Category: A&E News

Girls Incorporated of Worcester has announced the return of dance classes and performing arts to their daily after-school drop-in program through a partnership with Jo Ann Warren Studio.  Classes will begin in mid-September and are FREE to all girls participating in drop-in and teen programs at Girls Inc. of Worcester.  They will be offered: Thursday, 3:30 to 4:30–Dance (tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop) for elementary school girls, 4:30 to 5:30–Musical Theater and Performing Arts for elementary school girls; Friday, 3:30 to 4:30–Dance (tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop) for middle and high school girls, 4:30 to 5:30–Musical Theater and Performing Arts for middle and high school girls.

Showcases highlighting the girls’ accomplishments will be held in December and June.  Jo Ann Warren Studio will also be using Girls Inc.’s space to offer her own studio classes to JAWS students on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Registration for the studio classes will take place at Jo Ann Warren Studio on Grafton Street.  Girls Inc. will happily work with families enrolling in these classes to co-register girls in our regular daily drop-in programs as a means of assisting with child care.


As the oldest and only facility based, girl-centered organization in Central Massachusetts, Girls Incorporated of Worcester has been transforming girls’ views of themselves and creating opportunities for generations.

Girls Incorporated is the leading national expert on girls’ issues and houses the largest, most comprehensive research center on girls in the country at its National Resource Center (NRC) in Indianapolis.  Because our core programs are researched, developed, and piloted by the NRC, Girls Inc. provides the highest quality, cutting edge, and age-appropriate programming available to girls in the Greater Worcester area.

With local roots dating to 1916 and national status since 1945, Girls Inc. responds to the changing needs of girls and their communities through nationally-tested, research-based programs. The agency helps build girls’ sense of self and develop their confidence and leadership skills by offering opportunities to express themselves, be heard, and explore their world in a safe environment.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be entering into this exciting and new collaborative relationship with Jo Ann and her talented faculty!   The girls in our programs, their parents, and the staff here at Girls Inc. have asked us to incorporate a dance program into our daily offerings, and we are happy to honor their wishes by partnering with such a highly respected and nationally recognized studio.  It is a win/win venture for all of us – Jo Ann needed the ‘overflow’ studio space that we had available here at Girls Inc. and we needed a quality dance program for our girls!   The biggest winners are the girls who will benefit from the opportunity to receive performing arts classes!” says Deb Hopkins, CEO of Girls Inc. of Worcester.


Jo Ann Warren Studio (JAWS) is the studio choice for many of today’s finest dancers. JAWS’ mission is to continually provide a broad spectrum of dance education for dancers of all ages and of all levels, all within a nurturing and professional environment.  Beginning with “Tiny Tots” and continuing through adults, JAWS offers a variety of classes and levels in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, acrobatics, musical theatre and hip-hop. JAWS boasts an impressive roster of dance educators. JAWS provides students with an opportunity to explore dance and enrich their appreciation for the various forms of the art.

Jo Ann Warren opened JAWS Worcester in September of 1979 at 321 Grafton Street. With over 100 students enrolled, Jo Ann began the journey…her dream was now a reality. Almost in­stantly, JAWS was a major contributor in the community. The JAWS performance group quickly became a staple at almost every local event…and so the “JAWS” Jr. Dance Company was born. The 14 members were hand-picked by Jo Ann and invited to the challenge of re­hearsing long hours, perfecting routines and sacrificing weekends to serve as studio represen­tatives, entertaining and sharing their talents throughout Worcester County. Two of the original members, Cybill Warren and Paula Hackett, were later awarded Keys to the City of Worcester by Mayor Jordan Levy for their contributions through dance to the less fortunate.

Jo Ann Warren, “All of us at Jo Ann Warren Studio are proud and excited to join creative forces with Girls Inc. of Worcester.  We look forward to a highly successful, long term partnership that will benefit the entire community.”


Pilgrim Soul Productions, in collaboration with ValleyCAST!, announces the opening of its 2011 fall season with a production of William Inge’s bittersweet human comedy Bus Stop. The play opens a two weekend run on Friday, September 9, at the GB and Lexi Singh Performance Center, located in the historic Whitin Mill at 50 Douglas Road in Whitinsville, MA. Evening performances are at 8:00 p.m. on September 9, 10, 16, and 17, with a final matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 18. Tickets are $15.00, or $12.00 per ticket for groups of 10 or more.

