Blue Ocean Music Hall is located at 4 Oceanfront North in Salisbury. Admission is $25. To order tickets, visit or call 978-462-5888.

Ramseur exhibits at Provident Bank

A new show by pastel artist Michael Ramseur is currently hanging at the Provident Bank in Amesbury as part of its Lobby for the Arts program. The public can meet with the artist tonight from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the bank.

The Amesbury resident has been painting for more than 35 years. His show will run through December at the branch at 5 Market St. in Amesbury.

Cult classic airs in Port

A Halloween tradition continues at the Firehouse Center for the Arts tomorrow night.

Fans of the cult classic, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will fill the Arakelian theater as emcee John Budzyna hosts a screening of the famous movie.

Made in 1976, the movie served as the introduction of then relatively unknown actors Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry and Barry Bostwick. The film tells the story of Janet and Brad, two clean-cut kids played by Sarandon and Bostwick who have car trouble on their way to visit an old college professor. Seeking help at a nearby scary mansion, they meet Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite played by Curry who is in the process of creating the perfect man. Song and dance erupt time and again, as the purpose of the “scientific work” is disclosed. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is the longest-running theatrical release in film history.

Budzyna returns each year to emcee the evening. He introduces the film to newcomers and reminds the audience — many of who are costume clad — what they should be ready for: throwing things — newspapers, toilet paper and toast, to name a few — and shouting lines out, such as “in the naval” when a tight camera shot focuses on a statue’s bellybutton.

The fun begins at 11 p.m. at the Firehouse. Tickets are $16 and includes a bag of props. To purchase, call 978-462-7336 or go online to Prizes will be awarded for the best costume.

Brown holds book launch party tomorrow

Writer Joel Brown will celebrate the launch of his new book, “Essex Coastal Byway Guide” tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. at Plum Island Coffee Roasters in Newburyport.

Brown, who lives in Newburyport, will sign copies of the book which serves as a guide to the North Shore’s new scenic route. Designated by the state, the scenic byway links 13 towns across the North Shore. Brown’s guide offers tips and information on the communities throughout the route.

Local artist Dylan Metrano illustrated the book cover.

‘Phantom of the Opera’ screened at First Parish Church

The First Parish Church of Newbury will kick off their Silent Movie and Music Series with a screening of the 1925 version of “Phantom of the Opera” tomorrow night at 7:30.

First Parish Church music director and organist Chandler Noyes will accompany the movie with live organ music. Attendees are urged to dress in a Halloween costume to celebrate the spirit of the season.

Proceeds from the series will support the church’s organ restoration fund. First Parish Church of Newbury is located at 20 High Road, Route 1A.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Johnson explores ‘Plum Island to Paris’

Visitors to the Newburyport Art Association can see a solo show by Amesbury artist Christine Molitor Johnson through Nov. 2.

The former Newburyport teacher introduces the audience to two of her favorite destinations — Plum Island and Paris — through her oil landscapes.

Johnson, a Newburyport native, has always been drawn to the sand and surf of Plum Island, she says, and one of her favorite spots to paint is on Sandy Point, at the end of Plum Island. Five years ago, Johnson took her first trip to Paris and immediately fell in love, she says. She returned last October with her husband to revisit the city.

The show “will highlight some of Christine’s fondest memories of vistas between Plum Island and Paris capturing the illusive light of the day throughout the seasons.” The public can visit with Johnson during an opening reception tomorrow from 7 to 9 p.m.

Violinist Nadj performs tomorrow

Electric violinist Jozef Nadj and his band Fusion System will take the stage at the Firehouse Center for the Arts tomorrow night.

The show begins at 7:30 and will feature selections from their newest album of original works, “Digital World” that offers a mix of fusion, jazz and rock.

A classically-trained violinist, Nadj has earned numerous awards. In the late 1990s, inspired by the works of others, Nadj entered into the electric world.

His band includes Justin Oliver on drums, Mike Koziel on keyboard, Craig Hlady on guitar and Bill Drake on bass.

Tickets are $22 for the general public and $20 for students and seniors. To purchase, call 978-462-7336 or go online to

Fall hayrides in Salisbury on Saturday

The Salisbury Parks and Recreation Commission will present its annual Fall Hayride at Lion’s Park on Saturday.

The family hayrides will run from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and are appropriate for all ages of children. The Haunted Hayrides, however, run from 2:45 to 3:45 and may not be appropriate for young children.

The free event includes games, pumpkins, visits from miniature horses, popcorn and other treats, as well as kids fitness activities. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costumes. A rain date is set for Sunday.

There will be no parking at Lion’s Park the day of the event, so attendees are urged to park at the Public Works, Fire Department and Hilton Center parking lots.

Chili Cook-Off at The Grog

Chili fans can descend onto The Grog on Saturday for the 5th annual Chili-Con-Carnival Cook-Off. The chili contest, which traditionally features about 20 local restaurant chefs, is held under a tent in the restaurant’s parking lot.

The competition will run from noon to 3 p.m. Admission is $10. Children under age 12 are free. The festivities will include music by Joppa Flatts and raffles.The audience can vote for the best batch of chili.

The event is a fundraiser for several local food pantries. Attendees are urged to bring non-perishable food items to help stock their shelves.

Byfield Arts Center celebrates six years

The Byfield Community Arts Center is hosting a sixth anniversary celebration on Saturday night.

The festivities will begin at 8 p.m. and includes entertainment by Damien Corcoran and Friends, raffles, and refreshments. Doors open at 7:30. Admission is free.

