Henry’s hopeful

Rollins believes in the young

As a teenager Henry Rollins would show up with his pal Ian MacKaye on Sunday mornings at Yesterday & Today Records in Rockville, Maryland, ready to buy singles by The Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers, The Adverts and other punk bands. Rollins always bought two to MacKaye’s one, having earned more money in his after-school job every week.

“Ian might do five hours of part-time minimum wage work, and I would do 20, just because I’m that guy,” Rollins said in a recent phone interview. “It was cool, the pain of having to do something dull and repetitive to hear seven minutes of freedom.”

His work ethic continues; Rollins often jokes about “putting the ‘punk’ in punctuality.” Though he’s stopped doing music, his schedule as a professional raconteur is packed and is surrounded by a myriad of other projects. During the pandemic, he wrote — his most recent book, Sic, came out in December — hosted an NPR radio show and did voice work for Netflix and Nickelodeon.

“It was challenging, but in a way, not a place I had not been to before,” he said. “Instead of getting all down in the mouth about it, I choose to approach all these things with a sense of humor and let’s see what happens…. I’d rather be the first in line for the new thing rather than dragging my feet.”

Rollins finally got back on the road. His current tour, dubbed Good to See You, is well into its second year. Usually his shows have a recent travel story as the centerpiece, but lockdown prevented that.

“Luckily or unluckily enough, crazy stuff happened in that time, where I was able to get interesting material,” he said, including a mentally unstable stalker from Finland, and the death of his divorced parents.

The show “is pretty well dialed into the front of my brain pan, but a lot of new stuff, as usually is the case, comes in,” Rollins continued. “It’s just basically a big stew pot, and as things develop, or people I know die, I can throw more things in…. By the end of the tour, the material is not necessarily nearly the same as what I started with.”

One constant, though, is an unwavering faith in America’s youth.

“A whole generation will eventually go to rest peacefully, and a younger one will come in its place,” he said. “Keep eating your Wheaties, you might live long enough to see someone like AOC become president…. I’ve never felt more confident or at least more ruggedly optimistic about the future and young people doing the right thing than I am right now.”

For one thing, the old order — “people like me, Joe Biden and Dick Cheney” — is rapidly fading away. “I’m not trying to hasten anyone’s demise, but physiological limits are what they are,” he said. “When the bug is dying, the most furious seconds are right before death. The legs are kicking frantically towards the sky; that’s the white power structure in the United States.”

Moreover, the futility of trying to change a red-hat-wearing senior citizen’s mind runs both ways.

“You’d be hard pressed to convince a 17-year-old who will be of voting age when the next presidential election rolls around that homophobia is a thing they want to accept and use in their lives,” he said. “Racism? There’s no such thing. One more George Floyd, and there’ll be some parts that will be very hard to put back together again. I don’t think the infrastructure is built for too much more turbulence.”

That said, Rollins is quick to point out that his show isn’t some scary TED talk.

“It’s my job to artfully connect some dots and make it kind of funny,” he said. “I make a point of not ending on a bummer, or if I do, offer five ways out of it. I learned that from, of all people, President Clinton. The Dimbleby speech is a great example; he goes, ‘climate change is bad, but here’s how you can start attacking it.’ Here’s the problem and five ways to innovate out of it.”

Hard times like the present require hard lessons, but Rollins tries to avoid pedantry.

“I used to go to this Quaker summer camp where they didn’t teach you not to steal, they just told you the story about when Timmy stole a quarter from his friend’s mom’s house and bought candy with it and the candy didn’t taste good,” he said. “I’d rather point at things rather than point them out.”
He also has no stomach for reliving his punk rock youth.

Rollins leaves no doubt that he’ll keep sharing his own point of view, night after night, for as long as he’s able.

“I’m not one of those who takes to the streets, because the people who are going to meet you have their opinion. They’re going to knock you out; it’s not for me,” he said. Instead, he tries to find common ground, while acknowledging that it’s often elusive. “I think if you can try to get an understanding of where someone’s coming from, you cannot be so immobilized by someone else’s opinion.”

“My job is to sling hash every night,” he said, “but it has to be of the highest nutritional quotient I can generate. I mean well, and I want to do good. I’m at least on second base, and maybe I can steal third and get lucky. This sounds like, ‘Oh, he’s such a nice guy,’ but I’m not all that nice all the time. I’m mainly angry and awake.”

Henry Rollins
When: Friday, Sept. 22, 8 p.m.
Where: Bank of NH Stage, 16 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: ccanh.com

Featured photo: Henry Rollins. Courtesy photo.

The Music Roundup 23/09/21

Local music news & events

Song weaver: A tribute to touring life, “The Road” is the latest from Rebecca Turmel, and an apt reflection of the creative impulse that drives many performers. “I had no choice, the music chose me / and once it did, no going back,” she sings. Recorded in Nashville and released in late July, the song includes a contribution from longtime Jackson Browne band guitarist Val McCallum. Thursday, Sept. 21, 5 p.m., Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester, currier.org.

Mixed in: Blending elements of roots rock, funk and bluegrass, Cold Chocolate achieves a singular sound. The band began when singer/guitarist Ethan Robbins, then studying music at Oberlin College, met upright bassist Kirsten Lamb and the two started looking for ways to stretch the boundaries of bluegrass; Ariel Bernstein joined the group later, playing percussion. Friday, Sept. 22, 4 p.m., Vernon Family Farm, 301 Piscassic Road, Newfields – $25 and up at vernonfamilyfarm.com.

Funny talk: No comic excels at crowd work quite like Paula Poundstone. For her 1990 special Cats, Cops and Stuff, HBO made technology where none existed, hanging ceiling microphones and having a guy with a boom mic roam the floor to pick up audience banter. She’s no fan of the term, though, recently asking, “If I’m walking down the street and I say ‘Hi’ to somebody, is that street work?” Saturday, Sept. 23, 8 pm., Tupelo Music Hall, 10 A St., Derry, $45 and up at tupelohall.com.

