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Globe North arts

‘A Little Dickens’ in Marblehead

The Mugford Street Players will present their 25th annual staged reading of “A Little Dickens’’ today in Marblehead. The current (from left) include Georgette Beck, Rachel Palleschi, Jim Robinson, James Butterfield, and Pauline Wright. The Mugford Street Players will present their 25th annual staged reading of “A Little Dickens’’ today in Marblehead. The current (from left) include Georgette Beck, Rachel Palleschi, Jim Robinson, James Butterfield, and Pauline Wright. (John Fogle)
By Wendy Killeen
Globe Correspondent / December 18, 2011
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The Mugford Street Players present their 25th annual staged reading of “A Little Dickens’’ today at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead.

The hourlong reading captures the essence of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol’’ in a presentation that has entertained audiences since it was first performed by Dickens himself in Boston in 1868.

The actors play multiple roles and - along with Chuck Scheffreen as accompanist and creator of ghostly sounds on a hammered dulcimer - create all the sound effects that transport the audience back to Victorian London for the story of Scrooge’s redemption.

Wassail refreshments by Carol Thompson follow the performance with all of the Dickens characters in Victorian costumes.

“The special connection with the audience makes the true Christmas spirit of ‘A Christmas Carol’ come alive for me like nothing else,’’ said director Jim Robinson.

“A Little Dickens’’ features readers Georgette Beck, James Butterfield, John Fogle, Rachel Palleschi, Jim Robinson, and Pauline Wright. The producer is Bill Smalley.

The performance begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens. For reservations, call 781-631-9106.

CHRISTMAS TALES: Doug Brendel, who presented a one-man show, “Vincent,’’ at Time & Tide Fine Art in September, presents an evening of Christmas storytelling at First Church in Ipswich tonight.

Brendel performs two of his original works.

“Dirty’’ is a humorous and heartwarming take on the birth of Jesus from the perspective of the shepherds. It was performed at last year’s Christmas event at Time & Tide in Ipswich.

“The Day After Christmas’’ is an amusing story in rhyme about an old man working the postholiday returns and complaints desk at a major department store.

The evening also features music by local artists. The event begins at 7:30 p.m., and children are welcome to join their parents. Admission is free.

For more information, call Brendel at 978-810-1005 or Rebecca Brown at First Church, 978-356-2211.

ARTISTS IN ACTION: Creative Haverhill hosts the last in its series of artist demonstrations Thursday at The Shop @90WASH in downtown Haverhill.

David Zoffoli, director of Creative Haverhill, said the series was prompted by an enthusiastic response to the new arts and crafts shop.

“These are the local people who help drive our local creative economy,’’ said Zoffoli. “It’s a great opportunity to witness the professional skills required of our very talented artists.’’

Featured Thursday are woodcuts by Dan Brenton, stained-glass sun catchers by Paul Prue and Mary Phennicie, and origami by Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander, owners of Origamido in Haverhill.

The evening includes book signings by local authors and a jam session by musicians Earl & Loretta and the Bradford Blues Boys.

The free event runs 6 to 7:30 p.m.

AUTHORS’ CORNER: “In Search of Motif No. 1: The History of a Fish Shack’’ by L.M. Vincent (below) has been published by The History Press. Through anecdotes, Vincent explores the linguistic, artistic, architectural, and anthropological origins of Motif No. 1 in Rockport. Vincent is an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He has published fiction and nonfiction and two of his plays have been produced regionally and off-Broadway. He is a member of the Manchester Historical Society and has done extensive research at the Gloucester Historical Society, Sandy Bay Historical Society, and Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: The artists and artisans at the Brush Gallery and Studios in Lowell present a holiday marketplace through Saturday. Gift items include ceramics, stained glass, paintings, prints, photographs, jewelry, woven scarves, sculpture, mosaics, gift cards, and gift certificates for classes in pottery, pastel painting, collage, and papermaking. . . . The Rocky Neck Art Colony has moved to downtown Gloucester for its seventh annual winter exhibit and sale at 130 Main St. through Dec. 29. The show features painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, and jewelry by art colony members. During the summer season, more than 50 artists display their work in Rocky Neck galleries and studios, exhibiting a wide range of styles and media.

Items can be sent to wdkilleen@gmail.com.

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