Friday, July 25, 2008

Ogunquit Playhouse Receives American
Masterpiece Grant

The Ogunquit Playhouse is the proud recipient of an American Masterpiece Grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, in the amount of $20,000 for the re-staging of Lerner and Loewe’s timeless classic My Fair Lady. Originally developed by the National Endowment for the Arts to fund projects with a national stature and scope, the Maine Arts Commission offers American Masterpieces as a major initiative to acquaint Maine people with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy. The Ogunquit Playhouse has a long history of producing some of the most spectacular American masterpieces on its stage since its humble beginnings in 1933.
The middle of the twentieth century is described as The Golden Age of American theatre – a time when Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin and others were at the height of their illustrious careers. The progression of musical theatre culminated in what some have called the perfect musical, Lerner and Loewe’s American Masterpiece, My Fair Lady (1956). My Fair Lady went on to become the greatest commercial triumph the American theatre had known up until that time. My Fair Lady won Tony® Awards for: Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Director, Best Conductor or Musical Director, Best Scenic Design, and Best Costume Design. It played to acclaim in numerous languages all around the world and has been revived several times in both New York and London, remaining a worldwide favorite for a half a century. Cameron Mackintosh’s National Theatre of Great Britain’s new production of My Fair Lady enjoyed critical acclaim and sold out performances throughout the United States this past year.
Executive Artistic Director, Bradford Kenney signed world renowned actor/director, Shaun Kerrison, who has staged the show all over the world with Trevor Nunn, to direct My Fair Lady for the Ogunquit Playhouse. He will arrive from London on a special work visa for a “person with extraordinary talents” to work on this special project. Among Shaun Kerrison’s many achievements he was Associate Director of Les Misérables at the Palace Theatre in London and Tour Director for the national company, Associate Director of My Fair Lady at both the National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the Associate Director on J M Barrie’s original play of Peter Pan and The Pirates of Penzance, both at The Savoy Theatre, London, the resident director of The Lion King (Lyceum) and last year staged Les Misérables in concert for a special gala performance at Windsor Castle to celebrate 100 years of the Entente Cordiale, for Her Majesty the Queen and President Chirac.
Through American Masterpieces, the Maine Arts Commission has the opportunity to provide significant support for exhibitions, performances, tours and educational programs across all art forms that will reach large and small communities throughout Maine. The Ogunquit Playhouse is grateful to be the recipient of such a prestigious and generous award.
My Fair Lady opens on the Ogunquit stage August 13th and runs through September 6th. The 2008 season concludes with a glorious production Les Misérables starring international Broadway star Andrea McArdle and Ryan Landry (September 10 – October 12). Main Stage ticket prices range from $39-58 per show and are available through the Box Office at 207-646-5511 or online at
The Ogunquit Playhouse is America’s Foremost Summer Theatre producing the best of Broadway at the Beach each season, now running twenty-one weeks from Memorial Day to Columbus Day Weekends! For a complete list of show times visit us online at The Ogunquit Playhouse is a 501(c)3 non-for-profit charitable organization.

Antique Tractor and Engine Show Returns to Eliot

Bring the whole family and step back in time to the 19th Century Raitt Homestead Farm on July 25–27, 2008 for the 13 year anniversary of the Eliot Antique Tractor and Engine Show held at the corner of Route 236 and Route 103 in Eliot, Maine. The three day event will feature a huge assortment of antique tractors, engines and farm equipment, live music, food, crafts, shingle mill demonstrations as well as Tractor Parades, Tractor Pulls, a Kids Pedal Tractor Pull, and much more. 
The weekend kicks off Friday evening July 25th with an Auction and Homemade Spaghetti Dinner to benefit the Raitt Homestead Farm Museum. 
For more information about the Eliot Antique Tractor and Engine Show please call 207-748-3303 or visit our website - where you’ll find a complete schedule of events, photos and information about participating in the show.

Caption: The Antique Tractor and Engine Show is in Eliot this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

Ortiz Thrills Mainers at Hadlock Field

By Joe Hessert
Staff Columnist

The stands at Hadlock Field shook when David Ortiz emerged from the dugout to lead-off the fourth inning. Never mind that the Sea Dogs were already down 9-1. Never mind that Right-hander Garrett Broshuis was having a great night on the hill for the Connecticut Defenders.   Never mind that Ortiz struck out to end the first inning. Big Papi was getting another chance to swing the bat and that’s what most of the fans in sold-out Hadlock had come to see.
“Papi, Papi!” the fans chanted, banging on their seats and stomping on the aluminum bleachers. A woman in the stands yelled, “Show us those pearly whites, Papi!” hoping for a smile from the slugger. It was seventy degrees, and the sun was starting to set over the left field wall. The partly-cloudy sky appeared golden and beneath it Hadlock Field seemed to glow under the floodlights.
On the 1-2 pitch Ortiz hit an easy grounder to Connecticut’s first baseman. The crowd sighed. But the ball was misplayed, bouncing off the heel of his glove to the second baseman who scooped it and tossed it to the pitcher who had shifted to cover first. There was still plenty of time to make the out, but when the ball smacked into Broshuis’ glove he mishandled it and it dropped harmlessly to the ground. David Ortiz had reached first base on two errors. Hundreds of Mainers went nuts.
Sometimes it’s the imperfections in a play that make a night at the ballpark perfect, and that’s something to appreciate about AA baseball in Portland. Home runs, perfectly turned double plays, diving catches and thrown out base-runners can thrill a crowd – and there were certainly some of those plays made at Hadlock on Tuesday night. But watching one of the greatest sluggers in the game hustle to first and listening to hundreds of people hanging on every movement of a baseball during an oddball play is arguably just as special. Where else can you see one of the biggest stars in the game play and joke and laugh alongside tomorrow’s all-stars?
Ortiz didn’t homer in Tuesday night’s game, but he hit a few over everything and onto the football field behind the right field wall during batting practice (this was after the manager of the visiting Connecticut Defenders crossed the field and asked him to autograph a baseball) and his swing looked as good as ever. He spoke well of the Sea Dogs Organization during a pre-game press conference too: “What I see here and what I see in triple-A Pawtucket, the guys look good,” he said. “All of them know you gotta work hard to move up.”
And Papi has seen that hard work pay-off for former Sea Dog players like All-Star infielders Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. “Last year without those kids I don’t think we would have made it,” Ortiz said. But the Red Sox did make it in 2007, winning the World Series for the second time since 2004. Jacoby was called up at the end of the 2007 season from Double-A Portland and had a great postseason. “Ellsbury last year … he carried the team on his back through the playoffs,” Ortiz said with a smile. “That’s big.”
“I like the weather for sure,” Papi said when asked how he was enjoying his trip to Maine – the last stop on a rehab stint before rejoining the Red Sox for a series against New York this weekend. And while he hasn’t had any lobster yet, he has enjoyed watching the way that the young players in Portland conduct themselves.
Asked if he was excited about facing the Yankees in a few days, David grinned and said simply, “We’ll get ‘em.”

Caption: David Ortiz admires a line drive hit by one of his Portland teammates during batting practice on Tuesday afternoon. (Weekly Sentinel photo)