Autumn brew: Northwoods Fall Fest is a midday celebration with music from looping singer-guitarist Tim Daley, Dover acoustic quartet Groove Atlas and singer-songwriter Tom Boisse. It’s also a fundraiser for Blue Ocean Society, an environmental group focused on marine life protection. Sunday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m., Northwoods Brewing Co., 1334 First NH Turnpike, Northwood, northwoodsbrewingcompany.com.

Plugging in: Around 1958, in a Washington, D.C., basement, Hot Tuna played its first gig; Jack Casady was 14, his pal Jorma Kaukonen 17. Sixty-five years later, they’re doing a final tour as an electric band, and slowing down a bit. “We’re not done counting,” Kaukonen wrote in May. “That said, it’s time to stop thinking of living as it was … indeed, into the future we must cross.” Monday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m., The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, $67.50 and up at ticketmaster.com.

Kiddie Pool 23/09/21

Family fun for whenever

Celebrating schools

Celebrate Manchester School District schools at CelebratED, a production of the district and Manchester Proud, on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester. The festival will feature food, entertainment and activities, according to a press release. Free transportation to and from the park will be available by the Manchester Transit Authority, the release said.

Fall fun

The Presentation of Mary Academy (182 Lowell Road in Hudson) will hold its Fall Fun Fest on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This fundraiser will feature inflatables, face painting, pumpkin painting, ax throwing, food trucks, a petting zoo, touch a truck, a bake sale, vendors and more. Find them on Facebook.

Exploring outdoors

Portsmouth Fairy House Tours take place Saturday, Sept. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Portsmouth at the Strawbery Banke Museum, John Langdon House and Prescott Park. See more than 250 fairy houses and enjoy storytelling, face painting, crafts and games — wearing wings is encouraged, according to strawberybanke.org, where you can purchase tickets: $12 in advance for adults ($15 at the door); $8 in advance for seniors ($10 at the door); $5 in advance for ages 3 to 12 ($7 at the door) and a family pack admission for four of $30 in advance ($25 at the door).

Cars & trucks

See airplanes, fire trucks, helicopters, police vehicles and electric vehicles close up at Wings and Wheels on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nashua Airport (93 Perimeter Road in Nashua; nashuaairport.com). The event is free.

This weekend in Toddlerfest

The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St. in Dover; childrens-museum.org, 742-2002) continues its Toddlerfest this weekend with events including a Frozen dance party with Musical Arts of Dover (11 a.m.) and Science Friday: Color Mixing (2:30 p.m.) on Friday, Sept. 22; a bubble show (10 a.m.) and a celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 23, and a mini yoga class (10 a.m.) on Sunday, Sept. 24. Next week’s offerings include Wacky Art Wednesday (2:30 p.m.) with a dinosaur theme and a Books Alive! Program with A Very Hungry Caterpillar on Friday, Sept. 29. The museum is open Sunday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to noon, and Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. Reserve an admission slot online; admission costs $12.50 for everyone over 12 months ($10.50 for 65+).

A show for the ages

American Girl Live stops at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St., Concord) on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. The show brings American Girl characters from various decades to life with music and dance, emphasizing friendship and empowerment. Tickets range from $43.75 to $75.75. Visit ccanh.com.

The Art Roundup 23/09/21

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

Art After Work: At the Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org, 669-6144) this Thursday (Sept. 21) the Art After Work (from 5 to 8 p.m., when museum admission is free) will feature music from Rebecca Turmel and “Art of Awareness” with Rosie Latona of White Swan Yoga and Suzanne Canali, director of education, according to the website. The program is a 30-minute awareness exercise and discussion with this month’s focus on “Série Elementar: Poder de Taja” part of the “The Living Forest: UÝRA” exhibit (which closes Sunday, Sept. 24).

At next week’s Art After work, catch a program at 6 p.m. that will look at the exhibit “Distant Conversations: Ella Walker & Betty Woodman” (on display through Oct. 22). “Italian Connections” will feature Katarina Jerinic, collections curator at the Woodman Family Foundation, “offering insight into how Betty Woodman’s time in Italy influenced her singular approach to ceramic sculpture” as well as a presentation of Lorenzo Fusi, chief curator at the Currier, “highlighting the influence of Italian fresco on Ella Walker’s work” according to the website. Register for this program, which will be held in the Winter Garden Cafe, online.

Sip N Sing: The Nashua Choral Society (nashuachoralsociety.org) is holding an event at Spyglass Brewing (306 Innovative Way in Nashua) called “Sip N Sing: It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere!” at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. Find out more about the chorus and enjoy some singing. The Nashua Choral Society invites new singers to its rehearsal on Monday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. at Judd Gregg Auditorium at the Nashua Community College.

From The Players: The Sandwich-based Shakespeare company Advice To The Players will present Much Ado About Nothing on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m. in Quimby Park (8 Maple St. in Center Sandwich). Tickets cost $20 for adults (ages 18 to 61), $15 for seniors (62+), students (10 to 18, over 18 with student ID); admission is free for 11 and under. See advicetotheplayers.org.

Night of swing and jazz: Jukebox Saturday will present swing and jazz, celebrating the music of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Harry James, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Cab Calloway and more, at the Stockbridge Theatre (44 N. Main St. in Derry; pinkertonacademy.org/stockbridge-theatre) on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $30 or $35.

Walker Lecture Series: The Walker Lecture Series at the Concord City Auditorium (2 Prince St. in Concord) was slated to begin Sept. 20 with a travelog by Marlin Darrah about travels in Egypt. Future lectures include “The Blizaard of ‘78” with author Mike Tougias on Wednesday, Sept. 27; “Secret Stories Behind Iconic Paintings” with Jane Oneail, who has worked at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and the Currier Museum of Art, on Wednesday, Oct. 4; a performance by the Southern Rail Bluegrass Band on Wednesday, Oct. 25; an evening of Yankee humor with authors Rebecca Rule and Fred Marple on Wednesday, Nov. 1; a night of New Hampshire nature with “The Brilliant Beaver” with Willa Coroka and “An Uncommon Look at the Common Loon” by Ian Clark on Wednesday, Nov. 29, and a performance by the band The Cartells on Wednesday, Dec. 6. All of these shows take place at the City Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m. and no tickets or advance registration is required. On Saturday, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. see the open rehearsal of Handel’s Messiah, and see the performance on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. — both at St. Paul’s Church in Concord at 22 Centre St. The performance will be conducted by Benjamin Greene and will include professional soloists and a community chorus, according to a press release. See walkerlecture.org.

