Arts & Entertainment

The Case of the Detective Who Refused to Die

The Friends of the Randolph Library have received a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council to present "The Case of the Detective Who Refused to Die: Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes" on Friday, August 1, at 7 p.m. at the Randolph Town Hall.

Ingrid Graff will lead a public discussion in one of the most famous reincarnations of all time. Arthur Conan Doyle killed off his world-renowned detective Sherlock Holmes, only to bring him back to life several years later. What caused Doyle's disenchantment with his creation and what led to his resurrection?

Ingrid Graff discusses Doyle's life and writings and above all his relationship with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. She looks at several of the Sherlock Holmes stories to investigate the intense attraction of the prose, the plots, the places, and especially the undying fascination of the public with the man who became the world's most famous detective.

This program is free and open to the public.

The N.H. Humanities Council nurtures the joy of learning and inspires community engagement by bringing life-enhancing ideas from the humanities to the people of New Hampshire. They connect people with ideas.

For more information, contact Lynn Hunt 466-3456.


Cinema Part 2: Berlin's 'menacing' scenery hit the silver screen

By Sarah Kinney

In June 1927, Hollywood came to Berlin.
Pathe Exchange primarily filmed "The Masked Menace," directed by Arch Heath, in the area.
The company spent more than 10 days in the area getting an up close perspective on the New England milling districts for the setting of fictional Westminster, Conn.
On June 19, 1927, the Boston Sunday Post described local enthrallment with goings-on.
"Two school boys pedaling their bicycles along the back road toward the Brown farm, this afternoon, stopped to gaze with pop-eyed amazement at a group of 22 people in their path," Joseph Harrington wrote. "A young girl was fearfully backing away from a leering maniac, who tried to lure her to hem with a batter gold watch and chain.... The two youngsters dropped their wheels and fishing rods on the bank and sat down to watch the scene. This was 100 times better than seeing a picture at the local theater."
Heath selected several different locations in the greater Berlin area to film, including the Pontook Dam, Azlscohos Dam, Pinkham Notch, Glen Ellis Falls, Brown Company logging sites, and Boston & Maine Railway donated the use of an engine.
E. O. Brooks, Pathe's eastern production manager sent in a letter to the editor to thank Berlin.
"Before leaving Berlin, after our three weeks' work on exterior locations for the forthcoming Pathe serial production, "The Masked Menace," will you permit me the courtesy of your columns in order to express our heartfelt thanks for the really exceptional cooperation which has been accorded us in the hospitable city of Berlin," Brooks wrote.
"The Masked Menace" was also filmed in Whyckoff, N.J.; Scarsdale, N.J. and Coscob, Conn.
The movie was based on Clarence Buddington Kelland's "Still Face," a serialized story that had run in the Saturday Evening Post. Kelland was an award winning journalist, author, and screenwriter. His 1935 short story "Opera Hat" and 1936 Frank Capra film "Mr. Deeds goes to Town," were the basis for the 2002 Columbia Pictures film "Mr. Deeds" starring Adam Sandler.
"The Masked Menace" was a silent, black and white film, made in 10 chapters. Today, the film is considered to be lost.
It begins with two inciting incidents. Grandma Newton (Laura Alberta) decides to recoup the family fortune by reopening the logging mill, much to the dismay of her ward, Faith (Jean Arthur). Around the same time a stranger moves to town and is characterized by his attractive but unmoving face. "Still Face" and his side-kick, the intellectually impaired Job, begin terrorizing the mill and stealing nearly $200,000 in Liberty bonds from the Amassa Mill's safe. Meanwhile, Faith is bedeviled by the son of a rival mill owner, Oswald Maxwell. Keats Dodd (Larry Keat) comes to the aid of Faith and her grandmother and the villain's identity is discovered in the final chapter.

