Breaking bread

Woodman’s Artisan Bakery to open storefront in Nashua

Bill Woodman gained a following across the local farmers market scene for his European-style artisan breads, first selling in Salem in 2018 before branching out to six markets by the following summer. Nearly four years later, Woodman is expanding his startup bread business into a storefront, giving him his own permanent spot to bake as well as an opportunity to serve coffees, teas, sandwiches and grab-and-go pastries.

Woodman’s Artisan Bakery is due to open in the coming weeks on the corner of Amherst and Sunapee streets in North Nashua — it’s in the former spot of Great Harvest Bread Co., which has sat vacant since December 2019. Upon coming into the space, Woodman connected with former Great Harvest owner Jeremy St. Hilaire, who welcomed him to the neighborhood, shared his own experiences, and helped go over the basics of its unique multiton 48-pan oven.

Rows of salted pretzels from an artisan bakery
Photo courtesy of Woodman’s Artisan Bakery.

Woodman’s breads are 100 percent scratch-baked and range from various country ryes and sourdoughs to flavored options like a cranberry walnut and an Italian focaccia with Parmesan and rosemary. His product line also includes traditional French butter croissants and pain au chocolat pastries, as well as soft blueberry scones and lightly salted German-style pretzels.

A Manchester native, Woodman attended Springfield College in Massachusetts before transferring to Southern New Hampshire University to study culinary arts. From there, he would hold multiple kitchen jobs over the years, and it was while as a cook at the RiverMead, a retirement home in Peterborough, that he got the opportunity to attend bread baking intensive courses at King Arthur Flour in Vermont, thanks to an educational reimbursement program.

“I had always had an interest in breads, but no one ever knew much to teach me about them,” he said. “I did the program at King Arthur, came back to the retirement home and then was doing fresh bread for them every day. … People were going crazy about it to the point where we ended up setting up a sale with three or four different types of bread. So that went over very, very well.”

In May 2018, Woodman applied to become a vendor at the Salem Farmers Market. Dave Hippert, a longtime friend of his who owns Sal’s Pizza in Hooksett, agreed to let him use his oven after hours, where he currently bakes his breads and pastries.

“He closes down at the end of his day, so 9 or 10 o’clock at night, and then I go in, mix up my doughs and bake throughout the night into the mornings. Then from the morning to the afternoon I go out to the markets and sell my bread off,” he said. “So without him, none of this would’ve been possible, especially just with the volume that I’m able to pull out of there.”

As a result, nearly all of his items at the market have only just been out of the oven hours earlier.

“That’s one of those things that makes a big, big difference is that quality and freshness,” he said.

croissants laid out on a cooling rack
Photo courtesy of Woodman’s Artisan Bakery.

Once his Nashua storefront opens, Woodman will leave the kitchen at Sal’s, but he still plans to attend a few farmers markets per week. Currently he’s in Concord on Saturdays and Salem on Sundays, and he’ll pick up a third market in Bedford on Tuesdays when it resumes in June.

In addition to Great Harvest’s oven, Woodman has an electric Bongard deck oven from Germany he purchased a few years ago through a mutual connection with a Portsmouth chef.

“It’s kind of like your Lamborghini of ovens, so to speak,” he said. “Anything that’s got a real nice crust and a chewy crumb is going to come out of there, because you get that steam injection. … You get a little bit of water, which keeps the dough pliable enough so that it grows and expands properly, but then when it starts evaporating off, you start basically caramelizing the sugars on the surface of that dough, and it gives you that color and crispiness that you want.”

Woodman plans to get into baking ciabattas and baguettes, breads he said he hasn’t regularly done in a few years. He’ll also be able to produce all of his other artisan breads on an even larger scale than before, thanks to his newfound 24/7 access. One of his flagship products is called the “Yukon Dave” sourdough — it’s named after a farmers market customer who gifted him a sourdough starter that originated in Alaska sometime in the 1960s.

On the retail side, Woodman will have a display case featuring grab-and-go pastries as well as drip coffee sourced from A&E, a USDA-certified organic roaster. Eventually, he said, he’d like to add cappuccinos and lattes and plans to offer pizzas, sandwiches and other lunch items.

Woodman’s Artisan Bakery
An opening date is expected in the coming weeks for the bakery’s storefront. In the meantime, find owner and bread maker Bill Woodman at the Downtown Concord Winter Farmers Market (7 Eagle Square, Concord) on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and at the Salem Farmers Market (LaBelle Winery Derry, 14 Route 111, Derry) on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: 4 Sunapee St., Nashua
Hours: TBA
More info: Visit, or find them on Facebook @woodmansartisanbakery and Instagram @woodmans.artisan.bakery

Featured photo: Photos courtesy of Woodman’s Artisan Bakery.

