An artistic present

Give the experience of a live performance this year

By Katelyn Sahagian

Theaters, orchestras and cinemas are offering gift cards and season memberships for live performances.

“I think when you come to a show the overall experience is elevated,” said Shannon Sullivan, the development director at the Palace and Rex Theatres in Manchester. “It’s a chance to get out and come be part of the community. We love getting people over here to the Palace and the Rex to experience it firsthand.”

Sullivan said that the Palace is in the swing of its 2022-2023 season now, with showings of A Christmas Carol throughout December, to be followed by the Piano Men tribute show in January and Broadway classic Rent coming later in the year.

The Rex will continue having live music performances and comedy shows every Friday evening, as well as tribute bands and other entertainment, like magicians and silent films. Both venues will have local and national musicians playing throughout the year.

Sullivan recommended that people purchase gift certificates or memberships to the theater. She added that tickets could be bought as presents, but they wouldn’t be exchangeable for other days due to all ticket sales being final at checkout. Memberships for the Palace and Rex start at $100 and gift cards could be for any price.

According to Sullivan, the base level of membership includes “two tickets, access to private members club at the palace … various discounts … acknowledgement in the playbill, and members are invited to receptions and dress rehearsals as a perk.”

At Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, owner Scott Hayward said that it’s incredibly important to him to give people a fantastic experience. Growing up, Hayward said, his favorite presents were gift cards to movie theaters.

“I love getting experience for that,” Hayward said. “You want to do something and now you can without paying for it.”

The Tupelo has season memberships for $250 and also offers gift cards people can purchase. As at the Palace and the Rex, ticket sales are final, and Hayward advises against purchasing tickets over the gift cards. He said the average price for one ticket at Tupelo is $42.

There’s a whole series of comedians, musicians and other performers coming up at Tupelo, Hayward said. He is most excited about Crash Test Dummies, an alternative and folk rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba. They’ll be playing on Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. The ticket price wasn’t listed on the website at the time of printing.

When it comes to a choice with gifting, Hayward said that there’s nothing like live entertainment.

“You can give a physical gift but when you give them tickets or venue gift cards it’s giving an experience,” Hayward said. “You get to give them a full night out.”

Here are some organizations in the Granite State that are offering gift certificates or memberships:

Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord,, 225-1111) Memberships are available starting at $120 and include exclusive access to the best seats in the house at the Chubb Theatre, members-only ticket insurance exchange policy, a 24-hour presale window, concession quick-lane pass, access to Listener Lab programming club, and free access to online content.

Community Players of Concord (435 Josiah Bartlett Road, Concord,, 344-4747) Season tickets are still available at the time of printing, costing $16 per ticket. Order by calling or by emailing

Chunky’s (707 Huse Road, Manchester, 206-3888; 151 Coliseum Ave., Nashua, 880-8055; 150 Bridge St., Pelham, 635-7499; The movie theater offers physical and printable gift cards ranging from $10 to $100 and an anytime movie pass for $8. There are also gift boxes for $22 that include a $10 gift card, one prepaid admission and one prepaid popcorn coupon. Chunky’s also offers gift baskets for one, two or a family of four priced at $25.50, $43 and $84 respectively.

Flying Monkey (39 S. Main St., Plymouth,, 536-255) In addition to gift cards starting at $25, Flying Monkey also offers a “Prime-Mate” membership package for $250 that includes 48-hour advance notice on new shows, a $100 gift card, a copy of the “Rockin’ the Flying Monkey” photo book, merchandise, a pair of tickets to the annual anniversary bash, and special membership offers and discounts.

Hatbox Theatre (270 Loudon Road, Concord,, 715-2315) The theater has tickets for sale for the 2022-2023 season; tickets for adults cost $22 to $25 while tickets for students, seniors and members cost $19 to $22. Memberships are still available, and prices start at $40 a year.

Nashua Chamber Orchestra (505 Amherst St., Nashua,, 978-226-8575) Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors ages 65 and older, military and college students, free for students under 18. A season pass costs $50 for adults, $35 for seniors, military and college students.

