, Newburyport, MA

April 3, 2014

The Lookout: Local illustrator celebrates ‘monster’ release

The Lookout
Ann Reily

---- — A new children’s book written by a Newburyport author/illustrator will officially debut at a launch party on Saturday.

“Even Monsters” by AJ Smith teaches kids that monsters can be just like everyone else — getting scared, feeling sad, missing their mommies and having to brush their teeth.

The free party starts at 10:30 a.m. at Jabberwocky Bookshop and includes games, prizes, treats, the chance to take pictures in goofy monster form and possible appearances from the monsters themselves.

Smith teaches art and creates cartoons for shows like “Courage the Cowardly Dog” and “Sesame Street.” “Even Monsters,” which was released Tuesday, is his first trade picture book.

Jabberwocky is located in The Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water St., Newburyport. For more information, call 978-465-9359 or visit

An evening of Scottish/Celtic music

Celtic fiddler Hanneke Cassel will return to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newburyport tomorrow night.

Cassel’s new album, “Dot the Dragon’s Eyes,” features an American approach to Scottish music, with influences from Scotland to China and musical innovations from the Boston bluegrass/Americana scene.

A native of Oregon, Cassel is the 1997 Scottish Fiddle Champion. She recently joined the faculty at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Cassel will be joined by cellist Mike Block and guitarist Christopher Lewis.

Block is an associate professor at Berklee and performs with many groups, including Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Ma performed at the wedding of Cassel and Block in January.

Lewis has been involved with album production and performance in the Boston indie rock scene.

The show starts at 8 p.m. at the 166 High St. church. Tickets are $28 and are available online through

‘Sweetly Ever After’ in Newbury

An original play drawing inspiration from Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll will premiere in Newbury next week.

Theater Workshop’s “Sweetly Ever After” continues the story of Charlie Bucket, who inherits Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory only to find himself in a fantastical and unpredictable world where rules and time are irrelevant. Newbury Elementary School teacher David Williams plays Wonka, joining a number of characters who are familiar yet fresh and new.

The show is written and directed by Stacey April Fix and features a cast of 78.

Show times are 7 p.m. on April 10, 11 and 12 and 1 p.m. on April 13 at Newbury Elementary School, 63 Hanover St.

Tickets are $10, $15 and $25, and reservations are recommended. Contact

Theater Workshop is also offering a scholarship to graduating seniors who are alumni of Theater Workshop and Workshop in the Woods.

The scholarship was created to continue Theater Workshop’s efforts to serve and support the members of the young creative community. The amount will depend on the success of the “Support Our Senior Class Front Row” ticket sales, which started this past fall and will continue during the spring production of “Sweetly Ever After.”

Applications are available at and are due by April 15.

Baseball-inspired art on display

Watercolors by Salisbury resident Joe Farnham are on display through the month at April at the Carry Out Cafe in Newburyport.

“Drawn to the Game” features vintage baseball imagery. Farnham was working as an advertising art director more than 30 years ago when he painted a watercolor of “Casey at the Bat.” It struck a chord that led to this collection.

A free reception will be held tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the cafe, 155 State St. Stadium-themed snacks and beverages will be served.

Free tickets to Cantemus concert

The Cantemus Chamber Chorus is offering free tickets for its upcoming shows in Newburyport and Hamilton.

Thanks to grants from the cultural councils in Newburyport, West Newbury, Georgetown and Hamilton-Wenham, the libraries in those communities will each have 16 tickets available, for a total of 64 free passes.

The 40-voice chorus will perform “Sing We Merrily: Part Songs, Catches and Glees,” a program of joyful and soulful music by Holst, Vaughan Williams, The Beatles, Billy Joel and more, on April 26 at the Christ Church of Hamilton & Wenham and April 27 at Central Congregational Church in Newburyport.

There is a limit of one ticket per person. Discounted tickets are also available at The Book Rack in downtown Newburyport.

For more information, visit

Music series wraps up at Port church

The Boston Chamber Music Program will be presented this Sunday afternoon in the final concert of the 2014 Jean C. Wilson Music Series.

Clarinetist Thomas Hill, violist Don Krishnaswami and pianist Randall Hodgkinson will perform works by Mozart, Robert Schumann, Darius Milhaud, Claude Debussy, Vaughan Williams and Jean Francaix.

The First Religious Society is located at 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport. Suggested donations for the 4 p.m. concert are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors. Children and students are admitted free.

For more information, visit or call 978-465-0602, ext. 401.

A fun ‘Night’ with Village Theatre

Join the Village Theatre Company for a “Night at the Wax Museum,” a comical play opening tonight.

Six students stuck in summer school get more excitement than they bargained for when wax figures come to life and they embark on a treasure hunt with characters such as Cleopatra, King Henry VIII, Butch Cassidy and Lizzie Borden.

Performances are scheduled for tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Laurel Grange, 21 Garden St., West Newbury.

Tickets are $12. To order or for more information, visit or email

Village Theatre Company is a nonprofit that runs three productions a year. People of all ages are welcome to audition for plays, and volunteers are welcome to help out behind the scenes.

State furniture the focus of lecture

“Early Massachusetts Furniture: A Collector’s Perspective” is the subject of a lecture next Thursday at the Historical Society of Old Newbury.