The Weekly Dish 22/03/24

News from the local food scene

Maple madness: There’s still time to go tour a local sugarhouse for New Hampshire Maple Month, which will hold its final weekend on Saturday, March 26, and Sunday, March 27. Visit the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association’s online directory at for a list of participating farms and sugarhouses. Even though Maple Weekend was last weekend, several maple producers across the state are continuing to welcome visitors for sugaring tours, samples and gift shop product sales. You can also check out our coverage of Maple Weekend in the Hippo’s March 17 issue, which begins on page 10 and includes recipes and details about this season’s syrup production. Visit to read the e-edition for free.

Heirloom feasts: Join the Concord Garden Club in welcoming Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The New Heirloom Garden, for a virtual event on Saturday, March 26, at 1 p.m., in partnership with Gibson’s Bookstore. Ogden will talk about her book and discuss the essentials of how to prepare, plant and maintain an heirloom food garden. Released in early 2021, The New Heirloom Garden is filled with tips on how to grow various heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers, and includes 55 recipes for everything from entrees and sides to desserts, drinks and more. Registration is free but required to receive a link to the Zoom webinar. Donations are accepted through Eventbrite, with proceeds split between Gibson’s Bookstore and the Concord Garden Club, and copies of Ogden’s book are also available for sale. Visit

PoutineFest is back: After a successful event in 2021, the New Hampshire PoutineFest is returning to Anheuser-Busch Tour Center & Biergarten (221 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack) on Saturday, Oct. 15, according to a recent announcement on its website and social media channels. Since 2016, the annual festival has brought together local and regional restaurants, food trucks and other vendors to compete for the best poutine dish as voted by attendees. It had traditionally been held in the summer, but the response to last year’s festival from both vendors and poutine lovers alike has prompted organizers with the Franco-American Centre to make a permanent shift to October. Details on ticket sales are expected soon. Visit

Mile Away to return: After previously announcing late last year that it would close its kitchen space in January, Milford’s Mile Away Restaurant will now be reopening on April 6, according to a message recently posted on its website. Reservations will be required going forward, due to limited staffing, the message reads in part. Additionally, public events with set menus are being planned for every Saturday and Sunday in April, during which Mile Away’s regular dinner menu will not be available. The eatery will also be open for Easter — reservations are being accepted now for special meals that will include an appetizer, a salad, an entree and a dessert. According to its website, Mile Away is in a historic spot in town — the site of one of the earliest settlements in New England in the 18th century. Visit

On The Job – Christina McRitchie

Christina McRitchie

Cosmetic tattoo artist

Christina McRitchie is a cosmetic tattoo artist and the owner of Wink & Inked, a permanent cosmetic studio in Londonderry.

Explain your job and what it entails.

I work one-on-one with women to deliver cosmetic tattoo solutions … [like] brows, eyeliner and lip blushing, but what I’m really providing is self-confidence and empowerment; many of my clients suffer from lack of important facial features like eyebrows, often due to medical or hormonal reasons.

How long have you had this job?

I’ve been in the beauty service industry for 30 years and began my cosmetic tattooing journey five years ago.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

As I child, I played ‘beauty shop’ and charged my mother a quarter to have her hair done. … As a teen, I was well-known in my high school for providing prom hair, and many girls came to my house before school to get styled. I would have to say it was a natural calling.

What kind of education or training did you need?

I’m dual licensed in cosmetology and body art. … Both my licenses required 1,500 hours of training each. What really counts in both fields, particularly tattooing, is the endless hours of practice. I can’t count how many hours I’ve spent tattooing latex skin and even microblading banana peels to get my art good enough to work on actual client faces. This definitely isn’t something you attempt after a two-day certification course. Each year I continue educating myself by attending classes to zone in on specific technical skills. … I attend at least three trainings a year to stay up to date on industry standards.

What’s your typical at-work uniform or attire?

I’m moving all around my client to … tattoo, so comfort is important to me, but I do work in the world of style and fashion, so I like to spice it up with a touch of bohemian flair. Shoes are my obsession.

How has your job changed over the course of the pandemic?

In the permanent makeup industry, it’s quite normal to wear a mask, and gloves are essential to good sanitation practices. … The biggest change was ditching the in-person consultations and moving to virtual consultations. It has worked out fantastically.

