July 4 marks the official start of summer ’round these parts, and this post-Fourth weekend features art, theater, and music in the sun (weather permitting). Here are a few of the local highlights.
Art ’Round Town basks in the light
Highlights of downtown Portsmouth’s first Art ’Round Town gallery walk of the summer include three new shows at the New Hampshire Art Association’s Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery. Among them is The Rhythm of Color, featuring dazzling photography by Barry Tarr, who uses new technologies to explore pure color and light. Also, Nahcotta presents Dark to Light, a solo exhibition of oil paintings by Derrick Breidenthal. Receptions for both take place Friday, July 5, from 5-8 p.m.
‘A Backwards Fairytale’ at the Ring
Local theater group Rocket Panda Entertainment debuts its first show at The Players’ Ring in Portsmouth this weekend. “A Backwards Fairytale” — which was written nearly a decade ago by Allie Lehnoff, then a high-school student in Mississippi — runs July 5-14. The play involves a narrator who humorously spars with the princess at the center of her story. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 10 p.m. and Sundays at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12-$14; learn more here.
Aimee Mann & Lucius at Prescott Park
Concerts are best enjoyed outdoors this time of year, and the Prescott Park Arts Festival is presenting two big ones this weekend in Portsmouth. Rock singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, formerly of ’Til Tuesday, will be joined by special guest Jonathan Coulton on Friday, July 5. Then, on Sunday, July 7, indie pop band Lucius takes the stage, fronted by the duo of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. Both shows begin at 7 p.m., with a suggested donation of $8-$10.
Reggae Sunsplash at Cisco Brewers
There’s something quintessentially summery about reggae in the sun. Oh, I know what it is: Jamaica! As part of its summer concert series, Cisco Brewers Portsmouth is hosting a Reggae Sunspash party on Sunday, July 5, from 1-5 p.m. The event features live music from regional reggae bands Jah Spirit and Dub Apocalypse, as well as jerk chicken, Jamaican patties, and beer. You can also bring your own T-shirt for tie-dyeing. For more information, click here.
Hellzapoppin Circus SideShow
If you’ve got a curious spirit and a strong stomach, check out the vaudeville freak show coming to Wally’s at Hampton Beach on Sunday, July 7, at 7 p.m. The Hellzapoppin Circus SideShow Revue features a literal half-man who walks bare-handed over broken glass while on fire, a pain-proof strongman who shoves skewers through his biceps, and an illusionist who eats and regurgitates razor blades, among other human curiosities. Tickets are $20; learn more here.
For a complete calendar of local events, click here.