North of Boston arts and leisure roundup | Way of life


Pentucket Arts hosts virtual A Cappella Night

The Pentucket Arts Foundation is going virtual to bring its A Cappella Night to the community this year.

The 17th annual sing-fest, set for Saturday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m., features Northeastern University’s award-winning a cappella group, The Nor’easters. The opening act is the Pentucket Harmonix, the hometown favorites, led by choral director Kerri MacLennan.

The Nor’easters were named champions of the National A Cappella Convention in 2019 and the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in 2013 and 2017.

In 2013, the group performed for President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House Christmas Gala.

The Nor’easters earned the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for Best Mixed Collegiate Album three times. To learn more or watch videos of The Nor’easters, visit

Tickets for A Cappella Night are $10 and can be reserved at A link to the event will be distributed via email the day of the performance.

A Cappella Night is made possible through cultural council grants from Amesbury, Groveland, Hamilton-Wenham, Merrimac and West Newbury.

Salem State presents online performances 

Violinist and educator Vijay Gupta will host “The Medicine of Music” on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m.

The 75-minute virtual conversation, violin performance and Q&A are part of the Salem State Arts Speakers Series. Gupta explores the connection between music and mental health, explaining why music’s redemptive power may hold more potential than we realize.

Gupta is the founder of Street Symphony, a musical advocacy program that empowers citizen-musicians by engaging with communities experiencing extreme poverty, incarceration and homelessness. He is a passionate advocate for artistic voices at the center of social justice.

The event is free, but registration is required at

Salem State is also presenting “The Long Christmas Ride Home,” a play by Paula Vogel, virtually from Dec. 3 through 10.

Past, present and future collide on a snowy Christmas Eve for a troubled family of five in the show, which was filmed by the theater department in the Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for students. Visit to purchase. 

‘Ladies Play the Blues’ for Me&Thee

The Me&Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead is presenting an evening of blues music virtually on Friday, Nov. 27, at 8 p.m.

“Ladies Play the Blues” will feature Danielle Miraglia and Suzie Vinnick and can be viewed via Facebook or YouTube.

Miraglia’s latest album, “Bright Shining Stars,” has gone to No. 15 on the Billboard Blues Charts. Released in October, it’s a solo acoustic folk/blues record that highlights the one-woman-band sound she’s honed over the years. It includes originals, as well as songs she’s been covering at live shows, paying homage to influences like Big Bill Broonzy, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and more.

Vinnick was awarded the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival 2019 Special Recognition Award and was nominated for a 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award. She is also a 10-time winner of the Maple Blues Award for songwriting, female vocalist, acoustic act and more. Her latest release, “Shake the Love Around,” contains a versatile mix of songs.

The suggested donation for the show is $20. For the links and more information, visit

Black-and-white exhibit at Paula Estey Gallery

A solo exhibit by artist Cynthia August is on display through the month of November at the Paula Estey Gallery and Center for Art and Activism.

“The Privilege of Breath” features black-and-white photography that invokes nature, heroes and goddesses.

“I’m not ready to bring color back,” August said in an artist statement. “The show is in black and white out of respect for those who have struggled to breathe this year, and to remind us that there is still much work to be done to heal the planet and its people.”

The gallery, located at 3 Harris St., Newburyport, is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, call 978-376-4746 or visit

Venerable Beverly theater marks 100 years

The Cabot will host a free virtual celebration for its 100th anniversary on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.

“Lights. Camera. Cabot. Here’s to the Next 100” will feature a livestreamed mix of regionally and nationally known A-list musicians, some of whom will perform on The Cabot stage in Beverly.

Among the performers announced so far are James Taylor, Jon Butcher, Paula Cole, Martin Sexton, Grace Potter, Rodriguez, John Hiatt, Raul Malo, Chris Thile, Hot Tuna and Fantastic Negrito.

The celebration will kick off by unveiling the newly renovated main lobby, which will be named after Steve Dodge, The Cabot’s chairman emeritus who died in January 2019. Soward said the lobby hasn’t been publicly seen in more than 50 years.

The program will also pay homage to the five founders who brought The Cabot back to life in 2014 after it had been for sale for over a year: Henry Bertolon, Bill Howard, Rich Marino, Thad Siemasko and Paul Van Ness.

Attendees will have the option to purchase a specialty cocktail kit, which will be delivered to their homes. Each kit has been named after one of the founders and includes both ingredients and glassware. A mocktail offering will also be available.

To RSVP or for more information, visit

Log on for a book club discussion

The Rowley Book Club is currently reading “The Bird King” by G. Willow Wilson and will have a virtual discussion on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m.

The fantasy novel asks the question, “What would you risk for freedom?” Fatima is a concubine in the royal court of the last emirate in Muslim Spain. Her best friend, Hassan, the palace map-maker, has a secret: He can bend reality through his drawing. When the new Spanish monarchy takes over, they see his gift as sorcery and a threat to their rule, forcing the pair on a magical journey in search of safety and freedom.