O’neil Cinemas (24 Calef Hwy., Epping,, 679-3529) The movie theater offers gift cards from $5 to $100. Gift cards can be purchased online or in the cinema.

Palace and Rex Theatres (80 Hanover St. in Manchester for the Palace Theatre and its box office,, 668-5588) Memberships start at $100. Gift certificate pricing starts at $25.

Red River Theatres (11 S. Main St., Concord,, 224.4600) Gift cards can be purchased online or at the theater for $10 or more. The theater also has package deals that include two movie passes for Red River Theatres and a $25 gift card to a participating restaurant, and also a year-long membership that starts at $65.

Symphony New Hampshire (6 Church St., Nashua,, 595-9156) Memberships are not currently available at the time of printing, according to the website. Ticket prices start at $20 per show.

Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry,, 437-5100) Memberships start at $250 and gift cards can be purchased for any amount.

Featured photo: Margaret Kasper of Mountain Girl Clothing, based in Milford. Courtesy photo.

This Week 22/12/08

Big Events December 8, 2022 and beyond

Friday, Dec. 9

Catch SNHU Penmen basketball this weekend. The women’s team takes on Post University tonight at 5:30 p.m. The men take on Post tomorrow at 2 p.m. Both games take place at Stan Spirou Field House at Southern New Hampshire University (2500 River Road in Manchester) and admission is free. See

Friday, Dec. 9

Jimmy Cash & Friends will bring the laughs to the Rex Theatre (23 Amherst St. in Manchester; tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 each. Find more comedy shows this weekend in the Comedy This Week listings on page 36.

Friday, Dec. 9

Catch musician Caylin Costello at Millyard Brewery (25 E. Otterson in Nashua) tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Find more live music at area restaurants, breweries and other locales in the Music This Week listing, which starts on page 38.

Saturday, Dec. 10

It’s a weekend of cookie tours! The Currier & Ives Cookie Tour will return for its 17th year today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than a dozen businesses in and around the Monadnock region participate, providing visitors with homemade treats, refreshments and recipes to take with them. Tickets cost $20 per person (cash only) and are available now at The Inn at East Hill Farm (460 Monadnock St., Troy), New England Everyday Goods (16 Colls Farm Road, Jaffrey) and the Woodbound Inn (247 Woodbound Road, Rindge). Visit Up north, the Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie and Candy Tour returns for its 25th year today and tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 11, with self-guided tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Several inns in various White Mountain region towns provide cookies and candy to taste, as well as holiday recipe and decorating tips. Those not wishing to reserve an overnight package at an inn can purchase tickets for $35 per person by visiting See

Saturday, Dec. 10

Take a break with some art. Today is free admission second Saturday at the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester;; admission is free to New Hampshire residents with ID. Come back tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 11, for “ARTalk with JooYoung Choi, whose works are a part of “State of Art 2020: Locate” the exhibit on display now through February. The talk starts at 2 p.m. and admission costs $15 (which includes admission to the museum).

Saturday, Dec. 10

The Dave Matthews Tribute Band will bring its Dave Matthews experience to the Tupelo Music Hall (10 A St. in Derry; tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $35. Find more ticketed concerts in the listings on page 42.

Sunday, Dec. 11

The Capital Jazz Orchestra will present its Holiday Pops show today at 4 p.m. (doors open at 3 p.m.) at the Capitol Center for the Arts’ Chubb Theatre (44 S. Main St. in Concord; Tickets start at $27.50 plus fees. For more holiday concerts and performances, check out the Arts section, which starts on page 12.

Save the Date! Saturday, Dec. 31
St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral (650 Hanover St. in Manchester; 622-9113) will host a New Year’s Eve Dance, with doors opening at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $60 per person (children 12 and under get in free). The evening will feature music by the Kosta Taslis Band, Champagne, dinner, dancing and a cash bar, according to a press release.

Featured photo. Courtesy photo.

