Sunday, January 30, 2011

Treat your Valentine at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie

I stopped into the Pepper Candy Companie yesterday to grab some Gibralters, and was transported into the land of Valentine's chocolate.

This is the real deal - heart-shaped boxes, conversation hearts, candy-canes reshaped into peppermint hearts (love the re-purposing!), fudge, chocolate, and more chocolate.

What could be better than locally made chocolates?  While you are there, pick up a pack of Gibralters, America's first commercially produced candy, and taste a little history.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Weekends at the Phillips House

Follow the Phillips family on a wintery jaunt around New England. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies while viewing film clips of the family sledding, skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing. Following the film, join the museum staff for a special house tour that shows how the family lived in 34 Chestnut Street through the winter months. The program ends with a sneak peek of Phillips family items, such as postcards and photographs, not usually on display.

The next Winter Weekends program is on Saturday, January 29. The movie starts promptly at 3:00 p.m. Registration is recommended. You may purchase your tickets online, but please call 978-744-0440 to confirm your choice of dates. Tickets are $5.00 for Historic New England members and $10.00 for nonmembers.

The Phillips House is celebrating a century of the Phillips family at 34 Chestnut Street in 2011. Please visit for a listing of our special events commemorating this milestone.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Urban Elements bath collection: Simple, Affordable, Chic

Urban Elements has moved!  Which is really cool, because Kim has had access to great furniture, but no place to display it.  Now, in her new digs at 83 Washington Street, there's lots of space for furniture as well as the bags, accessories, housewares, and decorating details that we love from Urban Elements first location.

And, as if the space to show the new sofas, chairs, dining and bedroom furniture wasn't enough - UE has a new Bath & Body department!!  UE is making it easy for you to decorate your whole home with one stop shopping in historic downtown Salem. 

If you can't get down to the new store, you can always shop online at


Friday, January 21, 2011

Historic Salem, Inc. and the Salem Athenaeum present Pottery Lecture “Keeper of Tradition” potter Rick Hamelin gives talk on how clay works were used on North Shore

Join Historic Salem, Inc. and the Salem Athenaeum at a fun lecture given by Massachusetts redware potter and historian Rick Hamelin. The lecture is on January 25, 2011 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at the Salem Athenaeum on 337 Essex Street in historic Salem, Massachusetts.

Lidded Redware Pitcher by Rick Hamelin
The clay industries of Salem, Massachusetts were established as early as 1629. Primarily in the villages of Beverly, Danvers and South Danvers (Peabody) these local clay works provided pottery, bricks and tilesfor household, agricultural and industrial use.  These wares were widely traded out of the bustling port, especially to islands in the Caribbean.  The height of the manufacture was between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War when local industrial production ended.

Co-presented by the Salem Athenaeum and Historic Salem, Inc., the story of the early potters, their lives, and wares will be presented by Rick Hamelin, a Massachusetts Humanities Scholar in Residence at the Peabody Historical Society and recognized Massachusetts Cultural Council “Keeper of Tradition” redware potter.  Rick has taught and worked in museums and art centers, and is currently demonstrating pottery
and lecturing throughout Massachusetts.

Tickets are $10.00 for members of Historic Salem, Inc. or Salem Athenaeum and $15.00 for nonmembers. Students can get in free with their student ID.  For information and to register, please contact Jean Marie Procious at the Salem Athenaeum at 978-744-2540 or at

For more information call 978-745-0799 or email

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Margaret Edson's Wit in Salem

It has not been an easy week in Salem.  Last week we painted the town yellow for Cervical Cancer awareness, and this week the Salem Theatre Company tackles Stage 4 Metastatic Ovarian Cancer (that just feels like these should be capitalized) when it opens Margaret Edson's Wit, directed by Sarah Carlin, tonight.  I'm a bit nervous to ask what next week will bring.

Mary Niederkorn as Vivian Bearing, PhD. in Wit
I am so happy I got to see Wit last night.  The Pulitzer Prize winning play has been on my wish list since it first took the theater world by storm in the late 90s, and I am so glad that I was able to see it last night.  The performances in Salem Theatre Company's production of Wit were beautifully delivered. 

Wit is true art because each personal perspective is going to leave the theater with a different opinion. Some cheer life, some are saddened by death, some find a renewed frustration from diagnoses and treatments that they or the people they love have wrestled with. 

The cast transports you into the life of Vivian Bearing, PhD, led by the wonderful Mary Niederkorn. She connects with the audience in a way that is natural and inviting, bringing us all that much closer to her story.  I always enjoy Stephen Cooper, who plays Dr. Kelekia, on the stage at Salem Theater Company.  As I said, I've never seen Wit before, so I can't compare these performances to others, but I can assure you that I was entranced by the story and convinced by the performances.  The intimate size and nature of the Salem Theatre Company makes emotional connections with these actors unavoidable. We laugh, we learn, we feel awkward and sad and scared. 

So, go see Wit. Not because it is going to give you a couple of hours of mindless escape, but because it will make you feel and think and, I hope, toast life. 

Wit opens on January 20 with a special opening night performance to benefit Hospice of the North Shore and Salem Theatre Company. All tickets to the Opening Night show are $35.  It then runs through February 12 with Thursday-Saturday shows at 7:30 PM and Sunday shows at 3:00 PM. 

On Thursday, January 27, there is a post-show talk-back (question/answer session) with the cast and director.  Sunday, January 23 at 3:00 PM, they are allowing you to "Pay what you will" for the performance.

Other than Opening Night and January 23, tickets are $22 adults, $18 seniors, and $12 students.
Visit for more information.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Imaginary Beasts presents Dracula, Re-Vamped

Imaginary Beasts proudly announces…
Winter Panto 2011
Dracula, Re-Vamped ~ ‘Fangtastic Fun’ for the Whole Family!

