, Gloucester, MA

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August 3, 2013

Talk of the Times: Gloucester itself plays stage role

Talk of the Times

From the time the season schedule was announced, it seemed clear that “North Shore Fish,” the 1986 play by Gloucester’s own Israel Horovitz, would capture audiences of local residents and visitors alike — and it has.

But while the oft-intense play is relevant for its portrayal of a struggling Gloucester fish-packing plant, Gloucester folks who take in “North Shore Fish” as it closes out today, tonight and Sunday afternoon may get a special kick out of another aspect of the dialogue. Just as in 2009’s “Sins of the Mother,” Horovitz and director Robert Walsh – who starred in the memorable “Sins...” at Gloucester Stage —have laced the piece with dozens of local references that locals can’t miss.

In no particular order, the play and its characters call out — among others — Good Harbor Beach, Gorton’s, O’Maley Middle School, Mike’s Place, Destino’s, Our Lady of Good Voyage Church and Central Grammar.

In the latter case, the plant conversation leaves the North Shore Fish women wondering aloud how one person who went to school there, later taught there, and now lives in the converted housing complex could “spend his whole life in one building.”

Libations at intermission

Speaking of Gloucester Stage, the theater is now able to serve beer and wine after gaining approval for a license earlier this month.

The choice for now is either a white Chateau St. Jean 2010, and for the red, there is Rodney Strong Cabernet sauvignon.

For those preferring something a bit more bubbly, there are two choices of beer from Cape Ann Brewery, featuring a Fishermen’s Brew or an ale.

After “North Shore Fish” closes tomorrow, the action picks up again next week with the Thursday opening of “This is Our Youth.” That’s a piece by playwright and screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan, perhaps best known for writing the screenplay for the film “Analyze This.”

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