Quality of Life 22/12/08

Golden Girls

The Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains honored dozens of Girl Scouts at the Young Women of Distinction ceremonies in Bedford on Nov. 16. According to a press release, the Gold Award was presented to Girl Scouts in grades 9 through 12 who have spent at least 80 hours in service to their communities, demonstrating leadership in developing solutions to challenges and creating lasting positive changes. Additionally, Girl Scout Cadettes in grades 6 through 8 who have given at least 50 hours of service were recognized with the Silver Award, and Girl Scout Juniors in grades 4 and 5 who have given at least 20 hours in service received the Bronze Award. “Today’s celebration is a testament to the dedication and hard work necessary to accomplish the highest achievements in Girl Scouting,” Patricia K. Mellor, CEO of the council, said in the release.

QOL score: +1

Comment:Gold Award recipients participated in a variety of initiatives, including a geocaching project to promote mental health and wellness; providing home-cooked meals to local food pantries; publishing a collection of interviews with inspiring women; and amending state legislation to facilitate environmentally conscious burials without the need for embalming.

New books!

Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School in Nashua and the Nashua Public Library unveiled dozens of new books courtesy of the Children’s Literacy Foundation during Library Day on Tuesday, Nov. 29. According to a press release, the school received CLiF’s “Year of the Book” grant, which provided the school’s library and Nashua Public Library with $1,000 each to purchase new books for their collections. The grant also funds author visits and special programs throughout the school year, plus 10 free books for each student. “Today’s Library Event is a chance for our students to see 55 to 60 exciting new books that we have been able to purchase for our library and also have a chance to see the Nashua Public Library’s new books and to learn more about NPL’s many programs for the children of Nashua,” school principal Cherrie Fulton said according to the release.

QOL score: +1

Comment: CLiF, a nonprofit based in Vermont, has been around since 1998, working to inspire a love of reading and writing among children in low-income, at-risk and rural environments.

Cough, cough, sneeze

Your suspicions based on sick coworkers, kids home from school and that cough you can’t shake are correct: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that influenza cases in New Hampshire are the highest they’ve been in a decade for this time of year, according to a WMUR report from Dec. 5. Flu cases dropped significantly in the 2020-2021 season as a byproduct of Covid mitigation measures. The number of cases increased in the 2021-2022 season, but was still significantly lower than in a typical season pre-Covid. Now, the health care system contends with an immune-sensitive population that is more susceptible to the flu than in years past, in addition to a post-Thanksgiving spike in Covid cases and cases of respiratory syncytial virus, which have been nationally on the rise.

QOL score: -2

Comment: Health officials urge people to stay up to date on their Covid and influenza vaccinations. No vaccine is available for the prevention of RSV.

QOL score: 87

Net change: 0

QOL this week: 87

What’s affecting your Quality of Life here in New Hampshire? Let us know at

Dynasty is over

I never listen to talk radio or even read the papers much after a Patriots loss. Especially a bad one like last Thursday to Buffalo. That’s because for the most part all you get is blame, finger-pointing and vitriolrather than insight and perspective on what happened.

Not that there weren’t things that were bad, or even exasperating, like wasted timeouts and the usual for 2022 high number of penalties at the worst time.

Most watchers these days are in denial, judging the Patriots with expectations based on what they have been for the last 20 years, rather than a sober evaluation of what they are now, an ordinary team with a lot of holes that hasn’t been as good as their former patsy Buffalo for three years now.

Given how long their former relationship lasted, it is understandably hard to compute even with the evidence piling up, making much of Patriot Nation and the media unwilling or unable to go against muscle memory to face the reality that Brady and company ain’t walking through that door to save the day.

Said another way: The dynasty is over. Done.

It’s not an unusual reaction when that has happened, as fans and the media are the last to know. Or maybe the last to give up/in.

And it’s not confined to football. Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy still refers to the Celtics as the NBA’s greatest franchise when they have won just one title since 1986. That, for the mathematically challenged, is 36 freaking years ago. They certainly have a glorious history, but their rivals in L.A. have won that title eight times in the same period. Ditto with the Canadiens in Montreal, who haven’t won the Cup since 1993, or much of anything else for that matter since Patrick Roy left the building in a snit with the brass two years later.