What do you wish you’d known at the beginning of your career?

To value myself more, and that validation comes in the form of demand, not [from] what coworkers or others think. … There is a lot of time, money and overhead that goes into what we do. … We train hard and work hard … in a very personal service, and charging appropriately for your time is important not only for your livelihood but also for your mental well-being, so don’t bargain with anybody; set your prices and stick to them.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

We truly do our job with a sincere heart and deeply want our clients to love their service. … I really do want to help women feel confident. It means so much to me to see my clients walk out the door with a little swagger in their step. … If I can help other women feel empowered and confident to step out into the world and make their own impact, then I’m happy.

What was the first job you ever had?

A dressing room attendant in a clothing boutique. I’ve always loved fashion.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Consultation is absolutely key in providing a successful service. By listening to my client, I’m able to provide the best professional advice and the best solution for them.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
Favorite movie: Inception. It makes you think so hard at the end.
Favorite music: Anything by my daughter, Carleigh Mack. I’m also a huge Stevie Nicks fan.
Favorite food: Mexican food is the best, and chocolate.
Favorite thing about NH: The wildlife.

Featured photo: Christina McRitchie. Courtesy photo.

Treasure Hunt 22/03/24

Dear Donna,

Do postcards from the 1950s have value?


Dear Joann,

I always think everything antique or collectible has a value — the question is how much.

Postcards are a market within the field that has many collectors for several reasons. Basically when looking at postcards the value is in age, rarity, condition and subject. Postcards from 1940s and 1950s that are comical mass-produced ones I’m sure have collectors for them. The value tends to run in the couple-dollar range for most. But I feel finding someone who will enjoy them again is worth it.

Kiddie Pool 22/03/24

Family fun for the weekend

More maple

If you didn’t get enough of the sweet stuff during last weekend’s statewide Maple Weekend, the maple fun continues this weekend with some sugar houses continuing tours (find a complete listing of local sugar houses at

Ben’s Sugar Shack, with locations in Temple and Newbury, will continue offering weekend tours through Sunday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the syrup process from tree to finished product and enjoy some maple samples, according to The Temple location will also have maple doughnuts and maple soft serve, according to Ben’s Facebook page.

Several other sugar houses are open weekends through March. Check out the list of area sugar houses in last week’s (March 17) issue of the Hippo. Find the e-edition on and the list starting on page 11.

Charmingfare Farm (774 High St. in Candia;, 483-5623) also has some maple programming on the calendar. On Saturday, March 26, sign up for Sugar Shack Live, an evening that will feature a campfire (BYO marshmallows or hot dogs), a look at the sugar shack and boiling sap, a horse-drawn or tractor ride and live music. Tickets must be purchased online and cost $29. Or check out the Maple Express Saturday, March 26, or Sunday, March 27, when you can see tree tapping, visit the animals and get a taste of the syrup on some pancakes. Admission costs $22 and must be purchased online.

On stage

The Pinkerton Players present Pippin at the Stockbridge Theatre (5 Pinkerton St. in Derry;, 437-5210) Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 27, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15.

The Bedford Youth Performing Company presents Matilda this weekend — Friday, March 26, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 27, at 1 and 7 p.m. — at the Derryfield School theater (2108 River Road in Manchester). Tickets cost $17.50 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and are available via Call 472-3894.

The Majestic Theatre presents Frozen Jr. this Friday, March 25, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 26, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 27, at 2 p.m. at the Derry Opera House (29 W. Broadway in Derry). Tickets cost $15 for adults, $12 for 65+ and $10 for 17 and under. Call 669-7469 or see

Bye Bye Birdie continues its run at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester; with shows this weekend on Friday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 26, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 27, at noon. Tickets cost $39 and $46 for adults, $25 for kids through age 12.

On stage at the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; catch the Palace Youth Theatre Dance Show on Sunday, March 27, at 10 a.m. Tickets cost $10 to this 45-minute show.

And for older young theater-goers, the Palace Teen Company will present Carrie at the Rex Theatre on Tuesday, March 29, and Wednesday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15.

Don’t be afraid to prune

How to not kill your fruit tree

Traditionally, farmers pruned their fruit trees and put wood ashes around their lilacs in March. And although this is a good time for both, you can do either earlier or later. I believe that because farmers couldn’t plant or work the soil in March, they did other tasks to fill up their days — such as pruning.

If you plan on pruning now, please be aware of the danger of compacting the soil. Compacted soil has few air spaces — and plants get their oxygen from their roots, not their leaves. Roots from trees can extend well beyond their dripline and can be damaged by your footsteps if the soil is soggy.

