“We wanted to create something for audiences that was a bit different,” explains producer and singer Kristyn Murphy of Pittsfield, “what we ended up with was not quite a traditional cabaret and not quite a traditional musical; Lovers and Monsters is a mash-up of the two.” For the past year Murphy has been working alongside Allentown, PA based co-star
and business partner Abbie Stands to create a new show called Lovers and Monsters. The show has since debuted in a world-renowned cabaret venue New York City and has recently completed an East Coast and Midwest spring tour, and is set to start its Summer/Fall tour at the Camden Opera House for a one night only event on Thursday, July 21st at 7:30 PM. Tickets are priced at $18, however a discount brings tickets down to $12 for groups of 10 or more. Joining the show in Camden is Maine based pianist Colin Graebert. Appearing as special guest is Maine accordionist and composer Marianna Filippi, who is
a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Wales.
Built in 1894, The Camden Opera House is now known to be one of the most beautiful performance spaces on the east coast. The Opera House’s opening night was June 6th, 1894 and featured the Boston Opera Company’s performance of Maritama. Camden’s first town meeting was held at the venue in 1895, and in 1908 traveling shows started touring to the opera house. After a huge renovation project, the venue is found to be still alive with entertainment, featuring a variety of shows. Lovers and Monsters, a
non-profit arts project sponsored by Fractured Atlas, has a mission to perform at several historical venues around the country. “We wanted to give people a reason to come to some of the amazing historical theatres around the country,” Stands explains, “it is such rich history that needs to be preserved.”
The Wayside Theatre’s annual Variety Show will be held on Saturday, July 23rd at 7 PM and will feature local student and adult musicians along with comedy. Ukuleles, guitars, banjo, mountain dulcimer, cello and harmonica will play old and new songs. Between sets will be the “Hee Haw” cornfield type of bantering between Tim Breen and Dave Pearson in “Gee Haw.” Tickets cost $7 each as doors open at 6:30 PM and the show beginning at 7 PM. No reservations are required. There will be home baked desserts and coffee sold during intermission.
Since, the Dexter Regional High School (DRHS) ukulele group had so much fun, they decided to continue playing throughout the summer. Led by Susan Abel, recently retired DRHS school librarian, and assisted by Dave Pearson, the group will strum and sing several songs.
A special feature of their set will be a song written and composed by student Emily Albair called “Let Me Go.” Backing up Emily with their ukes are Mac Allan-King, Tatum Bailey-Sumers, Elise Beaudry, Regan King, Amber Knowlton, Will Leavitt and Lindsey Shaw.
There will be several high school students who will play many sets each are Kilee Lewis and Lena Downes. Kilee will be a senior at DRHS and plays bass guitar in their band.
Lena Downes has played her guitar and sung during many of the Grange suppers. She will be a senior at SAD #4, Guilford high school and is on their soccer team. Among the several songs that Lena will do, one will be a duet with Dave Pearson of Nellie Kennedy’s song “East-West Highway.”
John (JT) Curran of Dover-Foxcroft has an extensive career playing guitar that includes two appearances on “American Bandstand.” He started playing doo wop in high school and became a fan of early rock and roll. The blues have also been a major influence for him.
Toby Hall of Sangerville and Mike Kagan of Sebec will play Appalachian and folk music. Toby plays his banjo with Woodsong (Metsälaulu in Finnish) the ‘house orchestra’ at the Finnish Farmers Hall in Monson during their monthly summer dances. Mike will play his mountain dulcimer, a two-necked string instrument played on the lap, which originated in the Appalachians in the mid 1800s.
Ruth Fogg of Dexter returns to our stage playing classical music and as many other styles that will fit in her cello case.
Dana Collins, Joe Kennedy and Wally Warren also return to our stage. Dana and Wally have been soloists during our Grange suppers. They’ve also spent many years jamming together on their guitars either at Dana’s home in Athens or Wally’s in Ripley. Joining them with his harmonica is Joe Kennedy of Ripley, a Wayside Grange member. Joe returns to Wayside’s stage on Saturday, August 27th with Brooks and Kennedy and on Saturday, September 17th with the Evergreen reunion concert.
The Wayside Theatre is located on Route 23 on 861 North Dexter Road in Dexter. For more information contact Tim Breen at 355-5507, Joe Kennedy at 277-3733 or Facebook Wayside Grange and Theatre.
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