Cyrano: Fast-Paced Family Fun at Gloucester Stage Company

By Tom Hauck

With a script by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers, Cyrano, making its New England area premiere at Gloucester Stage Company, takes direct aim at our traditional notions of onstage storytelling. The opening scene, in which a group of people who appear to be real-life stagehands suddenly assume the roles of the characters, alerts us that this adaptation of the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand knows not the artificial boundary of the fourth wall. The costumes worn by the five energetic actors are a mishmash of ordinary street clothes, community-theatre “swashbuckler” capes, and various forms of period headgear, further reinforcing the idea that we’re seeing an edgy, improvisational performance.

The story is familiar and needn’t be told again here. During the two and one-half hour (including intermission) romp, the sparkling ensemble cast, anchored by Jeremiah Kissel as Cyrano and Andrea Goldman as Roxane, puts out enough comic energy to keep the audience riveted. James Ricardo Milord reveals the humility and humanity of love-struck Christian, and Erin Nicole Washington masterfully handles split-second costume changes to bring her five characters to life. Among his three other roles, GSC favorite Paul Melendy delights as Count De Guiche, the pompous commander of the army unit to which Cyrano and Christian belong, and who’s also smitten by Roxane.

Despite the slapdash appearance of the blocking, there are moments of precision choreography, most notably the breathtaking sword fight in which Cyrano efficiently dispatches a succession of foes. But again, the notion that we’re attending a contrived “play” is confirmed by seeing a vanquished actor roll off the platform only to spring to life, grab a different cloak, and attack again. Thus five actors economically create a swirling melee of dozens of combatants.

In keeping with the improv vibe, the set is minimal and the actors themselves are the stagehands, busily drawing curtains and positioning chairs as needed. Deftly directed by GSC artistic director Robert Walsh, Cyrano provides a feast of fine acting, frivolity, and family fun. Now through August 11. For tickets, go to, or call 978-281-4433.

Ruby Wolf between double oriels

“Ruby Wolf” in big script

Cool sign on ground floor space below double orieole windows adorning W.G. Brown building on the 7-11 Pleasant Street side.  What’s coming?

Ruby Wolf

The building dates from 1882.

William Glover Brown was born in 1854 and emigrated from Scotland in 1872. He worked in Providence before building a business in Milford which he brought to Main Street in Gloucester in 1885. In five years the William G. Brown & Co drygoods moved to a bigger Main Street space.  From Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, ed. William Richard Cutter ©1908 from Harvard College Library collection (digitized by Google), and one ad from Polk’s 1960 directory. 




This Week in the Arts

Underwater Photography from New England and around the World

July 19 to August 13 with a reception on Saturday, July 21, 2018

Undersea Divers Photo Society members: Andrea Dec, Steven Coffill, Ellen Garvey, Mike Garvey, Andrew Martinez, Alan Presser, and Stephen Setzer

Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck, 53 Rocky Neck Avenue, Gloucester, MA

The Rocky Neck Art Colony is pleased to present “Underwater Photography from New England and Around the World” as its third Summer Artist Show at Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck. Eight members of Undersea Divers Photo Society are exhibiting photographs taken at dive locations on Cape Ann and around the worldall of which will be for sale. The show runs from July 19 to August 13, 2018 at Gallery 53 with an Opening Reception on Saturday, July 21 from 6 to 8pm. Exhibiting artists include Andrea Dec, Steven Coffill, Ellen Garvey, Mike Garvey, Andrew Martinez, Alan Presser, and Stephen Setzer. The show is open Sundays to Thursdays, 10am to 6pm and 10am to 8pm Fridays and Saturdays.

The Undersea Photo Society is a group of scuba divers with a passion for photographing things most people never get to see.  Led by undersea writer, tour guide and photographer, Andrew Martinez, the group meets monthly at Undersea Divers in Danvers where they share their photos and experiences. Martinez has written several books about undersea diving, illustrated with his own photographs. Some of his books will be for sale at the show, which he will sign during the Reception on July 21.  The Society has 20-30 members who participate in the meetings.  For more information about Undersea Photo Society or about scuba diving please visit

Housed in a historic waterfront building at 53 Rocky Neck Avenue, Gallery 53 is conveniently located between the Studio and Rudder Restaurants at 53 Rocky Neck Ave in Gloucester, MA. Artists are selected for their creativity, technical skill, and distinctive style. The gallery provides the community with thought-provoking Summer Artist Series (SAS) shows and a place to purchase affordable locally-made art. Paintings, jewelry, pottery, wood, glass, mixed-media, hand-pulled prints, and photography are creatively displayed.  For more information about Gallery 53 call 978-282-0917.


The Rocky Neck Art Colony, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization nurtures excellence in the arts through exhibitions, workshops, residencies and vibrant cultural events for its members and the public. Long renowned for its luminous light, this harbor and coastal location has been a magnet for some of the most revered realist paintings in American art and a catalyst for the progressive ideas of artists from Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery, and Nell Blaine, among many others. Today Rocky Neck continues to attract artists and art lovers to a thriving creative community. For up to date information visit


Rocky Neck Art Workshop: Figure and Abstraction

August 6-9, 2018 10am – 3pm

Montserrat College of Art, Hardie Building, 23 Essex St, Beverly, Ma 01915

The Workshop will be led by art instructor Kathy Liao, as part of Rocky Neck Art Colony’s 11-year-old Goetemann Distinguished Artist/Teacher program. New this year: Liao’s workshop takes place at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly (Hardie Building, 23 Essex Street), offering a large studio for up to 15 students. All levels welcome. We will be working from a model for half the workshop, studying gestures and utilizing collage. We’ll then move onto figurative narratives, color and composition.