If the soil is still thawing and is wet, it’s better to stay off it for now. If you have light, sandy soil that drains well, then you are fine. Clay soils are most at risk for compaction. Once you compact the soil, it is less able to drain away excess water, too. Just remember that the soil can freeze deeply — two feet or more, depending on snow cover — and a layer of frozen soil is like a layer of concrete. If you leave footprints in the soil, don’t walk on it.

Don’t be afraid to prune, even if you have never done it before. Fruit trees grow vigorously when pruned, and even if you remove a branch and then wish you hadn’t, other branches will grow and fill in the space. You can safely remove about 25 percent of your branches and leaves; your tree will still have plenty left to grow fruit and feed the roots.

Use a sharp pruning saw. You will rarely have to remove anything more than a 2- or 3-inch branch, so a folding tri-cut saw will be fine and can be purchased for around $25. Bow saws are not able to get in tight places, so are not recommended. A chainsaw is rarely needed, and can easily remove too much wood too fast!

What should you remove? First, remove any dead branches. How do you know if the branch is dead, since there are no leaves? The bark will be flaky and a different color from healthy branches. For smaller branches, scrape the bark with your thumbnail. If it does not show green, it is dead.

Ideally, sunshine can reach every leaf of the tree. Leaves shaded by others do little to feed the tree. So if you have branches layered closely, one above the other, the lower branch is being shaded. Either remove it, or remove the one above it.

Often branches grow back toward the middle of the tree. These will create problems as they get larger, often rubbing existing branches and shading out others. So follow them back to their point of origin to remove them. Remove any branches that are rubbing or touching. Decide which is the better branch, and leave it.

Where should you make your cuts when removing a branch? Look carefully and you will see the “branch collar.” You will want to leave the collar as this is where the cut will heal. It is a swollen area where the branch and the trunk or a larger branch are joined. Often the collar has wrinkles in it. Cut just past the swollen, wrinkled area and remove the offending branch where it is circular in cross-section.

Many fruit trees send up water sprouts — vigorous new shoots. In their first year they grow straight up and are the thickness of pencils. They should be removed every year. If you cut a bigger branch, you might get several water sprouts surrounding the cut that year — but remove them all next year. Water sprouts are a tree’s attempt to increase food production by making more leaves. Some trees do it vigorously each year, others respond to heavy pruning this spring by growing many this summer. Water sprouts rarely produce fruit — ever.

When I prune fruit trees, I pay attention to the fruit spurs that actually produce the fruit. When choosing which of two branches to remove, I leave the one that will be producing the most fruit. Fruit spurs are 2- to 5-inch branches that have buds on them. Fruit spurs produce both leaves and flowers, and need to be at least two years old for the trees to produce fruit, sometimes longer.

I often get complaints from readers about the fact that their young apple tree has not produced any fruit. Be patient, I say. Each variety of tree has its own schedule — dwarf or semi-dwarf trees produce fruit sooner than full-size trees. A newly planted tree can take two to six years before the first fruits grow. I once had a plum tree that took 20 years to flower and produce fruit, and only did so when I threatened to cut it down if it didn’t produce fruit the next year!

Lastly, know that pruning your tree well will increase the size and improve the flavor of the fruit. It takes a lot of energy to produce fruit, so a tree that only grows 100 apples is better able to feed the fruit and grow the sugars that make it tasty than a tree that grows 1,000 apples. And really, how many apples can you eat?

As to that other March chore, improving the pH of the soil around your lilacs? Two dry quarts of wood ashes or garden lime will sweeten the soil if spread around your lilac. Lilacs do not flower as well in acidic soil, which is what most New Englanders have. It won’t affect this year’s blossoming, but should by next year.

So get outside on a sunny day and get to work. I always find something to do, and pruning is one of my favorite March activities.

Featured photo: Apples are worth pruning and do not need pesticides to grow well. Courtesy photo.

The Art Roundup 22/03/24

The latest from NH’s theater, arts and literary communities

High standards: Catch the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s triennial exhibit “Setting the Standard,” on view at the League’s headquarters gallery (49 S. Main St., No. 100, Concord), before it’s gone on Thursday, March 31. The exhibit features new works by 45 League jurors, master craftsmen who volunteer to work with League hopefuls and review their work to uphold the League’s standard of artistic excellence. A variety of media is represented, including wood, textile, clay and metal. “These works … will reflect the spirit of the maker,” League executive director Miriam Carter said in a press release. “Given the difficulties faced during the past several months, the work of our members takes on an almost indomitable nature, mixing the strength and resilience of the artists with the vulnerability that we have all experienced,” Gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. Pieces are for sale and can be picked up when the exhibit closes. Visit or call 224-3375.

