Arts and Culture

This Weekend's Arts Scene

Feb 28, 2013

Violin virtuoso Joshua Bell performs at The Music Hall in Portsmouth Friday night, accompanied by pianist Sam Haywood

If you’re feeling Shakespearean, the Keene State College Theatre Department performs The Tempest this weekend at the Redfern Arts Center

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre perform at the Hopkins Center in Dartmouth through the weekend; the San Francisco Chronicle referred to a company production as “spectacular dancing that thrills you to your marrow”.  The program includes Ailey’s signature work, “Revelations.”

And right here in Concord…jazz pianist and composer Pamela Hines will be playing at the Purple Pit.

Sean Hurley

This weekend, the stage version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” premieres at the Rochester Opera House. Reporter Sean Hurley introduces some of the cast and crew members to us in an audio version of a playbill.  In this case, their stories go a little deeper than the blurb in an average program.

Listening For The Elusive Sound Of Ice Chimes

Feb 22, 2013
Ice Chimes
Amanda Loder / NHPR

This year, the Dartmouth College campus has become temporary home for a mixed-media menagerie called Ice Chimes.  And the 20-foot tall pagoda-like structure outside the Life Sciences building gets a lot of curious stares from students.

Ice Chimes is supposed to be interactive.  But it isn’t exactly intuitive.

Everett Collection via

Which year would you call the single most important in US cultural history? Try 1993—life before the internet and pop star designer fragrances.  The year that marked the beginning of NAFTA, hope for peace in the Middle East, and a saxophone playing president.

“NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star” is a new exhibition at the New Museum exploring the year they argue changed everything about art, culture, and politics.  Margot Norton is Assistant Curator at the New Museum and joins us to talk about the art and historical context of the work featured in the show.

Photo courtesy

Ranjit Bhatnagar is no stranger to cool projects...he's made iambic pentameter from tweets, and is creating a bunch of instruments out of unexpected items, like a robo- toy piano.  Now, the sound artist can add one more feather to his cap...coming on our show.

In 1981, playwright, performer and theater company director Carlyle Brown decided on a whim to take a trip to Africa. That launched a journey of self-discovery and an adventure that became the basis for a one-man show called “The Fula from America: An African Journey," which Brown performs tonight at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. It’s a fund-raising event for Portsmouth’s African Burying Ground, and will be followed by a candelight procession to the site where the design for a memorial will be unveiled.

New Hampshire Native Skates With Disney

Feb 19, 2013
Greta Rybus

Earlier this month, “Disney on Ice” glided into  Manchester’s Verizon Wireless Arena with a parade of princesses, Peter Pans,  and talking mice on skates.  We sent Word of Mouth producer Zach Nugent to meet a cast member with New Hampshire roots.  Zach arrived a few hours before the show and managed to get in a little bit of ice time.

Mark Larson via Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly half a century ago, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood detailed the savage murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. That book is regarded as a literary landmark… the first so-called “nonfiction novel” that brought the true crime genre to the mainstream and cemented Capote’s celebrity status. It’s inspired three films, among them, “Capote,” in 2005, which earned a best actor Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Our shiniest and sparkliest content, all in one show-tacular program. This week, a Salon writer contemplates the history of "white Southern defeat," a foremost expert on gluten explores the hype around the latest food trend, New Hampshire author Ben Nugent talks about his new novel, "Good Kids," and illustrator Danny Gregory explains how grief was overcome with art. Oh, and Sean Hurley contemplates the danger of skating on thick ice.

You can also hear the show on SoundCloud:

Tan Vampires

Feb 13, 2013

When the band Tan Vampires came to our studios last week, we found them to be mostly pale, and pretty lively…it turns out that their name was a bit of a lark invented long before the whole vampire saga.  The other surprise about Tan Vampires is noted…with some disbelief… in just about every review of their well-crafted, soaring, folk-rock songs…they’re from New Hampshire.

This week marks the start of the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year. This fifteen-day celebration is the longest and most important holiday in China, featuring family reunions, fireworks, traditional meals, red lanterns, and the traditional gift of the Hong Bao, or Red Packet.

This Week's New Hampshire Arts Scene

Feb 8, 2013

The Saint Anselm Abbey Players say this weekend's highly original one act play festival never fails to delight. The festival features three one-act experimental plays directed by students including "Here She Is!" by Joyce Carol Oates, "Wasp" by comedian Steve Martin and "November" written and directed by Saint Anselm senior Matthew Hurd.

Maine painter Meghan Howland has an exhibition in Rochester this weekend.  You can visit the downtown gallery where a few of Meghan’s painting are hanging.

