It’s a Wonderful Life in Newport and Derby Line

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Pictured is the cast of QNEK’s upcoming It’s A Wonderful Life:  A Live Radio Play.  In the top row, from left, are John Young, Nancy Rumery, John Meredith, Lisa Foster McCrae, and Brian McCrae.  In the middle row, from left, are Rhonda Lucas, Josie Pearson, Charli Kellaway, Caresse Comeau-Elman, Tori Young, Cazian Comeau-Elman, John Meredith, and Kim Prangley.  In the bottom row, from left, are Mark Rumery, Jim Young, Josie Pearson, Zoe Lucas, Heidi Walsh, and Nicki Campbell.  Photo courtesy of QNEK Productions

Pictured is the cast of QNEK’s upcoming It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. In the top row, from left, are John Young, Nancy Rumery, John Meredith, Lisa Foster McCrae, and Brian McCrae. In the middle row, from left, are Rhonda Lucas, Josie Pearson, Charli Kellaway, Caresse Comeau-Elman, Tori Young, Cazian Comeau-Elman, John Meredith, and Kim Prangley. In the bottom row, from left, are Mark Rumery, Jim Young, Josie Pearson, Zoe Lucas, Heidi Walsh, and Nicki Campbell. Photo courtesy of QNEK Productions

QNEK Productions continues the celebration of it’s twenty-first season by presenting It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, by Joe Landry.

Performances begin at The MAC Center for the Arts in Newport on Friday, December 12, at 7:30 p.m., and continue at The First Universalist Parish of Derby Line on Saturday, December 13, at 2 p.m., Friday, December 19, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, December 20 at 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served at all performances. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly recommended.

Tickets are available by visiting qnek.com, calling the QNEK Box Office at 334-2216, at The MAC Center for the Arts, by visiting catamountarts.org, or by calling the Catamount Arts Box Office at 1-888-757-5559. All performances go to benefit their respective venues. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

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QNEK presents thriller, Wait Until Dark

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Pictured are members of the cast from QNEK’s production of Wait Until Dark.  In the top row, from left to right, are Ross Murray, Victoria Young, and Nathan Sargent.  In the middle row, from left, are Mike Desjardins, Mary Hoadley, and Brian McCrea.  In the bottom row, from left, are Eric Alexandre, Brian McCrea, Ross Murray, Mike Desjardins, and James Cross.  Photo courtesy of QNEK

Pictured are members of the cast from QNEK’s production of Wait Until Dark. In the top row, from left to right, are Ross Murray, Victoria Young, and Nathan Sargent. In the middle row, from left, are Mike Desjardins, Mary Hoadley, and Brian McCrea. In the bottom row, from left, are Eric Alexandre, Brian McCrea, Ross Murray, Mike Desjardins, and James Cross. Photo courtesy of QNEK

QNEK Productions, the award-winning international theater company in residence at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line, finishes its twenty-first main stage season with the highly entertaining and suspenseful thriller, Wait Until Dark, directed and designed by Susan-Lynn Johns with a set built under the guidance of Tom Rooney by the North Country Union High School building trades class.

Written by Frederick Knott — author of the classic mystery, Dial M for MurderWait Until Dark captures the audience with its complex story and noir undertones. In a time when gore and extreme violence run rampant in film and television, audiences will find it refreshing to find horror in the chase, more so than in a pool of blood.

The heroine of the story, set in the 1960s, is blind housewife Susy Hendrix (Mary Hoadley of Newport). Independent and resourceful, Susy is learning to cope with her blindness, which resulted from a recent accident. She is aided by her difficult, slightly unreliable young neighbor, Gloria (Victoria Young of Newport), with whom she has an exasperated but lovingly maternal relationship. Susy’s life is changed as she is terrorized by a group of criminals who believe she has hidden a baby doll used by them to smuggle heroin into the country. Unknown to Susy, her photographer husband, Sam (Nathan Sargent of Newport), took the doll as a favor for a woman he met on an international plane flight and unwittingly brought the doll to the couple’s New York apartment when the woman became afraid of the customs officials. Alone in her apartment and cut off from the outside world, Susy must fight for her life against a gang of ruthless criminals, led by the violent, psychotic Roat (Ross Murray of Stanstead, Quebec). The tension builds as Roat and his accomplices Carlino (Brian McCrea of Newport) and Mike Talman (Mike Desjardins of Newport), impersonate police detectives and friends of her husband in order to win Susy’s confidence, gaining access to her apartment to look for the doll. The climax of the play, a vicious physical confrontation between Susy and Roat in her dark kitchen, is one of the most memorable and frightening scenes in theater history. Rounding off the cast as policemen are James Cross of Island Pond and Eric Alexandre of Magog, Quebec.

Performance dates are October 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and October 12 at 2 p.m. at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line and Stanstead, Quebec. Reserve tickets by calling the QNEK Box Office at (802) 624-1490; charge tickets via phone or online through Catamount Arts, 1-888-757-5559, www.catamountarts.org; or purchase at The MAC Center for the Arts in Newport.

For information, and group rate quotes, contact the QNEK business office at 334-2216. — from QNEK.

For more things to do, see Things to Do in the Northeast Kingdom.

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Editorial: Thanks, Jim

Photo by Joseph Gresser, taken at Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury, September 9, 2006.

Photo by Joseph Gresser, taken at Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury, September 9, 2006.

copyright the Chronicle August 20, 2014

Jim Jeffords died Tuesday at age 80 after a lifetime of public service. He was a Republican until the party moved away from his core Vermont values. In 2001 he became an Independent. His decision shifted the power in the U.S. Senate to Democrats when much of the Republican Party had veered off into extremism.

Vermonters who appreciated his decision put bumper stickers on their cars: “Thanks, Jim.”

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