Bringing it back to the NFL, there have been four dynasties since I have been following the NFL. Which I define as lasting for 15 years or more amid turnover of the original group of players to more good players that eventually formed a completely different team as the winning continued.

That takes out historically superior teams like the 1960s Packers and ’70s Steelers because both faded as their throng of Hall of Fame players declined or retired as they aged with no one near good enough to step in for them to keep it going.

And sorry, ’90s Cowboys, while you were a dominant team, winning three times in four years is not nearly long enough to qualify. Ditto for one-year wonders like the 1986 Bears and 2000 Ravens.

The final qualification is that being in the mix to contend for a Super Bowl title year in and year out is more important than actually winning a huge number of SBs. Which is a legit point of debate as the aforementioned Packers and Steelers won five and four respectively during their impressive reigns but missed the cut because their excellence didn’t last long enough and a dynasty by definition is about length of time.

So that leaves the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s Oakland/L.A. Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, the ’80s/’90s Bill Walsh 49ers and the Patriots from 2001 to 2019. Notice I said the Patriots dynasty ended in 2019, to drive home the point that dynasties end long before most realize it.

Each ended for different reasons. Oakland ended as maverick owner Al Davis lost his fastball. That was somewhat the case for the Tom Landry-led Cowboys, but it probably had more to do with losing their edge in finding talent as the rest of the league copied their sophisticated use of newfangled computers and method of drafting players for athletic skills — speed, quickness, size — over the position they played. Their mantra was “get me the best athletes and we’ll find a position for them.” Concepts now identified by all at the pre-draft combine.

The advent of the salary cap croaked the 49ers, because it leveled the playing field for a team always willing to outspend others for talent or to keep their own.

Which brings us back to the Patriots. I know a lot of people bring it back to the “Was it Bill or Tom?” debate. But while losing Tom Brady certainly was a blow, it started before that. The one who knew it first was probably Brady because he pouted all throughout 2019 that he had terrible receivers and the offense was a disaster for a lot of the year. Along with other factors, this led him to take his talents to Tampa Bay, who, oh by the way, had two 1,000-yard receivers, so voila, he was TB-12 again.

As for the rest of us. While the dual drubbings by Buffalo at the end of 2021 made it clear how big the gap was between the two teams, it didn’t kill the notion that they could close it.

That’s come this year via a number of signs like their non-effort vs. Chicago on MNF, (used to be) uncharacteristic penalties piling up and the fact the team no longer has swagger or conveys the feeling they can get out of any jam.

The final piece for me is knowing they were gonna get thumped again on Thursday.

The culprit has been horrible drafting dating back to the early teens along with swinging and missing on almost everyone outside of Matthew Judon and Jalen Mills in their 2021 free agent spending spree.

Then there’s also that in not seeing how important game-breaking speed receivers have come to be in the 2022 NFL, there could be a creeping early sign it may be passing Bill Belichick by.

Hopefully, that feeling is wrong. But if it isn’t, the dynasty is dead and buried.

Email Dave Long at

Toys, coats and food

What people need most now — and how to help

Sara Ceaser, Director of Volunteer and Community Engagement for United Way of Greater Nashua.

What have you noticed about the community’s needs right now and over the last year?

More people have been contacting us needing assistance this year, and the number of families that we’re serving has definitely increased. … Winter coats are a consistent need, but we have definitely had more people asking about coats than in previous years. … I feel like the donations we’ve been receiving at the food drives have been a little slimmer this year, which could be because of the cost of groceries.

What items can people give?

Right now, during the winter season, there’s a need for coats and boots and hats and gloves. People can donate those to the Salvation Army, because a lot of organizations direct their clients to the Salvation Army to pick up warm clothing if they need. Those can be new, or used items are always welcome if they’re still in good condition.

Food is always needed. United Way of Greater Nashua does weekly food drives at various stores around the greater Nashua area. We usually announce where those will be on our Facebook page. Food can be donated directly at our food drives, at our local Hannaford stores or to food pantries around the area,like the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, Corpus Christi Food Pantry, the Tolles Street Mission, the Southern New Hampshire Rescue Mission, SHARE Outreach, and there are various food pantries at churches, as well. They’re mostly looking for non-perishable items, like pasta, rice, pasta sauce, canned meats, canned beans, that type of thing.

