Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hank and Dixie for the Whole Family

Well Gossip Lovers,

Here’s a G Lady “hat’s-up:” Drag that weary carcass up and over to Rick’s Place in York, Maine – tonight - for a serious pick-me-up. Oh, and do it early because if you don’t you’ll be listening to Hank and Dixie from a room away.

No doubt about it, Hank, (on guitar) Dixie (on violin) and the Knotty Pine Boys, (Dixie suggests "pronounce with a Maine accent)," pack the place on Tuesday nights. Folks gather early, order some homemade potpie, settle in and wait for the fun to begin about 6 p.m.

And believe G Lady when she says, when these two start wailin’ on their strings, there’s a whole lot of family-appropriate fun going on.

A few weeks back Dixie took Doug Martin’s latest balsa wood violin for a spin, never has the “Tennessee Waltz” sounded better. – Try that one with a baby on your back folks!

Okay, so I exaggerate a tad, but only a tad. Hank and Dixie do arrive with Levi strapped to one or the other’s back. (The picture above & to the right is of Dixie arriving at Rick's with Levi - not Hank - in hoodie, strapped to her back).

And if that cutie petutie gets a bit vocal during the night, Hank or Dixie straps him on and continue with the strings. (Check out the picture below to the right. See that little face peering over Hank's shoulder? Levi).

Haven’t heard about this incredible family event yet? Well it’s likely neighbors are keeping it to themselves hoping for a better seat. If it weren’t G Lady's job to spread the word, I might not have mentioned it myself.

But there it is folks; one of the best-kept secrets on the seacoast. By the by, there’s only a few gigs left till next winter; tonight show, nothing on May 5, but back again through May 19.

When not being Hank and Dixie these two perform as their alter egos. You can catch Dixie as Joyce Andersen this Sunday at Inn on the Blues. She has a big gig in Exeter on May 30 and lots in between. (Info here).

Hank – aka Harvey Reid - is heading out of town for a short tour, and then he’s back for a number of area gigs. (Info here).

Well there’s the good word for the day folks.

Tune in soon. G Lady is heading out shortly to get the scoop on “the scary mannequin” issue. Will report back very soon.

Yours in the love of family music time,

Gossip Lady

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Get up, Get up, Gossip Lovers,

If you haven't already been attending Jazzmouth 2009 events best get a move on . Today (Saturday) and tomorrow are the end of it. So much to do!

Last night's event in honor of Robert Dunn at the Spring Hill Tavern was PACKED. Katherine Towler, who spoke at it, said both those that knew him and others discovering his work for the first time were in attendance.

Here's a quick shot, taken at night's end of Katherine and the current Portsmouth Poet Laureate Mark DeCarteret.

I'm sure you'll see them both wandering from event to event over the course of the weekend. Things get hoppin' at 11 a.m today - so up off the couch! Grab the beret.
Spring! Poetry! Glorious!

Yours in the love of pen
Gossip Lady

Info on the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

puppet master and puppet

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

You know you’ve heard that line about dogs and owners looking alike. Well what about a man and his puppet?

Me thinks our friend Greg Gathers is carving a little closer to his own likeness these days. – Just sayin’.

To be fair the lighting could have been kinder to one of G Lady’s favorite puppet makers; a bit harsh to be sure. But had it been softer - this posting wouldn’t have been as much fun!

Well friends, you can get a closer look and be your own judge real soon. Greg and his Pontine Theatre co artistic director M. Marguerite Mathews, pictured here giving comfort to the elderly, will unveil their latest original piece “Dunnet Landing Stories,” based on the works of Sarah Orne Jewett; (starts April 24). For info click here.

Oh and if you have the constitution for it, you can get a gander of some naked puppets in an archive, Gossip Lady video. It's from a trip DC (intrepid videographer) and G Lady took to Pontine when the pair was working on its "Story of a Bad Boy."

This segment remains one of G Lady's favorite behind-the-scene peeks. It's a wonderful, wonderful look at the puppets in an earlier stage of creation, along with some other delightful, theatrical conventions Pontine employs in its work. All that AND you get to see these two impeccable performers in a messy moment. Gasp!

