, Newburyport, MA

February 28, 2013

Families share spotlight in 'Sound of Music'

The Lookout
Katie Lovett

---- — A Newburyport father and daughter are helping to bring the story of a beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to life.

Local theater professional and former Firehouse director John Budzyna and his daughter, Maggie, are among several local actors participating in the Community House of Hamilton and Wenham production of “The Sound of Music,” which tells the story of Maria, a failing postulant who “unwittingly melts the heart of the strict Captain Von Trapp by managing to control his unruly brood with kindness instead of staccato whistle signals” during the 1938 anschluss of Austria, when Nazi Germany sought to gain control of the country.

The show opens this weekend and continues March 8 to March 10. There will be eight performances in total.

Budzyna is performing the role of Herr Zeller and Maggie has the part of Marta, one of Captain Von Trapp’s children.

In addition, the cast includes Chloe Hershensen of Newbury, who plays the role of a nun, and Amesbury sisters Carly Gendell, who plays Gretl, and Haley Gendell, who has the role of Louisa.

The show opens tomorrow night at 7:30 at The Community House of Hamilton and Wenham, 284 Bay Road Route 1A, Hamilton. Additional performances include Saturdays, March 2 and 9, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sundays, March 3 and 10, at 3 p.m. and Friday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online or by phone at 978-468-4818 ext. 10. Purchased in advance, tickets are $18 adults, $13 children. Call for reserved seating. Tickets at the door will be sold for $20 for adults and $15 for children.

Meet Nancy Kerrigan tonight

Olympic silver medalist and Stoneham native Nancy Kerrigan will visit Amesbury Sports Park tonight. While warm temperatures caused organizers to cancel a public skate, the famous skater will still meet with the public and sign autographs.

Kerrigan, who lives in Lynnfield, will be at the park from 4 to 6 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring a new children’s book to donate to the Amesbury Lions Club book drive. The program is sponsored by the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce.

‘Idol Quest’ at AMS

The Amesbury Middle School Parent Advisory Group will host AMS Idol Quest tomorrow night at 7 in the school’s Performance Center. Students, faculty and staff will take turns showing off their talents before an audience of family and friends.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students. The evening is a fundraiser for the parents group. Proceeds will be used to fund educational programs and support for the middle school.

Open Mic Night at First Religious

First Religious Society in Newburyport will host a First Open Stage tomorrow night, beginning at 7. The evening will be an open mic night for young performers in the area.

Young artists are invited to gather and perform for an audience, following in the tradition of a coffeehouse. Attendees are urged to bring music, poetry, stand-up comedy, skits, dance and other talents. There is a small stage, sound system and piano available for use.

Children under the age of 12 are encouraged to participate in the company of a parent. The event will be well supervised.

First Religious Society is located at 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport, in the parish hall. It is free to attend. Performers are asked to arrive at 6:30.

Talent showcase for human rights Saturday

A benefit showcase to raise funds for ongoing civil and human rights work in El Salvador is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Church at 166 High St., Newburyport.

The evening will include music, dance and talented acts by various performers of all ages. Pizza, beverages and refreshments will be for sale during intermission. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children age 11 or younger with a whole-family ticket price of $20. Tickets can be purchased at the door with cash, check or credit card.

Half of the evening’s proceeds will go toward the work of the Foundation Cristosal, a human rights organization based in San Salvador. The remainder of the proceeds will support St. Paul’s future mission trips to El Salvador.

Port photographer hangs work in Salem

Award-winning Newburyport photographer Matthew Muise will hang a collection of his images at The Gallery at Grosvenor Park in Salem this month.

The show opens on Saturday and will run through April 4. The exhibit, “Beauty is Everywhere,” includes 50 photographs ranging from landscapes, portraits, sports and concert scenes.

“Every day I have a fresh palette, a brand new opportunity to capture memories with my camera,” Muise wrote in an artist’s statement. “I do realize how fortunate I am. I am honored with the privilege of photographing the most important and intimate moments in the lives of my friends. Nothing makes me feel more alive and grateful.”

Muise will hold an opening reception for his show on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the gallery located in Grosvenor Park Nursing Center, 7 Loring Hills Ave., Salem.

Marks’ ‘Paper River’ hangs at Joppa Flats

The Mass Audubon Society’s Joppa Flats Education Center will host a new exhibit featuring cutwork by artist-naturalist Denise Marks this month.

A graduate of Mass College of Art in Boston, Marks first started to study drawing as a teenager. Over the years, Marks developed a “passionate interest in natural science” that she calls “as compelling” as her interest in art. She works in animal welfare and has studied zoology, ecology and permaculture.

Marks has “a deep understanding of the global ecology, how everything and everyone is connected on the same basic level, and how important it is for our human species to pay better attention to our effects on the world.”

The display, “Paper River,” will be held in the center’s Juliet Kellogg French Room beginning on Sunday. The public is invited to attend an opening reception for the show where Marks will discuss her works, beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The exhibit will remain at Joppa Flats through April 14. A portion of all purchases made during the exhibit is used to support Joppa Flats programs. Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, is a natural history education center that is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday and Monday holidays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 978-462-9998 for more information or visit the website at

Piano workshops at NECC

The Northern Essex Community College music program is offering two free workshops and master classes on piano playing. Led by faculty member Christina Dietrich, the first session is on Sunday at 4 p.m in the technology center on the college’s Haverhill campus.

A second session is set for Sunday, April 7, at 4 p.m.

The goal of these workshops is to supply piano players, at all ability levels, a chance to perform and learn in a group setting. The session will include a discussion of solo piano works and various instrumental and vocal works with piano accompaniment.

For more information about these workshops, contact Christina Dietrich at or Joyce Brody at 978-556-3321.

Rail Trail murals to be displayed

To help launch their spring programming, the Newburyport Art Association will unveil a new exhibition next Thursday night, devoted to the artwork of the Salisbury Rail Trail. Last fall, the town of Salisbury asked local artists and design professionals to submit proposals for a public mural project to be permanently installed along the trail. Seven artists were selected.

From March 5 through March 11, their completed murals will be on display in the Laura Coombs Hills Gallery at the art association prior to their installation. A reception with the artists will run on Thursday, March 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Representatives from the community and the state will present stipend awards to the artists at this time.

Thornhill holds classes at NAA

Local artist Robin Thornhill will run a new series of painting classes at the Newburyport Art Association.

Thornhill, who lives in New Hampshire, will offer classes for all skill levels. The sessions will include handouts, demonstrations and one-on-one instruction.

The four-week classes will run on Mondays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and Monday or Friday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information or to register, call Robin at 603-339-1000, or visit

Rummage sale at First Religious

First Religious Society in Newburyport will host a rummage sale next weekend.

The sale is set for Friday, March 8 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The public can browse through a selection of gently used garments, purses, shoes, accessories. Donations to the sale will be accepted all next week.

First Religious Society is located at 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport.

‘Annie, Jr.’ comes to Firehouse

The student version of the beloved musical, “Annie, Jr.” is coming to the Firehouse Center for the Arts next month.

A cast of local student actors will tell the story of the perky red-headed orphan and her quest to find her parents, with the help of her fellow orphan friends and billionaire Oliver Warbucks.

Directed by Deirdre and John Budzyna, the play is produced by Acting Out Productions through a special arrangement with Music Theater International.

Performances are set for Friday and Saturday, March 15 and March 16 at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and March 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for seniors and students. Call the box office at 978-462-7336 or visit online at


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