Museum L-A will host a free opening reception to unveil a new exhibition exploring America’s work history on Friday, February 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. “The Way We Worked” is a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit depicting how the changing nature of work has informed American ideas about history, culture and identity.
Adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives and Records Administration, the exhibition explores how work has become a central element in American culture. It traces the many changes that have affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years, including the growth of manufacturing and increasing use of technology.
The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections, including historical photographs, archival accounts of workers, film, audio and interactive components, to tell the compelling story of how work impacts our individual lives and the historical and cultural fabric of our communities.
On Friday, January 25, a trio of New England comedians will take the stage for the second of three comedy nights presented this season by the Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston. Performing at the event will be Tom Hayes of Boston, Jay Grove of Concord, New Hampshire and Portland’s own Tammy Pooler. Doors for the 8 p.m. program will open at 7:00. A cash bar will be available.
Hayes, who remains physically active despite losing a leg to cancer at age 12, has the appearance of a man more likely to help someone prepare their tax returns than to make them laugh. When he’s not performing at comedy clubs throughout the northeast, he works as a motivational speaker. His motto in life is: “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”
Classical pianist Christopher O’Riley will tickle the ivories of the Franco Center’s Steinway grand piano when he performs works from his latest musical release, “Out of My Hands,” on Friday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Perhaps best known as the host of NPR’s weekly radio program “From the Top,” O’Riley is an acclaimed classical pianist whose memorable interpretations of songs from the alt-rock genre have made him a cherished explorer of the boundaries between musical tastes, genres and audiences. Presented by L/A Arts, his Lewiston appearance will feature interpretations of songs by bands such as R.E.M., Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Tori Amos, the Smiths, Tears for Fears, Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Portishead, and the Cocteau Twins.
The L/A Arts Imagination Series of family-oriented performances will continue on Friday, January 11 at 7 p.m. with Michael Cooper’s “Masked Marvels and Wondertales,” which makes use of exquisite masks, skilled illusion and captivating stories told in prose, poetry and mime The performance will take place at the Franco American Heritage Center in Lewiston.
The Monmouth Community Players will present Robert Harling’s critically acclaimed play, “Steel Magnolias,” from February 1 through 10 at the historic Cumston Hall in Monmouth. Centering on the lives of six southern ladies who gather at a small-town beauty parlor, the play is alternately hilarious and touching – and, in the end, deeply revealing of the strength and purposefulness which underlies the antic banter of its characters.
Truvy runs a salon out of her carport in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done. Assisted by her eager new apprentice Annelle, who may or may not be married, Truvy generously dispenses hairspray and pearls of wisdom to the ladies of the neighborhood. These include Ouiser, the town’s rich curmudgeon; Clairee, the former mayor’s wife who has a raging sweet tooth; M’Lynn, the local mental health professional who clashes regularly with her headstrong daughter, Shelby, who is about to marry a “good ole boy.”
The show is sponsored by Monmouth Federal Credit Union and directed by Adam P. Blais, who also serves as scenic designer. Emily Trefethen is the costume designer, Paula Masselli is the property designer, and Josie French is the stage manager. Original music will be composed by Mike French.
Cumston Hall is located at 796 Main Street in Monmouth. Performances will take place on Fridays and Saturdays, February 1, 2, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sundays, February 3 and 10 at 2 p.m. General seating tickets are $12/10. For more information, call (207) 514-4929 or see www.monmouthcommunityplayers.com.
Richard A. Rosenberg, noted director and actor in many plays at Community Little Theatre, will direct “God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza with translation by Christopher Hampton.
Originally performed in France and London, it opened to rave reviews there, winning the Lawrence Olivier Award. On Broadway, it was a smash hit, winning three Tony Awards in 2009. The show will be produced February 8-17.
Rosenberg has been in rehearsal with his cast for the past month. He has selected veteran and seasoned actors well known to Community Little Theatre and other venues for this challenging play. He has cast Mark Hazard and Cheryl Reynolds to play Alan and Annette Raleigh, opposite Roger Philippon and Michelle Vasquez-Jacobus as Michael and Veronica Novak.
Come laugh this holiday season with the Lewiston-Auburn Variety Arts Festival, formerly Phyzgig North, now known as LAVA Fest. This wonderfully funny vaudeville troupe, which sold out three packed houses last year, makes three return appearance on December 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and on December 15 at 2 p.m. for a children’s matinee.
All three performances will take place at Bates College’s Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College Street in Lewiston. Tickets for the evening performances are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors; tickets for the matinee performance are $10 for adults and $8 for children under 14. To reserve tickets, call the L/A Arts box office at 782-7228 or see www.laarts.org.
LAVA Fest presents incredible illusions, captivating storytelling and side-splitting physical comedy featuring the talents of Leland Faulkner, Antonio Rocha, Karen Montanaro, Fred Garbo, “YoYo People” John and Rebecca Higby and Matt and Jason Tardy (a.k.a. “AudioBody”).
You won’t want to miss “An Advent Afternoon of Christmas Music” with Mitch Thomas and Friends. The annual concert will take place on Saturday, December 22 at 2:30 p.m. at the Auburn United Methodist Church at 439 Park Avenue.
Thomas will perform several seasonal favorites, including some of his own compositions and arrangements. The free event features several other local artists, including: Maddy Leslie, who just finished starring the Public Theatre’s A Christmas Carol; her sister, Mia-Angelina Leslie; Tiffany Warren, who was “Dorothy” in Community Little Theatre’s The Wiz; Nakesha (Kay) Myrick, Warren’s sister, who has appeared in and directs shows at CLT and her home church; and Lena Warren, Tiffany and Kay’s mother, who was “Auntie Em” in The Wiz.
Also performing are popular local singers, Kristen Thomas and Caroline Young Coffin; bassist, Jeff Munson; guitarist, Neil James; organists, Norma Rice-Gould and Jon Whitmore; and vocalists, Hayden and Elias Thomas.