, Newburyport, MA

November 8, 2012

Yo-Yo People bring their tricks to Newburyport

The Lookout Katie Lovett
Newburyport Daily News

---- — Both the young and old will take delight in a special show at the Firehouse Center for the Arts on Sunday.

The Yo-Yo People, John Higby and his wife, Rebecca Loomis Higby, are returning to Newburyport to wow audiences with their dazzling yo-yo skills.

Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, Higby found an old yo-yo in the attic that his grandfather let him keep — but not before teaching him three basic tricks.

Higby went from there. Now, his act icludes all the basic yo-yo tricks — and much more. Audiences may see yo-yos attached to bouncy balls, yo-yos with 10-foot strings, and multiple yo-yos looping while the Yo-Yo People hula-hoop and unicycle.

The Higbys will call upon some volunteers from the audience to help them with some of their yo-yo feats.

The show begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for seniors and students. To purchase, call 978-462-7336 or go online to The performance is sponsored in part and made possible by the Newburyport Montessori School.

Author holds book launch

at Jabberwocky tomorrow

Former Salisbury resident Danielle West is returning to the area this weekend, and will visit Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport on Friday to officially launch her first book, “All Change Please.”

The party begins at 7 p.m. at the book store at The Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water St.

West wrote the novel over the course of seven years while she lived in London. The book was written during her commute to and from work each day — on her Blackberry smartphone.

“It was the only way to get it done, really,” West wrote in an e-mail. “I work full-time and when I started writing it my daughter was quite young, so after work a lot of my energy went into parenting. Sometimes on my way to work I’d be finished with a book I was reading and have already finished my postal correspondence, so writing the story was a great way to pass the time and there are so many inspirations on the morning and evening commute. The Blackberry handsets have keypads — or at least most do — so it was easy to sit (or stand) on a crowded train and type.”

West is originally from Boston and grew up on the North Shore. She lived in Salisbury and attended Triton Regional High School while in foster care. She is also a professional mixed martial arts fighter who has competed in the United States, Russia, Europe and Japan. While she’s in Massachusetts, she’ll be training for her title match in Japan on Dec. 1.

She began training as an MMA fighter nine years ago.

“I was very overweight having hit that slump in my mid-20s when my metabolism just ground to a halt. A woman needed an opponent and was having trouble finding one,” she wrote. “I have always been a huge believer in equality and felt it a shame that this woman had done all this work and couldn’t compete ... I lost the fight with the woman but developed a life-long passion for the sport and have gotten rather good at it, competing in Europe, Russia, America and Japan.

“The sport is appealing to me because it’s very similar to chess in that it’s very strategic and has lots of possibilities when competing, so if things aren’t going well with striking, you can change tactics and try something else,” she added. “And just like in life, there is always a plan B.”

Titantic lecture tonight

Kate Gilbert, the exhibit curator at the Custom House Maritime Museum, will give a lecture tonight on the Titanic. The talk begins at 7 p.m. at the Merrimac Public Library. There is a suggested donation of $5. All proceeds will benefit the Merrimac Lions Club.

Georgetown Theatre Workshop opens new season

The Georgetown Theatre Workshop will launch its 39th season with a melodrama, “Bertha the Beautiful Typewriter Girl,” written by Charles George.

“The audience is invited to hiss and boo at the chicanery of the evil banker as he tries to carry out his dastardly schemes to steal a fortune from an innocent typewriter girl and her mother,” note organizers. “Watch as this evil character tries to thwart the love between his own son and the beautiful typewriter girl.”

The show will feature Andy Arnott, Bill Borrelli, Lou Dispenza, John Flynn, Andy Griffith, Renee Heusser, Jared Maul, Danielle Santapaola, Eva Toscana and Jen Quimby. It is directed by Gael Nappa.

The group first performed this show during its first season. The theater group faced an uncertain future last year when their lease was in jeopardy of not being renewed; however, they still remain in their same location today.

The play will be performed at Pentucket Workshop, 22 Pleasant St., Georgetown. Performances are set for tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 15, Nov. 16 and Nov. 17. All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Seniors can purchase a discounted ticket for $5 tomorrow and Nov. 15.

Liz Frame and Kickers play at Firehouse

The Newburyport-based “rootsy Americana” band Liz Frame and the Kickers will return to the Firehouse Center for the Arts tomorrow night.

This is the band’s third appearance at the Firehouse, and one that has some very special moments, Frame said. The entire concert will be audio-recorded and filmed to be released on a CD.

“This is the first time the whole show will be taped,” Frame said. “We’re really excited about that.” Depending upon the quality of the video, the concert CD may be accompanied by a DVD as well, she added.

The show will feature seven performers and a lot of new material will make its debut, Frame said. “Most of the evening will be all new songs.”

The show comes in the midst of an exciting few months for the band. Their song “Don’t Play With Guns” was picked up this week by Gloucester DJ Meg Griffin, who will play the song on her shows, which air on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Griffin heard the group perform recently at Blue Ocean Music Hall and loved the set, Frame said.

Frame and the Kickers are currently planning a mid-Atlantic tour this summer to promote the CD of their Firehouse show, but much sooner than that, the group will head to Greenwich Village in New York City to play at the legendary hotspot Cafe Wha? on Jan. 18.

The concert tomrrow begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors. To purchase, call 978-462-7336 or online at

‘Random Acts’ celebrates 10 years this weekend

The always popular, fun-filled evening “Random Acts” will celebrate its 10th birthday this year as more than 50 members of the theater gather at the Firehouse on Saturday night.

