Exeter LitFest, girl pop, comic opera: Things to do in Seacoast

Autumn Stewart
Portsmouth Herald

We are storming into the weekend with a full list of entertainment on the Seacoast. Exeter LitFest kicks off on Friday and continues into Saturday in downtown Exeter, it's girls vs. boys at Club 3S for a girl pop dance party, join local Crime Writers at the Word Barn for a live show and meet up, or see The Barber of Seville, a comic opera, at The Music Hall Lounge.

Read on for details on things to do:

Exeter LitFest Kick-off party

Exeter LitFest planning committee members want people to know the event runs April 5 and 6. From left are Peg Aaronian, Lara Bricker, Dawn Jelley and Renay Allen.

What: This year’s event kicks off with a live jazz concert by Seacoast legend Sharon Jones. This after-hours event at the library will feature mocktails by Shelby, snacks, and themed party rooms by literary genre.

When: Friday, April 5, 7-8:30 p.m.

Where: Exeter Public Library, 4 Chestnut St., Exeter

Cost: Free

More info: exeterlitfest.com

More:Exeter LitFest brings poetry to downtown businesses and restaurants

Y2K Dance Party at The Rockingham Ballroom

What: If you’ve been here you know its a good time with DJs John and Pam. Lots of dancing, some group/line dances break out at whim. John and Pam will walk you through some simple steps you can try on the spot.

When: Friday, April 5, 7:30-11:30 p.m.

Where: Rockingham Ballroom, 22 Ash Swamp Road, Newmarket

Cost: $15

More info: rockinballroom.club

CLUB 3S: Spice Up Your Life – girl pop dance party

What: At CLUB 3S in April and May, we’re gonna find out who rules the dance floor: Girl Pop or Boy Bands? ages 21-plus.

When: Friday, April 5, 9 p.m. to midnight

Where: 3S Artspace, 319 Vaughan St., Portsmouth

Cost: $12 to $15

More info: 3sarts.org

Exeter LitFest

What: Exeter LitFest returns to the downtown with local literary talent and New York Times bestselling authors like Andre Dubus III, Ilyon Woo and Katherine Howe. The full schedule with times is available at the Exeter LitFest website and social media.

When: Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Downtown Exeter

Cost: Free

More info: exeterlitfest.com

‘America America’ at The Players’ Ring

What: Modesta is praying for a new job. She has lived in the United States for over 30 years, but her English is still rather wobbly. After 17 years of marriage, venture capitalist Mark Porter finally agrees to the idea of hiring a cleaning lady. Why now? A bond develops between Jane and Modesta. But who really needs whom?

When: Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 7, 2:30 p.m.

Where: The Players’ Ring Theatre, 105 Marcy St., Portsmouth

Cost: $25-$28

More info: playersring.org

440 Hot-Club Jazz Quartet

What: 440 expands the gypsy jazz tradition of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with danceable swing standards from the era of Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Benny Goodman as well as originals by the band.

When: Saturday, April 6, 7:30-9 p.m.

Where: The Dance Hall, 7 Walker St., Kittery, Maine

Cost: $10-$22

More info: thedancehallkittery.org

Crime Writers On at The Word Barn

The podcasters of Crime Writers On are coming to Exeter to record a live show at the Word Barn on Saturday, April 6, 2024.

What: Each Monday and Thursday, New Hampshire crime writers Rebecca Lavoie, Kevin Flynn, Lara Bricker, and Toby Ball dig into the hottest true crime and mystery shows, podcasts, and pop culture. Then the panel gives their own thumbs up or thumbs down reviews. Join all four of the crime writers at the Word Barn for a live show and meet up event.

When: Saturday, April 6, 8-9:30 p.m.

Where: The Word Barn, 66 Newfields Road, Exeter

Cost: $25

More info: thewordbarn.com

The American Spiritual Ensemble: Live from St. John’s Portsmouth

What: World-renowned choir The American Spiritual Ensemble will perform well-known and beloved spirituals, selections from Broadway and more.

When: Sunday, April 7, at 3 p.m.

Where: St. John’s Episcopal Church Portsmouth, 101 Chapel St., Portsmouth

Cost: $30

More info: stjohnsnh.org

The Barber of Seville at The Music Hall Lounge

What: Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia, composed at the age of 24, is considered to be the finest comic opera in existence.

When: Sunday, April 7, 3 p.m.

Where: The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth

Cost: $52.50-$82.50

More info: themusichall.org

Brown Eyed Women at The Stone Church

Brown Eyed Women will perform at the Stone Church on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

What: Brown Eyed Women, an all-female Grateful Dead tribute ensemble, features musicians from popular bands around the country. Ages 21-plus.

When: Sunday, April 7, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Where: The Stone Church, 5 Granite St., Newmarket

Cost: $20

More info: stonechurchrocks.com