Loving every precious moment of being a Grandmother ❤
“Flight of the Monarch” Makes Triumphant World Premiere
By Tom Hauck
Even by the high standards of the Gloucester Stage Company, one of America’s most respected venues for new dramatic works, “Flight of the Monarch” has made an astonishing first impression. This new work, penned by Jim Frangione and directed by GSC Managing Director Jeff Zinn, and featuring just two actors, Nancy E. Carroll (Sheila) and J. Tucker Smith (Thomas), hits the stage as a fully formed and incisive examination of a question that every person asks themselves at some point in their lives: “What do I have to live for?”
The premise, like many great dramas, is simple: The lights come up on Sheila, a woman of advanced age, who is lying in a hospital bed. But she’s not passive; she’s on the phone, arguing with her sister. Defiant in her confinement, she just wants to get on with her life. Her younger brother Thomas, who has been dozing in a visitor’s chair, wakes up, and the siblings waste no time in exposing the family’s secrets. As the layers are ripped aside, we quickly learn that under Shiela’s fiesty exterior she’s losing faith in herself. She feels only the crushing weight of what she believes has been a lifetime marked by failure.
In crafting the peppery dialogue, playwright Jim Frangione, himself a working actor, thankfully avoids the temptation to be clever. Sheila and Thomas feel like people we know, and it’s easy to forget that we’re not hearing transcripts of actual conversations. Frangione’s ear for dialogue is spot-on and the plot elements are true to life. Yes, there are plenty of laughs in this drama, but none are forced, and they come from the heart, not from a playwright seeking to pander to his audience.
The direction by Jeff Zinn is what it should be: invisible to the audience. The play unfolds with such ease and naturalism that we forget we’re watching a consciously crafted presentation. As the actors verbally attack, retreat, and make peace – often with the span of a few seconds – we stay with them, never feeling as though we’re seeing anything other than real people with real problems.
Gloucester Stage Company veteran and Rockport resident Nancy E. Carroll and GSC newcomer J. Tucker Smith carry the production with nary a misstep. They deliver astonishing performances that resonate with real passion, dreams, and regrets. They never reach for cheap laughs, which goes a long way toward building and maintaining their credibility with the audience. When they express their deepest emotions, we believe them.
The set by Cristina Todesco supports the actors and the story. When the lights come up on the second act, which is set in Sheila’s living room, you’ll swear you’ve been there before – every casually placed tchotchke evokes the kind of run-down middle-class Cape that could use a really good cleaning. The lights, costume, and sound design all contribute to the authenticity of the setting.
“Flight of the Monarch” is a poignant and astonishing family drama that aims for the heart and doesn’t miss. Congratulations to the Gloucester Stage Company for presenting this newly created jewel. See it before it triumphs in New York! Onstage now through September 30. For tickets – while they last! – visit gloucesterstage.com or call 978-281-4433.
IMPORTANT REMINDER CITY HALL MEETING TOMORROW, TUESDAY NIGHT: Gloucester Vote 9/12 City Hall @ 7PM – Plastic Bag and Polystyrene Bans
SEP 6, 2017 — If you haven’t done so yet, you can email your councilor (or the full council) to let them know your position on these ordinances, as they will be the ones voting on the 12th. Email addresses can be found here: http://gloucester-ma.gov/index.aspx?nid=121
If you’re inspired after reading Jack’s letter to the editor, you can keep drawing attention to our marine debris problems and submit your own through the Gloucester Daily Times website –https://www.gloucestertimes.com/…/f…/online_services/letter/. Read his letter here: http://www.gloucestertimes.com/…/article_ba33d4f5-d543-5736…
Visit Ban the Bag Gloucester on FBhttps://www.facebook.com/BanTheBagGloucester/
GLOUCESTER STAGE TALK BACK WITH THE CAST, DIRECTOR, AND AUTHOR OF “FLIGHT OF THE MONARCH” AND KIM SMITH
On Sunday, September 17th, I am excited to say I will be joining the stellar cast, director, and author of Gloucester Stage Company’s current show “Flight of the Monarch” for a Talk Back. The Talk Backs are super fun and interesting events held at least once during a show’s run where audiences are invited to ask questions of the players. In attendance will be Jeff Ziinn, the director; Jim Frangione, the play’s author; Nancy Carroll, the lead actress who plays Shelia Callaghan; and Tucker Smith, the lead actor who plays Thomas Callaghan. I have been asked to join to answer any questions folks may have about Monarch butterflies and this year’s migration. The Talk Back is at 4:00pm and held in the theatre. Anyone is welcome to come, whether or not you have seen the show, so please do come!
A huge thank you once again to our city’s conservation agent Ken Whittaker and the amazing team of Piping Plover volunteers who, with their kind dedication, helped one little chick survive Gloucester’s busiest of beaches.
Ken met recently with some of the volunteers, to review ideas and suggestions for next year, and to give volunteers thanks, as well as the fun caps pictured above. Left to right; Chris, Ken, Carol, and Hazel.
It’s that time of year, where you’ll be walking in the woods or along a pond’s edge, when you come across a treasure trove of spiderwebs. Nearly every tree and shrub are dressed in gossamer woven webs of silk. The best time to find the spider’s trap is just after a spell of fog.
Peter’s photos of the Gloucester Schooner Festival were taken from aboard the Schooner Adventure.
Evocative September light makes for striking foggy morning sunrises.