Save the date for wool: Celebrate fiber arts (and the animals behind it) at the 40th Annual Woo Arts Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7, and Sunday, Oct. 8. Five farms host the event, which will feature demonstrations, food, vendors, live animals and more, according to woolartsournh.com. Maple Lane Farm in Lyndeborough, for example, will have at least 15 vendors with wool and alpaca yarn, homemade items, homemade food products and eats for sale including pulled pork, ribs, hot dogs, sausage with peppers and onion and chili, according to an email. The farms will be open at 10 a.m. each day — until 5 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

You can still PYO

May freeze affected this year’s apple crops

Now is prime time for apple picking, but sadly this year’s crop is not the best ever. Due to the drop in temperature in May, many orchards suffered damage to their crops, with some being wiped out entirely. Fortunately some farms were able to make it through.

“We were very lucky our whole pick-your-own was not affected,” said Tim Bassett of Gould Hill Farm in Contoocook. “We have a pretty decent crop … so it does look like hopefully we will continue as a normal fall depending on what … Mother Nature does next.”

While the pick-your-own supply may be OK, the heirloom supply in the retail store won’t be as plentiful as it usually is, as these trees are at a lower elevation and consequently exposed to colder conditions than the pick-your-own varieties.

Circumstances were similar at Kimball Fruit Farm in Hollis.
“The apples that are there are looking pretty good, at least at our farm because we’re kind of on a hill,” said David Wadleigh, owner of the farm.

“The stuff that was a little more uphill wasn’t quite as affected as the stuff more downhill [because] the temperatures are usually a bit warmer at the top of the hill and cooler at the bottom.”

Photo courtesy of Gould Hill Farm.

At the time of the frost, Wadleigh said, apple trees on the farm were beginning to blossom, many having flowers and some already sprouting small cherry-sized apples. Some of these froze and rotted, while others were fortunate to skate by with only some russeting (rough brown spots on the outside). While there are measures to try to prevent such damage, they aren’t as feasible as for crops like berries and tomatoes, which can be covered with a protective barrier, according to Wadleigh.

“Strawberries are low on the ground, so we can just set up a couple of sprinklers in the field and it will cover the entire strawberry field … [and] we were putting a cover over [early tomatoes] to protect them,” he said. “I’m sure that would work for the apples too, but with the size of the trees it’s just not practical to do something like that.”

Fortunately for apples, they tend to be heartier than their berry counterparts, according to Wadleigh.

Aside from the frost, the weather since — including all the rain — has not been disadvantageous to the apples.

“[Rain] does help them grow a little larger in size on some varieties, so it hasn’t been detrimental,” Bassett said. “Our biggest problem so far has just been having customers come out because the weather hasn’t cooperated and given the nice-weather days that people enjoy being out there on the farm, so we’re hopeful that that will turn around and we’ll have some nice, sunny weather.”

Pick your own

Information comes from the orchards’ websites and social media. Most hours and events are weather permitting. Call in advance to make sure the orchard is open that day and to find out what varieties are currently available for pick-your-own.

Applecrest Farm Orchards (133 Exeter Road, Hampton Falls; applecrest.com) Daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On weekends through the end of October look for harvest festivals, which run Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting. There’s also a corn maze.

Appleview Orchard (1266 Upper City Road, Pittsfield; applevieworchard.com, 435-3553) PYO apples Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting. Hours at the country gift shop are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Brookdale Fruit Farm (41 Broad St., Hollis; brookdalefruitfarm.com, 465-2240) PYO apples Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Farm stand is open daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The farm also features an ice cream stand and a corn maze.

Carter Hill Orchard (73 Carter Hill Road, Concord; carterhillapples.com, 225-2625) September hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The country store is open during these hours with cider, baked goods, pumpkins and more.

Currier Orchards (9 Peaslee Road, Merrimack; currierorchards.com, 881-8864) Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The farm stand sells baked goods, farm-made jelly and other items.

DeMeritt Hill Farm (20 Orchard Way, Lee; demeritthillfarm.com, 868-2111) The farm stand is open weekdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call to find out the pick-your-own status on any given day. The farm has weekend fests through the first weekend of October and then Haunted Overload and Enchanted Storybook Hayrides.

Gould Hill Farm (656 Gould Hill Road, Contoocook; gouldhillfarm.com) PYO apple hours are Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The farm store is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., featuring apples, ice cream and more. The Contoocook Cider Co., offering hard ciders, is open Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hackleboro Orchards (61 Orchard Road, Canterbury; hackleboroorchard.com, 783-4248) Daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Look for hay rides, apple cider, apple cider doughnuts and more.

Hazelton Orchards (280 Derry Road, Chester; find them on Facebook, 235-3027) PYO is open, weather permitting, most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, usually 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call or find them on Facebook to check the current status.

NH Kimball Fruit Farm (Route 122, on the Hollis and Pepperell, Mass., state line; kimball.farm, 978-433-9751) PYO is open Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check out the Tuesday children’s programs.

Lavoie’s Farm (172 Nartoff Road, Hollis; lavoiesfarm.com, 882-0072) Daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The farm’s stand sells fruits, veggies, baked goods and apple cider and you can also pick your own pumpkins. A corn maze is open daily. On the weekends find hay rides and a corn boil from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lull Farm (65 Broad St., Hollis; livefreeandfarm.com, 465-7079) 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and 7 a.m. to 6 pm. Monday through Friday. The Daily Haul fish market is on site on Saturdays (pre-order at thedailyhaul.com) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mack’s Apples (230 Mammoth Road, Londonderry; macksapples.com,432-3456) PYO open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Station 3 on Pillsbury Road, next to the Londonderry United Methodist Church, according to the website. The corn maze is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Station 2 on Adams Road. Pears are also available for picking. The farm market is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

McLeod Bros. Orchards (735 N. River Road, Milford; mcleodorchards.com, 432-3456) PYO hours are Monday through Friday, 1 to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The farm stand features apples, pumpkins, jams, jellies, maple syrup and more.