Presented by Writers and Actors INK, the evening consists of short plays written, cast, rehearsed and performed as staged readings in just 24 hours, or seven plays from the page to the stage courtesy of the writers and actors.

The playwrights begin tomorrow night when they are randomly paired and sent off to create the play, which has to be 10 minutes long, in just 12 hours. The finished plays are sent to directors and actors early the next morning to be randomly cast and rehearsed until the curtain goes up Saturday night.

The performance will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

A cappella Night

at Pentucket High

Local high school singers will join an a cappella group from Berklee College of Music during the 9th annual A cappella Night at Pentucket High School Saturday.

Hosted by the Pentucket Arts Foundation and sponsored by Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, the evening will feature the college headline group, Pitch Slapped, who impressed audiences in their appearance on NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” The Berklee College of Music students won the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella Award several times.

They will be joined by a cappella groups from Pentucket High School, Amesbury High School and St. John’s Prep who will perform a range of songs from classic oldies to contemporary arrangements.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Tickets are $10 and will go on sale at the door at 6:15 p.m. The house opens at 6:45 p.m. Seating is limited.

All proceeds from A cappella Night directly benefit the Pentucket Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance and support arts education and programming throughout the Pentucket communities.

Dahlberg is final featured artist of season at NAA

The Newburyport Art Association’s featured artist series will conclude for the year with an exhibit by Newburyport photographer Linda Dahlberg. Her show, “Focus on New England,” will be on display in the Coombs Hill Galllery from Sunday through Nov. 17.

The show brings visitors on a journey through Dahlberg’s favorite places around the area.

Dahlberg found her passion for photography while she and her husband ran a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire. Often, she brought guests to her favorite spots, toting her camera with her.

“The digital age adds to her interest in photography,” according to show organizers. “The instant gratification of her day’s work in the comfort on her own home adds so much to her passion. Linda edits minimally, and prints her own work for cards, matted and framed works.”

The public can visit with Dahlberg during a reception on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

‘Night of the Bully’ continues this weekend

The TTS Players production, “Night of the Bully,” will continue this weekend at the Byfield Arts Center, 7 Central St., Byfield.

The comedy by Jack Neary tells the story of Richard Feather, “a mild-mannered candy salesman from Winooski, Vt., who discovers, much to his chagrin, that national talk show host, Forrest James, has been challenged on camera to prove that he has a family,” notes organizers.

“When Richard hears this, he knows Forrest, who terrorized him all through high school, will be coming to Winooski to steal his family, just like he stole his lunch back in the old days.”

Performances are set for tomorrow at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for children. To reserve tickets, call and leave a message at the TTS box office at 978-463-3335 or email Sarah at

Open house at

Purple Sage Pottery

The potters at Purple Sage studio are hosting their annual fall Open Studio Sale this weekend.

Located at 3 Mechanic St. in Merrimac, the open house will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The works of 15 local clay artists will be on display. Potter Beth Bell is the featured artist for the fall show.

Other artists include Purple Sage owner Iris Minc, her husband Mochizuki, Fumihiko, Peter Grams, Bonnie Jean Malcolm, Christina Bellinger, Hiromi Satoh, Lisa Mistretta, Lucy Hutchinson, Gary Rathmell, Sibel Alpaslan, Kathy Kriegel, Jenny Graf, Douglas Bechler and Nancy Cahan.

There will be a kiln opening on Saturday morning, demonstrations throughout the show and light refreshments.

Pollak exhibits at Firehouse gallery

Local artist Mary Arthur Pollak will hang a new show, “Roots: Drawn from Life,” at the Firehouse gallery this month.

The exhibit, which opened yesterday, runs through Dec. 4, and offers a selection of mixed media drawings and paintings. Pollak lives in Ispwich but has a studio on Middle Street in Newburyport.

An opening reception with Pollak will be held on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m.

Retired chaplain speaks at library

fall series

The Rev. William E. Alberts will read from his new book, “A Hospital Chaplain at the Crossroads of Humanity,” on Thursday. Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Emma Andrews Library in Newburyport. The reading is part of the library’s fall author series.

Alberts retired last year after 18 years of hospital chaplaincy at Boston Medical Center. His book is a collection of more than 50 stories from his career. He discusseshis experiences “serving interdenominationally and inter-religiously anyone who asked, and working with his Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other colleagues.”

“The bottom line of chaplaincy is not about belief but about caring for patients and their loved ones,” Alberts has said. He is a Unitarian Universalist and United Methodist minister, as well as a diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.

Space is limited. Stop by the library to sign up for a guaranteed seat or call 978-358-8097.

Local filmmaker takes part in SNOB

Amesbury resident Michael Azevedo recently directed his first film — and it’s ready to be viewed.

The 30-minute feature called “Overdrawn” was written by Azevedo’s brother and offers “a humorous and dramatic look at three individuals who get caught up in the easy credit bubble of the 2004-2008 period.”

It will be screened at the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) filmfest in Concord, N.H., on Saturday. To view the schedule and for ticket information, visit the festival’s website at

Coat drive for Pettengill House

The Newburyport stationary store Greetings by Design is running a coat drive for the Pettengill House in Salisbury this month.

The public can bring gently worn coats to the shop, 4A Winter St., Newburyport, through November. Donors will receive a 20 percent discount on gift cards, in-stock items or orders for customized stationery, which includes holiday cards and invitations.

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 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. Of course, the trip wouldn’t be complete 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


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.