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.
Film buffs across six states stare wide-eyed at large cinema screens, losing themselves in first-run Hollywood movies and the smell of fresh, buttery kernels within Your Neighborhood Theatre's 17 locations. Though all theaters prioritize comfortable seating, old-fashioned friendly service, and high-stakes preshow trivia slideshows, each location encompasses its own distinct charm, be it through arthouse décor, 3-D screens, or Rhode Island's vintage 1950's drive-in setting.
It's a tradition dating back to the 1930s, and for many moviegoers, it still eclipses the modern multiplex experience. But it's also threatened by extinction. With only an estimated 357 drive-ins still functioning throughout the US, Saco is one of the last places where an audience of automobiles can bask in movie magic under the twinkling starlight. With speakers propped by the car windows and affordable concessions at hand, viewers laugh, cry, and cheer at double features of first-run films while knowing exactly who's kicking the seat behind them. Those who want to keep this American tradition going can donate to Project Drive-In, which aids outdoor theaters as they strive to make the pricey conversions to digital projection.
People around the country may be able to enjoy filet mignon, crab cakes, and other elegant American cuisine, but not with the same flavors as The District. That?s because the restaurant crafts its seasonally inspired menus with ingredients from more than 15 local farms. Aside from delighting taste buds with pan-seared local cod and bourbon-glazed pork tenderloin with plum barbecue sauce and house sauerkraut, the chefs hand cut their fries and pair them with housemade ketchup and create ice-cream flights made from local snow people. Handcrafted cocktails allow clients to imbibe local flavors, such as the cider-press cocktail?made with absolute pear and house-mulled NH cider?or The District?s local rhubarb mojito.
Quick, quick, slow. Quick, quick, slow. It seems that every dance lesson starts the same way. Students are told, "These are the steps," "Move to the beat," and "Never breakdance on wet cement." But unwilling to settle for the minimum, Seacoast Ballroom helps dancers see beyond getting their feet to move in the right direction. Its founder, Frederick Dunn, strives to inject dancers with grace and musical expression to help them feel dance for what it is?an art form. Its classes range in difficulty from beginner to competition level, and cover a variety of ballroom styles. Solo dancers or couples can strut through a tango, shimmy their hips in salsa, or effuse elegance through the Viennese waltz.
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.