Smith Orchard (184 Leavitt Road, Belmont; smithorchard.com, 387-8052) Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Stone Mountain Farm (522 Laconia Road, Belmont; stonemtnfarm.com) Daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunnycrest Farm (59 High Range Road, Londonderry; sunnycrestfarmnh.com, 432-7753) Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The farm also offers pick-your-own raspberries and flowers and the farm stand offers produce, baked goods and more.

Washburn’s Windy Hill Orchard (66 Mason Road, Greenville; washburnswindyhillorchard.com, 878-2101) Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Featured photo: courtesy of Gould Hill Farm.

Find your fall 5K

Races to get you running

By Delaney Beaudoin

If you aren’t and have never been a runner, or if you are but haven’t laced up your sneakers to go for a casual jog in a couple years, the thought of running a few blocks can be intimidating — never mind signing up for a 5K.

Courtesy of John McGarry, President of the Greater Derry Track Club.

So how do you learn to love something that seems easier to dread? According to John McGarry, president of the Greater Derry Track Club (GDTC), the secret to enjoying running isn’t a fancy new pair of running shoes or a watch that tracks your every step, but simply overcoming the fear of running itself.

“It’s similar to trying just about anything new. It’s just that fear, and it’s overcoming the fear of feeling or knowing or wondering if that’s something that you can do. Getting out of the door and just taking that first step is probably the hardest obstacle that someone can overcome by just having that commitment of “I’m going to go outside and I’m going to start,” he said.

“Running can be hard!” said Jeanine Sylvester, founder and senior manager of Runner’s Alley, which bills itself as “New Hampshire’s oldest running specialty store.”

“If you are not physically fit and start running you may find it very difficult. Beginner runners must be able to move past being uncomfortable and within a few weeks will find that they slowly begin to feel more and more comfortable. With the proper gear and training plan just about anyone will feel less intimidated about running within four to eight weeks,” Sylvester said.

One of the most common mistakes people make when first attempting to run is taking on too much at once. McGarry noted how training to run does not necessarily mean you have to start with running right off the bat.

“They can start by walking, so they can walk for 15 minutes three times a week and they can do that for a couple of weeks. Then during one of those 15-minute walks, maybe they just start jogging very slowly and seeing how that feels, doing that for a minute or two. Then the next week jogging a little, then a little further and just slowly but surely getting their body adjusted to that,” McGarry said.


One of the best parts of running, according to both McGarry and Sylvester, is the minimal equipment required. The advice from both: Before you begin training, get yourself a good pair of running shoes.

“It doesn’t have to be an expensive pair, but a good pair is the best way for somebody not to get injured,” McGarry said.

Sylvester explained the reasoning behind the need for a good pair of shoes: “Running shoes, socks, and possibly inserts are your most important gear. Your foundation starts from the ground up. Investing in your feet and body at the beginning of your training will serve you well and ensure you succeed in achieving your training goals by avoiding unnecessary injury.”


ust like with any other practice or hobby, one of the best ways to motivate yourself and get over the initial obstacle of starting is to work toward a goal. Most commonly, a good goal for beginner runners according to McGarry is a 5K race.

The K in 5K stands for kilometers. Translating to about 3.1 miles, 5Ks are community-oriented races usually held as fundraisers, events and holiday celebrations or for good causes. Although the concept of 5Ks may seem intimidating to non-runners, the atmosphere of most is very welcoming and non-judgmental, the experts say.

According to Sylvester, the 5K is ideal for beginner runners.

“The 5K distance is appealing because it’s an achievable distance for almost anyone in a relatively short amount of time,” she said.

One of the most widely known training programs in the world, Couch to 5K, espouses this very philosophy. McGarry, who spearheads the GDTC’s Couch to 5K program, explains the philosophy behind the program: “The reason why it has so much success is because it’s a methodical training program…. It’s an eight-week program that prepares people that are ‘couch potatoes’’ and helps them take one day at a time to help them train for a 5K.”

A gradual combination of walking with minor running sprinkled in eventually shifts to add more running, until trainers are able to complete 3.1 miles of running without stopping.

Couch to 5K training is available in almost every medium imaginable: books, podcasts, apps, online training, you name it. To McGarry, the most valuable part of the GDTC’s group program lies in its social structure.

“I’ve been directing for the last 10 years, I’ve talked to literally hundreds of people about what made them join and how their experience has been…. Generally what I found was that people really love the commitment level because we meet a couple of days a week and we’re following a set program. We take attendance to have people check in. So people know that we know that they’re coming and we know that they’re there. So just the commitment that somebody makes by joining a program like this is a great motivator,” McGarry said.

If a busy schedule doesn’t allow for the addition of another club or activity, or if you prefer the solidarity and strength that comes with running on your own, another way to bring commitment to your 5K training goal is to pick a run being held in honor of a good cause that is meaningful to you.

Sylvester noted that it is easy to find 5K races all year round.

“You can find out what 5Ks are in your community by going to your local running store, looking at websites of your local running stores, or Googling 5K road races near me. You should always consider where the money goes from a road race before you sign up. If making a difference in your community is important to you, try to choose road races that are put on by volunteers and give 100 percent of the race proceeds to a local nonprofit,” Sylvester said.

If you’re still on the fence about beginning your running journey, McGarry and Sylvester both agree on the almost indescribable benefits that come with consistently incorporating the exercise into your routine.

Couch to 5K 2018. Courtesy of John McGarry, President of the Greater Derry Track Club.

“You can do it anywhere and at any time of day, you can go whatever pace and distance you’d like, other than having the right shoes there is not a lot of equipment needed, there are no dues or membership fees, results are seen and felt in a rather short amount of time, you can run on roads, trails, beaches or anywhere your heart desires [and] enjoy the beautiful surroundings around you. In my opinion, the mental and physical health benefits of running and walking are so numerous everyone should include it in their overall fitness regime,” Sylvester said.