Stephen Prince wrote in a report on classical film violence that one of the final scenes of the film had to be censored. After Still Face kills Job's cat, Job turns on him. The filmmakers were directed to eliminate all distinct views of knife when Job attacks Still Face, because at the time, shots of knives were considered some of the most
frightening and disturbing.
The 10 chapters included "Against all Odds," "An Unknown Assassin," "The Enemy Strikes," "A Half-Wits' Fury," "An Attack at Midnight," "Checkmate," "By Hook or Crook," "Still Face Shows his Hand," "The Last Stand," and "The Menance Unmasked."
The full cast numbered about 30, with Alberta and Arthur the only women. During their time in Berlin, locals also got the chance to be in the film.
During one scene, Faith was supposed to jump 40 feet off a cliff into the Androscoggin River, in an area where the water is only six feet deep. The area was just above the Twin State Power House Dam in Gorham.
A stunt man from New York took one look at the water, determined it was "too dirty," and headed back to New York, according to the Boston Sunday Post.
Casting director, Gus de Well, walked to the drug store and got 13 local boys to volunteer.
Raymond "K.O. Kid" Ashley was paid $25 to dress as Faith, with wig and dress, and jump into the water.
The Berlin Reporter wrote on June 23, 1927, that Ashley hit the water feet first and almost immediately resurfaced. Aside from minor scrapes from the jagged rocks below, he was unhurt.
Outside of his brief acting career, Ashley was a professional boxer and won several ring decisions.
The Pathe Exchange company also filmed local city officials and businessmen, though these were not part of the scripted film.
The main actress who played leading lady Faith, Jean Arthur, was renown for a prolific acting career. Born Gladys Greene in New York, her father was from Vermont and she grew up in the Portland, Maine area. She was in over 50 screen plays from 1923 to 1929.
Larry Kent, who played the hero was also know for "Hangman's House" and "The Haunted House" both in 1928.
Job, also shown in some credits as "the half-wit," is played by John Hamilton. He was the lead in the prize-winning stage play, "Hell Bent for Heaven."
The titular character of Carl Phillips or "Still Face" was played by Thomas Holding. Holding was British and got his start on the stage at 14, performing in Shakespearean productions. In 1912, he played Ben-Hur.
"The Masked Menace" was finished and released in October of 1927 and shown in theaters in Berlin and beyond.
J. W. Kelley, manager of the Princess Theater at the time, told the Berlin Reporter jokingly that he was going to have to remove the paper from the walls to make room for all the people who want to see the film featuring local celebrities.
While it had local appeal, the film did not do very well.
A New York Times review said the film did poorly at the box office, despite an engaging plot.
Kalton Lahue wrote that Heath's four productions in this era were "among the poorest ever released by Pathe."


Tin Mountain Summer Family Festival July 23

You "otter" sign up for the Tin Mountain Family Festival, Wednesday July 23 from 4 through 8 p.m. at the Nature Learning Center on Bald Hill Rd in Albany. Explore the Rockwell Sanctuary with Tin Mountain staff, catch frogs at the pond, play nature bingo while hiking the trails, and enjoy a live animal program thanks to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, the Outreach Program is descriptively entitled, "Animals with Bad Behaviors", followed by Frye's pizza for dinner. The evening will culminate with a campfire complete with s'mores and stories. $5/adult, $3/child, $15/family. For reservations call 447-6991.



Music in the Great North Woods

Music in the Great North Woods promotes and supports classical music in New Hampshire's North Country in new, as well as existing, venues. During the summer months, the non-profit organization sponsors a Master Organ Recital series and the Big Moose Bach Fest, with visiting musicians of international stature. Call, visit the website or email for detailed schedules and more information. Events are open to the public, with donations benefiting the entire series of concerts sponsored by Music in the Great North Woods.

