Saturday is the first day of fall, and there is so much to do out there. Here are some highlights.
‘Thirst for Freedom’ at NHTP
New Hampshire Theatre Project opens its 2023-’24 mainstage season with Emory Wilson’s “Thirst for Freedom,” on stage in Portsmouth from Sept. 22-Oct. 8. The show tells the inspiring true story of Ona Judge, who was enslaved by George and Martha Washington until she escaped and fled to Portsmouth. Show times are Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $28-$32. Learn more here.
‘Passing Strange’ at the Seacoast Rep
Take a mind-bending musical voyage at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth. “Passing Strange” follows a young bohemian who charts a course for “the real” through sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s on stage Sept. 22-Oct. 22. Show times this weekend are Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $35-$60. Learn more here.
Angelina Jordan at The Music Hall
Jazzy pop singer Angelina Jordan has performed at the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the Muse in City festival in Seoul, and Quincy Jones’ 85th birthday bash, to name a few. She released a new EP in July, and she’ll perform at The Music Hall in Portsmouth on Friday at 8 p.m. Prices fluctuate with demand. Learn more here.
Live music at The Stone Church
Progressive local acts Clandestine and The Maddoc Johnson Band will each perform separately and then join forces for a combined set at The Stone Church in Newmarket on Friday at 8 p.m. Waiting on Mongo is also on the bill ($10). Regional rock bands The Edd and Leon Trout split the bill on Saturday at 8 p.m. ($15). Learn more here.
Concerts at The Dance Hall
Just back from his first tour of Ireland, local folk icon Dan Blakeslee (above) and his band the Calabash Club return to celebrate their new album, “Road Hymns,” with guest Marjorie Senet and the Broken-Home Boys at The Dance Hall in Kittery on Friday from 8-9:30 p.m. ($13-$16). Puerto Rican cuatro player, singer, and composer Fabiola Mendez performs with her trio on Saturday from 8-9:30 p.m. ($17-$22). Learn more here.
Comedy Night at the Millspace
Three Boston-area standup comedians will perform at the Newmarket Millspace during Comedy Night on Friday from 8-10 p.m. Headliners Joe Espi and Chris D follow opener Kennedy Richard. Tickets are $20. Learn more here.
Portsmouth Fairy House Tour
Explore more than 250 fairy houses spread across the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum, Prescott Park, and the Governor John Langdon House in Portsmouth this weekend. Also featuring storytelling, face painting, crafts, and games, the Fairy House Tour takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets are $5-$15. Learn more here. (And be sure to check out the concurrent Ethereal Fae-stival at the John Paul Jones House.)
2023 TEAM Fall Equinox Fest
A dozen area acts will perform on two stages at Swasey Parkway in Exeter during the 2023 TEAM Fall Equinox Fest on Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. There will also be artist vendors, food trucks, kids’ activities, lawn games, and more. There is a suggested donation of $10 per person, or $20 per family. Learn more here
Taste of Kittery 2023
Get a taste of Kittery’s vibrant restaurant community during the third annual Taste of Kittery event on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. There will be a delicious mix of sips and bites, plus live music and more, in the parking lot at Post Office Square (outside the Blue Mermaid and Tributary Brewing). Tickets are $35-$40. Learn more here.
Mitch Stinson at McCue’s Comedy Club
Former U.S. Naval aviator Mitch Stinson made more than 200 carrier landings during his military career. Now a popular comedian, he’ll land at McCue’s Comedy Club in Portsmouth (within the Roundabout Diner and Lounge) for a standup gig on Saturday from 8-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. Learn more here.
New England BIPOC Fest
The New England BIPOC Fest aims to bring the local community together to cultivate conversation and collective action on equity and social justice. The festival returns to Vida Cantina in Portsmouth on Sunday from 12-5 p.m. with a diversity of food, art, and music. Tickets are available on a sliding scale. Learn more here.
Three Writers at The Word Barn
The Silo Series will present Three Writers in Early Fall at The Word Barn in Exeter on Sunday from 4-5:30 p.m. The literary lineup includes award-winning novelist Daphne Kalotay, poet Michael Brosnan, and acclaimed novelist and short-story writer Rishi Reddi. There is a $5 suggested donation. Learn more here.
Benefit Show for The Waysmeet Center
Some great local bands will unite to support a great local cause at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth on Sunday from 4-8 p.m. Palana Vs. The Man, Blake Seale and The Third Wheel, Tiffy, Conor Ryan Hennessy, XO, and Eucalyptus will perform to benefit The Waysmeet Center. Tickets are $15-$35 (pay what you will). Learn more here.
See the full calendar for more local events.