Upcoming Races

Know of a K — 5, 10 or otherwise — not mentioned here? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com.

Total Image Running Races

See totalimagerunning.com for more on these races and to register.

  • BACtober FEST 5K In Hanson Park in Bow, the 3rd annual BACtober FEST, supporting the youth sports Bow Athletic Club, will take place on Saturday, Sept 30, at 4 p.m. at Gosling Field. Following the race will be a block party at Gergler Field featuring barbecue, cornhole, music and a beer tent. Adult registration costs $40 and youth (12 and under) registration costs $30. A Gosling Gallop for kids will take place at Gosling Field at 3:30 p.m.; registration costs $10 for children 8 and under and includes access to the post-race event and a youth shirt.
  • Footrace for the Fallen starts in the rear of the Manchester Police Department (405 Valley St., Manchester) on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 10:15 a.m. This 5K honors fallen police officers, and proceeds benefit the Manchester Police Athletic League to help provide free programming that connects police officers and kids ages 5 to 18. Same-day registration begins in the Manchester Police Department parking lot at 8:30 am. Advance adult registration costs $35 and youth (17 and under) registration costs $25. Day-of adult registration costs $40 and youth (17 and under) registration costs $30. The after-party begins immediately following the race inside Gill Stadium and will feature food, beverages (21+ for alcohol) and awards.
  • Howl-O-Ween 5K takes place on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester. The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire hosts this dog-friendly race, where participants are encouraged to run or walk and come dressed in costume. Adult registration costs $40, young adult (age 13 to 17) registration costs $30, and child (12 and under) registration costs $20. Dog registration is available for $5; paw-ticipants are given a bib and show up in the end results. Register online or at the venue starting at 8 a.m. on race day.
  • Round the Res’ Tower Hill 5-Miler takes place on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 9 a.m. at Tower Hill Pond in Auburn. Adult registration is $35, youth registration (13 and under) $30. Fundraising efforts will benefit the Manchester Water Works Youth Education program.
  • The 15th annual BAC and Bow Police Department Turkey Trot will be held on Thursday, Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving), at 8 a.m. at 55 Falcon Way, Bow. Advance registration is $35 for adults, $25 for youth, $15 for kids. Same-day registration increases price by $5.

Millennium Running

These races are run by Millennium Running. See millenniumrunning.com to register and for more information.

  • Happy Hour Hustle: The last remaining race in the five-part series will take place on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. at McIntyre Ski Area (50 Chalet Ct., Manchester). Registration costs $25 per person. Race-day bib pick-up will be available from 5 to 5:45 p.m. at the registration tent. A post-race hang will be held at The Hill Bar and Grille at the ski area. All proceeds from the race will benefit the NH Campaign for Legal Services.
  • JP Pest Services Oktoberfest 5K will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 9 a.m. at the Backyard Brewery & Kitchen (1211 S. Mammoth Road, Manchester). Registration prices as follows: ages 21+ $35 in advance, $40 on race day (if available); individual youth (age 12 to 20) $25 in advance, $30 on race day; individual kids (11 and younger) $10 in advance or on race day. Same-day registration will be available at the Millennium Running Retail Store (138 Bedford Center Road, Bedford) on Friday, Oct. 6.
  • The Delta Dental New England Half Marathon will take place Sunday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. with a downhill course starting at Gould Hill Farm. Advance registration costs $105. See millenniumrunning.com/ne-half.
  • The Catholic Medical Center Manchester City Marathon will take place Sunday, Nov. 12, and feature marathon (26.1 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), relay and 5K options, most with an 8:50 a.m. start time and a start/finish line in front of Veterans Park in Manchester. See millenniumrunning.com/marathon for details on relay teams and registration, which costs $30 (for 5K) through $200 (four-person marathon relay).
  • The Thanksgiving 5K sponsored by Dartmouth Health and the Fisher Cats will take place on Thursday, Nov. 23, at 9 a.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester). Prior to the race there will be a Lil’ Turkey Trot held at 8:30 a.m. Early bib pickup will be available at the Millennium Running Retail Store (138 Bedford Center Road, Bedford) the day prior to Thanksgiving (Wednesday) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pickup for friends/family members is permitted. Race-day registration and bib pickup will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at the stadium. Registration costs $30 for adults (ages 12+) until Nov. 10 at 11:59 p.m., $35 from Nov. 11 to Nov. 23, $40 on race day (based on availability). All proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank.
  • BASC Santa Claus Shuffle happens on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. on Elm Street in Manchester before the Manchester City Christmas Parade. The 3-mile out-and-back course starts and ends at Veterans Park and includes four “aid stations” featuring the four favorite Santa food groups: chocolate, cookies and milk, candy and maple, according to the website. The first 1,400 participants to sign up get a Santa suit to run in. Stonyfield Organic Lil’ Elf Runs (of 100 yards) start at 2:30 p.m. Registration costs $30 for adults (12+) in advance, $35 on race day; $25 for youth (12 to 20), $30 on race day, and $10 for kids (11 and younger) in advance or on race day.
  • Yule Light Up the Night on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4:30 p.m. at the New Hampshire Speedway in Loudon. Run the 2.1-mile course through the “Gift of Lights” display. Registration costs $25 for adults (12+) in advance, $30 on the day; $15 for youth (4 to 11) in advance, $20 on the day, and $10 for kids (3 and younger).
  • Apple Therapy and Derry Sports & Rehab Millenium Mile happens on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, at 2 p.m. Start off 2024 with a 1-mile downhill race. The first 1,250 participants will receive winter hats. Registration costs $20 for adults (12+) in advance, $25 on race day; $10 for youth (11 and under), $15 on race day.

