Ledoux to publish trilogy
“The Burnt Sunset” by Chris Ledoux, a first novel, and the first of a trilogy.
Chris Ledoux, a Portsmouth resident, who hails from Lewiston, Maine, started “Burnt” in 2016, “writing mostly at night.” Well, he adds, there was the rough draft penned in 2014. But it wasn’t until he was finding his way back from a serious accident that he scraped most the early writing and seriously dug in.
“I got in a car accident in 2014. I was on a scooter, hit from behind,” Ledoux, owner of Seascape Landscape, says. “It really left me unable to perform the day job the way I did before.”
There were serious repercussions. Ledoux was unable to read or write for two years, there were multiple surgeries for his arm (“with lots of physical therapy”) and a spinal injury. “So, I needed something else I could do from home.”
“I’ve always been a fan of post-apocalyptic dystopia lit. Growing up I was a Charlton Heston fan. He did ‘Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Solvent Green,’ and ‘Omega Man,” he says. “I used to have reoccuring nightmares about those movies, and so I’ve had the story in my head (since) I was a teenager.”
When Ledoux saw growing interest in the genre over recent years, he decided to return to the story – then just kept going.
“Burnt Sunset,” which is initially set in Portsmouth, published by Piscataqua Press, will be released June 21. Also on the way, “Lyricbook Solstice,” a book of poems inspired by the writings of Baeran, the book’s protagonist, and “Burn Daze Evolve,” a post-apocalypse musing, “of things I learned while getting into writing this book, a companion work, likely an ebook giveaway.”
The series is aimed at an adult audience, but appropriate for teens, he adds.
“Book two, ‘The Eventide Blaze,’ is already doing its first round lap of edits,” he says. “It’s scheduled for Sept. 21, also with Piscataqua (that’s the goal anyway).”
“The Aurora Brand” the final book, is outlined, “with sketches and the songs that will be in it,” he says. “It’s 33 percent done.”
All that’s to come. For the moment, he’s just waiting on book one’s arrival. “I’m so excited,” he says. “I’ve seen proofs, but would like to see that stack of books.”
The book will be available at the River Run Bookstore, and at Amazon.
A musical take on our town
“Portsmouth the Musical” is coming soon to a theater near you!
“This is the weird Kathleen Cavalaro brainchild,” Brian Kelly, director of marketing and development at Seacoast Repertory Theatre, begins.
It began when SRT Executive Director Cavalaro came up with the idea for a crowd-sourced musical, based on the city of Portsmouth, he explains. She created a Google doc with a basic idea for the musical, which allowed people to edit the material, and then posted it to the (Un)Official City of Portsmouth Facebook page.
“So, people started contributing, and created a basic story arc. It got enough of a response we thought we’d try it out.”
The experiment generated a strong, basic plot line and “an idea of where to go,” he says. “But, what the finer points of the performance will look like, … on stage, are not worked out.”
“So, in order to put together a finished project, we may or may not be able to pull off, we needed a team,” Kelly says. “What we wanted to do was put together … people comfortable with doing music and improv, with the mission of converting the outline into whatever ‘Portsmouth the Musical’ will eventually be. … It’s sort of like sketch comedy, which is often the result of improv; you find a theme that works and develop it.”
The team, to date, includes a dozen performers, who will “simultaneously perform and create it,” Kelly says.
“So that’s the idea. We throw themes against the wall, try something, then try something new, and then something different, and see what sticks. Then we’ll develop the script off of that,” he says.
Katie Juster is set to lead the improv company. Kelly will act as performance coordinator, “watching during live shows and editing scenes.” SRT Artistic Director Miles Burns will be music director, and Cavalaro and Jamie Bradley will produce.
The collective is looking at a year-plus timeline. “We’re leaving it open to see how it develops,” Kelly says.
In September, it will hold brainstorming rehearsals with live audiences. The troupe will do improv, invite audience participation, and perhaps have guest performers involved. “And then, later, when it starts to solidify, there will be workshops and then a scripted musical on stage … a polished, and fully produced show with all the bells and whistles we can put in it.”
Reunited for a jazz concert
So, this thing is happening at my old high school, Timberlane (Regional High School, where I went with one of my oldest friends Seth Lewis,” Chris Klaxton says. “We parted ways after. … I came to the Seacoast, he went off to study jazz at the Hart School in Connecticut.
As you’ve likely guessed, this is a story of a reunion, one around a shared passion – music.
Klaxton (Ourbigband, Boston Rapper, Moe Pope, Weird Turn Pro ) and Lewis have lived their lives at a distance, but united in music. Both have worked with numerous jazz masters and befriended a few over time. Hence this latest get-together is on a stage with one of those masters, Louis Hayes, an iconic drummer who has performed with Cannonball Adderley, Horse Filber, John Coltrane and “many, many others.”
“So, Seth, who’s done a lot of work on our Seacoast, is pursing a doctorate in Jazz music at the University of North Colorado. Through that university he was able to hire Louis Hayes and put together a concert at our old alma mater,” Klaxton says. “It involves Seth and I, who went to school there, and … musicians from Denver … and New York City and Hayes, one of the elder statesmen of jazz.”
It happens June 30 at Timberlane High School Performing Arts Center in Plaistow. More info at http://www.timberlane.net/pac/.
You can also catch Klaxton at First Hill, York, Maine, June 29; at Book and Bar for a Jazzputin and the Jug Skunks Album Release Concert July 1; and at the Weird Turn Pro Album Release at The Dance Hall, Kittery, on July 13.
NHTP holding season auditions June 24
Listen up, actors, New Hampshire Theatre Project is holding a rare season’s audition (non-equity) June 24 for three shows in its upcoming 30th anniversary season.
The company will present five shows (an unprecedented number) for the season. Two are set. The call is for “Men on Boats” by Jacklyn Backhaus, “All in the Timing” by David Ives, and “Charm” by Kathleen Cahill. Both men and women are needed: women of all ages, men from 25 to 50. Be part of a big year celebration! To schedule an audition appointment, contact Tamre Steinhauer at 603-431-6644 ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In PSO news
Last, but not least, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra has named Billy Butler as its 2019 Artist in Residence. More on this next week.
Jeann McCartin has her eyes and ears out for Seacoast gossip. E-mail email@example.com.