The Audio Orchard Podcast for February

Feb 4, 2013

It’s not often you get to hear authentic world music in New Hampshire, especially in the dead of winter. But on February 6th at the Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover, the southern Italian band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino will be bringing their high energy pizzica tarantata music and dance.  Leading a new wave of young Italian artists reinventing and invigorating traditional Italian music, CGS includes six singers/musicians and a dancer.

I think it would be impossible not to have fun at a show like this:

This Week's New Hampshire Arts Scene

Feb 1, 2013

Opening this weekend is the exhibition Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor. It features the work of over 30 different master craftsmen from as far back as the 1200s.

chrisinplymouth via Flickr Creative Commons

The best of the best of Word of Mouth's content, rolled up into one awesome program. This week, why your company's rules about social media could be impinging on your rights, how the NFL is dealing with their foray into social media, and our Facebook find: the greatest used car ad we've ever read.

Plus, printmaker Amos Kennedy, the oldest snowshoe race in New Hampshire, and the films that won't get Oscars, yet still deserve a second look.

This Weekend's Arts Scene

Jan 25, 2013

We start off the weekend with a critically acclaimed documentary that has no dialogue, narrative, or text. The film is Samsara, filmed over five years in twenty five different countries; it’s a combination of music and imagery full of life and culture from all over the world.  The film will be playing Friday, January 25 at Dartmouth’s Spaulding Theater.

Danny Gregory /

Danny Gregory is an author and illustrator whose work you might have seen in the New York Times or other publications. He’s also author of several books, including “An Illustrated Life” and “The Creative License.”  His newest is called “A Kiss Before You Go: A Memoir Of Love And Loss”. It’s a collection of illustrations and text compiled from daily drawings Danny did in the year following the death of his wife Patti.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

This week marks what would have been the 103rd birthday of Doris Haddock, better known by the name Granny D.

She made national headlines in the late 1990’s for walking across the country, 3200 miles, to highlight the issue of campaign finance reform, just ahead of her 90th birthday.

Doris Haddock died in 2010 at age 100, but you might be able to hear her voice at a birthday party in her honor in Keene.

Chris in Plymouth via Flickr Creative Commons

Our awesome-est content from a week of awesome programs. This week, robots get FDA approval to treat patients on the fly, a nurse becomes a patient to teach students how to care for the dying, we look back at the Piltdown Man hoax, and the 90's band Guster goes acoustic.

VikieVictoria via Flickr Creative Commons

Virginia Prescott chats candidly with Guster's Ryan Miller. Topics include: flying to the wrong city for a show, drawing album art on iPads, not wanting to listen to your own music, and the struggle to age gracefully as a band.

You can also listen and share on Soundcloud here:

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

The best and brightest segments from our daily program.

Trailer park residents who burst into song. Skilled crafts people who create an ode to toys. It’s just part of this weekend in New Hampshire. Amy Diaz joins us to give a few details on two rather unique happenings. Amy is the Editor of the Hippo, a paper that features some stories about a unique musical and League of NH Craftsman’s exhibit.

Check out the Great American Trailer Park Musical Blog

Here's a video playlist of music we talked about today with Melissa Locker based on her article for Time, 11 Albums to Look Forward to in 2013

NOTE: Please be aware that some of these songs contain explicit language.

Tegan and Sara: Closer

Lake Street Dive Gaining Momentum

Jan 8, 2013

How to Think More About Sex by Alain de Botton

The author and philosopher Alain de Botton addresses the chasm between our private feelings and real world experience of sex in “How to Think More About Sex."  It’s one of two new books in The School of Life Series – a smart and frequently funny twist on the “self-help” genre, which he curates.

Check out this short film that accompanies the book:

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth's weekly show...the best of the best of Word of Mouth.

Part 1:

A new study shows that the act of holding a gun changes perception, as participants saw guns that weren't actually there. And Clay Wirestone wraps up the latest in video game trends, and looks forward to what's coming in 2013

Part 2:

TED cracks down on pseudoscience at local spinoff TEDX conferences. And film critic Garen Daley tells us what we can expect on the big screen in 2013

Part 3:

We’re beginning the new year with some "culture-vores" about which trends and habits they expect to fade out or faze in during 2013… Joining us for more on the literary scene is Jason Boog, editor of the publishing news website Galley Cat...and, for more on what’s coming up for food in 2013, we asked Maine chef and cookbook author, Kathy Gunst – who cautions that watching for culinary trends is not an entirely objective undertaking.

Steven Andrew Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

Clay Wirestone is Arts Editor for the Concord Monitor and our favorite video game freak. He joins us to run down what's coming in gaming in 2013...and kills the screen on the trends of 2012.

Brett Jordan via Flickr Creative Commons

2012 was a banner year for big-screen comic book adaptations – Marvel’s The Avengers, was the top grossing film of the year, followed by the latest in the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight Rises.