More races

  • The Fifth Annual RSB Lakes Region for Parkinson’s 5K will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 9 a.m. at The DownTown Gym (171 Fair St., Laconia). Regular registration (through Sept. 21) will be $25 for adults, $20 for kids 14 and under. Race-day registration is $30 for adults and $25 for youth. The race will raise funds for Rock Steady Boxing Lakes Region; find them on Facebook to register.
  • The North Conway Half Marathon and 5K will be held on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 9 a.m. at Schouler Park (White Mountain Highway, North Conway). Registration is $75 for the half marathon portion, $30 for the 5K portion. Net proceeds benefit the Gretchen B. Hatch Memorial Scholarship Fund, which supports college-bound students from the Mount Washington Valley. See events.elitefeats.com/23nconway.
  • The 10th Annual Seacoast Cancer 5K will take place on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 9 a.m. at the Mass General Cancer Center at the Wentworth-Douglass Portsmouth Outpatient Center (121 Corporate Drive, Suite 100, Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth). Registration is $35. The funds raised from this event underwrite the Supportive and Wellness Services at the Mass General Cancer Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. See seacoastcancer5k.org.
  • The 18th Annual Kelly Mann Memorial 5K Run & 3K Walk will take place on Sunday, Oct. 1, at 9 a.m. at Mine Falls/Nashua High School South (36 Riverside St., Nashua). Day-of registration and sign-in opens at 7:30 a.m. The cost to register for adults is $25 and for youth (12 and under) is $12.50. Proceeds will directly supports Bridges in their mission to eliminate domestic and sexual violence from our communities and provide a safe and empowering environment for the survivors who access their services daily. See bridgesnh.org/kellymannmemorialrace.
  • The 5K for Shea, presented by the Shea Thomas Patno Memorial Fund, will take place Sunday, Oct. 1, at 9 a.m. Registration costs $30 for adults, $25 for students (children under 10 can participate for free). See runreg.com/5k-for-shea.
  • 15th Annual Apple Harvest Day 5K Road Race will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 8:30 a.m. at 25 St. Thomas St. in Dover. Registration is $30 for adults age 21 and over, $20 for runners under the age of 21. After the race stick around for some North County Apple Cider. See: www.dovernh.org/apple-harvest-day-5k-road-race.
  • Halloween Howl Hustle for Housing will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 9 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge (53 Iron Works Road, Concord). Registration is $30 in advance, $35 day-of. Proceeds will benefit Fellowship Housing Opportunities, a local nonprofit organization providing decent, safe, affordable housing for community members who live with mental illness. See fellowshiphousing.org.
  • The Hugs from Brett Trail Race is a “10kish” race to be held on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. See runreg.com/hugs-from-brett-trail-race.
  • Pope Memorial SPCA Frosty Paws 5K Fun Run will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 9 a.m. at their Concord location (94 Silk Farm Road, Concord). Dogs are welcome but must have a current rabies vaccination and be on leash at all times. Registration costs $35 for adults and $25 for ages 14 to 17. Children under 14 are free. Proceeds benefit homeless pets and programs that prevent animal cruelty. See popememorialspca.org/frosty-paws-5k-run.
  • The 4-mile 25th annual Novemberfest Race for the Nashua Children’s Home will be Sunday, Nov. 19, at 11:33 a.m., starting near the Pine Street Extension entrance to Mine Falls Park in Nashua. Registration costs $25 plus fees. See gatecity.org.
  • The Rotary Club of Merrimack’s 5K Turkey Trot starts at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23 (Thanksgiving). See merrimackrotary.org.
  • The Dover Turkey Trot starts at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23, and is described as a 5K race for runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, according to doverturkeytrot.com. The start and finish is at Garrison Elementary School in Dover (to raise money for the Garrison School PTA) and registration costs $25 in advance, $30 on the day for adults; $12 in advance, $15 on the day for fourth grade and under.
  • The Hampstead Turkey Trot, a 5K, starts Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8:30 a.m. at St. Anne’s Church (26 Emerson Ave. in Hampstead). Register by Nov. 1 to receive a T-shirt. Registration costs $23 for adults (18 to 61), $18 for seniors (62+) and for children (5 to 17). Registration on race day (from 7 to 8:10 a.m.) costs $28 for adults, $23 for seniors and children. See sites.google.com/site/recreationhampstead.
  • The 16th annual Gilford Youth Center Turkey Trot 5K Race and Family Walk will start at 9 a.m. (8:45 a.m. for walkers) on Thursday, Nov. 23, at the youth center (19 Potter Hill Road in Gilford). Registration costs $26 per person or $90 for a family of up to five people. See gilfordyouthcenter.com.
  • The 17th annual Lake Sunapee Turkey Trot, a 5K where costumes are encouraged and proceeds go to the recreation department, starts at 9 a.m. at the Sunapee Harbor gazebo with a 1K Chicken Run for kids starting at 8:15 a.m. and going down Lake Avenue. Registration costs $30 for ages 13 to 64, $15 for ages 65 and up and $10 for ages 12 and under (kids 12 and under running in the Chicken Run are free). See sunapeeturkeytrot.com. The event and a pre-registration event from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, will feature a pie sale; pies are $10 each.
  • The 2023 Jingle Bell Run, a 5K where festive costume dress is encouraged, will be held Sunday, Dec. 3, at 8:30 a.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester. Registration costs $40 until Oct. 31, $45 after Nov. 1, $50 on the day for timed runners; $35 until Oct. 31, $40 after Nov. 1 and $45 on the day for untimed runners (both include shirt and jingle bells), according to events.arthritis.org.

Featured photo: Courtesy of John McGarry, President of the Greater Derry Track Club.

This Week 23/09/21

Big Events September 21, 2023 and beyond

Thursday, Sept. 21
It’s the final weekend to go somewhere over the rainbow at The Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., Manchester, palacetheatre.org, 668-5588) with its mainstage production of The Wizard of Oz, which runs through Sept. 24 with shows today and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $28 to $49.

Friday, Sept. 22
Meanwhile, it’s opening weekend for the Milford Area Players’ The House on Haunted Hill at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts (56 Mont Vernon St., Milford), which runs today through Oct. 1, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for students/ seniors. Visit milfordareaplayers.org.

