Stage shows abound in summertime

  • Children rehearse for RB Productions' "High School Musical Jr." on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. Sarah Pearson

  • Izzy Camerato rehearses as part of One Light Theatre's Performing Arts Summer Camp in Tilton. —Courtesy

  • Kelley Davies, Lindsey Bristol, Will Wilder, Alex Gagne and Nolan Baker appear in “Charley’s Aunt,” on stage at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse. Courtesy of Matthew Lomanno

  • Miranda Reilly, Angela Hope Smith, Connor White and Pat Tierney star in the Barnstormers "We Have Always Lived in the Castle." —Courtesy Diana Evans Photography

  • Mona (Michele Bossie) and her girls will appear in "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New Hampshire has a long history with summer theater, dating back when city folk came by carriage and train to vacation in wooded areas or next to glistening lakes. In barns or tents or meetinghouses, performers – often college students on summer break – would entertain locals and vacationers alike. A couple of Granite State theaters still rank among the oldest summer stock programs in the country.

Much is still the same. While you can find shows on stage year-round, performances multiply during the summer months. The state has about a half dozen summer stock theaters, plus theater summer camps for kids and community shows featuring actors of all ages.

Here’s a look at what’s on stage:

Capitol Center for the Arts

RB Productions continues it’s youth theater camps with Alice in Wonderland Jr. on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Come follow Alice down the rabbit hole into a world of bizarre adventures from Lewis Carroll’s classic. Tickets are also on sale now for Mary Poppins, a community show put on by the company Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Impact Theater continues presenting shows on Tuesdays at the Cap Center. Next week will be The Reluctant Dragon at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and on July 24 the show will be The Princess and the Pea at the same times.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ccanh.com.

New England College

In the summer, a beach is usually a nice place to relax. It’s not so nice when you’ve been stranded on an island. New England College’s Open Door Theatre is heading to such an island this weekend to present William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Shows will be Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the college’s mainstage theater in Henniker.

Costumed in modern attired, the production will have a uniquely feminine focus as it will feature women in roles traditionally played by men, including Dani Duggan as Prospera, Alex Picard as Ariel, and Liz Robbins as both Antonia and Trinculo. The rest of the company includes Russ Rattray as Alonso, Greg Stuart as Gonzalo, Adam Boisselle as Sebastian, Ian Harte as Ferdinand, Katie Coe as Miranda, Ian Allan as Caliban and Fred Robbins as Stephano.

Tickets are $15 or $10 for seniors, students, NEC community or LINEC members, and are available by calling 428-2382 or visiting opendoortheatrenec.com.

One Light Theatre

For those whom the ocean isn’t their scene, maybe try the savannah? One Light Theatre’s performing arts summer camp will present The Lion King Jr. this weekend. More than 20 children age 5 to 14 will sing and dance as beloved Disney characters Simba, Timon, Pumba and more.

Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Hamilton Hall at the Tilton School.

Opening July 20 will be the mainstage show of David Auburn’s Proof. Catherine has inherited her father’s mathematical brilliance, but following his death she is faced with the fear that she may also share his debilitating mental illness. Now juggling a newfound connection with Hal, one of her father’s former students, and the reappearance of her sister, Catherine finds both her world and her mind growing increasingly unstable. When Hal discovers a groundbreaking proof among her father’s notebooks, Catherine is forced to reckon with just how much of her father’s genius, and just how many of his demons, are now hers.

Tickets are available at onelighttheatre.org or by calling 848-7979.

Hatbox Theatre

The founding of the United States musical 1776 continues its run at the Hatbox Theater through Sunday with showtimes Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

For tickets or more information, visit hatboxnh.com.

Interlakes Theatre

Head up the river with Interlakes Summer Theatre’s Show Boat opening on Wednesday and running through July 29. The Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein musical shares that showbiz and love aren’t always the easiest things to stay in.

Showtimes are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m. and an additional matinee Thursdays at 2 p.m.

For more information or tickets, call 707-6035 or visit interlakestheatre.com.

Winnipesaukee Playhouse

When Oxford lads Jack and Charley need a chaperone to get close to Amy and Kitty, their buddy Fancourt “Babbs” Babberly saves the day by impersonating Charley’s millionaire aunt from Brazil. Charley’s Aunt, a comedy now onstage at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, runs through July 21.

Tickets are $20 to $34 and available by calling 279-0333 or online at winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org.

New London Barn Playhouse

A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia has just a one-week run at the New London Barn Playhouse. It’s a love story with a twist between Greg and Kate and the excitable pup Sylvia.

Showtimes are Thursday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.

Opening Wednesday is the Broadway favorite 42nd Street with performances July 18 to Aug. 5. Showtimes are Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays and Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m.

Tickets start at $20 and are available at nlbarn.org or by calling 526-6710.

Barnstormers Theater

In Shirley Jackson’s thriller, a teenage girl, her older sister and their aging uncle are the only survivors of a horrific tragedy. They live in a family mansion shunned by the rest of the small Vermont town. Hugh Wheeler’s adaptation of We Have Always Lived in the Castle is an on-the-edge-of-your-seat ghost story. As the secrets come to light, you’ll be kept guessing.

Opening Thursday and running through July 21, showtimes are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with weekend matinees on Saturday at 2 p.m. and some Sundays at 5 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit BarnstormersTheatre.org or call 323-8500.

Majestic Theater

Governors, senators, mayors, and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona’s cozy bordello until that puritan nemesis Watchdog focuses his television cameras and his righteous indignation on the Chicken Ranch. The bawdy musical, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, will come to the stage of the Majestic Theatre this weekend.

Shows are Friday, Saturday, July 20 and July 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 and older. To purchase or for more information, visit majestictheatre.net or call 669-7469.