To reserve tickets, call 508-296-0797, or send email to or . Tickets are also available at the door. For directions visit . The play is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Set in the 1950s in the middle of a howling snowstorm, a bus out of Kansas City pulls up at a roadside diner. All roads are blocked, and five weary travelers are forced to take shelter until morning. A nightclub chanteuse, a belligerent cowboy and his guitar-strumming sidekick, a hard-drinking college professor on the run from his past, the bus driver, the proprietor of the diner, and a naïve young waitress, reveal their hopes, dreams, loves and fears, while the town sheriff does his best to maintain order as the night progresses. Of the play’s author, The New York Post wrote: “William Inge should be a great comfort to all of us…he brings to the theatre a kind of warm-hearted compassion, creative vigor, freshness of approach and appreciation of average humanity that can be wonderfully touching and stimulating.”

Bus Stop was adapted for the screen and became a star vehicle for Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s. However, the play itself is an ensemble piece that delves into the lives of eight distinct characters. Pilgrim Soul’s upcoming production features local area performers Dave Clark, Al Dano, Steven Dulude, Brian Flagg, Patti Hughes, Brenda Jenkins, Sarah Kary, and Robert C. Latino, directed by Matthew J. Carr, the company’s founder and artistic director.

Earlier this year Pilgrim Soul Productions garnered critical acclaim for its stagings of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine at the Singh and Hugh Leonard’s Da at the Worcester Hibernian Cultural Centre. The theater company is currently about to begin rehearsals for two additional plays to round out its 2011 season.

Destination Worcester receives prestigious Pinnacle Award

This just came in to our IN box and I wanted to share some good news about a local organization…


Destination Worcester has been named one of the best destination marketing organizations  and will receive a prestigious Pinnacle Award from Successful Meetings. The 2011 Pinnacle Awards are the mark of excellence for meeting destinations. The awarded organizations have done an outstanding job servicing their meetings, incentive travel programs, trade shows and conventions during the previous year.  Destination Worcester was also a Pinnacle Award recipient in 2009.


2011 marks the 27th year the Pinnacle Awards have recognized Hotels, the 21st year Pinnacle has included the efforts of CVBs and NTOs and the 15th year of Conference Center Awards.  The Pinnacle Award earned a reputation as the most credible and prestigious symbol of excellence among meeting planners and hoteliers alike.


Readers of Successful Meetings – professionals who are decision makers for planning meetings, events, conferences, and incentive programs– voted for the winners of the Pinnacle Awards via online ballots and gave feedback based on their professional experiences worldwide for the top hotels, conference centers, and DMO/CVBs. The 2011 Pinnacle Award Winners will be listed in the August Pinnacle Registry in print and online at


The Pinnacle Awards recognize reader/planner selections of the leading meeting destination venues and support organizations across the United States and internationally. All winners will be listed in Successful Meetings’ annual Pinnacle Registry, published in August.


About Destination Worcester, Massachusetts

Destination Worcester is a strategic investment in the hospitality industry, a focused endeavor to showcase and sell the destination to meeting and convention planners, and event and sports organizers. Acting as a single point of contact for the City, Destination Worcester provides enhanced communications and a streamlined process for booking events in Worcester.  Founded in 2007, Destination Worcester is a franchise of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and funded via the City of Worcester.  For more information contact Destination Worcester, 446 Main St., Suite 200, Worcester, MA 01608; (508) 753-1550; fax (508) 754-8560 or visit our website: Find us also on the web at:; or




Voices of Hope Brings Choruses from across the Commonwealth to Join in Song to Mark the Solemn OccasionWorcester, Massachusetts—Professional, community and children’s choruses from across the Commonwealth will gather together with members of fire, police, military, and members of the community to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and to pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who continue to serve our country overseas.

The tenth anniversary commemoration will take place on Sunday, September 11 at 2 P.M. at Institute Park, off Salisbury Street, in Worcester, Massachusetts. The goal is to raise 1,000 voices in song for the tribute and memorial. Participating choruses include the Assabet Valley Master Singers, Blackstone Valley Community Chorus, Master Singers of Worcester, Nashoba Valley Chorale, Salisbury Singers, Sounds of Stow, Worcester Chorus in addition to choral students from Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the Worcester Public Schools. Participating church choirs include All Saints Church, Worcester; Epworth Methodist Church, Worcester; Wesley Methodist Church, Worcester; Shrewsbury Congregational Church; First Unitarian Church, Worcester; Unitarian Church, Framingham; and Unitarian Church, Concord. Additional space is available for interested singers. Singers can e-mail for more information.

