taylor o'donnell
Singer Taylor O'Donnell and her trio perform under the tent at PMAC this weekend.

Top 10 things to do: July 9-11

A roundup of weekend entertainment on the Seacoast

We’ll be keeping an eye on the weather, but as of now there are lots of great events coming up this weekend. (Be sure to check with the host organization in advance of any outdoor events on Friday, as there’s rain in the forecast.)

‘All Shook Up’ in Newburyport

all shook up newburyport

Hips are still shaking at Waterfront East in Newburyport, as the Firehouse Center for the Arts’ outdoor production of “All Shook Up” remains on stage through July 25. The jukebox musical by Joe DiPietro is set in 1955 and features the songs of Elvis Presley. Show times are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 7:30-10 p.m. One $50 pod admits up to four people (and there are packages available with “Godspell”). Learn more here.

‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’

good man charlie brown

Portsmouth was not the same last year without the Prescott Park Arts Festival’s summer musical. Fortunately, the festival returns this year with a production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” opening Friday. The show explores the world through the eyes of Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Thursdays and Sundays at 7 p.m., with matinees on select dates. Learn more here.

Finding Your Voice in Your Food Writing

kathy gunst

Local foodie and author Kathy Gunst leads a day-long workshop devoted to food writing at The Word Barn Meadow in Exeter on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gunst is a James Beard Award-winning food journalist, cookbook author, and resident chef for NPR’s “Here and Now.” She’ll guide participants through a day of writing, reading, and offering constructive feedback (and she’ll cook a dish live!). Tickets are $180. Learn more here.

American Independence Festival

american independence festival exeter

The American Independence Museum in Exeter is presenting its annual American Independence Festival in a modified fashion this year. There will be in-person festivities on the museum grounds on three consecutive Saturdays (July 10, 17, and 24) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artisans and re-enactors will be on site all day, with special anchor events ending each installment. There will also be virtual programming during the week. Learn more here.

Taylor O’Donnell Trio at PMAC

taylor o'donnell

The Portsmouth Music and Arts Center kicks off a brand new concert series under the tent this weekend, and the first show is a doozy. Ultra-talented local singer Taylor O’Donnell will perform with her trio on Saturday from 3-4 p.m., playing a mix of jazz, rock, and roots originals and covers. The group features O’Donnell on keys and vocals with Chris Klaxton on drums and Jimmy Clark on bass. Tickets are $10 ($5 for kids). Learn more here.

Summer in the Street concert

summer street portsmouth

Live music returns to the streets of downtown Portsmouth this summer. Pro Portsmouth’s free Summer in the Street concert series kicks off on Saturday from 5:30-9 p.m. and continues weekly through July 31. First up is local band Ambulate As Tolerated, who play a mix of originals and covers by acts like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Gillian Welch, and Wilco. A portion of Pleasant Street will be closed off for sitting and dancing. Learn more here.

Concerts at The Stone Church


The Stone Church in Newmarket is bringing a pair of great concerts to the stage this weekend. First up on Saturday from 6-9 p.m. is Boston-based jam-rock quartet Skyfoot, winners of the 2019 New England Music Award for “Best in State – MA” (tickets are $15). Then, on Sunday, from 3-5 p.m., local folk and bluegrass bands Green Heron and OldHat Stringband team up for an outdoor performance (tickets are $20). For more information, click here.

Concerts by the Bridge: Lookie Lookie


It will be a hot night of Latin music at John Paul Jones Park in Kittery on Saturday. As part of its ongoing Concerts by the Bridge series, The Dance Hall is presenting Latin boogaloo band Lookie Lookie from 6-7 p.m. Featuring an all-star lineup of Boston music veterans under the direction of Grammy-nominated arranger Russ Gershon, Lookie has a fun and catchy sound that blends 1950s Cuban music and 1970s salsa. Tickets are $15. Learn more here.

Elijah Wolf at The Word Barn Meadow

elijah wolf word barn

Indie-folk artist Elijah Wolf is celebrating the release of his acclaimed sophomore album, “Brighter Lighting,” which came out in February. He’ll play an outdoor show at The Word Barn Meadow in Exeter on Saturday from 7-9 p.m. Sharing the bill with Wolf is Quiet Canyons (the new project from Soft Swells member Tim Williams), which released its self-titled debut collection this year. Tickets are $20. For more information, click here.

John Paul Jones Birthday Bash

The Portsmouth Historical Society will celebrate the 274th birthday of Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones on the grounds of his former Portsmouth residence on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Often referred to as the “Father of the American Navy,” Jones lived in the historic house on Middle Street in the early 1780s. At the party, there will be live music from Great Bay Sailor, lawn games, cake, and free tours of the house museum. Learn more here.

See the full calendar for more local events.