The Rowley Public Library has copies of the book available, so call 978-948-2850 to arrange to pick one up. To sign up for the Zoom discussion, email 

The book club meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m., and future titles are listed on the website, 

Join the Newburyport library for a numbers game

The Newburyport Public Library will be hosting a game of Zoom bingo on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 2:30 p.m. All ages are welcome.

Free 5-by-5 bingo cards will be available to pick up on the patio at 94 State St. up to one week before the program. They can also be printed online.

Book prizes will be awarded to the winners.

To register, visit or call 978-465-4428, ext. 242. A link will be sent to all participants the day before.

The event will continue on the first Thursday of each month, with bingo played in even months and Scattergories in odd months.

Amesbury author’s books to be explored

The Amesbury Carriage Museum is launching a new book club, “Mystery & History,” on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Participants will read and discuss the first five books in the Quaker Midwife Mystery Series by Amesbury resident and award-winning author Edith Maxwell. The novels take place in Amesbury in the late 1880s and incorporate authentic events, covering the social and political issues of the time.

The club will meet online, via Zoom, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month, through April. Each session will have a short introduction by an expert guest, then break into two groups of 10 participants for open discussion guided by a moderator.

The first book is “Delivering the Truth,” and Maxwell will be the guest.  

The club is free and open to all museum members. To become a member, visit Prices start at $25. To register for the book club, visit 

Light show to brighten up the holidays

A drive-through holiday lights spectacular is now open at Crescent Farms in Haverhill.

The North Shore Holiday Light Show features dozens of never-before-seen displays, some towering as tall as three stories and spanning more than 50 feet in length.

Presented by BOLD Media, the show is synchronized with holiday music being broadcast over FM radio. It takes about 20-25 minutes to drive through.

The show will remain open on select dates through Dec. 30. A full schedule is available at, where tickets can be purchased for $23 per car.

Tickets may also be available at the gate for $25.

Cabot presents virtual children’s programs

The “Kids at The Cabot” children’s series presented by The Cabot in Beverly has returned in a virtual format.

All performances will start at 10:30 a.m. and are free, sponsored by New England Biolabs, but donations are welcome.

“While we’re sad we can’t host our community’s children and their families at the theater, we’re still thrilled to be able to provide local family-friendly programming virtually,” said J. Casey Soward, executive director of The Cabot.

The lineup includes Mario the Magician on Nov. 21, Bill Harley on Dec. 12, Vanessa Trien on Jan. 9, Karen K and the Jitterbugs on Feb. 13, The Gottabees on March 6, and Stacey Peasley on April 10. 

For more information, including streaming links on the show dates, visit 

Take in virtual symphony concerts

Cape Ann Symphony has announced a virtual concert series featuring its musicians under the direction of conductor Yoichi Udagawa. The inaugural concert, “A Lovely Presentation of Chamber Music,” is available to view online now.

The program includes “Mother and Child” by William Grant Still, known as the “dean of Afro-American composers”; Mozart’s “Divertimento, K. 136”; excerpts from Danish String Quartet’s “Wood Works,” which are arrangements of Scandinavian folk songs; and Holst’s “St. Paul Suite.”

This concert features concertmaster David Rubin, violin; Kett Chuan Lee, principal cello; Oksana Gorokhovskiy, principal second violin; and Anna Stromer, principal viola.

The virtual concert is viewable online for $20; purchase at or by calling 978-281-0543. The purchase provides audience members with a video download link, which can be viewed at one’s convenience and does not expire.

“We are truly excited about the quality of the concert and eager to connect with our audience virtually,” said Fran White, Cape Ann Symphony board president. “We hope you enjoy our first virtual concert and look forward to sharing more details on upcoming concerts soon. We have already started to plan for a second virtual performance for the holidays.” 

A wealth of American art to discover at the Addison

The Addison Gallery of American Art on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover has reopened to the public.

Hours will be Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

New safety guidelines are in place, including mandatory reservations and mask wearing. Admission is still free, but advance tickets must be purchased at

The gallery is said to have one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world, including more than 23,000 objects spanning the 18th century to the present.

All of those items can now be viewed at the museum’s website by searching for particular works, artists, themes or periods. There are suggestions at the website for art-related projects and activities that families can do together and a link to virtual tours of 10 great museums around the world.

In addition, the exhibits currently on display at the Addison can be viewed in a virtual tour on the website, where visitors can also watch interviews with museum staff.

Check it out at   

Rockport gallery brings Paris home

“Paris Redeemed,” a virtual art exhibit presented by Decouvert Fine Art in Rockport, is available to view through the end of the year.

Gallery owners Steven Law and Donald Stroud had planned to bring their exhibit “Grace in Nature and Faith” to Paris after its successful showing at Master Drawings New York. But when they began to pack in the spring for the exhibition at Marty de Cambiaire Fine Art on Place Vendome, the pandemic hit and began closing down events.

“It was an opportunity of a lifetime,” Law said. “Then the world came to a standstill as the pandemic intensified, and we made a decision not to go and temporarily closed our gallery until a vaccine is available. We do not have the square footage to allow for social distancing.

