Opened in 1878, the Music Hall's Historic Theater isn't just the oldest stage in New Hampshire; it's older than all of the state's residents. But thanks to a recent restoration, today's audiences can experience the venue in all its original splendor, including the same hardwood floor that Mark Twain and Buffalo Bill Cody once crossed. Fittingly, it hosts many productions steeped in Americana, from Broadway musicals to symphony concerts.
Around the corner from the Historic Theater is a newer landmark, the Music Hall Loft. A more intimate venue with just 124 seats, the Loft focuses on more modern entertainment such as poetry readings, film screenings, and cloning festivals.
When Broadway showman Walter Hartwig and his wife Maude opened the Ogunquit Playhouse in 1933, they likely never realized they were establishing a theatrical legacy. Then again, they might have had an inkling?from the very beginning, the playhouse hosted performances from luminaries including Ethel Barrymore, Bette Davis, and Walter Matthau. Even today it?s not unusual to see famous names and attached talents treading its historic boards, such as Stefanie Powers from Hart to Hart or Charles Shaughnessy from The Nanny. It?s all part of the theater?s mission to provide the best shows possible while promoting the local arts. Along with star-studded Broadway musicals, the stage hosts dance shows, children?s theater, and acting workshops for the next generation of spotlight-stealers.
The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster, terracotta exterior, and actor holding cells. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.
Hat Trick Training Center and Stop It Goaltending develops the next generation of hockey stars, teaching them the skills necessary to get hats thrown on the ice while they're on offense or to prevent that from happening while they're on defense or in goal. Throughout the year, the facility buzzes with activity as youngsters work on their skills during learn-to-skate programs, shooting clinics, goaltending lessons, and strength-and-conditioning sessions. The center even rents out its ice, allowing skaters to treat it as their very own backyard rink where they can play pick-up games or build a snowman best friend out of snow-shower remnants.
Founded to commemorate local US veterans, Lowell Memorial Auditorium's imposing, neoclassical exterior is ringed with inscriptions immortalizing famous generals and pivotal battles throughout the years, including Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and San Juan Hill. The venue's history hasn't been all serious, however?in its early years, shortly after Word War I, its most popular event was the weekly Bingo game, which often attracted up to 3,000 participants and prompted Life to call Lowell a "natural Bingopolis." The decades following saw everything from conventions and civic affairs to performances by Benny Goodman and the Golden Gloves boxing tournament. By 1979 the building was so worn down from floods, hurricanes, and economic depression that it necessitated a major renovation to bring it into the modern era. Today, its stage is fit for Broadway-scale shows, the behind-the-stage balcony is gone, and air conditioning protects against summer heat and litigious snowmen.
Inside Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship’s training facility, students of all ages work in groups with instructors to learn the fine techniques involved in Japanese swordsmanship and foil fencing. The Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship instructors also lead classes in stage combat, teaching techniques used by stage and film actors during fight sequences. Once students are comfortable controlling foam practice swords with their minds, they can join the Guard Up! Family Swordsmanship crew on interactive play adventures, such as the Wizards & Warriors summer camp. The live-action role-play events integrate medieval themes with lessons in historical weapons and self-confidence.