You needn’t be a Chekhov scholar to enjoy Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” currently on stage at Quannapowitt Playhouse in Reading. Durang’s comedy may have been inspired by Chekhov, but it is 180 degrees from the dark, despairing mood that permeates Chekhov’s plays.

In fact, it’s hilarious.

Wakefield native and second generation QP-er Nancy Curran Willis directs and once again her casting is pitch perfect and she brings the best out in every performer.
Continue reading ‘Quannapowitt Players present hilarious ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’’


Bank robbery isn’t as easy as it looks, especially when things don’t go as planned. That’s the lesson that two brothers learn early on in John Kolvenbach’s comedy The Bank Job, currently at Gloucester Stage.

Fourteen million dollars is a nice haul, but it won’t do you much good if your escape plans hit a brick wall – literally – and you find yourselves trapped in the bank’s executive washroom with the police closing in.
Continue reading ‘‘Bank Job’ pays off with laughs at GSC’

Zoned out


I know some people don’t like me to write about marijuana, but the subject has been in the local news a lot lately and it’s kind of my job.

Vancouver Global Marijuana March 2015 - by Danny KresnyakSo this constitutes a trigger warning for those delicate flowers of the Cannabis Community whose heads tend to explode when I write about pot. (Rest assured if I were writing pro-pot pieces they wouldn’t be accusing me of monomania. They’d be nominating me for a Pulitzer Prize.)

Last November, Massachusetts voters approved ballot Question 4, succumbing to a multimillion-dollar campaign funded by national pot industry interests. Just about everyone outside of the marijuana industry now recognizes that the law approved under Question 4 is at best a confusing muddle and at worst highly flawed.
Continue reading ‘Zoned out’

Long before it became part of my job, I would attend practically every Town Meeting. It wasn’t out of any sense of civic duty. I’ve always found Town Meeting to be great entertainment. That has led some to suggest that I seek professional help.

Last week’s two-part episode did not disappoint. If you’re one of the 18,000 or so voters who missed it, there’s always next November. Mark your calendars.
Continue reading ‘Fear and loathing at Town Meeting’


Wakefield Town Meeting last night overwhelmingly approved three articles intended to ban any recreational marijuana business from operating in the town of Wakefield. The measures included amendments to both the Zoning and General bylaws prohibiting recreational pot businesses in town as well as a moratorium calling for a moratorium on any pot businesses until July 1, 2018.

Town Counsel Thomas Mullen said that after Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana last November, he was asked by the Board of Selectmen to come up with as surefire a way as possible of assuring that no recreational pot business could open in town. The three seemingly overlapping Town Meeting articles, he said, offered the town the best protection against commercial recreational marijuana businesses.

After Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio made the motion on Article 25 (the zoning amendment) he asked Police Chief Rick Smith to speak on the issue.
Continue reading ‘Town Meeting acts to ban pot businesses’

Most people think Wakefield is a pretty nice town. We have two lakes, a beautiful Common and a walkable downtown area with some great restaurants. We have easy access to public transportation and are near two major highways. Oh, and we are one of the few places outside of big cities that still has a daily, family-owned newspaper.

And, of course, there’s Fred’s Franks.

What’s not to like?
Continue reading ‘Municipal self-loathing’

Wakefield 150


Not very many people realize it yet, but 2018 is shaping up as a pretty significant year around here.

If the first thought that popped into your head was that retail sales of weed will be legal in Massachusetts starting in July 2018, it might be time to put down the bong and pick up the job listings.

No, I’m talking about something even more important than that, if you can believe it. It’s also something more local.

The year 2018 marks our 150th birthday as the Town of Wakefield. It’s because of what happened nearly a century and a half ago in 1868 that the address on your checks reads “Wakefield” and not “South Reading.”
Continue reading ‘Wakefield 150’


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