PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — For approximately 22 years, the Presque Isle Community Players have been infusing Aroostook County with art with plays, musical performances and other endeavors. Last year, they discovered that a showcase of American folk music really resonated with the crowd.
That success prompted them to give that genre more time in the spotlight, and County residents will see the results during four separate performances this weekend and in early November.
The players will debut “Will The Circle Be Unbroken, American Folk Music, The Celebration Continues,” on Saturday, Oct. 29, at The Crow’s Nest in Presque Isle. The musical revue features 18 vocalists and musicians performing on a customized set in a dinner-theatre environment at the restaurant. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. and the performance at 8 p.m.
Additional performances will be held on Oct. 30, Nov. 4 and Nov. 5, all starting at 6 p.m at The Crow’s Nest.
Rod Thompson is directing this year’s show. He said on Thursday that the players wanted to do a second year of folk music after seeing how well-received a similar performance was last year. For variety, the group has added works by artists such as Arlo Guthrie, Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
“I think that most everyone will recognize a lot of the songs that we will be performing,” Thompson said. “We have songs such as ‘City of New Orleans,’ ‘Dream A Little Dream of Me,’ and we have a wonderful rendition of James Taylor’s ‘Fire and Rain.’”
Thompson said that this year’s performance also is different in that the players have added more musicians and a wider variety of musical instruments, including the mandolin, guitars, violin and banjo.
“It will be a very nice, extensive program,” said Thompson. “It is a musical revue with narration that allows us to tell little stories about the music or the artists. It is very much like an old time folk revival show.”
Past performances of “The King and I,” “Annie” and “The Music Man” garnered rave reviews for the players, and last year’s performance of “Oliver” was equally well received. Thompson said that those taking part in the upcoming show are “more singers and musicians than actors.”
“Everyone has really put their heart and soul into this,” he said on Thursday. “It will be a really energetic, entertaining event, and we hope that everyone gets a chance to see it.”
Tickets are $24 per person and are available prior to each show at the information desk at The Aroostook Centre Mall or at Goin’ Postal on Main Street in Presque Isle.