WRJ: Drowsy, Construction, Thyme, and Betty Grable

What's new in the Brooklyn of the Upper Valley

The Drowsy Chaperone

With the largest cast ever to grace the Barrette Center, The Drowsy Chaperone is playing this weekend at Northern Stage. Students, ages 12 to 18, from the Stage's annual Summer Musical Theater Intensive Program are putting on this Tony Award-winning production. New this year is the Stage's Technical Apprentice Program (TAP) to train students in the technical aspects of theater, including sets, props, costumes, lighting, sound, and stage management. Along with their performer colleagues, aspiring theater techs are putting their new skills to the test in The Drowsy Chaperone. Opening night, Friday July 29, is just about sold out. There are three other performances this weekend. Contact the box office for more information and to purchase tickets.

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As summer draws to a close (yes), the Youth Ensemble Studio (YES) returns as but one part of Northern Stage's educational mission. This is a program for students in grades 7 to 12 that runs through the academic year. Students in YES are invited to master classes and shows with talkbacks; they also work toward three productions, including a musical at the Barrette in the spring of 2018. Registration began earlier this week.

Construction, Construction

Take a quick walk around town and you will find the bridge underpass is still temporarily in one-lane, one-way mode. Construction adjacent to the underpass is currently a very large excavation. A block away at the other end of Currier Street, next to Northern Stage's administrative offices, the building of The Village at White River Junction, an assisted living facility, is proceeding apace. It is dizzying to watch workers dance their way across those beams several stories in the air. 

Coming soon: The Village at White River Junction will have studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, and memory care.

It's About Thyme

The former Tip Top Cafe, renamed Thyme, was buzzing with a luncheon crowd and a new menu. I try to avoid desserts but we were celebrating and decided to split the special dessert of the day (featured photo, above). Maple walnut blondie with vanilla ice cream and maple cream. For obvious reasons, its arrival caught the eye of those at nearby tables. 

Betty Grable

Not sure when this appeared but there she is on a red brick wall on Currier Street. Brief research reveals the following interesting facts about the World War II "pin-up girl." Her 40 films grossed over $100 million, and she was the highest paid Hollywood celebrity in the years between 1943 and 1951. She was a gifted singer and dancer but was known for her legs, which were insured for $1,000,000. At the legendary Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, celebrities who are so honored routinely plunge their hands into wet cement to memorialize themselves. Grable plunged in her legs. 

(Update: Thank you to those of you who contacted me to tell me that this work of art is that of artist Dave Laro of White River Junction.)


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I write about the arts and other interesting things in the Upper Valley. Please sign up to receive an email each time I post something new by clicking here.  To view my profile page or to read previous posts, please click here.

Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge


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