Friday, Sept. 22
The Majestic Theatre (880 Page St. in Manchester; majestictheatre.net, 669-7649) presents Great Gatsby, its 18th annual auction and performance fundraiser, today and Saturday, Sept. 23, starting at 6:30 p.m. The event features performances from Majestic’s ensemble, musicians and special guests. Attendees can participate in themed raffles and silent auctions that include art passes, electronics, restaurant vouchers and unique artwork. Refreshments will be served. Tickets cost $20 per person.

Saturday, Sept. 23
The Great New Hampshire Pie Festival will take place at the New Hampshire Farm Museum (1305 White Mountain Hwy. in Milton; nhfarmmuseum.org) today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs $15 ($6 for kids 12 and under). Local bakeries will have pies for sampling while local pie makers will compete in a pie contest. The day will also feature a pie crust rolling demonstration, a raffle, a silent auction, tractor rides, visits with the animals, tours of historic buildings and live music from Lance Maclean and the Moose Mountain String Band.

Sunday, Sept. 24
Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum (18 Highlawn Road in Warner; indianmuseum.org, 456- 2600) will hold its annual Harvest Moon Festival today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will feature nature presentations, hands-on crafts, food for sale, storytelling at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and more, according to the website. Tickets in advance cost $11 for adults, $10 for seniors/students/veterans and $8 for ages 6 to 12 ($1 more each at the door), with a $35 family admission (two adults and three children). Tickets include admission to the museum.

Sunday, Sept. 24
Catch the show “The Living Forest: Uyra” on its final day on display at Currier Museum of Art (150 Ash St. in Manchester; currier.org, 669-6144). The exhibition features photographs and videos encompassing the works of the artist Uýra. The Currier is open Wednesday and Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (with Art After Work, when admission is free, from 5 to 8 p.m.). Admission costs $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, $5 for youth ages 13 through 17 and is free for children under age 13.

Save the Date! Saturday, Nov. 4
New Hampshire’s own Seth Meyers will bring the laughs to the SNHU Arena (555 Elm St. in Manchester; snhuarena.com, 644-5000) on Saturday, Nov. 4, with a show at 8 p.m. Tickets, which benefit CASA of NH and Granite State Children’s Alliance, cost $105 through $255.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

Bloom is off the rose

The Big Story – Red Sox Fire Chaim Bloom: That’s all she wrote for Bloom as general manager of your Boston Red Sox. The end came for the stat-loving New Age GM with his badly constructed defense-deficient team in the midst of a free-falling 1-6 week.

It was met with “scapegoating” chatter in some quarters. But when a team finishes in last place three times in four years on the job, as it appears the Sox will, someone’s head usually rolls.

So for the fourth time in 12 years John Henry’s team is again at a crossroads as it begins a search to find yet another head of baseball operations.

Sports 101: Who are the only defensive players to score touchdowns as an offensive player in the Super Bowl?

News Item – Must-Win Game Ahead For Patriots: Hard to believe that could be the case for a Week 3 game. But when you lose a season’s first two games at home and in Week 4 you’re facing the rampaging Cowboys in Dallas after they’ve outscored their first two opponents 70-10 that is the case. Especially after consecutive confidence-sapping losses when the Pats were unable to finish off the kind of comeback-winning drives they did for 20 years with a different QB under center. All of which means Sunday vs. the Aaron Rodgers-less Jets is a must-win, or the “Bill Belichick on the hot seat” chatter goes on full blast.

Thumbs Up – New NBA Load Management Rules: To the NBA brass for saving fans from their sissy players and/or imperial coaches for enacting rules and fines regarding how and when teams can rest star players. It protects people who drop big money to see a star player in his only time in their town from the whims of coaches like Gregg Popovich who treat fans paying the freight like they don’t matter.

Thumbs Down – Aaron Rodgers Injury: I’m not a fan of the Jets, or of Rodgers for that matter. But seeing him go down four snaps into the season is a bummer. Thought his arrival in NJ gave extra juice to the AFC East and I was looking forward to seeing how it all would turn out. Instead, four snaps. Booo.

News Item – Who’s Hot: In the 317 at-bats since Sox rookie Triston Casas left April behind hitting .133, he has hit .297 with 21 homers and 61 RBI to raise the overall totals to 24–64–.263.

The Numbers:
.081 – according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe the Red Sox batting average (5 for 61) last week with runners in scoring position when they won once in seven games.
2 – field goals that doinked off the left upright and in during NFL Week 1 where Buffalo’s sent it to OT vs. NY and Philadelphia’s helped send Patriot Nation home 25-20 losers.
3 – interceptions by Jordan Whitehead for the Jets on Monday Night Football vs. Buffalo, which is more than he had in any entire season during his four-year NFL career.

… Of the Week Awards
Why Can’t We Get Guys Like That Award – tie:
Nelson Agholor: Had five catches for 62 yards for his new team and scored the TD that iced the Ravens’ 27-24 over the Bengals.
Nick Folk: Kicked a 41-yard FG in OT to give Tennessee a 27-24 over San Diego, er, L.A. to snap an eight-game Titans winless streak.

Random Thoughts:
Blindly going for it on fourth and short because the analytics say do it is dumb. Sorry, circumstances like score, time left and distance should be taken into account.
With all those layoffs at ESPN how is it that attention-seeking, rarely right blowhard Rex Ryan survived and the superior Jeff Van Gundy didn’t?

Sports 101 Answer: Both times it happened in games the Patriots were in. First as Refrigerator Perry plowed through their short-yardage defense when the Bear annihilated them 46-10 in SB 20, and Mike Vrabel did it twice as a short yardage tight end vs. Carolina and Philadelphia in their second and third SB wins.

Final Thought: Blame, blame, blame. That’s the game being played by Red Sox owner John Henry in firing Bloom as his GM. Done more so to head off a box office fan revolt rather than to face the real problem. Many say Bloom was just doing as he was told and the product reflected that. But as Evita Peron says, don’t cry for me, Argentina. The $180 million payroll he had was double what Baltimore and Tampa Bay have and they’re both 20 games up in the standings. Sorry, he couldn’t judge talent and his beloved analytics rarely see beyond the numbers to let the pieces of a team fit together.

But the real problem is the owner. He’s checked out. And that’s led to a passionless, indecisive leadership that only cares about ticket sales and ratings at NESN.

