If you feel like dining out tonight, there is a benefit and auction for the Cape Ann Theatre Collaborative at 7 at Shea’s Riverside Restaurant in Essex. Actors from the group will be there.
Shea’s is donating a portion of the night’s take on food and beverages to the theater group to help with its production expenses for its fall production.
CAT Collaborative is already at work planning its next production, William Donnelly’s “Homestead Crossing.” Described as part love story and part existential mystery, it will be performed at the Gorton Theatre, 267 East Main St. in Gloucester, in November.
To make reservations for tonight’s dinner, call Shea’s at 978-768-6931. For more information, visit www.catcollaborative.org.
An Irish dark comedy
The Fishtown Players will continue performances of “Lonesome West,” by the award-winning playwright Martin McDonagh. The Tony-nominated show is a black comedy of brotherly love set in the western Ireland town of Leenane. An idealistic young priest stumbles into a simmering conflict between brothers Coleman and Valene Connor who are in an endless cycle of petty grudges. Father Welsh eventually puts his life on the line in an attempt to reconcile the feuding siblings. Shows will be held at the Gorton Theatre at 267 East Main St. in Gloucester. Tonight’s show at 7:30 is a benefit for the Gloucester Writers Center. There are shows Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $18, and $15 for seniors, and $10 for students. For more information, visit www.fishtownplayers.com.
Writers Center workshop
The Gloucester Writers Center will hold a new workshop Monday, April 15, titled “Presentation Skills Workshop for Writers.” Attendees should bring a short piece of writing — poetry, fiction, non-fiction, theater, memoir (or someone else’s writing) — to work on. The three-hour workshop will provide skills for presenting one’s work to an audience. Tools include relaxation, vocal variety, engaging with the audience, body language, and more. The workshop will be held at the Gloucester Writers Center at 126 E. Main St. in Gloucester, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The instructor is M. Lynda Robinson, a professional actor, playwright, teacher, producer and director for more than 30 years. The workshop is limited to 10 people. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space. For more information, visit gloucesterwriters.org.
World War I stories
The Cape Ann Museum, in collaboration with Historic New England, presents “Two Brothers: Stories From the Front Lines of World War I,” an illustrated talk by archaeologist and curator Timothy Kendall, on Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m. The program is free for Historic New England and Cape Ann Museum members, $5 for nonmembers.
Kendall will tell the story of his grandfather and great-uncle, Boston-born brothers who volunteered for the American Field Service in Europe and documented their experience in France and the Balkans through photographs and personal journal entries. A World War I era ambulance will be on display in the museum’s parking lot. A showing of the Field Service’s recruitment film, “Our American Boys at War in Europe,” will follow Kendall’s talk.
The Field Service was a volunteer corps of ambulance drivers who helped save countless allied lives during World War I. Founded by A. Piatt Andrew of Gloucester and Henry Davis Sleeper of Beauport, the Field Service enlisted more than 3,000 volunteers and resulted in Andrew receiving the French Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre as well as the American Distinguished Service Medal.
The museum is at 27 Pleasant St. in Gloucester. For more information, visit www.capeannmuseum.org.
Spring art reception
The public is invited to the opening reception with the artists on Saturday, April 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the “Spring for Art” show at Central Street Gallery, at 11 Central St. in Manchester. The 14 award-winning artists, including Phyllis Feld and Charleen Onanian of Gloucester, will show their new plein air paintings, oils, watercolors and pastels. The show runs through June 6.
Doucette senior work
Gloucester artist Loren Doucette invites those interested to her senior thesis exhibition at Montserrat College of Art. It is a group show, titled “Withdrawn,” featuring the varied work of nine Montserrat seniors. The opening reception is Wednesday, April 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. It is free to the public. In addition to Doucette, the other artists are Myra Thornton, Buddy Quinn, Sara Benson, Sam King, Tom Maio, Sarah Maeder, Tiffany Bargeron and Justin Durso. The show is at Montserrat Gallery at 301 Cabot St. in Beverly. The show runs to April 19.
