There’s so much happening this first weekend of May that we could not confine our highlights to a mere five events like usual. Instead, we’ve got a top-10 roundup, and it still only scratches the surface of available entertainment.
Bare: The Nude Now
As always, the first Friday of the month means new exhibits will be unveiled during Portsmouth’s Art ’Round Town, the Dover Art Walk, and Exeter’s First Friday. The latest show at the Foundation Art Space in Exeter features local artists exploring the subject of the nude in art in modern times. “Bare: The Nude Now” opens with a reception on Friday, May 4, from 5-8 p.m. The show runs through May 26; for more information, click here.
It was just over 50 years ago that “The Graduate” hit the big screen. Oz Productions is staging its adaptation of the famed romantic comedy at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth from May 4-20. Directed by Todd Hunter, it stars Tomer Oz and Constance Witman in the roles played by Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in the film. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.; tickets are $14-$18. Learn more here.
Scissorfight & Friends
It’s gonna get heavy at The Stone Church in Newmarket on Friday, May 4, when legendary local metal band Scissorfight headlines a night of hard rock. The event marks a triumphant return for Scissorfight following a sold-out show there last fall. Also on the bill are Boston-based acts Gozu and Diablogato, as well as New Hampshire’s own Genuine Rust, which bills itself as “country-metal drunkabilly death-punk.” The music starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15-$18; learn more here.
Portsmouth Farmers Market
Portsmouth’s outdoor farmers market opens for the season on Saturday, May 5. There will be vendors of local meat and produce, garden-starting plants, take-home meals, and ready-to-eat treats, along with live music. Presented by the Seacoast Growers Association, the market is every Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 3 in the parking lot outside Portsmouth City Hall. Learn more about the Portsmouth Farmers Market, as well as the Exeter Farmers Market, Dover Farmers Market, and Durham Farmers Market.
Black Heritage Trail Spring Symposium
The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s Spring Symposium, titled “Myth, Reality & Mapping the Underground Railroad,” takes place Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at St. John’s Church in Portsmouth. The event features a guided tour, a panel discussion with five expert panelists, a living history presentation, and an interactive workshop, all aimed at separating fact from fiction regarding the history of the Underground Railroad in New England. Tickets are $20-$35; for more information, click here.
Free Comic Book Day
Superheroes and villains will roam the streets of downtown Rochester on Saturday, May 5, during Free Comic Book Day. Organized locally by Jetpack Comics, the event features a costume contest and comic convention at the Governor’s Inn, live entertainment on stages around town, food vendors in the Union Street parking lot, special cosplay events, and, of course, free comic books. Several local creators and vendors of comics, toys, and other wares will take part. Learn more here.
Mangion Memorial Poetry Celebration
The featured guest at the Kittery Art Association’s annual Mangion Memorial Poetry Celebration is former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Charles Simic. The event on Saturday, May 5, features an interview and craft talk with Simic from 3-4:30 p.m., followed by a reading, book signing, and reception at 7 p.m. It all takes place at the First Congregational Church of Kittery Point. There is a suggested donation of $20, with proceeds benefiting the KAA. Learn more here.
Prints + Pots
Work by alumni from the New Hampshire Institute of Art takes the spotlight in the sixth annual Prints + Pots exhibit at Chases Garage in York. The juried collection includes prints and ceramics made using a variety of techniques. It opens with a reception on Saturday, May 5, from 4-8 p.m. and runs through July 15. The artists will be on hand at the reception to share their works and processes. For more information, click here.
Cycle the Seacoast
Serious athletes and weekend warriors alike will compete in Cycle the Seacoast, a multi-route cycling event that benefits the American Lung Association, on Sunday, May 6, beginning at 7 a.m. There are 25-, 50-, or 100-mile routes to choose from, all starting and ending at the Redhook Brewery at Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth. The event is open to ages 7 and up, with a $35-$45 registration fee and a $200 fundraising minimum ($100 for ages 7-17). Learn more here.
Every year, on the first Sunday of May, children rule the streets of downtown Portsmouth. Upwards of 10,000 people are expected to visit during Children’s Day on Sunday, May 6, from 12-4 p.m. Presented by Pro Portsmouth, the event will include family-friendly activities and entertainment at more than a dozen downtown locations. There will be music, crafts, treats, demonstrations, and more, all supported by downtown merchants, area companies, civic organizations, and volunteers. For more information, click here.
For a full calendar of local events, click here.