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WRITERS IN THE LOFT Presents Local Author and Historian J. Dennis Robinson


Author and historian J. Dennis Robinson comes to The Music Hall Loft as part of the Writers in the Loft series on Wednesday, November 20. He will discuss his newest book, MUSIC HALL, an exploration of the historic theater from its start as a Vaudeville center to its near destruction, and its impact on the arts community around it.

The 7pm event includes an author presentation and an onstage interview, followed by a Q&A and post-event book signing and meet-and-greet. It will be held at the Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress St., in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

"J. Dennis Robinson is a local legend. His work has captivated not only Seacoast residents, but also readers across the country. I'm looking forward to hearing about the history and oddities of our very own Music Hall," said Brittany Wason, The Music Hall's Literary Coordinator.

When The Music Hall first opened its doors in 1878, it brought a fresh cultural vibrancy to the city of Portsmouth and now serves as a community hub within the city's robust arts scene. Robinson's history book on the theater documents Portsmouth's arts culture from the very beginning and the role The Music Hall has played over the years.

Music Hall, the gorgeous 256-page color book covers The Music Hall's start as a Vaudeville center, welcoming the best acts of its time-including Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, Buffalo Bill, Tom Thumb, Maude Adams-through the dark times when the theater was nearly turned into condos and thankfully saved by The Friends of The Music Hall.

Fully researched, artfully written, and richly illustrated, the book is a must-read for anyone who cherishes the performing arts. Its full-color pages reflect years of diligent research, not just on the theater, but the changing city around it, starting with Portsmouth's first settlers and ending with many familiar faces today.

J. Dennis Robinson is a popular columnist, lecturer, and public historian. He is the author of a dozen narrative history books on topics ranging from Jesse James, Lord Baltimore, and child labor exploitation to Wentworth by the Sea Hotel, Strawbery Banke Museum, Privateer Lynx, archaeology at the Isles of Shoals, and the infamous 1873 Smuttynose Island ax murders. He lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, just across the swirling Piscataqua River from Maine.

Ticket packages for Writers in the Loft: J. Dennis Robinson with MUSIC HALL on Wednesday, November 20, at 7pm are $49. In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a copy of (Music Hall, $35 hardcover), a bar beverage, author Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased online at, over the phone at 603.436.2400, or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street.

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