Experts John and Marie Vander Sande will share their love and appreciation for First Period furniture and will offer tips on how to “observe” furniture and define your philosophy and approach. A hands-on glimpse into their own collection will round out the evening.

Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m., and the lecture starts at 7 at 98 High St., Newburyport. Admission is $5 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Reservations are required by emailing or calling 978-462-2681.

The lecture is part of the society’s “An Evening With ...” series celebrating the city’s 250th anniversary.

Film to premiere at Boston festival

An Amesbury business owner’s documentary will premiere at the Boston International Film Festival, taking place April 11-21.

Titled “Basta,” which is Italian for the word “Enough,” the film focuses on the aftermath of the clergy abuse scandal, Gary Bergeron’s own personal journey and how adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse increasingly began to speak out once it became apparent that they weren’t alone.

The film is composed primarily of news broadcasts, statistics and footage taken by Bergeron during his trips to the Vatican in 2003 and 2010, with the intent being just to tell the story without trying to sensationalize it.

Bergeron runs the Mill 77 consignment store on Route 110 and is the co-founder of Survivors Voice U.S., which helps adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

The film festival takes place at AMC Loews Boston Common, 175 Tremont St. Bergeron’s film will screen on Sunday, April 20.

For tickets and more information, visit

Rowley actors in Beverly play

Three Rowley residents are featured in Neverland Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz,” opening Saturday in Beverly.

The musical based on the classic movie includes Brendan Callahan, Gian Perullo and Brianna Perullo. Director/producer Andrew Diskes is also from Rowley.

Show times are April 5 at 8 p.m., April 6 and 13 at 1 and 5 p.m., April 7 and 9 at 4:15 and 7 p.m., April 8 at 6 p.m., April 10 at 7 p.m., and April 12 at 8:15 p.m. at Temple B’nai Abraham, 200 E. Lothrop St. Tickets are $10 to $18.

For more information, visit or call 978-500-8832.

Open mikes start at Oregano

Musician and actor Steve Blackwood is hosting a weekly open mike this month at Oregano Pizzeria and Ristorante in Newburyport.

Blackwood, a Newburyport resident who played Bart on “Days of our Lives,” will sing jazz standards and blues. Local singers and musicians will then be invited to show off their talents, as well.

The open mikes will be held Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the 16 Pleasant St. restaurant. If successful, they will continue into May.

Blackwood is also offering free master class acting lessons to the first 30 people who purchase his book during a signing next week.

He will visit the Barnes & Noble in Framingham on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. “The Steve Blackwood Sessions” is an actors handbook on technique and administration that also features anecdotes from his 10 years on the NBC soap opera. It costs $9.95 and is also available at Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport.

For more information, visit

Film, discussion on chemical toxins

Tickets are on sale now for a screening of the documentary “Unacceptable Levels,” which is planned for April 16 at Cinemagic on Merrill Street in Salisbury.

The film by Ed Brown examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s. Reservations must be made by April 9 at Tickets are $11.

Presented by Sativa Saposnek and the Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club, the 6:30 p.m. screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session. Guests include Mia Davis, the vice president of health and safety for Beautycounter; Joel Tickner, an associate professor and program director of the Department of Community Health and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Lowell; and Brent Baeslack, board member of both Clean Water Action and The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow.

Additionally, Saposnek will host “Coffee & Conversation” on April 17 at 9 a.m. at Chococoa Baking Co. in Newburyport’s Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water St. Saposnek, a Beautycounter consultant, will discuss how to get safe products into everyone’s hands and how to make informed decisions when choosing products.

Exhibit features scenes from India

Recent work by local photographer Ben Staples is on display through the month of April at the First Religious Society in Newburyport.

The exhibit will feature pictures of religious sites taken during Staples’ recent trip to India. Staples has been taking photos for 40 years.

Free admission to the exhibit is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower meetinghouse, 26 Pleasant St.

Information sought on Henry Short

Descendants of Henry Short are gathering information for a genealogy project and family reunion.

Short came to New England on the Mary & John in 1634 and settled in Newbury. The Short family is known for its involvement in the early Coast Guard and fishing industry in Greater Newburyport.

Anyone with photos, memorabilia or family stories is asked to contact Kathy Kodwyck at 978-792-5772. The next planning meeting is set for April 22.

Music on tap at downtown eateries

17 State Street Cafe’s “Beats, Burgers and Brews” will feature Artty Raynes and LJ Francoeur of Long Gone tomorrow and Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler on Saturday.

Raynes and Francoeur are a husband-wife duo who will play Americana, country and bluegrass tunes.

Levine performs a blend of folk, Americana, pop and country. Her music has been played on folk and Americana radio worldwide. Kwartler’s folk songs have been featured on TV shows such as “CSI,” “The Young and the Restless,” “All my Children” and “Dark Blue.”

Both shows are from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the downtown Newburyport restaurant.

Acoustic guitarist and singer Dan Kirouac will take the stage tomorrow at 8 p.m. at David’s Tavern in Newburyport.

Kirouac has been part of the regional music scene for 30 years and is a member of the tribute band Beatles for Sale.

His solo performance of both contemporary and old songs will showcase versatile vocals accompanied by a six-string acoustic guitar.

David’s is located inside the Garrison Inn, 11 Brown Square.


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 AnnNDN.