To see the segment click here and scroll down the page till you see a picture that matches the one just above, picturing Marguerite, me and the naked puppets.

Meanwhile here’s a sneak peek at another of Greg's props, destined for the newest play.

Love his work; simply love it.

Yours in awe of it all,

Gossip Lady.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The King Queer - Joe

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

Well I'm back from the dead - nasty nasty little bugger that spring flu. Still not 100%. But when you have something this good to share you just have to rally.

This is the latest Gossip Lady Video. DC (intrepid videographer) and G Lady visited the King of the Queers, Joe (Queer) King, the international punk rocker and plain old local stock, whose fished the area waters.

DC was less familiar with that latter stat, hence - must tell - she was a bit hesitant to entire the punkers cave . All she knew of the group were a few Queers' titles such as "She's A Cretin," and "The Old Man's a Fatso;" didn't give her the old warm and fuzzies. (Oh, and those are some of their more sedate tags).

But DC did muster and entered the Electric Cave, recording studio King and Jim Tierney own here in Portsmouth, and discovered the same thing you will; Joe Queer: rarely humble, always interesting; Joe King: surprisingly introspective, and a man riding a strong learning curve. So feet up and enjoy the show folks.

As with all the videos, G Lady only wishes she could include all the bits on the cutting room's floor. Oh the things I could tell : )

Yours in candid peeks

Gossip Lady

Photos: Top two, by the lovely DC
Joe doin' the punk jump Coutesy of the Portsmouth Herald

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Amazons!

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

This here? This is an Amazon (circa 1955). And you are not going to believe the company she keeps.

Can you name her?

Well this actress first performed on the seacoast in 1976 with Theater by the Sea. Not too many can claim that honestly.

She’s looks a heck of a lot like a lady she performs – though I’ll have to dig those pictures up to prove it, because neither of these bare that fact out.

Finally – the big give-away - she’ll run a theater fest at West End Studio Theatre, late summer/early fall.

Of course that means it can be no other than Stephanie Voss Nugent.

While she may be scurrying about prepping for her ACT ONE's 3rd Annual Festival of Fun, it’s a ways off for the rest of us; starts in August. Check her FOF site after May.

So that’s not what this posting is about – though it demonstrates her Amazon traits.

This one is about a MEETING of the Amazons. See Michael Tobin - (no he’s not one of the Amazons. Hold on it will make sense in a minute). – Anyway Michael's Dramedy Productions is bringing three of the regions more powerful female performers together on stage for the first time.

It’s going to be a blink-of-the-eye-event folks. A single night, staged reading of “Agnes of God.”

And the line up: (drum roll please), Stephanie Voss Nugent as Mother Miriam Ruth, WITH Tinka Darling as Doctor Martha Livingstone! Please be still my heart.

The cast is completed with a young lady (who can't even drive yet), whose made a mighty fine name for herself in the theater/dance community already, Ms. Alana Thyng, .

You MUST admit, that is some knockout casting!

I will definitely be there; front row seat, best hat and whitest gloves. Sad it’s only a reading, but it does beats never seeing these three together performing some kick-butt roles.

It’s all at the Portsmouth Pearl, Sunday, April 26th at 7pm.

Yours in sweet anticipation and high expectations

Gossip Lady

(Nothing like a bit of pressure eh?)

PS: Info at 828-9314 or email tbigdog2@aol.com.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cheeky Little Fella

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

So as the title would indicate this is another "who is that" and in this case it's this cheeky fella right here.

For starters he's a longtime friend of Anna Birch, - good thing, bad thing- depending on how he feels about this pictures. She's the one that supplied it.

You may remember Anna is a poet, and owner of Queen Oscar Design. Nice lady. Normally.

This photo she titled "Coldfinger" might change your mind about her. But generally she's a real sweetie. She sent another; unfortunately it won't upload, but if I can figure it out I'll definitely post at a later date - it's a sweetie.

Anyway, Anna and this guy have been friends since age 3. They attended school together, nursery through Hollis (NH) High, and right on through UNH.

