Music drives the story in ‘The Irish . . . and How They Got That Way’

04nocalendar -- The Sounds of Grace, an interfaith choir which offers songs of comfort and joy to those who are ill or nearing the end of life, will celebrate its 10th year with a concert on March 4 at the First Congregational Church in Winchester. (Jennifer Richter)
Jennifer Richter
The Sounds of Grace, an interfaith choir that offers songs of comfort and joy to those who are ill or nearing the end of life, will celebrate its 10th year with a concert on March 4 at the First Congregational Church in Winchester.

ALL THINGS IRISH Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author well known for his 1996 memoir, “Angela’s Ashes,” also wrote the story for a musical revue.

“The Irish . . . and How They Got That Way” weaves music with McCourt’s wit and insight as an Irish-American. Catch it in Stoneham from Thursday, March 8, to March 25 at the Greater Boston Stage Company, 395 Main St. It’s just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, which is March 17.

“Music drives the storytelling in this piece,” said director Dawn Simmons. The revue covers Irish folk ballads such as “Danny Boy” and “Toora Loora Loora,” to U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”


Tickets are $50 to $60; $45 to $55 for seniors; $20 for students with ID. Purchase tickets by calling 781-279-2200 or at

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SOUNDS OF COMFORT Ten years after forming as a hospice choir, Sounds of Grace continues to sing songs — free of charge — to comfort the ill or those nearing the end of life.

Lynne Rahmeier leads the interfaith group of over 40 singers based in Winchester. The choir visits patients in nursing homes, adult brain injury homes, and assisted living communities.

Celebrate the chorus’s anniversary by enjoying a free concert of gospel, show tunes, and old favorites from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, at the First Congregational Church of Winchester, 21 Church St.

All are invited. Visit


JUDGING AMERICA Prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” the Nahant Public Library is offering a series that includes a community book read, films, and guided discussions.

“I believe our history contributed to our society today,” said library director Sharon Hawkes. “I hope [the series] will help us think about what we should keep for the future.”

“Nahant Reads” includes a community read of “Caleb’s Crossing,” the story of the friendship between a Puritan girl and a Native American boy who meet in 1600s Martha’s Vineyard, by Pulitizer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks.

Michael Ponsor, a US district judge in Springfield and a best-selling author, will speak on “Justice and the American Character” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 4.

In 2000, Posnor was the first judge in almost 50 years to preside over a death penalty case in Massachusetts. It involved a nurse at a veterans affairs hospital in Northampton who was convicted of killing four patients and is now serving a life sentence.


He captured his reflections on that trial in his first novel, “The Hanging Judge.” His most recent novel, “The One-Eyed Judge,” explores sex-related crimes.

The talk is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. The library is located at 15 Pleasant St. Call 781-581-0306 or visit

The work of Swampscott resident David Shear will be on exhibit from March 9 through 18 at the ReachArts gallery.

REACH FOR IT Ready to leave winter’s white and immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of abstract art?

ReachArts in Swampscott will feature “Next Step,” a solo exhibition of resident David Shear, from Friday, March 9, to March 18.

Shear has painted in the abstract expressionist mode for over 25 years. His artwork, which seesaws between stimulating and harmonious, provocative and comforting, intense and subtle, has received many juried awards.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are: Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. An opening reception will be held March 9 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Meet the artist on March 15 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

ReachArts is located at 9 Burrill St. Visit

THE ART OF WAR Before World War I, artists captured the heroism, sacrifice, colorful uniforms, and glorious victories of battle in both art and literature.

Modern warfare technology changed how wars were fought. Frontline artists and writers began representing the true cost of war without romantic embellishments.

Learn more about this little known aspect of the cultural history of war during an illustrated lecture, “The Art of World War I: Recruiting, Documenting, and Critiquing through Posters, Propaganda, and Painting,” in Marblehead.

Sue Weaver Schopf, an award-winning expert of 19th- and 20th-century art and literature, will speak at 2 p.m. on March 18 at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St.

The free talk is open to the public and sponsored by Marblehead residents Brian and Susan Schanning, in memory of Brian’s great uncle, Sergeant William L. Kennedy (1881-1927), a World War 1 Army veteran. Call 781-631-1481 or visit

Kathy Shiels Tully can be reached at