Gloucester Times: Around Cape Ann: Sugar Tones Top UU Benefit Programs

February 12, 2015
Around Cape Ann Gail McCarthy

Read on Gloucester Times

The Sugar Tones will perform on Valentine’s Day in the heart of the city with a show at Gloucester’s historic Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse, which dates to 1806.

This concert is part of the ongoing series to benefit the Meetinghouse Preservation Fund. The Feb. 14 show starts at 7:30 p.m., and doors open at 7 p.m. A reception will follow the concert. (Snow date: Sunday, Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m.)

The Sugar Tones, known for their vocal harmonies, have been performing classic hits from the 1950s and 1960s around the North Shore for several years. The audience will hear songs by Patsy Cline, The McGuire Sisters, The Everly Brothers, Leslie Gore, Chiffons, Angels, Shirelles, Roy Orbison, Connie Frances and many others.

The group invites the audience to travel back in time for music that continues to be popular today. Their shows are known for the “often humorous and always mellifluous tones” while the singers share their musical favorites.

The group is composed of Caroline Haines, Barbara Jansson, Elaine Persons and Geoff Muller.

Jansson, who sings lead and harmony, cherishes the songs of Brenda Lee, The Shirelles, Crystals, and Ronettes.

Haines, who sings both lead and soprano harmony, also is a founding member of the Gloucester-based a cappella group, Leven. Informally, she loves to sing Celtic tunes, and also has performed nationally with the National Head Start Choir.

Persons, known as the Patsy Cline voice of the group, loves to sing “Walking After Midnight,” “Crazy,”  “I Fall to Pieces,” and a heart-wrenching rendition of “Crying” by Roy Orbison.

Muller is the newest addition to the group although no stranger to the North Shore music scene. His warm voice and guitar playing have been featured in the bands Wiggle Room and most recently in Not That Blonde.

There is a handicap accessible entrance at 10 Church St. in Gloucester. Admission is $15 for adults, and $12 for seniors and students.

Poetry alert

Montserrat College of Art’s Improbable Places Poetry Tour will kick off the new year with a night of poetry in the newly reopened Cabot Theatre in Beverly.

Poetry will take center stage for one night only on Thursday, Feb. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Montserrat College of Art’s writing center director and poetry tour organizer Colleen Michaels invites the community to share poems that focus on the theme of movies and magic.

“We also want movie poems, from blockbusters to cult classics to poems about magic, disappearing acts and gold capes,” said Michaels. “Someone must have a villanelle ( a 19 line poetic form) about buttery popcorn and Snow Caps. We promise a night of magic and drama.”

This tour is Montserrat’s way of celebrating the power of poetry and community. At each stop a new venue and theme is selected. For more information or to participate, send submissions to Michaels or to Montserrat’s Writing Studio, located at 248 Cabot St. by Monday, Feb. 16.

Around the corner 

Theatre in the Pines presents the Irish comedy “Chapatti” on Friday, Feb. 20 and Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 22 at 2:30 p.m. at the Community House in Rockport.

The story takes off when two animal lovers, Dan and Betty, “fall” into each other at the veterinarian’s office, scattering Betty’s box of kittens. Martin Ray and Sarah Clark play Dan and Betty.

The supporting cast includes director Nan Webber, Chuck Francis, Randy Dupps, Barbara Brewer, Anne Roman and introduces teens, Harriet Rich and Ben Fuller. Tickets are$15 for adults and $10 for students and are available at the door or beforehand at Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport, and The Bookstore in Gloucester.

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-675-2706,


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