Globe North | Arts

Newburyport students star in ‘Spring Awakening’

For North - 15noarts - Peter Adams, Joshua Heggie, Jeanine Robinson, Kami Rushell Smith and Phil Tayler are featured in a benefit concert of "Ragtime – The Musical" Saturday (July 21) at the Nelson Aldrich Performing Arts Center in Marblehead. (Handout)
A benefit performance of “Ragtime — The Musical’’ Saturday in Marblehead will feature (from left) Peter Adams, Joshua Heggie, Jeanine Robinson, Kami Rushell Smith and Phil Tayler.

STIRRED FEELINGS: The Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport and Newburyport High School are teaming to present “Spring Awakening” Thursday through next Sunday.

The show is a rock musical adaptation of the controversial Frank Wedekind play, written in 1891. It features music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater.

The story is set in late 19th-century Germany with teenagers as the main characters. It focuses on the experiences of adolescence and puberty and what can occur when parents are too embarrassed to discuss the facts of life with their children.


The original play was banned in Germany due to its sometimes harshly honest portrayal of abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse, and suicide.

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The musical version premiered on Broadway in 2006 and went on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2007.

The cast members are all students and include Carly Moffie and Mikayla Bishop of Beverly; Kari Mayne of Ipswich; Michaela Good, Aisha Chodat, Matt Tolley, Daniel Alvarez de Toledo, Kyle McIntire, and Jordon Dunn-Pilz, all of Newburyport; Brian Sullivan of Haverhill; and Andrew Santin of Newton, backed up by a 12-member music ensemble.

Alden Metz, a teacher at Newburyport High School, and James Manclark play all the adult roles.

The show is directed by Stephanie Williams and Lisa Zaleski of P.O.V. Stage Company, who said it’s important to give the students a chance to thoughtfully explore the issues raised in this play with experts.


To that end, several community service organizations are joining with a large group of parents to foster community awareness and offer support to teens who need additional guidance in dealing with these topics.

Performances are at the Firehouse at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets are $22; $20 for students and senior citizens; $19 for Firehouse members.

The play contains mature content and parental guidance is strongly suggested.

Call 978-462-7336 or visit

BENEFIT PERFORMANCE: Marblehead Little Theatre and Salem Theatre Company, in association with the Marblehead and Salem public school systems, present a one-time concert performance Saturday of “Ragtime — The Musical” at the Nelson Aldrich Performing Arts Center in Marblehead.


The show is a benefit for HAWC, or Healing Abuse, Working for Change, a nonprofit agency based in Salem.

“We have a cast of 17 principals, including several professional actors who have performed in various national tours of ‘Ragtime,’ ’’ said director Steve Black. “We’ll also have an orchestra of 40 and a chorus of more than 100.”

Musical director is Lianne Goodwin.

“Ragtime,” based on the E.L. Doctorow novel, has a book by Terrance McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty.

It takes place at the turn of the 20th century and intertwines the stories of three families as they confront the contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America.

It won Tony Awards in 1998 for Best Score, Book, and Orchestrations.

The cast features five professional actors: Peter Adams, Joshua Heggie, Jeanine Robinson, Kami Rushell Smith, and Phil Tayler. Also in the cast are Alex Grover, president of the Marblehead Little Theatre board; and John Fogle, artistic director of Salem Theatre Company.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, $50, and $75.

Visit or Tickets will also be on sale at the door, if available.

AUTHOR’S CORNER: Jeannine Reardon of Saugus discusses her third legal thriller, “Advice and Consent,” 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Medford Public Library.

Reardon is the granddaughter of a federal district court judge and a third-generation lawyer. She is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and has been licensed to practice law since 1996. She also has loved mysteries since she was a child. She and her family recently returned to the Boston area after living in Washington, D.C., for eight years.

A member of the Sisters in Crime organization’s New England chapter, Reardon is also the author of “Confidential Communications” and “Dishonored.”

“Sunflower Field,” by Joanna Hammond, is among the works in “Summertime,” at the Bridge Gallery in Newburyport.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: Bridge Gallery in Newburyport, an artists’ cooperative, is celebrating its sixth birthday with the exhibition “Summertime.” Also on view is the work of five new contributors, including two former Bridge Gallery artist-members, Susan Spellman and Karla Cook. Spellman is known for her paintings of dancers and local scenes. Cook creates animal paintings and portraits. New to the gallery are Larry Pumfrey, who divides his time between Massachusetts and the west coast of Florida, and Walter Marziarski, who lives on Plum Island in the summers and on the east coast of Florida in the winters. The fifth artist, Mary Vallee of Swampscott, has been painting and selling her work in the Boston area for several decades. She is the mother of Janet Rossman, a Bridge Gallery artist-member . . . ArcWorks Community Art Center in Peabody presents “Mental Vacation: Places I Go,” an exhibition featuring the work of Sharleene Hurst and Brian Donnelly. The show runs Wednesday through Aug. 17. An opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at