“There has been so much loss and suffering around the world,” he said. “Like so many in businesses, we are between what has been and what will be. But an idea occurred to us that if beauty and art have a capacity to help those that are suffering, we have an obligation to make our exhibition available virtually, as a meditation of sorts.”

Hence, the title of the virtual exhibit is “Paris Redeemed.” The exhibit is set to Handel’s “Dixit Dominus,” which was composed in Italy, a source of inspiration for artists throughout the centuries.

“We wish healing, hope, inspiration, and solace for all,” Law said. “If folks wish to learn a bit about the history of the art, they can scroll down the page after the slideshow is finished. Curiosity will lead them where it will.”

To view the exhibit, visit the “Paris Redeemed” page at

Flying Horse exhibit open with precautions

The 11th annual Flying Horse Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit is still taking flight this year.

With a theme of “Art at a (Social) Distance,” the show features 50 pieces of art set amid the 100-acre campus of Pingree School in Hamilton.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 30 and is available to view during daylight hours on weekends and during holidays when school is not in session.

All visitors must wear masks, remain 6 feet apart from others, and refrain from touching sculptures or signs.

Many of the sculptures, created by a variety of artists who mostly reside in New England, are for sale.

For more information, visit   

Newburyport artist shows work at Wenham Museum

A Newburyport artist is currently displaying her new exhibit, “My Essentials,” through Nov. 21 at Wenham Museum.

Tina Rawson paints dynamic acrylic, oil and watercolor pieces inspired by colorful flowers, beaches, travel, nature, horses and even coffee. She said that the show is a product of a surge of creativity that many are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Moved by the beauty of local forests, Rawson found great solace in painting regional trees and flowers. She also dove into her “bucket list” of places to go once the pandemic is over, while other pieces are inspired by her homesickness for Sweden and her contemplation of how the virus is being handled there.

The museum is located at 132 Main St., Wenham, and is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets to the galleries must be purchased in advance and cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and children ages 1-16. There is also currently a COVID-19 fee of $5 per group.

For reservations or more information, visit  

Guests welcome again at Newburyport gallery

Newburyport’s Sweethaven Gallery is once again open to the public.

The 25L Inn St. space is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, only three people will be allowed in at a time, and masks and temperature checks are required.

The featured exhibit is “Presence: Witnessing the Voice of Nature” by Lisa Hoag. The award-winning artist, photographer and designer lives in western Massachusetts and studied fine art at Parsons School of Design in New York and art and design in an arts residency in Paris for two years.

Also on display and for sale are works by Ezra Sesto, Vincent Lemonnier Ferro, Don Williams, gallery owner Greg Nikas, C. Max Schenk, Paul Neverette, Sandra Swan, Chris Sava and Jacques Hnizdovsky.

The gallery also now offers an online shopping cart, available to browse at

Game show fun at ‘Balderdash Academy’

Newburyport High School’s facade serves as the inspiration for Balderdash Academy, a fictional private boarding school that is the setting for a new online comedy panel game show.

Originally conceived by co-founders Bob LeBlanc of Newburyport and Steve Corning of Maine as a live variety show, “Balderdash Academy” was adapted to an online format in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

New episodes are posted regularly on YouTube and feature a mix of interview, chat, improv and game show with an emphasis on lighthearted comedy. The storyline follows faculty members as they talk to guests and compete for the coveted Balderdash Academy Reigning Champion banner.

To check out the show and for more information, visit

Rockport Art Association opens its doors

The Rockport Art Association & Museum, at 12 Main St. in downtown Rockport, has reopened and is featuring a number of new exhibits.

On display now are “Art in the Tavern,” a members exhibit featuring paintings, graphics, sculptures and photography, through Dec. 31, and the New Members Show, through Nov. 28.

The museum’s current hours are Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors need to wear masks, and there is a rigorous schedule for daily cleaning. For those not comfortable attending shows in person, all major exhibits will also be available for online viewing and sales through the website at   

Explore the Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem now features a range of digital content at its website that allows visitors to explore its collection remotely.

Podcasts discuss recent exhibits and museum history, while stories reflect on the value and impact of art. There are also suggestions for crafts and activities for the whole family.

Clicking on the “Explore Art” button at allows viewers to examine highlights from several periods and categories in the museum’s international collection, while postings of art and objects at respond to each day at hand.

The museum has reopened to the public and is open Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets must be purchased in advance at or 978-542-1511.

Music Man keeps entertaining children

Wenham musician Brian Doser performs children’s music live on Facebook every weekday at 10 a.m.

Doser, better known as The Music Man, normally performs a drop-in music program for children three days a week at The Community House in Hamilton.

He is often joined by his daughter Hannah, who sings and plays various instruments, for the 45-minute segments.

Doser has also been offering shows geared toward adults on weekends, featuring popular cover songs and some original tunes.

To check out his shows, visit     

If you have an event to add to this roundup, please email the details to Ann Reily, assistant managing editor of features, at