Musical prince: The Pinkerton Players will perform Pippin at the Stockbridge Theatre (located at Pinkerton Academy, 5 Pinkerton St., Derry), with showtimes on Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 27, at 2 p.m. The musical, based on the book by Roger O. Hirson, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, is the story of a young prince searching for meaning in his life, as told by a traveling theater troupe. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Call 437-5210 or visit

Ancient lens: The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester) has an exhibition, “Appeal of the Real: 19th Century Photographs of the Ancient World,” on view now through June 12. It features photographs of the ruins of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, taken prior to when tourists could take their own photographs, often at the request of wealthy European and American tourists. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17, and is free for children under age 13 and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit

Stories on Zoom: The Portsmouth-based monthly storytelling showcase True Tales Live returns with a virtual show over Zoom on Tuesday, March 29, from 7 to 8:15 p.m. This month’s theme centers on activism and exercising rights. The series is free and open to all who want to watch or participate as a storyteller. Registration is required. Shows have been held over Zoom during the pandemic but will tentatively be held in person at the Portsmouth Public Media TV Studio (280 Marcy St.) starting in April. Interested storytellers are encouraged to participate in a storytelling workshop, which is held on the first Tuesday of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. over Zoom. Visit or email

Birdie’s back: The Palace Theatre’s (80 Hanover St., Manchester) current mainstage production, Bye Bye Birdie,continues now through April 3, with showtimes on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at noon. The classic Broadway musical is set in 1958 in the small town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, and centers around an Elvis-like rock ’n’ roll star named Conrad Birdie who is drafted into the Army. As a publicity stunt, Birdie’s agent and songwriter arranges for Birdie to appear on a television program, where he will perform a new song called “One Last Kiss” and give one lucky girl from his fan club a real last kiss before reporting for duty. Ticket prices range from $25 to $46. Visit or call 668-5588.

Premiere play by local playwright: New World Theatre presents the premiere production of Places You Go, an original play by New Hampshire playwright William Ivers, at the Hatbox Theatre (Steeplegate Mall, 270 Loudon Road, Concord) from March 25 through April 1, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. The play follows Maddy Wear, a young musician destined for Julliard, and the tensions that arise in her family while she is in the hospital recovering from a car accident. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for members, seniors and students and $16 for senior members. Call 715-2315 or visit



• “STITCHED TOGETHER – ELEMENTS OF NATURE FROM TEXTILE FRAGMENTS” New Hampshire Art Association exhibition features the textile collages of Cheryl Miller, inspired by the colors in nature. On view now through April 15. Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All work is for sale. Visit or call 431-4230.

• “REAWAKENING” Two Villages Art Society presents an exhibition featuring work by artist members of the New Hampshire chapter of the Women’s Caucus for the Arts. Bates Building (846 Main St., Contoocook). On view March 18 through April 9. An opening reception with the artists and live music will be held on Sat., March 19, from noon to 2 p.m. Regular gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 413-210-4372.

• “WARHOL SCREEN TESTS” exhibition features 20 films from Andy Warhol’s silent black and white Screen Tests, shown in loops across four largescale projections. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On view March 31 through July 3. Museum admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors age 65 and up, $10 for students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children under age 13 and museum members. Current museum hours are Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Monday through Wednesday. Call 669-6144 or visit



PUFFS! OR SEVEN INCREASINGLY EVENTFUL YEARS AT A CERTAIN SCHOOL OF MAGIC AND MAGIC Cue Zero Theatre Co. presents. Granite State Arts Academy (19 Keewaydin Drive, No. 4, Salem). Fri., April 29, through Sun., May 1. Visit


DRAWN TO THE MUSIC 2022 – STORIES IN MUSIC The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra performs. Seifert Performing Arts Center, 44 Geremonty Drive, Salem. Sat., April 9, 2 p.m., and Sun., April 10, 2 p.m. Visit

11 features, 5 shorts

NH Jewish Film Fest offers in-theater & virtual screenings

This year’s New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival is combining the benefits of virtual screenings — reaching more people in more places, for example — and hosting in-person screenings too, to bring back that festival vibe that’s been missing for the past two years.

“It’s been a journey, that is for sure,” festival co-chair Pat Kalik said of holding the event during the pandemic. “We did get some benefits from going virtual, but we missed, of course, the community feeling of seeing a movie in the theater and then having the discussion after.”

This year’s festival, which runs March 31 to April 10, will feature five in-theater screenings, two of which will have post-screening discussions. Virtual attendees will have a 48-hour window to watch each movie any time during the festival, and there will be virtual screenings of four of the in-theater films as well after the festival ends.

The festival features independent and foreign films from 12 countries. Kalik said they start screening films in July and view about 50 before picking their final lineup. She said they try to pick different kinds of films, from dramas to documentaries, to appeal to all tastes.

“Our goal is to bring these films to the community, films that would not come to the independent theaters in New Hampshire,” Kalik said. “Some of the films are subtitled — some people won’t go to subtitled films, but we try to get a mix. … My hope is that everyone will give these types of films a try.”

One of her favorites is the documentary that’s going to open the festival at Rex Theatre.

“I thought The Automat was a fascinating film, and that’s going to be our opening night at the Rex in Manchester,” Kalik said. “[At Automat restaurants] you would put money into a wall of windows, and behind each window was the food you wanted to buy. This is a film about the history of the Automat.”

The closing film is Cabaret at Red River Theatres in Concord. Typically the festival features newer films; in this case, it’s celebrating Cabaret’s 50th anniversary. The screening will be followed by a discussion with film buff Zachary Camenker of Concord.

“The film kind of broke the glass ceiling 50 years ago in ways that people weren’t expecting,” Camenker said.

Cabaret, which is about Berlin nightlife during the Nazi rise to power, won eight Academy Awards. Camenker said it’s the winningest film that did not win best picture in Oscar history; it lost that award to The Godfather.

Still, “It’s one of those musicals that has stood the test of time,” he said. “It’s a good reminder of where things were a century ago as opposed to where they are now.”

Another film that looks back at a difficult time in history is “Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin.” The documentary explores the life of the Israeli prime minister.

Director Jonathan Gruber of Black Eye Productions in New York said he didn’t know much about Begin before he started working on this project.

“I didn’t realize how instrumental he was in Israel’s becoming a state,” Gruber said. “I was just impressed with him as a leader. He never enriched himself through his position.”

Begin was a controversial leader, though, which Gruber saw firsthand in his interviews. He said he heard some criticism that the film is slanted favorably toward Begin, while others have thought the opposite.

“Begin does not get a free pass in the film,” Gruber said. “We annoy everybody.”

Gruber, who was born in Israel, was able to get all of his interviews done in person overseas just before the pandemic started. He used a third-camera angle for some of the film.

“The content is so powerful but I also visually wanted to make it arresting,” he said.

Gruber will discuss the documentary via Zoom on Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m.

With the exception of Cabaret, Zoom will be used for all film discussions.

“I think we’ve learned a lot because of [the pandemic], and we’re going to take advantage of it in the future, but it’s not going to replace the traditional film festival where you can go to the theater and bond and eat and drink,” Kalik said.

New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival
When: March 31 through April 10
Where: Various locations in the state and online
Cost: $12 per in-theater ticket or per virtual household ticket
More info: For festival pass information, movie trailers and more, visit

Here are the films according to festival descriptions.

In-theater screenings

The Automat

Thursday, March 31, 7 p.m. at The Rex, Manchester

Documentary, 2021, U.S., English. Before fast food, one American restaurant empire was unstoppable. Experience the untold story of the Automat with this documentary film starring Mel Brooks about the popular 1950s restaurant chain that served its meals in vending machines.

Following the screening, director Lisa Hurwitz will discuss her film via Zoom, and Automat collector Steve Stollman will join the conversation.

Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen

Sunday, April 3, 1 p.m. at 3S Art Space (Portsmouth), The Rex (Manchester) and Showroom (Keene)

Documentary, 2022, U.S., English. Narrated by Jeff Goldblum, Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen captures the humor and drama of film director Norman Jewison’s quest to recreate the lost world of Jewish life in tsarist Russia and re-envision the beloved stage hit as a wide-screen epic.

The Un-Word

Thursday, April 7, 7 p.m., Red River Theatres, Concord

Narrative, 2020, Germany, German with English subtitles. In this German satire, tempers flare after a Jewish student is goaded by Muslim classmates into a schoolyard brawl, injuring an Iranian and a Palestinian student. A hopelessly naive teacher arranges a summit with the fuming parents and spineless principal. But her do-gooder attempts at peacemaking, complete with Palestinian and Israeli flags decorating the snacks, expose her own misguided beliefs.

