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Deanne Fortnam

One of the highlights of the Driveway Garden is this lovely urn planted with a harmonizing arrangement of annuals
Monday, May 7, 2012

The Week in Preview: Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Give Mom a hug and let her sleep in.

Week in Preview

Wednesday

Civil War spotlight

As far as military history goes, the Revolutionary War tends to be the center of attention here in New England. Learn about another war that included Granite State soldiers at “New Hampshire Towns and the Civil War” at 7 p.m. at the Merrimack Public Library at 470 Daniel Webster Highway.

Jere Daniell, professor emeritus at Dartmouth College, will discuss the nature of New Hampshire town government in the 1860s and how towns helped recruit soldiers to fight.

He’ll also talk about how local attitudes changed as what was expected to be a weeks-long conflict dragged on for four years, as well as how towns memorialized soldiers who didn’t return and cared for their widows and children.

Registration is advised as seating is limited. To reserve your seat, call 424-5021, email mmkpl@merrimack.lib.nh.us or visit the library’s online calendar at www.merrimack.lib.nh.us.

Thursday

Class warfare

How far would you go to support your favorite celebrity? Today, in 1849, at Manhattan’s Astor Opera House, fans of American actor Edwin Forrest clashed with city police and the state militia, who had been called out by supporters of British rival William Charles Macready. The result was the deadly Astor Place Riot.

Though Forrest and Macready specialized in Shakespeare, their approaches were polar opposites, as were their fans. Forrest was popular with the working class for his passionate, powerful portrayals. Macready pursued his characters in a more disciplined and intellectual fashion, winning him numerous admirers amongst America’s wealthy upper class.

Tensions came to a head when 10,000 of Forrest’s supporters converged on the Astor Opera House, where Macready was performing the title role in “Macbeth.” Forrest was playing the same role in the same play at the nearby Broadway Theater.

As Forrest’s supporters had also interfered with the May 7 performance, Macready’s wealthy fans had anticipated further problems and arranged for a police presence. At the suggestion of the police chief, Mayor Caleb S. Woodhull had readied the militia to deal with any serious rioting.

The situation deteriorated quickly, with Forrest’s supporters throwing stones, tussling with police and even attempting to burn down the opera house. The militia issued a verbal warning, unheard amongst the chaos, and fired several shots into the air, after which they fired into the crowds. At least 25 people died and more than 120 were injured.

Instead of quelling unrest, this resolution to the Astor Place Riot deepened the rift between the working class and the wealthy and between the “Americans” and those who admired British culture, as well as associating a further disaster with Shakespeare’s supposedly cursed Scottish play.

Saturday

Take your pick

Looking to populate your garden with perennials, annuals and perhaps even a few biennials? Several area garden clubs and organizations are hosting their annual plant sales today:

Amherst Garden Club: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Wilkins Elementary School, 80 Post Road, Amherst.

Brookline Lions Club: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the corner of Route 13 and Quimby Road, Brookline.

Colonial Garden Club: 9 a.m.-noon at Monument Square in Hollis.

Litchfield Area Garden Club: 9 a.m.-noon at Griffin Memorial School, 229 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield.

Silver screen sampler

You haven’t experienced the possibilities of cinema until you’ve seen a Bollywood movie. Enjoy comedy, drama, action, singing and dancing – all in the same movie – at the second annual New England Bollywood Film Festival from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Wilton Town Hall Theatre at 40 Main St.

The festival will feature “Road, Movie” (2009) and “Sholay” (1975), both of which, in traditional Bollywood style, encompass all film genres instead of limiting themselves to one.

The event also includes a documentary on the history of Bollywood, a video showdown between dancers Madhuri and Aishwarya, Indian snacks and a live dance performance.

All-day passes are $12 for adults and $7 for kids younger than 12. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved to pick up at the event.

For more information, visit www.bollywoodne.wordpress.com or email bollywoodne@gmail.com.

Teresa Santoski (who writes The Week in Preview) would vote for Aishwarya in the video showdown at the Bollywood Film Festival – just watch the dance sequence for “Kajra Re” in “Bunty Aur Babli.” Know of an event worthy of filling this space? Call 594-6466 or email tsantoski@nashuatelegraph.com. Information should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event. Follow TWiP, Tete-a-tete and Teresa’s articles at twitter.com/Telegraph_TS.