In Stoneham, opening a theatrical conversation


The cast of “Alligator Road” performs at the Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham.

By Kathy Shiels Tully Globe Correspondent 

FUELING NEW PLAYS Why see plays? “If theater’s job is to reflect and be in conversation with the world around us, we need new plays to help do this,” said Weylin Symes, director of “Alligator Road,” running through Oct. 29 in Stoneham at the Greater Boston Stage Company (formerly Stoneham Theatre), 395 Main St.

The offbeat comedy by Callie Kimball is the inaugural play of the Don Fulton New Play Project, named after its generous benefactor. In Kimball’s comedy, the threads of family, community, and race are unraveled in humorous and heartfelt ways after the newly widowed Kathy, not feeling quite herself, covers the family hardware store with yarn before giving it away to a total stranger — and her daughter wants it back.


Sneaking in a stitch of a guest appearance is the Melrose Yarn Bombers knitting group, whose knitted and crocheted handiwork cover assorted items in the hardware store from shovels to hammers, saws to paint cans.

Tickets are: $45-55 adults, $40-50 seniors, $20 students with valid IDs. Visit

Honky-Tonk Women

Expect singing and dancing when the Honky-Tonk Women perform “Those Oldies & Goodies” in Peabody on Saturday.

THE OTHER HONKY-TONK WOMEN Don’t confuse the Honky-Tonk Women of Gloucester with those Mick Jagger sang about in his 1969 hit song of the same name.

This all-women quartet, launched in 2010, will sing golden oldies of the ’50s and ’60s barbershop style in four-part harmony.

Shalom Hadassah invites music lovers to “Those Oldies & Goodies” in Peabody at 7:30 p.m. at the Temple Ner Tamid Saturday, Oct. 21 when the ladies sing chart-busting hits from the Supremes to Patsy Cline, Connie Francis, and Roy Orbison.


Besides live music, the night will include dancing, trivia, and even a hula hoop challenge. Proceeds will benefit Hadassah Medical Organization, an advocate on health issues around the world. Researchers at Hadassah Hospital have tackled diseases, including multiple sclerosis and Alzheimers, and also have advanced stem cell research and treatment.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets purchased by Oct. 16 are $25; $30 at the door. Mail checks to: Shalom Hadassah, 9 Ledgewood Way #18, Peabody 01960. The temple is located at 368 Lowell St. For more information, e-mail

George Sherwood

The work of former toymaker-turned-kinetic-sculptor, George Sherwood is on display through October at the Ipswich Museum.

LAST SUMMER SPIN Before the last leaf falls, you can still glimpse familiar scenes of summer at the Ipswich Museum, 54 South Main St.

“Light and Air,” an exhibition by acclaimed Ipswich painter Charles Shurcliff and sculptor George Sherwood, is on display through October.

For over 50 years, Shurcliff has been painting coastal landmarks of Ipswich and Essex County — Crane Beach, Hog Island, the tidal marsh — exploring the interplay of sun and shadow, positive and negative space, all with a painter’s eye.

Sherwood, a one-time toy designer, utilizes his background in art and engineering to transform stainless steel into graceful, even hypnotic, kinetic and environmental sculpture.


Admission to the exhibit is free for Ipswich Museum members, $10 for nonmembers. Visit

Barbara Gagel

Lowell artist Barbara Gagel’s “Gray Words” at the Ayer Lofts Gallery celebrates the words of Jack Kerouac.

STILL CELEBRATING KEROUAC, HERE . . . The hardscrabble mill workers, big city crooks and characters, bricked streets, and riverways of Lowell, the hometown of Jack Kerouac, all served as inspiration for the Beat Generation writer. His acclaimed novel, “On the Road,” marks its 60th anniversary this year.

If you missed the annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, there are still two exhibits to catch.

Lowell artist Barbara Gagel took her childhood fascination with the evocative word play of Kerouac and matched the images in her mind. The result is “Gray Words,” her seventh solo show focused on translating pages of his potent words into mysterious neutrals, rich blacks, and glowing whites using heated wax and pigment.

The free exhibition of abstract images, encaustic monotypes, and paintings is on display through Oct. 29 at the Ayer Lofts Gallery, 172 Middle St.

Ed Bray

“Danas Luncheonette” is one of many scenes captured by 13 artists in “Vast! Mad! Striving! Kerouac’s Lowell Today.’’

. . . AND HERE Another Kerouac-themed art exhibit, “Vast! Mad! Striving! Kerouac’s Lowell Today,” is on display through Nov. 23 at the Lowell Telecommunications Corp. located at 246 Lowell St.

The show by 13 artists includes paintings, drawings, watercolors, assemblage, photography, and soundscapes. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Kathy Shiels Tully can be reached at