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The Week in Preview: Alfred Nobel’s father, Immanuel, invented a rotary lathe that became the key to manufacturing modern plywood.

By Staff | Jul 9, 2012

TUESDAY

Wallet-friendly fun

Affordable family entertainment is a wonderful thing, but free family entertainment is even better. Take the kids out without having to take out your wallet at “Let’s Play,” the first event in the Nashua Public Library’s free Plaza Schticks series, at 6:30 p.m. on the library plaza at 2 Court St.

Kids can sing along to ukulele music with the Studio 99 Ukestra, play old-fashioned games on the plaza, check out a nature-focused Mad Science demo or play video games in the Rolling Video Games trailer, complete with high-
definition TVs, stadium seating and vibration motors synced to the action.

As video game seating is limited, tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis to children ages 6-17. If it rains, events will be held indoors in the Children’s Room.

Attendees are welcome to bring picnics and blankets. For more information, call Carol at 589-4610 or visit www.nashualibrary.org.

THURSDAY

An irreplaceable loss

Due to the destructive policies of the Khmer Rouge, the golden age of Cambodian cinema ended almost as soon as it began. Discover Cambodia’s contributions to the silver screen at a screening of the documentary “Golden Slumbers” from 8-10 p.m. at 119 Gallery at 119 Chelmsford St. in Lowell, Mass.

Of the 400 films made from the start of the golden age in 1960 to 1975, when the Khmer Rouge came to power, only 30 remain. The regime also killed most of Cambodia’s actors and directors.

In “Golden Slumbers,” members of the film industry who survived the purges share their stories and attempt to recapture for audiences this lost era in Cambodian cinema.

Davy Chou, the documentary’s director and the grandson of renowned Cambodian film producer Van Chann, will be in attendance at this screening to share his own stories.

This event is free and open to the public, but a $5 donation at the door would be greatly appreciated. For more information, visit http://lowellfilmcollaborative.org.

FRIDAY, JULY 22

Lights, camera, mayhem!

Filmmakers are always striving for greater authenticity in their work. See just how authentic a film version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” can become when two of Shakespeare’s fairies join the cast at the Milford Area Players’ production of “Shakespeare in Hollywood” at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts at 56 Mont Vernon St. in Milford.

It’s 1934, and director Max Reinhardt has begun work on his iconic film version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Little does he know, however, that the actors he’s cast as Oberon and Puck aren’t actors at all, but the fairies about whom Shakespeare originally wrote the play. Life soon starts to imitate art as cast members fall unexpectedly in and out of love with hilarious results.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays, July 13-22. Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for seniors (60 and older) and students, and can be purchased at the Toadstool Bookshop in Milford, online at www.milfordareaplayers.org or at the door. For more information, call Dave Agans at 673-2258 or visit www.milfordareaplayers.org.

SATURDAY

An explosive situation

In most cases, before a country will permit a new enterprise to take place within its borders, government officials and citizens alike want to know how it will benefit them – or, at the very least, that it isn’t going to accidentally kill anyone.

Such thoughts were on the minds of those who attended Alfred Nobel’s first demonstration of dynamite today in 1867 at Merstham Quarry, Surrey, in southern England.

Nobel had recently patented dynamite, an explosive made from a mixture of nitroglycerin and diatomaceous earth, and organized the demonstration to convince those doubtful of the safety of the explosive. If all went well, he hoped to be allowed to build a dynamite factory in England.

To prove his point, Nobel stood in the quarry and had a crate of dynamite thrown down to him, which he placed – still fully loaded with dynamite – on a nearby bonfire.

Even though the dynamite didn’t explode, the authorities remained unconvinced that the explosive could be handled safely, and Nobel eventually set up The British Dynamite Company in neighboring Scotland in 1871.

Like any explosive, dynamite was not without its fatalities, the blame for which was placed squarely on Nobel’s shoulders. He began to think more seriously about his legacy after a French newspaper accidentally published his obituary in 1888. The first line read: “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”

In 1895, Nobel signed his last will and testament and left the bulk of his fortune to establish the Nobel Prizes, which are awarded annually to those who make great strides in the fields of physical science, chemistry, medicine and literature and in the pursuit of peace. If you’ll pardon the pun, we think it was quite a noble gesture.

Like Nobel’s crate of dynamite, The Week in Preview (written by Teresa Santoski) will not explode if thrown on a bonfire, but it certainly will burn. 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.

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