That’s right!  The Imaginary Beasts ensemble is dusting the cobwebs off one of their most popular pantos, giving it a fresh transfusion, and bringing it to the Griffen Theatre in Salem this weekend.  Dracula, Re-Vamped! promises audience members of all ages a theatrical confection filled with more laughs, more monsters and plenty more puddin’ than ever!

After centuries of rest conditions are right for the wicked Count Dracula to rise from the dead…and seek out his one true bride.  He sets his sights on the young and lovely Miss Lucy Seward and determines to do everything in his power to claim her for his own!  But poor Lucy, she’s already truly, madly, deeply in love with the young hero, Jonathan Harker – who doesn’t stand a chance at winning his ladylove unless he can come up with a small fortune in a hurry.   Will true love conquer all, or will Count Dracula cast his evil spell, destroying the hope of young lovers every where?! When cunning old Vampire Hunter, Professor Van Helsing, catches whiff of Dracula’s evil objectives, he and a whole host of courageous friends set out to prevent the wicked Count Dracula from ever realizing his plans – and to bring Lucy and Jonathan together once and for all. 

Add to the plot an outraged bride from Dracula’s past, an over-sized pup, a potent Good Fairy, and an indispensable Dame and we have the ingredients for one of our zaniest pantos yet!

But wait a minute!  You’ve never been to one of our Pantos!?

Well, forget what you think you know about pantomime:  Marcel Marceau’s white face?  Story filler for a ballet?  An evening of charades?  You will find none of the above in the traditional British ‘Panto’.  Instead you will discover a topsy-turvy world where the Principal Boy is played by a girl, the Grand Dame is really a man, the animals can dance, bad puns and witty word-play are the order of the day; and, at the center of the spectacle, the most important element of all, the battle of good versus evil is played out against the backdrop of classic stories, fairy tales, and popular legends.

So what are you waiting for?  Make sure you wend your way to the Griffen Theatre this January for some good old-fashioned winter cheer!

Performances of Dracula, Re-Vamped will take place at the Griffen Theatre, 7 Lynde Street, Salem, Massachusetts from January 14 – 16, January 20 – 22, January 27 – 29 at 8 p.m.; matinee performances will take place January 16 – 17, January 22 – 23, January 29 – 30 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for students and seniors; and $5.00 for children 10 and under.   Reserve tickets at 978-500-5553 or by writing Tickets can also be purchased at the door. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Meet Caudalie co-founder Mathilde Thomas at Rouge Cosmetics

We are so lucky to have Rouge in Salem!  In addition to selling incredible skin care, cosmetics, and hair care; and in addition to their excellent staff and fabulous make-up services, they have special events that give us the opportunity to meet and interact with cosmeticians and aestheticians from the lines that Rouge carries.

This week, you have the opportunity to meet the co-founder of Caudalie, Mathilde Thomas.  Mathilde will be at Rouge on Wednesday, January 19th, 5-7pm.  Guests will have the rare opportuinty to...
  • Meet Mathilde,
  • Receive a Mini, In-chair Treatment,
  • Receive a Special Gift with any $75 Caudalie purchase,
  • Taste delicious Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte wine,
  • Register to Win a $185 Gift Certificate to Caudalie's Vinotherapie Spa at Plaza Hotel in New York City!
Space is limited, so please do RSVP. at or 978-740-1044.

If Caudalie is not your line, there are plenty more special events on the horizon at Rouge: 

Saturday, 2/5 - Caudalie Facials
Saturday, 2/12- glominerals gift with purchase
Saturday, 2/19 - Darphin Facials
Saturday, 2/26 - Mario Badescu Facials

So, stop into Rouge and get your glow on!  It's a warm, pink place to shop during these gray, snowy days. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Get a (Free!) MassValuePass and save big at The Salem Inn!

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has brought its MassValuePass back for 2011, and you can use it to save 25% at The Salem Inn, now through March 13.

Here's the Salem Inn's deal:

The Salem Inn

Stay at the Salem Inn on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and receive 25% off your stay! Valid January 10, 2011 through March 13, 2011. Must be requested at time of booking. Not valid with package deals, only for standard room rates. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
The pass is free, and you can download it at

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Salem Witches Lori Bruno and Christian Day featured in the Wall Street Journal

Here's a new take on the Salem Witch Community! The Wall Street Journal featured Lori Bruno and Christian Day, both of Hex, in an article about cleansing - also known as smudging - houses for sale.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit runs January 20-February 12.

STC's Season Eight - themed By & About: Women in Contemporary Theatre - will present Margaret Edson's powerful drama  Wit as the next main stage offering.

Termed "moving, funny, and wise" by the London Times and "among the finest plays of the decade" by The Wall Street Journal,  Wit is a poignant look at love and knowledge, grace and redemption, and living and dying. 

In 1999,  Wit won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics' Circle's Best New Play award.  

It has been called "exquisite...exhilarating, and harrowing" by Newsday..."moving, enthralling, and challenging" by the New York Daily News...and "a one-of-a-kind experience: wise, thoughtful, witty and wrenching" by The New York Times.  

"A dazzling and humane play you will remember till your dying day," raved John Simon of New York magazine.
Wit features Stephen Cooper of Marblehead, Seby Konarski of Middleton, Mitch Kyle, Andrew Winson, Paul Morin, and Sue Kirby of Salem, Mary Niederkorn of Needham, Cheryl Quinones of Swampscott, and Libby Schap of Newton

Wit at the Salem Theatre Company, 90 Lafayette Street, performs January 20 - February 12, Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. 

Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors (60+), and $12 for students.  

Tickets are available now at and may be purchased online up to 24 hours prior to the performance.  

Tickets may also be reserved for pick up at the Box Office by calling 978-790-8546 or by e-mailing