Good Harbor Beach yesterday morning
KATHLEEN GERDON ARCHER
GLOUCESTER SCHOONER FESTIVAL SHOUT OUT TO THE COMMITTEE, RACE RESULTS, AND PHOTOS FROM THE PARADE OF SAIL
Fair winds and a joyous tribute to Helen and Joe Garland made for a spectacularly beautiful 33rd Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival. We wish to extend a most sincere and heartfelt thanks to the Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee members for an outstanding Schooner Festival. I imagine it is a year round job planning this magnificent event for which the entire community enjoys. Thank you for all that you do to make these beautiful and treasured schooner days possible.
The Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee Members, from the festival’s website:
Daisy Nell: Chair, Amanda Apicelli, Tracy Arabian, Tom Balf, Peter Bent, Alan Bezanson, Ed Boynton, Steve Brown, Liza Browning, Harold Burnham, Jim Caulkett, Charlie Clark, Michael Costello, Jo-Anne Crawford, Tom Daniel, Carol Decker, Nancy Dudley, Stefan Edick, Tom Ellis, Robert Lepere, James Lowell, Laura Lowell, Amanda Madeira, John McCarthy, Jay McLauchlan, Patti Page, Barry Pett, Brett Ramsey, Suzanne Silveira, Devan Smith, Russ Smith, Mary Kay Taylor, Carol Thistle, Brenda Treuhaft, and Peter Webber.
THE FLIGHT OF THE MONARCH
OPENS AT GLOUCESTER STAGE
Gloucester Stage Company continues its 38th season of professional theater on Cape Ann with the world premiere of Jim Frangione’s Flight of the Monarchfrom September 8 through September 30 at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Flight of the Monarch is the story of two middle-aged siblings, Sheila and Thomas, born, raised and still living in a small fishing town on the New England coast. This darkly comic play explores how siblings lives are intertwined, what we owe to the people who know and love us best and, how family members’ needs and desires may push the boundaries of what we are expected to do for others. Directed by Gloucester Stage Managing Director Jeff Zinn, Flight of the Monarch cast features Gloucester Stage veteran and Rockport resident Nancy E.Carroll and Gloucester Stage newcomer J. Tucker Smith as siblings, Sheila and Thomas. Flight of the Monarch has had developmental workshops at Berkshire Playwrights Lab and at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, all directed by GSC’s Managing Director Jeff Zinn. Flight of the Monarch was presented last September as a reading in GSC’s NeverDark Series. According to GSC Managing Director Jeff Zinn, “We received such an overwhelming audience response to the reading during NeverDark last fall that we felt the play would be a good fit in our 2017 season.”
An actor as well as a playwright, Jim Frangione has acted for over 30 years in New York and across the country, performing in the original Off Broadway production and the Alley Theatre & National Tour productions of David Mamet’s Oleanna. With the Atlantic Theater Company, he performed inRomance, Ghost Stories; The Night Heron; Hobson’s Choice; Hellhound On My Trail; Edmond and on Broadway in The Old Neighborhood. Regionally Mr. Frangione has appeared at the Humana Festival in The Delling Shore; Berkshire Theatre Festival in American Buffalo; Long Wharf in The Front Page; and Mark Taper Forum in Romance. His film credits include Joy, Transamerica,Spartan, Heist, State and Main, The Spanish Prisoner, Homicide, Suits, Claire Dolan and Maryam. Mr. Frangione is Co-artistic director of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab in Great Barrington, MA.
With a home full of family and friends over this gorgeous Gloucester Schooner Festival/Labor Day weekend there was not much spare time to upload festival photos. More pictures tomorrow from the Parade of Sail and race. I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend!!!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 10:30 am
Parade of Sail as Schooners proceed from Inner Harbor, past the Fishermen’s Memorial on Stacy Boulevard, to the race starting area off Eastern Point.
11:00 am to 1:30 pm
Shuttle Bus to Eastern Point Light, from Eastern Point Gate (Eastern Point Boulevard at Farrington Avenue) to watch the start of the Mayor’s Race. Free ofCharge, courtesy of Cape Ann Transportation Authority.
Start of Mayor’s Race for the Esperanto Cup, Columbia Trophy, Ned Cameron Trophy; and Betty Ramsey Trophy off Eastern Point.
Monday evening an impromptu gathering is planned, but not official as of yet.
First off, I have to say, we don’t know if the new swan is a male or female. We are all hoping she is a female, for obvious reasons, and too because as the swan gets older, if a male, Mr. Swan will most likely chase a “him” off the pond.
Lyn Fonzo, Niles Pond resident, shares that the young swan is becoming increasingly tolerant of Mr. Swan, although she is still extremely shy and skittish. When Lyn feeds the swans in the morning, they are feeding adjacent to each other, which is a huge improvement from only a few days ago when she refused to come out from amongst the reeds.
Boat Parade of Lights
The annual Boat Parade of Lights begins at dusk at Jones Creek on the Annisquam River, travels down the river, through the drawbridge and into Gloucester Harbor, ending in the Smith’s Cove area of the harbor.Click here for information on joining the Lighted Boat Parade.
Fireworks Display over Gloucester Harbor. (following Parade of Lights, time approximate)
(The Gloucester Fireworks Committee is in need of more donations for the Labor Day weekend fireworks. Donations may be made to The Gloucester Fund, 45 Middle St., Gloucester, MA 01930. Please notate “fireworks” on your donation.)
Photo’s from Gloucester’s fantabulous-in-every way Maritime Heritage Day. With wonderful activities for mariners at heart, both young and old, beautiful wares for sale, folk music, and delicious seafood, this event just gets more and more awesome every year. I can’t wait to take our granddaughter to next year’s Maritime Heritage Day!