“Through the solace and transformation of music sung collectively, we will demonstrate the power of community and renew our dedication to a nation that is committed to freedom and justice for all,” said Erin Williams, Executive Director, Worcester Cultural Coalition, and one of the lead organizers for the event. Other participants include: the Massachusetts State Police, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Department of Veterans’ Services, Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, National Guard, Worcester Fire Department, Worcester Police Department, Town of Holden Police Department, Massachusetts Veterans Inc., Worcester Interfaith Alliance, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester Cultural Coalition, and Friends of Institute Park.

Several local officials are also expected to be on hand including Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray, U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, Massachusetts State Police Colonel Marian McGovern, State Representative James O’Day, State Representative Kimberly Ferguson, Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien, Worcester Mayor Joseph C. O’Brien, Holden Town Manager Nancy Galkowski, and Auburn Town Manager Julie Jacobson, as well as elected officials from the Towns of Hopkinton, Randolph and Easthampton. No official speaking program is planned; however, all 221 names of the victims from Massachusetts will be read as part of the ceremony.

The choral program will begin with “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” from Brahms’, “German Requiem,” “In Remembrance” from Eleanor Daley’s “Requiem,” and “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson. Michelle Graveline, music director of the Salisbury Singers, and Malcolm Halliday, artistic director of the Master Singers of Worcester, will conduct.

Then, John Delorey, director of choral music at WPI, will conduct singers in a rendition of “Ubi caritas” by Paul Halley. Students from the Worcester Public Schools will perform “American Tears” by Teresa Jennings, and the event will conclude with all singers and the audience being invited to sing “America the Beautiful.”

Area sanctuaries will be open to the public for reflection following the event: Epworth United Methodist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, and First Baptist Church.

More information can be found at, including directions to Institute Park and parking information.

Tea & Sympathy with Worcester Mag 8.18.11 @ Nu Cafe

Worcester Mag wants to hear your voice. How are we doing? What could we be doing better? What have we done lately that you’ve really enjoyed? What are we missing? Let’s start the conversation during our next Meet the Editor session at Nu Café at 335 Chandler Street on August 18 from 10 a.m.-2p.m.

We welcome your feedback, so come down, buy the editor a smoothie and we’ll chat.

Questions? Email

Meet the Editor today at Cafe Manzi from 10am to 1pm!

Worcester Mag wants to hear your voice. How are we doing? What could we be doing better? What have we done lately that you’ve really enjoyed? What are we missing?

Come tell us during the next Meet the Editor at Café Manzi’s on Shrewsbury Street on July 14 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Our special guest this month will be Publisher Gareth Charter. Come on down and give us your feedback!


Questions? Email


Flamenco Dance Classes in two locations in Worcester

RIP Dick Smith

Worcester legend Richard “Dick” Smith, 84, died on May 18, 2011 in U Mass/ Memorial Hospital in Worcester after a period of poor health.

This is taken from his obituary at Hays Funeral Home

“Richard derby smith was born in greenfield, son of frank and beatrice (henshaw) smith. He graduated from greenfield high school in 1944 and attended emerson college in boston before beginning his radio career at whyn in springfield. He then worked at wmtw in portland, me. It was in portland that he first broadcast as dick “the derby” smith.

He brought the name along with his considerable talents to Worcester in 1952, as a host of the “open house party,” afternoons on worc, 1310 am. He soon moved to the morning drive hours, and the dick smith show entertained commuters and housewives throughout the 1950s and ‘60s. Another popular segment of his program was trading post, in which listeners would call in with items for sale and be matched up with potential buyers in the audience. Worcester radio listeners elected him “mayor of the air” in 1966. Dick became music and programming director of worc at the advent of rock and roll radio in new england. He was known throughout the radio and music business as a man of tremendous integrity, with a skill at discerning potential hits, such as the lion sleeps tonight by the tokens. His ability to spot hit records, along with the immediate response of worc’s listeners over the station’s always open request lines made worcester one of the premier testing grounds for new rock and roll records in the nation. He was awarded 25 gold records including one for “she loves you” by the beatles on swan records, dedicated to “dick smith, america’s first believer.” dick was also well known for his popular record hops where worcester teens would dance their weekend evenings away to current hits and oldies.”

