Inaugural poet Richard Blanco of Bethel is a finalist for the 2013 Maine Literary Book Award for Poetry for his book “Looking for the Gulf Motel.” The awards are given annually to Maine authors by the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. This year more than 100 books were entered into the various categories, which include poetry, fiction, crime fiction, young adult, children’s, and nonfiction. More than sixty manuscripts were entered into the Short Works Competition. Fifty Maine students submitted works in the Youth Competition. The winners will be announced live at a ceremony on Thursday, May 30, at 7 p.m. at SPACE Gallery in downtown Portland. The event is free to MWPA members with a suggested $10 donation for nonmembers. For information or questions about the awards, please call (207) 228-8264.
I attended the Friday night performance of the musical “The Wizard of Oz” at Telstar’s Helen C. Berry Auditorium. The Telstar Theater Department, with help from community members, produced a magical adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s book. The scenery and props sparkled and the actors, singers, and dancers all hit their marks. Admittedly, I was skeptical when I first heard that the role of Toto would be played by an actor, not a dog. But, Isabella Bennett played Toto to perfection: whether it was trotting across the stage, cocking her head as she listened to Dorothy, or leaping into Dorothy’s arms. I have to mention the actors who spent the most time on stage and who gave flawless performances: Anneliese Smith starred as Dorothy; Nick Johnson as the Scarecrow; Aaron Speakman as the Tin Man; and Greg Wheeler as the Lion. Unfortunately, a review of a high school production in a weekly paper usually doesn’t get people to the play, because after a few nights, it is gone forever. However, this production gave five actors a second chance to be seen and to shine. Linda Stowell performed as the Winkie General with the troop of Winkies played by Bonnie Marshall, David Lane, Merrie Lee Ojeda, and Elton Cole. The program explained, “The Winkies were all in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ production here at Telstar in 1970… the first and last time it was performed here.”
May is National Bike Month. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, this is an opportunity to celebrate and find out more about bicycling. May 13 through 17 is Bike to Work Week, and Friday, May 17, is Bike to Work Day. If you’re like me and not ready to Bike to Work, there are other local activities you can participate in. The Green Machine Bike Shop at 329 Main Street in Norway is holding an open house on May 17 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bethel Bicycle at 53 Mayville Road, is offering refreshments and other activities that day. The shop also hosts group road rides on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. and group mountain bike rides on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Bethel Bicycle is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 to 5 p.m. It’s a full-service bicycle shop. They can help with anything from repairs to fitting a helmet.
There will be a “Cash Mob” in our area on Saturday, May 18. If you’re not familiar with this, it is simply a way to help boost our local economy by buying at a local business. This is how it works: On Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m., meet at the Locke’s Mills Union Church on Route 26. Bring $20 to spend at a local business, which will be announced then. After shopping there will be an “After-Mob” party hosted by a local restaurant where there will be free food, drinks, and prizes. You can find out more at www.westernmainecashmob.com.
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