Happier Valley Comedy Show is Saturday
GREENFIELD, Mass. -- The Happier Valley Comedy Show returns to the Arts Block, 289 Main St., on Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m.
Featured performers include Side of Toast, the area’s hottest sketch comedy troupe performing scripted comedy a la "Saturday Night Live" and The Ha-Ha’s, performing "Shrink: Where Freud Meets Funny," with special guest Sarah Wilson.
The show is rated PG-13. Tickets are $10, $7 in advance online at www.theartsblock.com.
For more details about the show, visit www.happiervalley.com.
Branch River Theatre stages Ayckbourn’s ‘Henceforward’
MARLBOROUGH, N.H. -- Branch River Theatre presents "Henceforward" by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn from March 8-16 at the Community House of Marlborough, 160 Main St./Route 101.
"Henceforward" is described as a work enveloping a black comic mode about our fascination with technology. The setting is "sometime quite soon" in a steel shuttered, slovenly flat in a no-go area of North London where punks rule deserted streets. A lonely composer, Jerome (played by Chris McCartie) sits, surrounded by high-tech equipment. His only company is a robot nanny, NAN300F (played by Mia Moravis and Kimberley Miller), and she’s on the blink.
Jerome desperately wants to reclaim his teenage daughter, Geain (played by Brea Swanson on video and Galena Walker onstage) and enlists an out-of-work actress, Zoë (also Miller) to implement a cunning plan he’s evolved to impress his estranged wife (also Moravis) and a wired- for-sound child welfare officer, Mervyn Bickerdyke (played by Mary Armstrong).
Jerome has to improvise when his plans go hilariously awry.
Director Wendy Almeida cites the reasons for her choice of this play. "I love dark comedies and ‘Henceforward’ ... is one of the best I’ve ever read. Ayckbourn’s vision of the future is funny, sad, touching -- and entirely possible -- given our love of electronic gadgets and our increasing isolation from real human contact. I’m fascinated with Ayckbourn’s take on the creative personality. Everyone who works in a creative field uses their own environment and relationships as raw material to make art. Ayckbourn’s character, Jerome, takes this one step further by recording everything that happens in his apartment and using it directly in his music. This brings up questions about the relationship between art and life, the distinction between fair use and exploitation, and the difference between man and machine. This play is about art and love. Throw in robots, and what else could you ask for?"
Also featured in a funny video appearance is Jonathan E. Ray as Jerome’s crazy musician pal, Lupus. Newcomer Maxine Dunn rocks Jerome’s world as Rita, Leader of the Daughters of Darkness and, as Rita’s curmudgeonly hoodlum friend, Henry Parkhurst of Winchester appears, as one would expect, as the region’s king of cameos.
Lori Goldring designs the set. Sharon McHugh is lighting designer and Gary Gagnon is sound designer.
Performances are Friday and Saturday, March 8, 9, 15 and 16, at 8 p.m., Sunday, March 10, at 2 p.m., and Thursday, March 14, at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $15 general, $12 for students and seniors. For information, visit www.branchrivertheatre.com.