So here's the big give-away hint folks: he and his band have won four Best in Jazz Spotlight Awards and tomorrow night will be inducted into the Spotlight Hall of Fame.

If you didn't get it with that one, well you simply aren't going to get it, right?

So here it is. It's Chris O'Neill, Amorphous' founder and it's single constant member over it's 14 years.

You can see him tomorrow night (April 16), at the Spotlight Awards, 7 p.m. at The Music Hall. It's FREE, and includes live performances by some of the area's best musicians and thespians. So, come on down!

See you there folks,
Gossip Lady

Oh My Word!!

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

So terribly sorry I fell off the face of the screen, but a spring flu can do a girl in. And so it did.

I'll post shortly. SO much to say.

But meanwhile PLEASE, check this video out if you haven't seen it. It's a clip of Ms. Boyle, a woman in England trying out for "Britain's Got Talent."

Do yourself a favor. Read nothing. Just click on the video and watch. This is something you need to experience as it unfolds.

The power of art. That's all I have to say.
Say no more.

Yours, as always, in the love of the real thing,

Gossip Lady

PS: Keep in mind, her counterpart could live on your street!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Greetings Gossip Lovers,

In honor of this day of renewal, I'm going to do a bit of recycling.

Here's a link to an interview with a Peep, conducted by that McCartin Woman; admittedly one of her better works of journalism. This appeared in the Portsmouth Herald in 2003, but stands the test of time."

All the facts are in fact facts. So, read. Learn. Enjoy. Eat a peep or two. And come back soon, lots of things to post.

Yours in the love of hope and spring,

Gossip Lady
Photo: by Deb Cram, closely related to Gossip Lady's videographer/director DC, as is that (Jeanne') McCartin woman to Gossip Lady herself.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Take a Bow

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

Well it’s not often that the face of the child is such a dead-giveaway to the grown version, but I dare say in this case that little fellow in the middle may look older today, but not a heck of a lot different.

Okay, perhaps he was cuter and more innocent - and certainly more so than in the following photo – but the resemblance is so strong I shouldn’t have to give hints.

But, I shall.

Here we go.

He ranks among the community’s most talented. He’s multi talented; acts like crazy, sings like the gods and can accompany himself on a number of instruments like nobody’s business.

Thoughts yet?

How about this, he sang with great passion and perfect pitch while hanging from a bar doing repeated, one-arm pull-ups throughout. – Not too many can claim that feat. And if you saw it, you wouldn’t have forgotten it.

Almost a giveaway: he recently wrote a new musical with Dane E Leeman, workshopped at the Players Ring. Still nothing? Oh please! For thirty years this guy wows the crowds and you can’t come up with a name?

Dead giveaway: He’s hosting the Spotlight Award Ceremony’s at the Music Hall on April 16. Nothing? Well, just hang your head in shame!

See that’s what gets me riled. We have a talent like this in our backyard and you don’t know about him. Sigh. Just breaks G. Lady’s heart.

Well folks, it’s Mr. Billy Butler, who recently left us for the Big Apple. But, he’s coming home to host the Spotlight Awards (the TOTALLY free event). He’ll also hit the studio with Tim McCoy and the Paper Cuts to work its next CD. Then on Monday, April, 20, along with the workshop band and actors, he’ll perform a concert version of “Gay Bride of Frankenstein.”

Billy will perform a selection from “Gay Bride” at the Spotlight Awards as well. Other performers: Musical Theater Acts: “The Primary, Primary!” New Hampshire Theatre Project and “8-Track: The Sounds of the ‘70s,” Seacoast Repertory Theatre. Music performances: The Lonesome State; One Hand Free and The Molenes.

Of course I’ll be there – it’s a celebration of area arts after all. And did I mention this great night of entertainment is FREE? No? Well, hey, it’s free. So, see you there!

For the love of art,

Gossip Lady

Photo: Top: L to R Kenny Butler, Billy, and their mom
L to R, Butler, Jamie Perkins, Jon McCormack & Tim McCoy
Bottom photo, by Don Clark, Portsmouth Herald, taken at last year's "Spotlight Awards"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hair & the Painter

Greetings Gossip Lovers

Well prom season is nearly upon us. And in honor of that wonderful right of passage –long passed for a few of us – I thought I’d rustle up a few good shots of folks you know, hand them on for a walk down memory lane and maybe a few chuckles.