The Santa Fund collects gifts for children, teenagers and children. They’re collecting new items — toys and gifts that people purchase — which are donated to organizations like The Front Door Agency, the Salvation Army and SHARE Outreach, and those organizations distribute the holiday gifts to children. A lot of things are donated for younger kids, but not a lot of things that are appropriate for older kids, so when people are making donations of physical items, they should definitely keep the older kids in mind. Gifts cards are excellent for teens, as well. Those items can be dropped off at the United Way of Greater Nashua, and there’s also a drop-off location beside Trader Joe’s in Nashua on the Daniel Webster Highway.

We’re always collecting school supplies donations for teachers to use in their classrooms. That’s a project we’ve been doing quite a bit over the past couple of years, and we have a school supplies pantry in our lower level that teachers and other educators can access. With it being the middle of the year, supplies are running a little bit low right now, so we would love some donations.

If people have leftover women’s hygiene products, we do accept those, as well. We donate those to schools, and we have a women’s hygiene supply pantry at Girls Inc. that the public can access.

There’s also been a need for bus passes; the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter collects donations of those.

Any local organization that’s close to your heart would love a donation of physical items, but if you’re not sure what they need, you should call to find out if there’s something specific that they need.

What can monetary gifts be used for?

For this time of year, I would definitely recommend the Santa Fund. They’re accepting cash donations to use to purchase other gifts [in addition to] the physical gifts that are donated.

United Way also has a lot of different projects that we can accept donations for. … One of our projects is a pop-up pantry where we provide fresh fruits and vegetables to people around the community in a different location each day.

Food pantries always accept cash donations to buy food and sometimes other items, like personal hygiene items, and for operational costs. Some of these places also run shelters and provide other services to their clients, like assisting them with finding jobs and finding other resources in the community to help them with housing and that type of thing, so cash donations could help with that, as well.

Where are volunteers needed most?

Winter is a great time to start volunteering and continue volunteering. A lot of our food pantries are looking for volunteers, and United Way of Greater Nashua is looking for volunteers for our food drives. We’re specifically holding food drives the day before Christmas and the day before New Year’s, and we would love to have some volunteers for those. They would basically be sitting at a table outside a store and encouraging shoppers to purchase extra items and passing out fliers to shoppers with suggested items.

We’re also looking for volunteer tutors to do elementary-age tutoring.

How can people find the right volunteering opportunity?

If people are interested in volunteering and don’t know where to volunteer, they should think about if they have specific skills, and if they don’t see a call for that specific skill, they should ask local nonprofits. Having a conversation and telling them what your skills and interests are is really the best way to find your place as a volunteer.

Area food pantries

Corpus Christi Food Pantry
3 Crown St., Nashua, 882-6372,
• Families in Transition Food Pantry
176 Lake Ave., Manchester, 641-9441,
• Goffstown Network Food Pantry
7 N. Mast Road, Goffstown, 497-3433,
• Hooksett Community Food Pantry
35 Main St., Hooksett, 485-7222,
• Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter
2 Quincy St., Nashua, 889-7770,
• Sacred Heart Food Pantry
247 S. Main St., Manchester, 668-4004,
• SHARE Outreach
1 Columbus Ave., Milford, 673-9898,
• Shepherd’s Pantry
1 Church St., Windham, 432-2150,
• Southern NH Rescue Mission
40 Chestnut St., Nashua, 889-3421,
• Tolles St. Mission Food Pantry
52 Whitney St., Nashua, 880-4984,
• The Upper Room Food Pantry
36 Tsienneto Road, Derry, 437-8477,

NH Food Bank distributes food to more than 400 partner agencies across the state. Visit to find more local organizations accepting food donations.

Featured photo: Sara Ceaser. Courtesy photo.