It all adds up to this: Henry should sell the team to preserve the legacy he earned over his first 15 years as the best owner in team history.

Email Dave Long at dlong@hippopress.com.

The Weekly Dish 23/09/21

News from the local food scene

Manchester Brewfest: Don’t miss the ninth annual Manchester Brewfest on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Arms Park on Commercial Street in Manchester. The event will include vendors like The Rugged Axe, Draughtpick, Darbster Rescue, Rage Cage NH, New England Steel Fighters and Granite State Freeze Dried Candy and music by the Shawna Jackson Band. Money raised will benefit Waypoint, a human service and advocacy group. General admission hours are 1 to 4 p.m. and VIP admission is from noon to 4 p.m. VIP tickets are $50, general tickets are $40 and designated driver tickets are $15.

Make chocolate rose sculptures: Tour Van Otis’ Chocolate Factory (341 Elm St., Manchester), try handmade chocolate and learn from a chocolatier how to manipulate and sculpt edible roses on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased via eventbrite.

Try Croatian wine on the Seacoast: Learn about and taste wines of Croatia with Anne Arnold and Mirena Bagur at the AC Hotel by Marriott (299 Vaughan St., Portsmouth) on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 via eventbrite.

Try Croatian wine on the Seacoast: Learn about and taste wines of Croatia with Anne Arnold and Mirena Bagur at the AC Hotel by Marriott (299 Vaughan St., Portsmouth) on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 via eventbrite.

Harvest weekend: From Saturday, Sept. 30, to Sunday, Oct. 1, is Harvest Weekend at Black Bear Vineyard (289 New Road, Salisbury). This outdoor event includes live music, wine sold by the glass or bottle, the opportunity to learn about the wine-making process and 603 Food Truck. Tickets are $18, free for those under 21 years old. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com.

A Haunting in Venice

A retired-ish Hercule Poirot is asked to attend a Halloween seance and ends up at the scene of a murder in A Haunting in Venice, a surprisingly fun entry in Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot series.

It’s 1947 and Hercule (Branagh, who also directs) has retired to a lovely home on a canal in pre-cruise ship Venice, Italy. He’s hired Vitale (Riccardo Scamarcio), a former police officer bodyguard, whose whole job is to keep away the crowds that line up outside Poirot’s house hoping he will solve a mystery for them. Poirot has told him to turn away all comers, and the guard does until mystery writer Ariadne Oliver (Tina Fey) shows up. Sort of a less successful, American Agatha Christie type, Ariadne is an old friend of Hercule whose last few books have been meh-ly received and who is now investigating the work of a medium, Joyce Reynolds (Michelle Yeoh). The medium is obviously a fake but Ariadne can’t figure how she’s pulling the cons she is, with seances full of spookiness and facts that would seemingly be impossible for her to know. Help me spot her con, Ariadne asks Hercule, inviting him to a seance that night at a palazzo that is considered to be cursed. And, as it happens, that night is Halloween.

That palazzo, a one-time orphanage where legend has it that children were once left to die during a plague, is hosting a Halloween party for this current generation of war orphans. After the spooky puppet show and some bobbing for apples (which in 2023 — a bunch of kids putting their whole faces in the same pot of water? — is legitimately horrifying) a group gathers for a seance. Thus do we get our “everyone’s a suspect” murder mystery party:

  • Desdemona (Emma Laird) and Nicholas (Ali Khan), Joyce Reynolds’ assistants.
  • Rowena (Kelly Reilly), an opera singer and the home’s current owner. She has commissioned this seance because her daughter Alicia (Rowan Robinson) died months earlier and Mrs. Reynolds has told Rowena that her daughter is trying to reach her.
  • Dr. Leslie Ferrier (Jamie Dornan), formerly the doctor of Rowena’s daughter who is still deeply disturbed from his experiences in the war.
  • Dr. Leslie Ferrier (Jamie Dornan), formerly the doctor of Rowena’s daughter who is still deeply disturbed from his experiences in the war.
  • Olga (Camille Cottin), Rowena’s longtime housekeeper and family caretaker.

und out the gathering. Rather quickly, Poirot spots some of Mrs. Reynolds’ fakery. But she doubles down, speaking as Alicia and claiming that someone there killed her. The seance ends — but soon it is Mrs. Reynolds who is found murdered and, in classic Hercule style, Poirot locks the gates to the palazzo and vows to find “ze killah” while a storm rages outside, preventing the police from getting to the house.

This is the first one of these Branagh Poirot endeavors that doesn’t feel like the Poirot mustache is doing 50 percent of the movie’s work. In the past, these things have felt like they were mostly mustache, stunt casting and production design — with everything else, including story and the creation of believably human characters, a very distant concern. Here, the movie conveys a nicely haunted setting with haunted characters even before its particular mystery starts. The world, the city and everyone here is coming out of the calamity that was World War II. That puts the movie on a different footing than the “rich people with secrets” setup in the past two movies. And the casting here while still a bit stunt-y (Fey, Yeoh) doesn’t get in the way. The other movies felt like flat Hercule Poirot cartoons and this movie feels like it has characters with a bit of depth. And Branagh tells his story with off-kilter camera angles and a generally disorienting visual approach to what we’re seeing and whose eyes were seeing it through. There is genuine dread. The movie doesn’t ever make you think it’s a ghost story per se but it does allow at times for a sense of the unsettlingly unexpected — maybe this house really is filled with the spirits of vengeance-seeking children or maybe our hero Poirot is experiencing a diminishment of his intellect, an even scarier prospect. This movie builds itself out of its juxtaposition of vibes — the sunny loveliness of Venice, the omnipresent darkness of the recently ended war. The result is a Haunting with a little heft. B

Rated PG-13 for some strong violence, disturbing images and thematic elements, according to the MPA on filmratings.com. Directed by Kenneth Branagh with screenplay by Michael Green (based on the Agatha Christie novel Hallowe’en Party), A Haunting in Venice is a thoroughly enjoyable hour and 41 minutes long and is distributed in theaters by 20th Century Studios.

Featured photo: courtesy photo.

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