Here’s the first brave soul. Know who it is?

Well she currently is the core to “Influences” an exhibition at the Kittery Art Association, up through the end of the month. “Influences” features a few pieces of her work and that of nearly two-dozen of her former and current students.

Some of the students started studying with her as far back as 1976; I dare say this photo has a few additional years on it, hum? : ) The hair is a dead giveaway.

Photo two is not a shot from the after-party; this is pre “The Britney Years.” It was taken for use in creating the artwork for the cover of a paperback novel. (She says she can’t remember the book’s title. Um hum).

Anyway, this painter exhibits throughout New England, is a member of the Copley Society, and was one of its featured artists in last summers show. She currently has work at the Kennedy Gallery downtown.

So who is our lovely model? The Button Factory’s own Pamela duLong Williams.

SOOO jealous of the hair.

Anyway folks, send the G Lady your prom photos would you. About mid May I’ll give a prize to the owner of my favorite image. Could be a hat, pair of white gloves, a boa – not telling yet.

Yours in memory of gym gems past,

Gossip Lady

(Remember: for dates, times and further info, always follow the links).

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Man of "Mind Blowing" Words

Hey Gossip Lovers,

Big news!

For the next two years Mark DeCarteret is our fair city’s head poet.

Mayor Tom Ferrini made the announcement tonight at the city council meeting.

Immediately after, about 30 people filed into a room next to the council chambers and celebrated with the new bard. – Yes, poets DO know how to party. (Were you taken in by that serious, brooder thing? Hah)!

Mark, who hails from Stratham, is the Portsmouth's seventh Poet Laureate.

According to the bubbly Ms. Lesley Kimball, co director of the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program and poet, De Carteret brings energy, experience “and just mind blowing poetry.” Well bring it on Mark, your audience awaits!

DeCarteret will share his writing at the next PPLP hoot (first Wednesday in May) along with the recent past laureate Elizabeth Knies.

Meanwhile G Lady will track the man of words down, find out a bit more about him, and of course report back to you as soon as possible.

Oh and Mark - Congratulations. Can't wait to see what your project brings to the city.

Yours in the love of a well-turned phrase,

Gossip Lady

Photo: Lesley Kimball and Mark DeCarteret at the April PPLP Hoot.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Greeting Gossip Lovers,

Well I hear a few of you got quite the surprise last night when you arrived in South Berwick, Maine, for "A Wicked Good Time at Town Hall." Now - I did hear you were polite about it - but a tad taken back when the headliner Jennifer Armstrong walked out on stage sporting a full beard.

Of course it was quickly apparent it was not the lovely Jennifer Armstrong, Scottish fiddlin' storytellin' bagpipe playin' balladeer, but her incredibly talented , storyteller, musician, folklorist and friend Dillion Bustin standing in for Jennifer who was home with a wicked good case of pneumonia.

Ida, (she of "Ida: Woman Who Runs With the Moose and Poolyle Productions, pictured left, dispensing her usual wisdom on a topic)," told G Lady, she was fine with the swap and did in fact have that promised "wicked good time." "You don't need to play the bagpipe when you have a high hunk factor," she reported.

Dillon, that heck of a trooper, good friend and exceptional performer, will stand in for his friend again tonight. So, if you like stories and songs with an Irish twist, mosey up to South Berwick folks. Ida promises you'll have that "Wicked Good Time."

Yours in the love of a good surprise

Gossip Lady

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spotlight on Spotlight & G Lady

Greetings Gossip Lover,

Just a note to remind you the latest Gossip Lady Video has been posted on the SeacoastonLine site.

This little beauty has DC (intrepid videographer) and G Lady behind the scenes at the Portsmouth Herald, where we head straight to the desk of Spotlight Editor Jenn Stevens looking for the scoop on the upcoming Spotlight Awards.