News & Notes 22/12/08

Business info

The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Corporations Division has launched a new dashboard web page allowing the public to see data about New Hampshire businesses. According to a press release, the Division has expanded its online services for businesses over the last year, giving businesses the ability to file annual reports and obtain certificates of good standing. The dashboard, a new and improved Quickstart application, enables users to access information about the distribution of businesses across the state; review business filings; file annual reports; create new businesses and more. See it at

M for moose

The letter “M” has been added to the numbers and letters available for the five-digit combinations used for New Hampshire’s popular Conservation License Plate, more commonly known as the “Moose Plate.” According to a press release, the letter was added to keep up with the demand for the plates, which previously only allowed the letters “C,” “H” and “P.” Each letter represents a word: “C” for conservation, “H” for heritage, “P” for preservation and “M” for moose. Funds raised from the Moose Plates support a variety of conservation, heritage and preservation programs in New Hampshire. The program has raised more than $30 million since its inception in December 2000. Moose Plates can be purchased at city and town clerks’ offices at the time of vehicle registration. The cost is $30 a year, plus a one-time $8 purchase fee. Vanity Moose Plates are also available for an additional charge. Visit

Donation for kids

An anonymous donor has pledged to donate $50,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire, a nonprofit that provides statewide one-to-one youth mentoring services, if its Thankful Giving Campaign raises $50,000 in donations by Dec. 31. According to a press release, the annual online fundraiser is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, typically raising more than $100,000. On average, it costs $1,800 to $2,400 to create and support each mentoring match per year. “With the continued support of our generous donors, we are able to keep our programming completely free of cost to any child in need of a safe and trusted adult mentor in their life,” CEO Stacy Kramer said in the release. “Every child deserves someone in their corner, and you can have a direct impact on making that happen.” To contribute to the campaign, visit


The 11th annual Tower of Toys initiative is accepting donations of unwrapped holiday gifts for children of families in need now through Thursday, Dec. 15. According to a press release, acceptable items include toys, sports equipment, art supplies, cosmetics, movie certificates and gift cards. Donations can be dropped off at the Beacon Building Atrium, 814 Elm St. in Manchester, or ordered online and shipped to Red Arrow Diner Corporate Offices, 814 Elm St., Suite 102, Manchester, 03101. Monetary donations can be made online at and will be used to purchase additional gifts to ensure that there are gifts for children of all age groups. The donations will be distributed to families in need by 10 local nonprofit organizations that work with children and families. A celebratory holiday reception, open to the public, will be held at the Beacon Building on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 5 to 10 p.m., and will feature refreshments and live music. Visit

Meet the author presents a new Zoom series, “The First Line,” featuring New Hampshire writers in conversation with columnist Beverly Stoddart, starting with Michael Davidow on Monday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. Davidow – a novelist, criminal defense attorney and fellow columnist – will discuss his new book Chanukah Land. “The First Line” Zoom programs are free and open to the public. Search “Meet Awesome NH Author Michael Davidow” on to register.

New Hampshire students Morgan Casey of Bishop Brady High School in Concord and Madeline Waters of Keene High School have been selected to participate in the 61st annual U.S. Senate Youth Program. According to a press release, a panel of judges chose Casey and Waters from a pool of students throughout the state nominated by their principals. Both students will receive a $10,000 college scholarship and will represent New Hampshire at a program in Washington, D.C., in March that focuses on public service, leadership and education.

The Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s main building has been partially closed due to a pipe leak that occurred on Saturday, Nov. 26, resulting in water damage. According to a press release, the water damage has forced the closure of the second, third and fourth floors until further notice. The Urgent Care department was not affected and remains open, but with the blood testing lab closed, all blood tests drawn in Urgent Care must be transported off site for processing, delaying patients’ evaluations by up to three to four hours. Operational updates will be posted at

United Way of Greater Nashua is looking for volunteers for its Learn United tutoring program. According to a press release, volunteers tutor elementary-aged students in a school setting through a partnership with the Nashua School District’s 21st Century Extended Day Program, which provides after-school enrichment and homework support at seven Nashua schools. Tutoring may be held one-on-one or in small groups. No formal training or educational experience is required to volunteer. Email or call 882-4011.

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