Intercollegiate Jazz Fest
The Endicott College Jazz band will host the fifth annual Intercollegiate Jazz Festival tonight, April 11, at 7 at the Rose Performance Hall at the Center for the Arts at Endicott College in Beverly. This event has become a favorite because audiences can enjoy many variations of jazz from various bands, including the EC Jazz Band, under the direction of Ray Novack, along with jazz bands from The Waring School, Beverly High School, Gordon College and the Cape Ann Big Band. After the performances, audience members should feel free to stay for a free reception and chat with the musicians. Tickets are $5 general admission, and free for ECID holders. They can be reserved at www.endicott.edu/centerforthearts or leave a message at 978-998-7700.
Daisy Nell and band
Daisy Nell & Capt. Stan and The Crabgrass Band will perform Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m. at One World Coffeehouse at the First Universalist Church at 59 Main St. in Essex. A coffeehouse favorite, these musicians will present songs of the sea and shore. Some new material will include updated arrangements of traditional folk songs, along with some contemporary songs, including the band’s own. The combination of guitar, mandolin, bass, and banjo gives them a folk string band sound, and their repertoire includes a range from a cappella to blues and ballads. Tickets are $15. For reservations, call 978-768-3690. Parking is available behind the police station on Route 22.
Rockport Music shows
Livingston Taylor will perform in two concerts on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Currently a professor at Berklee College of Music, he takes the audience on a musical journey. Tickets start at $28.
Then on Sunday, April 14 at 5 p.m., Michael Dutra & The Frank Sinatra Orchestra swing back in time with songs like “My Way,” “Summer Wind,” and “Strangers in The Night.” Dutra has performed around the world since 2002, taking the stage more than 300 nights per year with his renditions of Sinatra classics. Tickets start at $28. For tickets and information, visit www.rockportmusic.org.
Sea creatures art show
There will be more than 100 clay sea creature sculptures, created by local adults and children, on view next Thursday, April 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Opportunity Center at Pond View Village at 23 LePage Lane in Gloucester. Refreshments will be served. The show’s mission is to focus on humanity’s impact on ocean life. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Gloucester Cultural Council.
Three local authors, the Rev. Susan Moran, Joe Rukeyser, and Jonathan Strong, will share brief selections from their work on Sunday, April 14, at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport at 4 Cleaves St. in downtown Rockport. Enjoy a cup of cider while listening to and discussing the work of these accomplished writers.
Moran is the minister at Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport and lives with her teenage daughters on the North Shore. She considers herself more of a preacher than a writer, having graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1995, after a career in real estate finance. She is a trained chaplain and has served in churches in Manhattan, N.Y.; Hancock, Maine, as well as Marblehead and Winchester. As a minister, her typical writing format is that of the sermon. On April 14, though, she will be reading an essay she began nine months after the sudden death of her husband, “Losing: A Love Story.”
Rukeyser writes in a style that his writing teacher, Pat Sylvia, calls memoir-as-story. Our lives are linear, chronological, but our memories are not. Nor are they static. They grow and change with each telling. They take on different meaning as we learn more about ourselves and about “what really happened.” These are the stories we tell. Rukeyser is a free-lance writer, editor, and the manager of the Toad Hall bookstore in Rockport. He is a member of a small writing workshop and has read his work at various sites around Cape Ann. Several of his stories have been published in the online literary magazine, Zingolgogy. He will share “The Happiness Girl.”
Strong moved to Rockport in 1998 after 27 years in Somerville. He is the author of 15 novels. He will read from his forthcoming book, “Hawkweed and Indian Paintbrush.” He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and has published stories in The Atlantic, The Partisan Review, Esquire, and other magazines. Strong has taught fiction writing at Harvard, Wellesley, the University of Massachusetts (Boston), and for most of his career at Tufts, where he continues to teach.
Gospel trio at church
The Az One gospel trio performs at the Sunday service on April 14 at 10 a.m. at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church. Professional vocalists Gordon Michaels, Darlene Wynn and James Early are returning to Gloucester for another Sunday morning experience. The service is held in the grand 1806 Universalist Meeting House, Gloucester’s oldest standing church, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is located at the corner of Middle and Church Street on a tree-lined green. All are welcome, and the meeting house is fully accessible.
Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-283-7000 x3445, or gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.