Come join us as we look for some answers, find a few - and ... well you'll see.

And hopefully we'll ee you at the Spotlight Awards Event, April 16, at the Music Hall.

Gossip Lady

Photo by Deb Cram, with G Lady in one of her more dashing hats, and Spotlight Editor Jenn Stevens

A Side of Fries

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

Must share. G Lady had a wonderful evening last night. I had an charming chat with Box ‘0 Fries and Miss Ketchup regarding the arts. The latter, a lovely lady, is not only a video star, but a former improv actress. Stimulating conversation to be sure! I assure you, a night with Mr. Fries, a processed tomato and Mr. Cheeseburger beats couch potato every time.

(Oh, and I can report Fries was not hurt when the elevator closed on his noggin. A bit dazed perhaps but not hurt).

So it all happened rather impromptu during breaks while the crew was filming segment eight of “Odd Noggin Land,” at Portsmouth’s Tredwell Gallery. The web series is the brainchild of John Herman and Ryan Plaisted, (co writers/directors).

Keep your eyes peeled. The film pair and their trio of foodstuff shoot on location all over the seacoast. Have a spot you’re willing to offer? They're always looking.- well John and Ryan are. The poor Odd Noggins can barely see a thing, and their fairly deaf - but lovely. Anyway interested in opening your space to the crew, write John at john.c.herman@gmail.com.

Well G Lovers, be back soon. More news to share. Weekend is upon us. Pick up or check out the Portsmouth Herald’s Spotlight for the arts and culture listing.

Yours in anticipation

Gossip Lady
P.S. Miss Ketchup is played by Emily Briand, Fries, by Steve Johnson or Jon Briggs and Cheeseburger is Brian Paul.

The super, bottom photo by PT Sullivan (thanks!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weeknights as well

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

Weekends almost here. One more day.
But let me say there were a lot of folks getting a jump on it this week.

An impressive example: last night's Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program monthly hoot, held over at Cafe Espresso.

Let me tell you - the place was packed! And be still my heart there was a bona fide beret in the crowd, along with a Quaker straw, knitted caps, a fedora, numerous bald pates and a few natural brunettes.

But the most striking thing - beyond the art itself - was the sense of community. Just basking in that was a real lift folks. A real lift.

Featured readers were David Rivard, a UNH Prof, and Kristen Miller - yes with cello in hand. Killer night to be sure. (photo, Miller on right, with fan Ari Cameron)

Big things up for the PPLP. Come Monday Elizabeth Knies ends her two year reign as laureate and a new person will take possession of the Peter Hapney laureate sculpture.

I'm pretty excited to see what this new Laureate's project will be. There's been some really wonderful ones in past years.

If you want to find out who the new word-meister is, just show up for the city council meeting on Monday (April 6) where it will be announced about 7 p.m.. Then stay for the party that follows immediately after, right there in City Hall. It's all free and open to the public.

See you there?

Gossip Lady

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Loved it Loved it Loved it!

Greetings Gossip Lovers,

So, I ask you, what good is having a pulpit if you don’t use it? Well no good of course. Hence G Lady will put hers to good use today.

Here is a bit of heartfelt advice. GO see Groovelily.

Never heard of them? Well then I guess you don’t know anyone that caught Groovelily’s “Striking 12,” a few years back at the Music Hall.

G Lady did. And it is -without question - one of her all-time, favorite art experiences. No lie. I absolutely loved it. Bought the CD. Play it often.

Folks, if you like music, musical performance-theater, unique theater, a wicked violin, fine storytelling, incredible musicianship, violin/piano/drum trio, any one or a combination of these GO see Groovelily’s “Sleeping Beauty Wakes" at the Music Hall this weekend.

I have not seen this particular piece yet, but so loved the first I can’t imagine anything but wonderful things unfolding.

I could wax on about the group, but I’ll leave it at repeating one more time, Groovelily’s “Striking 12” remains one of G Lady’s top art experiences.

In advance let me say, "you are welcome."

See you there!

G Lady.

Here's a link to one of G Lady's fav video's from "Striking 12," which in part retells the story of "The Little Match Girl."