Calling hours will be held from 5-8 p.m. Monday, May 23, 2011 in Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main St. Northborough. The funeral will be held Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Worcester, 111 Park Ave. Burial will follow in Howard Street Cemetery, Northborough. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Mass. Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc. c/o William T. Murphy PDG, Treasurer. P.O. Box 6050, New Bedford, MA 02742.

This just in from our favorite comic book store, That’s E!…

Bring your family, the kids, friends, neighbors, everyone and join us once again for FREE COMICS, SIGNINGS AND SKETCHES at That’s Entertainment!

It’s our goal every year to introduce the wonder of comic books to as many people as possible and shatter the misconception that “comics are for kids.” We guarantee that at That’s Entertainment, you’ll find something for everyone!

That’s E friends and guests will also be on hand doing free sketches!

This year’s guests include

Rich Maurizio
(Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Godzilla & More!)

Bob Noberini
(Local legend!)

Bret Herholz

Eric Merced <>

Brian Nelson

More Information:

That’s Entertainment
244 Park Ave
Worcester, MA

AIDS: Taking a Long Term View” is the much anticipated report from the aids2031 Consortium, a worldwide group of AIDS scientists, health officials, activists, and experts who have come together to look at the global AIDS response 30 years after the disease was first reported and recommend the best way forward over the next 20 years in this ongoing crisis. The Clark UniversityInternational Development, Community, and Environment <>  (IDCE) department and George Perkins Marsh Institute <>  will present the new book and a special panel discussion from 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan.  19, in Tilton Hall, 950 Main Street.

“This important book outlines the challenges and opportunities before us as the AIDS epidemic-and our global response-turns 30.  aids2031 gives us a roadmap for the next two decades: By addressing the social and economic forces driving the AIDS epidemic, we can attack both the disease and the root causes of the poverty that is its close companion,” said  Paul Farmer, Chair, Department of Global Health and Social  Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and co-founder of Partners in Health.

When the U.N. embarked on the aids2031 project and sought a hub to coordinate the global initiative, it selected Clark to host the aids2031 Project Management Unit, which coordinated nine working groups—including economists, epidemiologists, biomedical, social and political scientists—to question conventional wisdom, stimulate new research, encourage public debate, and uncover new evidence.  Each group explored different aspects of the future of AIDS. Clark co-convened the Social Drivers Working Group. Several Clark faculty, students and alumni have been involved in the aids2031 project.

William F. Fisher, IDCE director, will moderate the panel discussion at the promotional event for “AIDS: Taking a Long Term View <> .” Other panelists include:

Jeffrey L. Sturchio, president and CEO of the Global Health Council. Before joining the Council, he was vice president of Corporate Responsibility at Merck & Co. Inc., president of The Merck Company Foundation and chairman of the U. S. Corporate Council on Africa. He is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Applied Economics and the Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Healthy Next Generation of the World Economic Forum.
Michael Isbell, an independent consultant specializing in public health policy, strategic advocacy planning, and health-related communications. Isbell has been involved in AIDS work for more than two decades. He directed the AIDS project at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the largest gay and lesbian legal rights organization in the U.S.; directed the public policy and education programs at Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City; and served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS under President Bill Clinton.
Jessica Ogden, director/owner of Ogden Health & Development Connections, focuses on developing guidance for international HIV policy and programs around structural approaches and quality in prevention. She has been working as a social anthropologist in public health for more than 20 years. She was on staff at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine from 1995 through 2001 and worked as a technical specialist at the International Center for Research on Women in the HIV/AIDS and Development Unit. , and acted as Senior Technical Advisor to ICRW’s President, working on a range of topics relating to HIV-related stigma, HIV policy, structural approaches to HIV prevention, and gender.

Since its founding in 1887, Clark University in Worcester, Mass., has a history of challenging convention. As an innovative liberal arts college and research university, Clark’s world-class faculty lead a community of creative thinkers and passionate doers and offer a range of expertise, particularly in the areas of psychology, geography, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. Clark’s students, faculty and alumni embody the Clark motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.