Monday and Tuesday, July 21 and 22, 3 p.m. - Fortepiano Workshops, with Andrew Willis and David Kim.
Piano by Rod Regier, copy of 1830 Bösendorfer. At Gorham Town Hall's Medallion Opera House, 20 Park Street, Gorham.
Monday, July 21, 7:30 p.m. - Fortepiano Festival Concert, with Andrea LeBlanc, classical flute and David Kim, fortepiano. At Gorham Town Hall's Medallion Opera House, 20 Park Street, Gorham.
Tuesday, July 22, 7:30 p.m. - A Fortepiano Festival Concert, with Andrew Willis, fortepiano. At Gorham Town Hall's Medallion Opera House, 20 Park Street, Gorham.
Saturday, August 2, 7:30 p.m. - Live Music Accompanying Silent Film "Speedy"

Renowned for his improvisations and creative interpretations, organist Peter Krasinski, with Harold Lloyd. At Gorham Congregational Church, 143 Main Street, Gorham.
Sunday, August 3, 4:30 p.m. - Master Organ Series Concert, by Peter Krasinski, Organist. At Randolph Church, Route 2, Randolph.
Monday, August 4, 7 p.m. - Master Organ Series: Improvisations and Transcriptions for Organ, Peter Krasinski, Organist. At St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts, 155 Emery Street, Berlin.

Music in the Great North Woods has venues in Gorham, Berlin, Lancaster and Randolph. For  more information call 466-2865 or 326-3242 or visit


Cinzia Fiaschi, award-winning artist from Rome, creates new works for exhibit at the Gallery at WREN and offers performances of action painting

The Gallery at WREN is excited to announce the arrival of Cinzia Fiaschi to Bethlehem. Ms Fiaschi will be in residence at The Little River Studio in Bethlehem for the next month as she prepares for her exhibit at The Gallery at WREN, a shared show with local artist Kri Soleri called Tutto Il Probabile E Oltre that opens on Friday, August 1.

An acclaimed Action Painter, who lives and works in Rome and Florence, Italy, Fiaschi will be creating a whole new body of work
for this exhibit, based on her impressions of the landscape, people and sensibility of the North Country.
Ms Fiaschi's residency has been in the works for over a year. Katherine Ferrier, Coordinator at The Gallery at WREN and Director of The Little River Studio and Artist Residency Program first extended the invitation last year, being familiar with the Italian artist's work after several collaborations dating back to their first encounters in North Carolina in 2006.
"Cinzia's work is so vibrant and full of life. I'm thrilled to host her for a month, and introduce her to North Country artists and audiences. I can't wait to see the new works she will make during her residency here, and know that they will carry something of what makes this place and these
people so special," says Ferrier.
Cinzia Fiaschi's working style, which she calls "Action Painting," is a mix of painting, dance, mediation and performance. She uses gestural abstraction to bring her works to life. Paint is spontaneously dribbled, splashed or swept onto the canvas, rather than being carefully applied.
The resulting piece often emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential aspect of the finished work. The painting is a visual extension of her thoughts and emotions in the moment.
Fiaschi studied at the acclaimed Academy of Fine Arts in Florence under the direction of professor Gustavo Giulietti. She has performed her art, often times incorporating crowd participation, in such venues as town squares, courtyards, bars, dwellings and living spaces as well as in and around fountains, historic palaces, art galleries and theaters throughout Italy and Europe.
As a way to invite audiences into the process The Gallery at WREN will present several opportunities to see Cinzia perform and paint at three different events. In these special performances Cinzia will perform live with local dancer Michaela Simmons, originally from Bethlehem, now residing in Saco, Maine. A spectacle of color, movement and sound, these events are exciting and great for audiences of all ages.
Thursday, July 24 at the Berlin Farmer's Market at 4 p.m. Cinzia performs with Michaela Simmons in the open air market in Berlin.
Saturday, July 26 at the Bethlehem Open Market. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cinzia will be at the market painting, and answering questions about her work. Stop by and say hello and see her work in progress.
Friday, August 1 at The Gallery at WREN. 5 to 7 p.m. Ciniza performs live with Michaela during the opening reception of her exhibit at The Gallery at WREN.
In addition, Cinzia is a featured artist in the Cultivate Dance Festival, now in its fifth year, and will be performing on Friday, August 15 at the Colonial Theatre. Cultivate is a four day festival of contemporary dance founded and organized by Katherine Ferrier, who also serves as the
Coordinator For more information or to buy tickets for any Cultivate performance, visit
For more information about Cinzia Fiaschi:
For more information about the Gallery at WREN: