The Weekly Dish 22/04/07

News from the local food scene

Greek eats: Get your tickets now for a Palm Sunday fish dinner to be held at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (650 Hanover St., Manchester) on Sunday, April 17, around 11:30 a.m. after services. The dinner will be available for both dine-in or takeout, featuring meals of fish, rice, green beans, a salad and a roll for $20 per person. Pasta meals for kids are available for $8 each, and ice cream will also be served for dessert. Tickets must be purchased by April 14 — visit the church office any weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call 622-9113. In other Greek food news, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (111 Island Pond Road, Manchester) is holding its next food fest on Sunday, April 17, at noon, which will also feature a fish dinner with both dine-in and takeout options. Online orders are being accepted now through April 11 for meals of baked haddock filet, rice pilaf, Greek-style beans and bread rolls for $20, as well as kids’ meals of fish sticks with fries or rice for $8. Visit to place your order.

Pancake breakfast returns: Join the Amherst Lions Club for its 48th annual pancake breakfast and spring raffle, scheduled for Sunday, April 10, from 8 a.m. to noon at Clark-Wilkins Elementary School (80 Boston Post Road, Amherst). The cost for the all-you-can-eat breakfast is $8 per person or $25 per family of four or more, and kids under 5 eat free — this year’s menu will feature pancakes with fruit toppings and New Hampshire maple syrup, plus sausages, pastries and drinks like orange juice, coffee, tea and milk. An Easter basket will be raffled off, and children of all ages are invited to participate in a coloring contest, with prizes awarded for the best coloring in three age groups (ages 1 to 5, 6 to 10 and 11 to 15). Tickets will be available at the door or in advance online at

Dinner and a show: Chunky’s Cinema Pub in Manchester (707 Huse Road) is hosting a Titanic Kitchen Takeover dinner and movie screening on Sunday, April 10, featuring Chef Keith Sarasin of The Farmers Dinner. The movie will begin at 6 p.m., with a five-course farm-to-table menu served throughout the evening of items inspired by what was served on the Titanic back in April 1912. The cost is $75 per person and includes the meal and the movie screening. An optional VIP package with wine pairings is available for $110. Visit

Wine all you want: Vine 32 Wine + Graze Bar, a new self-serve wine bar featuring more than two dozen rotating wine options sourced from all over the world, recently held its grand opening celebration in Bedford Square (25 S. River Road). It’s owned by Bedford couple Leah Bellemore and her husband, Tom — wines are available to sample out of Italian-made self-serve Enomatic dispensers, which are able to preserve them for up to 65 days. Staff members known as “wine liaisons” are also on hand to help you use the machines. “This is really more of an approachable way to just figure out what you like,” Leah Bellemore told the Hippo earlier this year. “Since they’ll be rotating, you can try something new every single time you come in, and really be able to expand upon what you might not even know your preference could be.” In addition to the wines, Vine 32 offers a food menu of charcuterie boards, flatbreads and sweeter items like macaroons and truffles. Visit

On The Job – Dina Akel

Dina Akel

Fashion director

Dina Akel is the fashion director and owner of Preowned Gowns, a boutique in Nashua selling overstock, discontinued and gently used designer dresses.

Explain your job and what it entails.

We sell overstock and discontinued luxury dresses for a discount. My job is to make sure that every client who comes through our doors finds the perfect dress for whatever their occasion is. As a stylist, I get to gauge clients by asking about their preferred silhouette, fabrics, colors and budget so that I can properly recommend dresses for them. I make sure to provide a fun and comfortable experience to make sure everyone feels extremely special and taken care of.

How long have you had this job?

The business was started in 2020, solely online. We just opened up our [brick and mortar] store in mid-November 2021.

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

I was actually in the bridal industry for about five years prior. … Most [wedding gown] shops have to carry all the newest fashion trends, and rarely do they sell 100 percent of what they purchase every year. I noticed that, over time, discontinued dresses would pile up in storage. … The longer dresses stay in storage, the more likely they are to yellow and become completely unwearable. I thought that was a waste. … I knew there had to be a more sustainable process for the formal-wear industry to turn over their stock.

What kind of education or training did you need?

I’ve always had a knack for project management, research and event planning. … I learned a lot while working at the bridal boutique; I would ask the brides questions to find out what was important to them when looking for a dress. … I took part in an entrepreneurship foundation to help me understand the ins and outs of running a business. … I even worked as a wedding planner for two years; I told myself that, in order to be the best at my job [selling gowns], I needed to fully immerse myself in the wedding industry so that I could understand all perspectives.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

Not super-formal, but not casual; I like to dress fashionable and wear trendy clothes.

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

The pandemic didn’t affect us negatively. A lot of [weddings] weren’t being held during the pandemic, but a lot of brides started planning during that time … so the wedding industry started moving forward more quickly and growing after [the height of] the pandemic had passed.

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

Having a work-life balance and taking time for yourself. I’m a very ambitious soul, and sometimes I need to remember to slow down a bit.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

[The store] is a safe and fun space to find a dress. … We’re not pushy salespeople. We always say that, even if you don’t find a gown with us, you’ll leave here learning something new about your style or what you’re in search of.

What was the first job you ever had?

I worked at the Nashua Public Library as a page.

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

Something my band teacher in high school would say at practices … was, ‘When you walk through these doors, you leave all your troubles and worries behind you. Focus, and be present.’ That really stuck with me for a long time and has made me so productive and focused in whatever I’m doing.

Five favorites

Favorite book:
Robert B. Parker books.
Favorite movie: The Mummy and Shrek
Favorite music: Jazz and house
Favorite food: Kafta, which is a meat dish, and bacalhau, which is a Portuguese cod dish
Favorite thing about NH: The mix of city and suburban life

Featured photo: Dina Akel. Courtesy photo.

Kiddie Pool 22/04/07

Family fun for the weekend

Easter events

• The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill (174 Joppa Hill Road in Bedford; is holding an Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 9, with open slots at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., as of April 4. For $20 per child, each child can collect 20 eggs, visit farm animals and meet the Easter Bunny, according to the website, where you reserve a time slot.

• The Easter Bunny will drop 1,500 chocolate eggs from a helicopter in the field just outside the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire (27 Navigator Road in Londonderry; on Saturday, April 9, at 11 a.m., according to a press release. After the candy is dropped and the helicopter clears the area, kids ages 12 and under will be able to pick up some treats, the release said. The Easter Bunny will then hang out at the museum until 1 p.m. to meet kids and pose for photos, the release said.

Participating families should arrive by 10:30 a.m. and children participating in the candy drop will be put in three groups: age 6 and under, ages 7 to 9 and ages 10 to 12, the release said.

The museum is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission costs $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and for seniors and military; children ages 5 and under get in free.

• Or go hunting for Easter eggs at the YMCA of Londonderry (206 Rockingham Road in Londonderry) on Saturday, April 9. The YMCA and Beacon Church co-host the event featuring eggs hidden across the YMCA property with hunts slotted for 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon and 12:30 p.m., according to a YMCA social media post. The event is first come, first served for each time slot and will offer off-site parking at Londonderry Park and Ride off Exit 5 with shuttle service to the event, the post said. The day will also feature a petting zoo, snacks, a craft and more. There will be a separate toddler zone for egg hunts at each time slot, according to Next weekend, Saturday, April 16, the Londonderry Y will hold a Kid’s Night when kids can be dropped off from 5 to 8 p.m. The cost is $25 per child (ages 4 to 12; $15 for additional siblings) and includes a pizza dinner. See; register by April 13.

• Charmingfare Farm (774 High St. in Candia;, 483-5623) will host its Egg-Citing Egg Hunt this Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, as well as next Saturday, April 16. Sign up for a time between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for a hunt for a dozen chocolate-filled eggs, a horse-drawn or tractor ride, a visit to the barn decorated specially for Easter, a visit with the animals (including spring baby animals) and a visit with the Easter Bunny, according to the website. Tickets cost $22 per person.

On stage

The Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet presents Cinderellaat the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester;, 668-5588) on Sunday, April 10, 1 to 4 p.m. The show is appropriate for all ages and runs about 75 minutes long (with a 10-minute intermission), according to the website. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 ages 12 and under.

Save the date: for more eggs

On Saturday, April 16, Our Promise to Nicholas Foundation will hold an indoor maze to an egg hunt and the Easter Bunny at the NH Sportsplex (68 Technology Dr. in Bedford; from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Hop along a bunny trail to play games, do a bunny craft and more and then head to the egg hunt field at a specific “egg hunt time” and take photos with the Easter Bunny (as well as other mascots and characters), according to the website. Tickets cost $8 per person; family tickets are also available through Friday, April 15, at 6 p.m. Tickets at the door cost $10 per person.

Treasure Hunt 22/04/07

Dear Donna,

I’m looking for an opinion on how to preserve the painting on this old cabinet. It was poorly stored for many years and I don’t think it’s worth a lot of money, but I’d like to preserve the painting. Could I do so by spray lacquer? Or is there something more appropriate? It is an old glass-shelved curio cabinet.


Dear Clare,

I want to start off by saying the cabinet looks lovely. Sad to see the wear and tear that things made over 100 years ago can go through along the way.

My advice would be to contact a specialist furniture refinisher. They should be able to do the task and possibly even have painters on hand to replace parts of the missing areas.

The downside to this is that the cost could exceed the value of the cabinet, so you have to decide whether it’s worth it.

As far as attempting the work yourself, it could be tough and the end result is the painting is gone. I feel most of the original varnish would have to be removed. That job would scare me!

I hope this was helpful and you’re successful in restoring your cabinet.

Nuts and berries

Easy to grow and trouble-free

Every year you probably plant tomatoes. Wouldn’t it be great if they would come back every year without the bother of preparing the soil, starting seedlings in April and setting them out? Well, that’s what nut and fruit trees and berry bushes do: Once planted (and mature), they produce food every year. To me, there is a definite allure to plants requiring less work.

I recently was sent a review copy of a wonderful book by Allyson Levy and Scott Serrano: Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts: 50 Easy-to-Grow Plants for the Organic Home Garden or Landscape printed by Chelsea Green Publishing. When I got it I could barely pull myself away from it because it has so much to teach me.

Each of the species included has five or six pages devoted to it and at least five excellent photos. The information starts with “Growth Difficulty Rating” — how hard is it to grow? Most are easy. It includes taste profile and uses, pollination requirements (is it self-pollinating?), site and soil conditions, zone hardiness, good cultivars to look for, and a paragraph on pests and problems, and more.

I called the authors and asked about their experience growing this diverse group of plants. They live in Stone Ridge, New York, a town about 100 miles north of NYC and 10 miles or so from the Hudson River. They are in Zone 6, where winter temperatures only go a little below zero most winters.

They are both artists, and originally started growing plants to use in their art. About 20 years ago they bought 8 acres across the street from them and started their own arboretum, later adding another 10 acres. Their arboretum is Hortus Arboretum and Botanical Garden and is a Level II arboretum according to the Morton Arboretum.

I asked them what they would recommend for fruit if someone had none and wanted to start with winners. Scott suggested blueberries and blackberries. Both are easy and tasty. Elderberries are good, too, they said, although you need to cook the berries to make them palatable. Elderberries, honey and lemon juice make a nice syrup, which I use to help prevent colds in winter.

We talked about honeyberries. It’s a fruit I will definitely plant this year. Although the fruit looks a little like a big oblong blueberry, it is actually in the genus with honeysuckle. It is native to the northern U.S., Canada and Siberia. A friend gave us a few to taste last summer, and I like the flavor.

According to the book, honeyberry is the first fruit to ripen here, a couple of weeks before strawberries. But it is a couple of weeks after they turn blue and look ripe that they actually lose their astringency and turn sweet. This is the kind of information that most books or plant tags don’t have, and only comes from someone who grows and knows the plant. Allyson said she discovered that lots of berries are hidden under the leaves. The fruit gets better every year, apparently.

Another fruit in the book is pawpaw, a somewhat tropical-flavored tree fruit (banana crossed with mango flavor?). As the book explains, you need two different trees (not clones) to get pollination and fruit. I am growing it, but started out with only clones, so I have not gotten fruit yet.

Of the nuts, they recommend hazelnuts. These produce nuts as much younger plants than things like black walnut or pecans, which are tall trees that require years to produce nuts. You need to have two or more hazelnuts as they are not self-fertile. Scott pointed out that the native species has smaller nuts than some of the named varieties.

Pecans are discussed in the book. The biggest difficulty is not growing the tree, but having a growing season long enough for the nuts to ripen. They need 150 to 180 days. But as the climate changes, perhaps this will not be a problem in 25 years. They note that you must have two compatible grafted varieties to get nuts, as the trees are not self-fertile. These are big, handsome trees and should be grown in full sun and rich soil if possible.

A tree that is not native but produces a lot of food for deer is the Korean stone pine. The pine nuts we use for pesto are most often from these trees grown in Asia. The cones open up in winter and drop their seeds, which are rich in oil and high in calories. Scott said in Siberia tigers indirectly depend on the stone pine because they feed the deer and boar the tigers need to survive.

The Hortus Arboretum and Garden is open from Mother’s Day in May until the end of October, Friday to Sunday. Admission is by donation. Because of Covid, they have been scheduling visitors online during the season at their website,

This book is terrifically useful to anyone interested in growing fruit and nuts. I should note that it does not cover apples, plums and peaches because those fruits are well-covered by other writers, and, as they say, much prone to pests and diseases. The plants discussed are generally easy to grow and trouble-free. Just what we all want!

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

Embrace the muck

The best time is the mud time

By Dan Szczesny

There is no better time to hike with kids in New Hampshire than during mud season.

That’s right, you heard me.

I’m not talking about the ecologically sensitive places among alpine flowers starting to thaw. I wouldn’t suggest that you let your kids go bounding off trail into the deep, wet, tick-infested leaves. But there is a proper way to play outside during this most New Hampshire of seasons. And be warned — it does involve getting dirty. But that’s the point.

On this clear, cool early spring day, there is no greater testament to the allure of mud season hiking than the rolling hills and oh so muddy beaches of Kingston State Park. Somehow, we forgot my daughter’s boots, but no matter, the mud would find a way to her feet regardless of how we protected them. Little Bean charges headlong across the wide lawn, through the old-school metal playground and right up to the cold, clear water of Great Pond. For a moment it looks like she’s going straight into the water, but she screeches to a halt a half foot from the water and drops to her knees.

In the mud.

She doesn’t wait for permission to get dirty on trips such as this anymore because she understands that getting dirty is the whole point. In my day pack I have a packet of wet wipes, a towel and an extra pair of socks for both of us. My wife and I have raised our daughter to accept the natural world not as a brief interlude or vacation, not as something that is special and happens occasionally, but rather as a part of everyday living. And life can be messy. Therefore, nature is messy — and never so messy than during mud season.

“Daddy, look,” my daughter is calling. “What are these things?”

All along the muddy shore are thousands of tiny squiggling sand shrimp. The warmer weather and perfect shoreline conditions must have contributed to a recent spat of hatchlings and they are everywhere. She decides they need a hotel. No, better than a hotel, they need a shrimp resort.

Using a series of shells, small rocks, and even a small loon feather, she constructs a sand and mud mound resort, digging a channel from the hotel to the pond, scooping out a pool area and even a small stone shed where the shrimpys, as she calls them, can rest out of the sun. Then she goes and gets them, plucking them up and plopping them in their new resort.

It’s a long project. She doesn’t need my help. She cares not at all about the mud. I’ve seen that look in her eye and figure it’s going to be a long afternoon, so I find a nearby park bench, also filthy and covered in dog paw prints, spread out our picnic and lean back to watch her.

I think of naturalist and journalist Richard Louv, who wrote, “Passion is lifted from the earth itself by the muddy hands of the young.” He may not have had a luxury hotel for sand shrimp in mind when he wrote that, but either way, my daughter’s passion is on display.

Kingston Park is beautiful this day, in mid-March, mild with an occasional sharp wind that cuts across the lagoon to remind us that winter hasn’t quite let go yet. There are a few dog walkers, but this is one of those New Hampshire places that, during off-season, becomes magical — a place where only locals and those willing to get filthy would dare to go.

Meantime, my daughter requests that I be present for the opening of her hotel, so I lumber down to the squishy shore and hand her a tin cup of hot chocolate, the steam rising up in front of her smiling face.

“Daddy, we should go check out that staircase,” she says. “And then let’s find some rocks.”

The days grow longer now, and soon swarms of both bugs and tourists will descend on small parks like this all across the state. But today, the mud is ours.

If You Go

Don’t be afraid of the mud

For more information on official park openings and costs, navigate over to for a park list scroll-down menu. A couple other off the beaten path state parks you’ll likely have to yourself until the official season begins include Ahern State Park in Laconia and Northwood Meadows State Park in Northwood.

Kingston State Park

124 Main St., Kingston: Located in southeastern New Hampshire, Kingston State Park is a 44-acre park located on Kingston Pond/Great Pond. During the regular season, usually starting mid-May, the park offers boat rentals, a park store (Friday through Sunday only), a small walk around the pond and a clean beach for swimming and picnicking. But go now and you’ll have the place nearly to yourself.

Parking and Trail Access

The park entrance sits right in the center of Kingston, directly along Main Street and across the wide, long, central lawn. In off season you’ll have to just park on the side of the street and walk in. There is a small parking lot near the entrance but that’s just for Kingston residents. The walk to the ponds can be reached along a short well-groomed trail or by taking the empty road. Either way, it’s only about 1/4 mile.

Featured photo: Photo courtesy of Dan Szczesny.

The Art Roundup 22/04/07

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

Surreal paintings with a message: A new special exhibition featuring the work of Arghavan Khosravi opens at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester) on Thursday, April 14. The artist’s surrealist paintings explore themes such as exile, freedom and empowerment; center on female protagonists; and allude to human rights issues, particularly those affecting women and immigrants. The exhibition will remain on display through Monday, Sept. 5. 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 age 12 and under 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

Nature-inspired art: See Two Villages Art Society’s exhibition “Reawakening,on view at the Bates Building (846 Main St., Contoocook), before it’s gone on Saturday, April 9. It features work by artist members of the New Hampshire chapter of the Women’s Caucus for the Arts. “As sunshine and warmth return to the earth in spring, so we reawaken to our lives,” WCA/NH exhibitions committee chair Linda Greenwood said in a press release. “The theme not only illustrates our reawakening of spring, but it also represents an illustration of memories that remind us again of passions lying deep.” Regular gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 413-210-4372.

Catch the New Hampshire Art Association’s exhibition “Stitched Together – Elements of Nature from Textile Fragments, featuring the work of Cheryl Miller, at the Greater Concord

Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (49 S. Main St., Concord) now through April 15. Miller, a textile artist, creates fabric collages using hand dyed cottons, batik and machine-stitched vintage fabrics. The exhibit includes a series of her textile collages inspired by the colors in nature. “The compositions are mostly abstract but also incorporate some elements of landscape, trees or leaves,” she said in a press release. “The idea of these pieces is to evoke a mood through the use of color and focus on small details in nature.” Gallery hours at the Chamber are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All works are for sale. Visit or call 431-4230.

Children interpret classical music: The New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra presents its annual “Drawn to the Music” concert on Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. at the Seifert Performing Arts Center at Salem High School (44 Geremonty Drive, Salem). The program will include music from Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird, as well as “Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky and “Mother Goose” by Maurice Ravel. The concert is a collaborative arts project for which elementary school students from across New Hampshire submitted their original artwork inspired by the featured music. According to a press release from the orchestra, more than 650 visual art pieces will be projected above the orchestra throughout the two performances “so audience members can experience the performance through each student’s creative vision.” The concert on Saturday will feature artwork by students from the Nashua area, and the concert on Sunday will feature artwork by students from Salem, Goffstown, Hooksett, Atkinson, Plaistow, Merrimack, Newington, Portsmouth, Farmington and Conway. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for seniors age 60 and up, $8 for students age 21 and under and $5 for Salem School District students and must be purchased online in advance. A digital livestream option is also available for the Sunday concert for $15. Visit



• “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 display now through April 9. Regular gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit or call 413-210-4372 for more information.

• “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 display now through April 15. Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center. Regular 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 for more information.

• “APPEAL OF THE REAL: 19TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD” exhibition features photographs taken throughout the Mediterranean to record the ruins of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display now through June 12. 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 age 12 and under 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 for more information.

• “WARHOL SCREEN TESTS” In the mid-1960s, American multimedia artist Andy Warhol had shot more than 400 short, silent, black-and-white films of his friends at his studio in New York City. Warhol referred to the films, which were unscripted and played in slow motion, as “film portraits” or “stillies.” The exhibition will feature 20 of those films, provided by the Andy Warhol Museum, in loops across four large-scale projections. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display from 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 age 12 and under 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 for more information.

• “ARGHAVAN KHOSRAVI” Artist’s surrealist paintings explore themes of exile, freedom and empowerment; center female protagonists; and allude to human rights issues, particularly those affecting women and immigrants. The Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St., Manchester). On display from April 14 through Sept. 5. 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 age 12 and under 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 for more information.

• “ECHOES: ABSTRACT PAINTING TO MODERN QUILTING” exhibition features abstract paintings inspired by the bold colors, asymmetry, improvisational layout, alternate grid work and negative space in composition of modern quilting. Two Villages Art Society (46 Main St., Contoocook). On display from April 22 through May 14. Visit or call 413-210-4372 for more information.

NATURE AT NIGHT: PAINTINGS BY OWEN KRZYZANIAK GEARY” Two Villages Art Society (46 Main St., Contoocook). On display from May 27 through June 18. Visit or call 413-210-4372 for more information.

ART ON MAIN The City of Concord and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce present a year-round outdoor public art exhibition in Concord’s downtown featuring works by professional sculptors. All sculptures will be for sale. Visit, call 224-2508 or email for more information.

Special events

UPCYCLED FASHION SHOW Presented by Makers Mill and the Governor Wentworth Arts Council. Designers of all ages are invited to create fashion pieces composed of at least 75 percent recycled, reused or repurposed materials. Sat., April 23, from 7 to 9 p.m. Makers Mill (23 Bay St., Wolfeboro). Registration for designers is free and open now through the end of March or until participation is full. Visit or call 569-1500 for more information.

Workshops and classes

• “HANDS-ON 3D PRINTING FOR BEGINNERS” A one-day crash course covering the basics of 3D printing. Making Matters NH (88 Village St., Penacook). Sat., April 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $15 for Making Matters members and $50 for nonmembers. Call 565-5443 or visit for more information.

• “INTRO TO 3D PRINTING” Port City Makerspace (68 Morning St., Portsmouth). Wed., April 13 and June 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is $25 for members of the makerspace and $45 for nonmembers. Call 373-1002 or visit for more information.



STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS Monthly workshop series hosted by True Tales Live storytelling showcase. First Tuesday (except November), from 7 to 8:30 p.m., virtual, via Zoom. Registration is required. Visit


THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY The Anselmian Abbey Players present. Dana Center’s Koonz Theatre at Saint Anselm College (100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester). Sat., April 9, at 7:30 p.m., and Sun., April 10, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $8 for students. Seats are reserved in advance online. Visit or call 641-7000.

LOVE, SEX, AND THE IRS The Majestic Theatre presents. Majestic Studio Theatre (880 Page St., Manchester). Fri., April 9, and Sat., April 10, at 7 p.m., and Sun., April 11, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Visit or call 669-7649.

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 for more information.


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, at 2 p.m., and Sun., April 10, at 2 p.m. Visit or call 647-6476 for more information.

Multicultural watercolors

Nashua exhibition represents faces from around the globe

Kavitha Chandrasekaran has painted every single day since she moved to Nashua three years ago, and now she’s sharing the products of that devotion in a solo exhibition at the Nashua Public Library.

“This is my first [show],” Chandrasekaran said. “I can’t believe I’ve created so many paintings.”

“Faces in Watercolors,” on display through April 30, features portraits of people from Africa, Vietnam, Thailand and India; the latter is Chandrasekaran’s homeland. She moved to the U.S. in 2013, first to Atlanta, then New York, finally landing in Nashua due to her husband’s job change.

Chandrasekaran said it was boredom that prompted her to pick up a paintbrush.

“When I came to Nashua my kids were very small, so I couldn’t get a full-time job,” said Chandrasekaran, who has a master’s in human physiology. “But when they napped I had some time.”

painting of three young boys, smiling
“Those Eyes.” Watercolor by Kavitha Chandrasekaran.

It was the first time Chandrasekaran had tried painting; previously the only art she’d done was drawing back in her early school days. She started by teaching herself how to paint with acrylics.

“[Then] I started exploring watercolor [and spent] hours scrolling on Instagram — Instagram made me try watercolor,” she laughed.

Chandrasekaran said she loves the way you can’t predict exactly how the watercolor effect is going to look when she’s working on the backgrounds for her portraits, but there’s a more practical reason why she’s stuck with watercolors.

“I don’t need lots of supplies, so when my kids wake up I can just pack up and put things away,” she laughed.

People’s faces resonate with Chandrasekaran in a way that landscape painting hasn’t; she’s tried the latter, but she said that after 10 or 15 paintings, she still didn’t like how they turned out.

Her desire to create a custom calendar with images of her children drew her into portraiture. She didn’t know how to draw figures, so she studied and taught herself the basics, then started to learn how to tell a story through the faces she paints.

“The eyes are very important to me because that is the most expressive part of a face,” she said.

For this exhibition, some of the portraits are based on photos she found on Instagram and was given permission to paint. Some she picks as a reference to start with and changes a little bit so they have their own unique look. The photos of Indigenous people in particular caught her eye.

“These photos were very expressive, and I got very attracted to their jewelry and [accessories],” Chandrasekaran said.

During this time when she hasn’t been able to travel to India, or anywhere really, for a couple of years, Chandrasekaran said immersing herself in the faces of people from around the globe has been a comfort. She is hoping, though, that she will be able to introduce her kids, who are 6 and 4, to India this summer. But for now, she’s embracing the cultures of Nashua.

“This is a foreign land to me, but I made it my home,” she said.

Chandrasekaran plans to keep painting and wants to try to submit some of her work to more galleries and become more familiar with the local art scene.

“The painting is what now keeps me going every day,” she said. “This is something that I enjoy and want to [continue to] explore.”

“Faces in Watercolors”
Where: The gallery at Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St.
When: Now through April 30 any time the library is open
Meet the artist: There will be an artist’s reception on Thursday, April 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Featured photo: “Akha.” Watercolor by Kavitha Chandrasekaran. Courtesy photo.

Come together with the Ukulele

A conversation with Jake Shimabukuro and how you can join NH’s ukulele scene

Ukulele together

Jake Shimabukuro’s new album is all about collaboration

In 2006, Jake Shimabukuro played the ukulele heard ’round the world. A clip he recorded for the New York City public access program Midnight Ukulele Disco, in which he played “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” was one of the first viral video successes on YouTube, amassing more than 15 million views. Since then he’s become a global ambassador for the four-stringed instrument. In addition to releasing several albums and touring the world, he’s performed a concerto for ukulele and orchestra, scored the Japanese remake of the indie film Sideways, given a TED talk, and spearheaded a ukuleles-in-the-classroom effort in his home of Hawaii.

Jake Shimabukuro and Friends, the ukulele maestro’s most recent album, couldn’t come at a better time. This duets album features a diverse array of musicians — among them Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Michael McDonald and Jimmy Buffett — in a celebration of the ways a good song can bring different people together.

Ahead of an appearance at Tupelo Music Hall on Thursday, April 14, Shimabukuro discussed the tour and the record in an interview via Zoom in late March.

Your latest album is a series of duets and collaborations. How did that come together and how did you pick which songs to play with which artists?

Oh, wow. Wow. So, that was a project that started about four years ago. It was a conversation I had with my manager. And he was like, ‘You should do a duets record.’ And I was thinking, wow. He started naming some artists and I was like, oh man, that would be awesome. But in the back of my head, I was thinking, oh, this is never going to happen, right? How are we going to get all these people together?

We had mentioned the project to Roy Benson of Asleep at the Wheel and he got very excited and he agreed to help me co-produce the record. The first thing he said to me was, ‘Man, we got to get you and Willie Nelson together.’ And I said, ‘Really?’ He picked up the phone, called Willie and told him all about the project and Willie was down with it. And two months later we were in the studio recording ‘Stardust.’ I mean, it was unbelievable. And so after that, it just gave the project all this momentum.

A couple of the songs on here are standards, like Willie Nelson’s version of ‘Stardust.’ What is it like to play those songs? And how did playing those songs change the way you listen to them?

Man, I tell you, when Willie Nelson agreed to do … .Well, when he said he’ll do ‘Stardust,’ I mean, my jaw hit the floor because I was like, I am going to have the opportunity to not just play, but record ‘Stardust’ with Willie Nelson, right? And I got to tell you, it was a funny story because the night before we went into the studio, Ray took me to go see Willie. And it was my first time meeting him in person. I’d seen him, we played festivals together and I watched his show and kind of seen him from afar. But I remember we got to his house and I was so nervous and he came over. He came over and Ray introduced us and I got to shake his hand and I had my ukulele in my case, on my back. And he looked at me and said, ‘Hey, so we’re going to do ‘Stardust,’ right?’ And I said, ‘Oh yeah, thank you so much. I’m so honored that you’re doing this. I’m looking forward to it. Thank you. Thank you.’ And then he looked at me, he goes, ‘Oh, OK. Yeah. Well, maybe we should run through it.’

And I was like, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. No, we can definitely do that.’ And then there was this awkward pause and then I realized, oh, he means right now. … And I was like, OK. But see, I wasn’t prepared for that because I thought he was going to play guitar on it. I didn’t realize he was just going to sing. I immediately realized, oh, OK. I’m just playing and he’s singing. So I was so nervous, but we played through it and then he looked at me and he said, ‘All right. Yeah. Sounds good. Looking forward to tomorrow.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, thank you so much.’ And then I left with Ray and I was just like, I told Ray, ‘Oh my gosh, I almost passed out.’ Talk about being put on the spot. And man, he’s such a nice individual when you’re around him. He just has such a gentle presence and vibe so I loved it.

Did you go to your collaborators or did they come to you?

Well, Jimmy Buffett introduced me to probably half the people on the record, right? So, I was very fortunate to know most of them. There were a few people I hadn’t worked with before, like Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson. Also, Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Most of the people on the record I had worked with before, so it was a little easier to ask and reach out. Jon Anderson, that was another dream come true because I was a huge Yes fan.

And Jon Anderson’s iconic voice. Oh man. And then when he agreed to sing ‘A Day In The Life,’ it just blew me out of my seat. I couldn’t believe he was going to sing that. And then he kind of tricked me. He said, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll sing you a demo of how I like to sing it.’ And he sent me this video and he is actually singing it. But he’s also strumming a ukulele.

And I was like, I’m sorry. I called him and I was like, ‘Jon, I didn’t know you played the ukulele.’ He goes, ‘Oh, I love the ukulele.’ And it was such a moment. So I told him, ‘You have to play ukulele on the record,’ but he didn’t want to play. ‘No, no, no, you play the ukulele. I’ll just sing.’ But man, he is just phenomenal. He did a lot of, some of that percussion work and stuff on there as well and added all his layers of vocals and, oh, it’s just phenomenal.

What is it like to tour behind a solo album that’s so rooted in collaboration?

I always make a joke when I talk about the record and I introduce some of the artists that are on it. And I always say, ‘Unfortunately they all couldn’t be here tonight.’ I say, ‘We’re going to do the songs anyway.’ So we have been playing a lot of the songs from the record, obviously the instrumentals. But songs like ‘Something’ and we were doing ‘A Place In The Sun.’

When I listened to this album, one of the things that struck me was that it’s a real celebration of community and the way music can be a common denominator for a lot of different people. How does it feel to be touring and promoting this as some of the Covid restrictions are lifting and people are coming out to see live music?

I’m so grateful to be performing in front of a live audience again. I mean, it just feels so good. I mean the first couple shows when we first went back out a couple months ago, I mean, after the first song, I cried. I unexpectedly just was so…. It was so overwhelming that I actually started tearing. And I’ve noticed that in a lot of these shows, you can see people they’re just [moved]. Because for a lot of the venues that we’ve been playing at recently, we’ve been kind of their first show back. Well, back in November and December when we were touring and we were their first show back. So, I mean, you could see people just in tears, just crying, sobbing. And you know everyone has had their own unique challenges during this time. It just shows how just the healing power of music and the power of people coming together, being in the moment and just letting the music touch you, and it’s so powerful.

What can New Hampshire audiences expect from your upcoming show at Tupelo?

So I’m bringing a dear friend with me. His name is Jackson Waldhoff. He’s been touring with me for the last couple years. He’s from Hawaii as well. And just a very, I mean, honest musician. I just love his playing. Everything he plays is so pure. He’s so melodic and it just really complements the ukulele and the parts I play. We’re going to be doing a lot of bass and ukulele duets and he’s just so much fun to watch and I just love playing with him. Every once in a while you come across musicians that you play with and you just almost feel like you know where they’re going to go, what note they’re going to, how they’re going to play, and you just can read them dynamically. And I think that’s what we’re able to provide for each other and it’s really awesome, so I’m excited.

Jake Shimabukuro
When: Thursday, April 14, 8 p.m.
Where: Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry)
Tickets: $30 to $50
More info:

You can ukulele

Ukulele enthusiasts keep the music going

Talking about his previous appearance in the Granite State, Jake Shimabukuro shouted out the ukulele players of southern New Hampshire.

“The last time I was there, they came and they brought their ukuleles,” he recalled. “It’s so wonderful to see that. All these communities of ukulele players, just all over the world. It’s crazy.”

The feeling is mutual. “No one can shred a ukulele like Jake!” June Pinkham said in a recent email interview. As one of the co-organizers for the Southern New Hampshire Ukulele Group, she would know from ukulele shredding. Over the past decade, SNHUG has organized sing-and-strum get-togethers for ukulele enthusiasts in the Seacoast area, with bigger and more ambitious plans on the horizon.

Former Granite State resident Dan Mathis first organized SNHUG on Meetup in December 2011, appointing Pinkham as a co-organizer. Their earliest meetings were attended by five members.

“I had inherited a Martin ukulele from my father-in-law and wanted to learn to play it in his honor,” Pinkham wrote. “Little did I know where that would lead!”

The group has about 600 followers on their Meetup group, and avid members have met twice a month at the Seabrook Public.

“We have many talented members in our group!” Pinkham wrote. She describes their membership as “people from all walks of life. People like me, with no musical background, to people who are very well accustomed to playing on stage professionally and just want to have some fun.”

SNHUG’s mission includes a community service component, which involves performances and fundraising. The group frequently looks for “a way to ‘do a little good’ … bringing smiles to nursing homes, community events, farmers markets — wherever there was a need.” They have also raised money for the nonprofit Ukulele Kids Club, which brings musical instruments to children in hospitals as a form of music therapy.

“We organized the Battle of the Ukulele Bands, which took place in 2019 at The Music Hall in Portsmouth,” a “seriously complex event” that raised $23,000 for the UKC. “To date, we have raised almost $90,000 for charity — all the while having a blast!”

Check out a ukulele (literally)
You can get a feel for a ukulele by checking one out of some area libraries. Ukuleles are available at the Hooksett Public Library (31 Mt. St. Mary’s Way in Hooksett;, 485-6092) and from the Merrimack Public Library (470 DW Highway in Merrimack;, 424-5021). Call for details.

Like many ukulele groups, SNHUG had to shift their in-person gatherings to Zoom when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit. As the temperatures rose, the organizers found ways for the group to get together. “Last year we met as soon as the weather warmed up in the spring all the way through November — outside at the park, frozen fingers and all.” They were warmly greeted by members of the community and grew their community through outdoor performances at nursing homes and farmers markets. Just as ukulele sales grew in 2020, so did SNHUG’s community: “We didn’t see a change in our membership during the lockdown. In fact, I think our membership went up!”

SNHUG can help ukulele novices learn the instrument. For more information on SNHUG’s gatherings and lessons, visit And keep an eye out for their annual SNHUGfest in Dover on Sept. 24.

Learn to play
Here are a few places where you can go to learn to play a ukulele.

• Let’s Play Music (2626 Brown Ave., Unit A2, Manchester, 218-3089; 145 Hampstead Road, 1st floor, Suite 26, Derry, 425-7575; offers children’s and adults beginner to advanced ukulele lessons in person and on Zoom.
• NH Tunes (250 Commercial St., Suite 201, Manchester; 660-2208, offers ukulele lessons for beginners to advanced players in person and on Zoom.
• North Main Music (28 Charron Ave., Suite 1, Nashua; 505-4282, offers in-person and online ukulele lessons for children and adults.
• The Real School of Music (10 A St., Derry; 260-6801, offers beginner to advanced ukulele lessons for children and adults in person and on Zoom.
• Steve’s House of Ukulele (123 Main St., Concord;, 555-9876) Steve’s House offers Zoom and in-person lessons for beginners as well as more experienced players. Steve’s House also offers instrument rentals and sales.
• Ted Herbert Music (880 Page St, Manchester; 669-7469, John Chouinard teaches ukulele lessons in person and over Zoom for beginners through advanced players. He also leads the ukulele ensemble Ukuladies.

Featured photo: Jake Shimabukuro. Photo by Sienna Morales.

This Week 22/04/07

Big Events April 7, 2022 and beyond

Thursday, April 7

Bob Marley, recently voted Best of the Best in the Best Local (-ish) Comedian category of Hippo’s Best of 2022 readers’ poll, will kick off a run of performances at the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St. in Manchester;, 668-5588) starting today with a show at 7:30 p.m. Marley will also perform Friday, April 8, at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 9, at 6 and 8 p.m. Tickets cost $39.50.

Find out who and what else were awarded the “best” label by readers in last week’s issue (March 31). See to find the e-edition.

Thursday, April 7

The Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St. in Concord; has several local favorites on the calendar for this weekend. Tonight, catch Béla Fleck with his album My Bluegrass Heart at 7:30 p.m.; tickets cost $39 to $69, plus fees.

Tomorrow, Friday, April 8, catch Colin Hay (known for his work as lead vocalist of Men at Work and as a solo artist) at 8 p.m. (Tickets cost $43 through $63, plus fees.)

On the Bank of NH Stage (16 S. Main St. in Concord), see Dueling Pianos on Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m. (tickets cost $24 plus fees) and Adam Ezra Group on Saturday, April 9, at 8 p.m. (tickets cost $28 and $38, plus fees).

Find more concerts this weekend in our concert listings on page 42.

Friday, April 8

Catch Love, Sex and the IRS, a farce described as “like a cross between I Love Lucy and Some Like it Hot,” this weekend presented by the Majestic Studio Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester; The show runs tonight and Saturday, April 9, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 10, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. Find more theatrical productions this week and into the future in the Arts section, which starts on page 10.

Friday, April 8

It’s another Tupelo Night of Comedy tonight at 8 p.m. at the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; Tickets cost $22 and the lineup includes Brad Mastrangelo, Francis Birch and Matt McArthur. Find more funny in our Comedy This Week listings on page 36.

Saturday, April 9

Millyard Brewery (125 E. Otterson St. in Nashua;, 722-0104) will celebrate its 6th anniversary today from noon to 7 p.m. with 12 beers on tap, music, a food truck and games, according to a press release. Catch Dan Carter performing from 1 to 6 p.m. and Charlie Chronopoulos from 4 to 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 9

Today is the monthly free admission Saturday at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; for all New Hampshire residents from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum will also host a Creative Studio event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., when participants of this family-friendly event can take inspiration from the new exhibition “Warhol Screen Test” to paint some pop art style works, according to the website.

The museum kicks off Membership Appreciation Week on Sunday, April 10, when members can receive special perks and discounts and get a preview tour of the Arghavan Khosravi exhibit that will open Thursday, April 14.

Wednesday, April 13

Discuss and watch the silent films of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Mack Sennett at a presentation by the Walker Lecture Series tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St. in Concord; The event is free.

Save the Date! Saturday, May 7
The Monster Jam comes to the SNHU Arena (555 Elm St. in Manchester;, 644-5000) for shows on Saturday, May 7, at 1 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 8, at 1 p.m. Tickets cost $18 through $68.

Featured photo. Comedian Bob Marley. Courtesy photo.

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