Tiger Within

Sunday, April 10, 1 p.m., Red River Theatres, Concord

Drama, 2020, USA, English. Multiple Academy-Award-winner Ed Asner, in one of his last performances, stars in this tender story of the unlikely friendship between Samuel, a Holocaust survivor, and Casey, a skinhead teen runaway. Despite their respective traumas and initial mistrust of one another, they form a powerful bond that yields a sense of family and mutual support.


Celebrating Cabaret’s 50th Anniversary!

Sunday, April 10, 3:30 p.m., Red River Theatres, Concord

Musical/Romance, 1972, U.S., English

Starring Liza Minelli, the musical about Berlin nightlife during the Nazi rise to power won eight Academy Awards.

Following the screening, New Hampshire educator and film enthusiast Zachary Camenker will lead a discussion about the history and impact of the film a half century later. (This screening is in-person only and does not have a virtual option.)

Virtual-only screenings

200 Meters

Drama, 2020, Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, Italy, Sweden (Arabic, Hebrew, English with subtitles). Mustafa and his wife live 200 meters apart in villages separated by the Israeli border wall. One day he gets a call every parent dreads: His son has been injured in an accident. Rushing to cross the Israeli checkpoint, Mustafa is denied on a technicality. But a father’s love won’t give up, and he will do anything to reach his son.

Apples and Oranges

Documentary, 2021, Israel (Hebrew, English with subtitles). A wave of foreign volunteers came to Israel in the 1960s through 1980s to work on a kibbutz, a communal village centered around agriculture. During the ’80s, the war in Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict forced volunteers to decide whether supporting the kibbutz meant supporting the state of Israel.

On Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m., Director Yoav Brill will discuss his film and reflect on the changing nature of the volunteers as Israel’s geopolitical situation evolved.

Greener Pastures

Drama, 2020, Israel (Hebrew, English with subtitles). Dov, a widower, is forced by his family to move to a nursing home. He’s broke since he lost his pension, and he blames the state. When Dov notices that all his fellow residents smoke legal medical cannabis, he realizes that weed can be his salvation — selling it, not smoking it.


Drama, 2021, Switzerland, France (Kurdish with English subtitles). In a little village on the Syrian-Turkish border in the early ’80s, a 6-year-old Kurdish boy experiences his first year in an Arab school and sees how his little world is radically changed by absurd nationalism.

Persian Lessons

Narrative Feature, 2020, Russia, Germany, Belarus (German, French, Italian, English and Persian with English subtitles). Occupied France, 1942. Gilles is arrested by Nazi SS soldiers alongside other Jews and sent to a camp in Germany. He avoids execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian. This lie temporarily saves him, but Gilles gets assigned a life-or-death mission: to teach the Farsi language to Koch, the head of camp, who dreams of opening a restaurant in Iran once the war is over.

Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin

Documentary, 2020, USA (English) Prime Minister Menachem Begin was a tireless fighter for the Jewish people. He was, at the same time, a controversial leader.

On Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m. Director Jonathan Gruber will discuss his documentary on the life of Menachem Begin.

Short films (virtual only)


Comedy Short, 2021, U.S. (10 minutes, English). Josh wants to find his late mother’s “beefies” recipe for Passover but must reconnect with his estranged brother to do so.


Short, 2020, U.K. (14 minutes, English with Yiddish phrases), London, 1962. 6-year-old Ruthie discovers Lynn, the cleaner, is a thief.

Masel Tov Cocktail

Short, 2020, Germany (30 minutes, German, Russian with English subtitles). A Russian-Jewish teen in Germany offers a comic take on modern Jewish life.

The Shabbos Goy

Comedy Short, 2019, U.S. (7 minutes, English). God literally forbids Chana to turn off her vibrator gone rogue.

The Tattooed Torah

Animated Short, 2021, U.S. (21 minutes, English, Hebrew). True story of the rescue and restoration of a Torah from Czechoslovakia.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

This Week 22/03/24

Big Events March 24, 2022 and beyond

Thursday, March 24

Conjure up the weekend spirit early with a little rock ’n’ roll music from Studio Two: The Beatles Tribute at LaBelle Winery in Derry (14 Route 111, tonight at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets cost $35.

Friday, March 25

Get just what you needed from Panorama — A Tribute to the Cars tonight at 8 p.m. at the Bank of NH Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord, with opening act Being Petty: The Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Experience. Tickets cost $16 general admission, $25 for the balcony (plus fees).