The Byfield Community Arts Center is located at 7 Central St.

Halloween cemetery tour in Georgetown

Take a spooky stroll through Union Cemetery in Georgetown this weekend while learning about the more ghastly parts of the town’s history.

The “Tragedies and Tombstones” Halloween tour will run on Saturday and Sunday in the town’s oldest cemetery, located on East Main Street, and introduces visitors to the witches, ghosts and tragic deaths that make up the town’s lore.

The fun begins at 2 p.m. and lasts for about an hour. Admission is $5.

Meet Anansi the Spiderman at Firehouse

Crabgrass Puppets will return to Newburyport on Sunday with a presentation of of famous African folktales featuring Anansi the Spider.

“Anansi loves to eat and hates to work, so he tries to trick other animals out of their food. But there’s no free lunch for Anansi, because all of his schemes leave him hungrier than ever!,” notes organizers. “These comical African folktales are both entertaining and instructive; because he puts his own desires ahead of the needs of his community, Anansi often ends up exiled to the corner of the room.”

The 50-minute puppet show, Anansi, Spiderman of Africa! (A Tangled Web of Trickster Tales), is geared towards children in kindergarten to grade 3.

The show begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for students and seniors. To purchase, visit or call 978-462-7336.

French choral music concert Sunday

The First Religious Society in Newburyport is hosting an afternoon of French choral music on Sunday.

The concert begins at 4 p.m. at 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport. It will include a performance of Charles Gounod’s masterpiece, “Choral Mass,” which is based on ancient church medley. The program also features “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Fauré, which is an audience favorite, “O Praise Ye the Lord” by Franck and Messiaen’s “O Sacrum Convivium.”

Organist Frederick A. MacArthur will play the church’s newly restored 1834 pipe organ. There is a suggested donation of $15 for admission.

Registration underway for North Pole Express

Families can now purchase tickets for a ride to the North Pole via the Immaculate Conception School’s 12th annual North Pole Express on Saturday, Dec. 1.

Five trains will depart the Newburyport Commuter Rail Station through the day and take riders to visit Santa at the North Pole during a 70-minute trip. The journey will include games, hot cocoa and treats, as well as caroling. During the ride, children can also write letters to Santa and take part in a reading of the “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Upon arrival at the North Pole, Rudolph, Frosty, the Christmas Mouse, and Santa and his elves will greet their guests. The trip wouldn’t be complete, of course, without a visit to The Polar Village and Mrs. Claus’ Bakery.

Tickets are $29 for all riders over the age of 1. Tickets can be purchased at

Senior Readers’ theater session starts Tuesday

Seniors can enjoy the fun of show business without the stress next week.

Veteran actor Charles Van Eman is hosting a Senior Readers’ theater workshop on Tuesday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Market Square, Newburyport.

The theater sessions offer an audience a chance to perform seated theater; memorization is not required. Tuesday is the first of several workshops in this session. The program runs each Tuesday through Dec. 4. Acting experience is not required.

Under Van Eman’s guidance, the participants can explore a script in detail, develop a character, focus on the use of voice and gestures, and, ultimately, perform the show for the community. Performances are tentatively slated for Dec. 2, 3, and 4, during the day.

Seniors who need a ride to the workshop can call the Newburyport Council on Aging at 978-462-8650. There is a $50 fee to attend the program; however, seniors in need of financial assistance can apply for a scholarship.

The program is open to individuals age 55 and older. It is produced by the Firehouse with partial funding provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Port native’s play staged in NYC

Newburyport native Gregory S. Moss is writing an exciting new chapter these days.

A production by the writer and performer is being staged next month in the city. It opens Nov. 1 and runs through Nov. 17 at Astoria Performing Arts Center.

The “quirky, creepy, bawdy comedy,” “Billy Witch,” tells the story of 14-year old Oliver who “braves the wilderness to discover change at sleepaway camp. Miles away from home, surrounded by pubescent boys and girls, Oliver is not prepared for the life altering transformation he will soon experience. From twisted first sexual encounters, to spooky campfire stories unfolding before his eyes, Oliver’s time at camp is anything but normal.”

Moss has an MFA in playwriting from Brown University. His other plays include “Reunion,” “punkplay,” “sixsixsix,” and “House of Gold.” Moss has taught writing and theater at Brown University, Providence College, University of Rhode Island, St. Cloud State University, Whitman College, Johnson & Wales University, The Eugene O’Neill Center and The Playwrights’ Center.

The current director of the graduate dramatic writing program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, Moss is now at work on commissions from Playwrights Horizons, Woolly Mammoth, and Clubbed Thumb.

Salisbury author releases novel

Salisbury resident Douglas Wynne released his first novel last week — and it’s just in time for Halloween.

A launch party for the rock-’n’-roll ghost story, “The Devil of Echo Lake” will be held next Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at Jabberwocky Bookshop in the Tannery Marketplace, Newburyport. Wynne will sign copies of the book during the festivities.

Ham and bean supper next week

The Bethany Masonic Lodge will host their next ham and bean supper on Saturday Nov. 3 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The menu includes ham, two kinds of beans, hotdogs, brown bread, garden salad, potato and egg salad, Cole slaw assorted desserts. Admission is $8. It is free for children to attend.


To submit a Lookout item, email it to, fax it to 978-465-8505 or mail it to The Daily News, 23 Liberty St., Newburyport, MA 01950. Follow me on Twitter at PortwatchNDN.