June 5, 2011

Society Notebook: O what a lineup

Portland Ovations announces its new slate of shows.

By Avery Yale Kamila akamila@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

On Wednesday night at a members-only preview party, Portland Ovations unveiled the slate of more than 20 shows that it will bring to Greater Portland during its upcoming season.

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Executive Director Aimee Petrin, Marketing Director Chip Kibort, board member Mary Noyes and board member April Ylvisaker.

Avery Yale Kamila/Staff Writer

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Kate and Ella Werner of Freeport, who attend at least 10 Portland Ovations performances each year.

Avery Yale Kamila/Staff Writer

Additional Photos Below


Chris Botti, jazz trumpeter, Sept. 29

Creole Choir of Cuba, vocals and dance, Oct. 14

"Monty Python's Spamalot," musical theater, Oct. 20-21

Handel & Haydn Society, classical music, Oct. 29

"Good vs. Evil: Anthony Bourdain & Eric Ripert," celebrity chefs, Nov. 3

"101 Years of Broadway," musical theater, Nov. 4

India Jazz Suites, dance, Nov. 16

Shuffle.Play.Listen, classical music, Nov. 18

Michael Cooper: "Masked Marvels & Wondertales," family performance, Nov. 19

"Mamma Mia!," musical theater, Jan. 12-14

"Warriors Don't Cry," theater, Jan. 18

CiRCA, contemporary circus, Feb. 2

Dan Zanes & Friends, family performance, Feb. 4

Vasen, Swedish folk rock, Feb. 16

Vancouver Chamber Choir. vocal ensemble, March 4

Golden Dragon Acrobats, Chinese acrobatics, March 9

Danu, Irish ensemble, March 15

"South Pacific," musical theater, March 17-18

Trey McIntyre Project, contemporary ballet, March 22

Bambino, North African rock and roll, April 4

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, dance, April 24

Imogen Cooper, pianist, April 25

Jennifer Koh, violinist, May 3

TICKETS GO ON SALE Monday for members and on June 20 for the general public and can be purchased through PortTix.



Facebook Maine Mixer, 5:30 p.m., Havana South, Portland. Network face-to-face with local people you’ve met online and enjoy free appetizers and drink specials. Free. www.FBMaine.com.


Cape Elizabeth Land Trust Raffle Party, 6 to 9 p.m., The Local Buzz, Cape Elizabeth. Socialize with other supporters while the executive director fills in as a guest bartender and enter a raffle to win an original oil painting by Don Stone. Free. 767-6054.


Fenix Theatre Company Benefit, 6 to 10 p.m., Space Gallery, Portland. Enjoy appetizers, a cash bar and live music while mingling with the folks who host free Shakespeare and other classic theater performances in Deering Oaks Park. Free/donations accepted. www.fenixtheatre.com.


Italian Life Expo Opening Reception, 5 to 7 p.m., Ocean Gateway, Portland. Sample Italian wines and foods and enjoy a sneak peek of the expo. $50.



The season begins in September and highlights include appearances by Anthony Bourdain, the Alvin Ailey dance troupe and the Handel & Haydn Society, along with the musical theater productions of "Mamma Mia," "Monty Python's Spamalot" and "South Pacific."

Shows will take place at Merrill Auditorium, USM's Hannaford Hall, South Portland Auditorium and the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.

When it came time to hand out the coveted 2011-2012 catalogs, Executive Director Aimee Petrin told the crowd of roughly 100 supporters "because you're here tonight, you get them first."

Petrin also walked us through each upcoming performance. She pointed out that the "Good vs. Evil: Anthony Bourdain & Eric Ripert" show will include a special after party with the celebrity chefs for VIP ticket holders, and that the India Jazz Suites show "will be one of the standouts of the season."

Petrin told us to be on the lookout for a "spontaneous urban dance event" when the Trey McIntyre Project dance company is in town and for the flash concert the Shuffle.Play.Listen duo will perform at Space Gallery the night before its show at Merrill.

When describing the Golden Dragon Acrobats from China, Petrin said it's the kind of show that "makes you wonder did you pay the liability insurance?"

Before the preview we all enjoyed a reception in the Rines Auditorium at the Portland Public Library featuring appetizers and drinks donated by Whole Foods Market.

"I've been on the board for six years, and they've really changed as an organization," April Ylvisaker told me during the reception.

She's been impressed by the organization's increased community outreach and the wider diversity of shows it now brings to Greater Portland.

"Art really has a way of bringing people together whether they know it or not," board member Mary Noyes told me. "To be in that live setting really impacts those in the audience."

Board President Janet Bowne agreed, when she told me, "The experience of live performance is so critical to humanity. When it's cold and snowy, you may say 'Do I want to go?' But even if you don't like it, it flips a switch in your brain."

Barbara Gulino of Whole Foods Market, which is a corporate sponsor of Portland Ovations, told me: "Thank goodness for Portland Ovations. They bring the arts to Portland, so you don't have to feel like you have to go to Boston."

After the season's schedule was revealed, board member Marcia Minter echoed this sentiment when she told me, "It's a wonderful variety. We're so lucky to have these quality performances coming to us." 

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:


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Additional Photos

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Advisory board member Bruce Brown, board member Marcia Minter and board member Michael Boyson.

Avery Yale Kamila/Staff Writer

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Portland Ovations board member Jim Morgan, past board president and current board member Tracy Hawkins, advisory board member Nick Nadzo and board president Janet Bowne. The new offerings from Portland Ovations include everything from celebrity chefs to musical theater, family performances and contemporary dance. Tickets go on sale Monday for Portland Ovations members and for the general public beginning June 20.

Avery Yale Kamila/Staff Writer


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