The Goetemann Distinguished Artist/Teacher program, initiated in 2007, brings to Cape Ann an artist with a national reputation. Liao, who has an MFA in Painting from Boston University, currently teaches painting and printmaking at Missouri Western State University.

Register by July 29. $400 for RNAC members; $500 for non-members.

Send a check for full tuition made out to RNAC (please add GAR Workshop in memo line) to Pat Conant, Rocky Neck Cultural Center, 6 Wonson St., Gloucester, Ma 01930. Include your email or mailing address.

For more details on the workshop, visit

Save the Date all you history buffs

Battle of Gloucester


Event Information is as follows:

 Event:  Battle of Gloucester (August 8, 1775)

 Date/Time:  Saturday August 11, 2018 9am to 1pm

 Location: Gloucester Harbor, Pavilion Beach (Gloucester, MA)

 Scenario:  Authentic pinky schooners of the period will transport British troops into the harbor, troops will transfer to small boats and row into shore in two separate troop movements. The reenactment will be conducted in four parts.

Part 1:  HMS Falcon with captured prize schooner following will chase fleeing schooner into Gloucester Harbor. Fleeing schooner will ground itself on Pavilion Beach and crew will abandon ship. HMS Falcon and prize schooner will anchor off Ten Pound Island. British Troops will row in small boats into Pavilion Beach to board and capture grounded schooner. Colonial militia troops will ambush British troops attempting to capture schooner from nearby fort (playground) at east end of beach.

Part 2:  Capt. Linzee of HMS Falcon realizing his men have been ambushed, attempts a diversion to relieve pressure on his men by having Falcon cannonade the town of Gloucester from the harbor with the aim of setting the town on fire, allowing his men to escape the ambush and row back to the Falcon.

Part 3:  With the failure of the cannon bombardment to set the town on fire, Linzee orders British troops with torches, to land in small boats on west end of Pavilion Beach near Stacey Boulevard to set fish flakes (stages) and buildings of the town on fire by torch. There will be a brief exchange of fire with Colonial militia who are lying in wait to ambush.  British troops will then surrender.

Part 4:  Crewmen of captured prize schooner will revolt and combine with impressed seamen of British prize crew and sail away. Canon volleys may be exchanged between vessels.

Nichole’s Picks 7/21 + 7/22

Pick #1:  Blueberry Festival at Cider Hill Farm


45 Fern Ave, Amesbury

July 21 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm


Pick #2: Annual Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach

July 20-22nd



The 2018 International Sand Sculpting Festival will take place from July 20th -22nd. Come on down to America’s first public beach and enjoy the magnificent sand sculpting competition, delicious Food Trucks and Vendors, and amusements and fun for the whole family! Plus, don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display on Saturday night. This is an event that you won’t want to miss!

Pick #3: Abbadia Mare Rennaissance Fair at Hammond Castle 


July 21& 22, 201811am-5pm

ADULTS – $15.005-11years – $10.004 and under FREE

Come and Enjoy!Live Music, Magic, Comedy!Knights, Storytelling, Merchants!

Parking is at Stage Fort Park with free busing to and from the castle.



As always, for a comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid. 



Healthy Wealthy and Wise…. and Dapper too!

Some ads from the Gloucester Daily Times back in the day gives a little perspective on how our predecessors might have spent their summer. Exercise and snazzy clothing.

Healthy Wealthy and Wise GDT July 30 1920

No such thing as “Tired Business Woman”.  GDT July 30 1920

Talbut ad GDT July 16 1920

Talbot’s ad for the gentlemen in town. GDT July 16 1920  Be still, my heart

Your weekly local farmers market!

Cape Ann Community

CAFM logoEverything you need for a delicious summer dinner is right at the Cape Ann Farmers Market!

Thursdays 3:00-6:30 at Stage Fort Park!

Local fish, bread, cheese, veggies, and fruit, plus live music, ready-to-eat snacks, and beautiful crafts! 

**This market accepts SNAP/EBT, WIC, & Senior Farmers Market Coupons!**

cafm drone

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Art Exhibit featuring 6 Northshore-Based Artists

Cape Ann Community

OEB Judy BrownJuly 29 Art Haven is hosting “ON EXPOSED BRICK” showcase of works from 6 Northshore based artists who work across many mediums including mixed-media collages, acrylic and oil paintings, ceramics, sculptures, and photographs.

Location: 76 Roger’s Street, Gloucester.

For more information contact

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Spaces still available for SummerSTEM program!

Cape Ann Community

We were very happy to get feedback from our first group of students, on the last day of their week at Summer STEM: Fish Fraud Forensics:

“My favorite part of the course was when we extracted the DNA.  I felt like a real scientist!”

“I would recommend this course to my friends because it gives a good introduction to what it’s like to work in lab.”

“I would recommend this course because it was interesting, engaging and really educational.  We were all able to learn so much in just five days.”

Space is still available for our remaining two sessions starting on July 23rd and August 6th.

 Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity!

Visit our website at to learn more and download the registration forms. 


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