Saturday, March 26

Work on your plans for planting season with help from the Concord Garden Club and Gibson’s Bookstore today during a virtual presentation with author Ellen Ogden, whose 2021 release was The New Heirloom Kitchen. Registration is free but required and tickets are by donation (up to $20) with proceeds split between the club and the bookstore, according to

Saturday, March 26

Ballet Misha presents Danse Nouveau VI, a concert of original choreographed works, today at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St. in Concord;, according to the website. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased at

Sunday, March 27

The Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade returns today at noon stepping off from the north end of Elm Street and heading through downtown Manchester. Find the parade particulars at The parade is preceded by the Citizens Shamrock Half-Marathon, Relay and Shuffle, which will take place Saturday, March 26 (for the half-marathon and relay) and in the morning on Sunday, March 27 (for the shuffle and 8-and-under Lil Leprechaun Run). See And for a closer look at one of the participants, check out last week’s (March 17) issue of the Hippo, where Angie Sykeny interviews Matt Casey, the parade’s official leprechaun. Find the e-edition on and the story on page 6.

Sunday, March 27

It’s the final day of the New Hampshire Orchid Society’s annual show and sale which starts Friday, March 25, at the Courtyard Marriot in Nashua. The show is open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 27. Admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $18 for a three day pass (kids under 12 get in free). See

Save the Date! Friday, April 15
Beaver Brook Association (117 Ridge Road in Hollis;, 465-7787) will hold a full moon hike (the “pink moon”) on Friday, April 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission costs $20 per person; go online to reserve a spot.

Featured photo. St Patrick’s Day Parade, 2018. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 22/03/24

Earn credit with esports

Uptime Esports has been approved as a new Learn Everywhere program by the New Hampshire State Board of Education. According to a press release, esports can be used to promote teamwork, engage students and boost the exploration of STEM learning and careers. Uptime Esports, which has locations in Bedford, Exeter and Hanover, Mass., offers programs focused around competitive gaming, coding, engineering, game design and computer building, as well as sensory-friendly gaming, the release said. Uptime Esports is one of 15 programs approved for Learn Everywhere, which allows students to earn credit for learning outside of the classroom.

Score: +1

Comment :If you can’t get the kids away from gaming anyway, why not sneak in some education?

Extreme weather possible

Last week New Hampshire residents, scientists and legislators gathered via Zoom for a preview of the soon-to-be-released 2022 NH State Climate Assessment, an update of the last statewide assessment of 2014. According to a press release, Dr. Cameron Wake, Lamprey Professor of Climate and Sustainability at UNH, said assessment results show that if we don’t lower emissions rates, heavy rain events and flooding will become more common in the state, especially in winter and spring, which could alternate with “extended drought periods and summers with as many as 60 days above 90 degrees.” Dr. Mary Stampone, State Climatologist and Associate Professor of Geography at UNH, said that without fast reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, she foresees “more winter days above freezing and fewer days with snow on the ground.”

Score: -1

Comment: To find out what specific actions we can take, NH Network is hosting a free online event, “Is Net Zero by 2050 Possible?” on Monday, March 28, at 7 p.m. Visit

Be a state ambassador

Granite State Ambassadors Certification Training, which prepares participants to become GSA volunteers, starts virtually April 5 and in person April 6 at Kimball Jenkins in Concord. According to a press release, the course includes presentations from tourism organizations and attractions, and training modules include Outdoor Recreation, Attractions and Heritage, New Hampshire History and more, as well as information on serving as a GSA volunteer. The program encourages participants to volunteer at events, museums and visitor centers throughout the state, the release said. The training will continue virtually on Tuesday mornings until the final session, which will be in person, statewide, during the week of May 16.

Score: +1

Comment: The organization has certified over 1,940 industry friends and volunteers, and approximately 350 volunteers are actively volunteering at any time, the release said. Visit

Back on the ice for CHaD

More than 4,000 fans celebrated the return of the CHaD Battle of the Badges Hockey Championship on March 13 at SNHU Arena in Manchester. After almost three years, the fundraising event for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock was back in person and helped raise more than $210,000, according to a press release. Law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel returned to the ice exactly two years after Team Fire’s victory in the streaming 2020 game. The 2021 game was canceled due to Covid. At this year’s game, which was also streamed online, Team Police skated off with a 5-2 victory. Police leads the series 8-5.

Score: +1

Comment: Police got the victory as top fundraisers too, raising more $72,000 as a team, according to the release. Kyle Daly of the Manchester Police Department was the top individual fundraiser — he collected more than $11,000 with his CHaD Buddy Elliot.

QOL score: 66

Net change: +2

QOL this week: 68

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