Spamalot star Chris Hagberg got start at St. Greg's

Chris Hagberg

Like many Dot kids of his 1980s era, Chris Hagberg was first exposed to the theater arts as a grade-schooler at St. Gregory’s Grammar School. In addition to having a robust CYO basketball squad, the parish took pains to stage its own summer and spring musicals featuring student performers.

“I just remember being totally mesmerized by a performance of Cinderella. The St. Greg’s gym was transformed into this magical place. I got the bug.”

Hagberg became one of the parish’s top thespians and vocalists, belting out big numbers from shows like Pippin’ and Joseph and the Amazing Techno-color Dreamcoat under the direction of Maria Kramer.

These days, Hagberg spends his days just a block from his original St. Greg’s stage, working as the executive assistant to Carney Hospital president Andrew Davis — and the rest of Carney’s executive team.  Read more

Uncovering Boston’s best kept literary secret: Cid Corman

Chris Harding, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 27, 2013

Cid Corman

If Cid Corman were still alive, he would turn 89 this Saturday.

“Cid who?”

Like Edgar Allan Poe before him, Corman was a Boston-born author who was largely ignored in his home town, but who had world-wide literary impact.

The super-prolific Corman is credited with 524 works in 745 publications in 11 languages and 11,536 library holdings. As a poet, translator and editor of Origin, a seminal poetry magazine, he is acknowledged as a key figure in the history of American verse in the second half of the last century. Maybe some folks would show more interest if they believed the claim of this tireless Jewish guy from Dorchester that he invented rap.  Read more

Busy Saturday for outdoors art in Uphams Corner and Four Corners

Barbara Verneus danced during the I Am Kreyol bazaar held at the Erick Jean Center for the Arts on May 25. The facility at 157 Washington Street will host its grand opening this Saturday. Photo by ExFailures Photography

This Saturday, the day after summer officially arrives, two local events will kick off the outdoor arts season: a temporary museum in Uphams Corner and an official opening ceremony at a new arts venue in Four Corners.  Read more

Free reading of “A Soldier’s Play” at Strand on Monday

Chris Harding, Special to the Reporter
Jun. 12, 2013

Next Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Strand, Dorchester theatre artists and their greater Boston colleagues will present a free staged reading of “A Soldier’s Play,” Charles Fuller’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the murder of a black sergeant in segregated WWII barracks.  Read more

Ashmont Hill organist comes ‘full circle’ with Sunday recital

Aaron Sunstein

Ashmont Hill Chamber Music will present a benefit organ recital by native son Aaron Sunstein this Sunday at 4 p.m. at All Saints Church. Sunstein, a doctoral degree candidate at Indiana University, returns to Boston to perform this recital on the historic church’s magnificent C.B. Fisk organ. Tickets are $30, and in the spirit of AHCM’s commitment to community, complimentary tickets are available for those in need by contacting AHCM by email at or phone at 774-573-0526.  Read more

Sign of peace: Young artists send message through artwork

Apr. 24, 2013

Dorchester Responds to Bombing with Sign of Peace from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

Dorchester responded to marathon bombing with sign of peace: See this BNN-TV interview with Liz Carney of Dot Art and artist/educator Madelyn Carney, which aired on Neighborhood Network News on Tuesday, April 23.  Read more

Sparks uses Dot boxing club as setting for his latest video

Corey Burns, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 13, 2013

Clinton Sparks   : Corey Burns photoClinton Sparks : Corey Burns photo

The Dorchester Boxing Club has the typical look of a boxing gym: There’s a ring, punching bags, and weights—the ideal setting for a fight.

However, it was a little back room inside the gym that caught the eye of multi-platinum producer and songwriter, Clinton Sparks. The Dorchester-bred Sparks used the club as part of the setting for a new video — shot on location last Friday—to support his latest track that debuts online today. “Boston Bass” is a remix of The Dropkick Murphy’s “Shipping Up To Boston.”

“This song is basically just a bootleg record,” Sparks told the Reporter. “I put a lot of records out on the Internet for fans to rage to. I flipped Dropkick Murphy’s “Shipping Up To Boston” and made it super mean in honor of St Patrick’s Day.

“I figured instead of just putting out a song, let me put a visual to it and show Boston because it is such a Boston song. I figured I might as well just bring you into what Boston looks like,” Sparks said.  Read more

Soft opening this weekend for Erick Jean Center for the Arts

Erick Jean Center for the Arts: Photo by Rosanne FoleyErick Jean Center for the Arts: Photo by Rosanne Foley The Dorchester Arts Collaborative (DAC) is inviting the public to stop by on Saturday (Feb. 16) and explore the brand-new, still-evolving Erick Jean Center for the Arts (EJCA) at 157 Washington Street in Codman Square. This weekend’s “soft” opening‑ from noon to 3p.m.— is largely to let Four Corner neighbors and interested Dot residents get a peek at the space and an idea about future programming. The Mayor and other local bigwigs have been invited to a grander official opening sometime in the spring which will feature musical performances on the plaza and many more solid details on DAC programming.

Visitors this Saturday can admire the inaugural gallery show by Dot’s prolific Destiny Palmer, have cookies and a hot beverage, pick up a schedule of classes and events, and catch a few class demos including one by local drummer Brandon Guillermo.  Read more

Diary unlocks voice from Dorchester, circa 1870

Reporter Staff
Jan. 18, 2013

Alice Stone Blackwell

The Dorchester Historical Society has just re-published the journal of a young woman’s account of life here in the 1870s. The society will mark the book’s release a week from Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m., at the Carpenters Center, 750 Dorchester Ave. The free celebration will be held in conjunction with an illustrated talk by Andrew Saxe titled “The Ascent and Revival of the Railroad Suburb,” on the history and architecture of the houses of 18th and 19th century Dorchester, a town that Alice Stone Blackwell would have known well.  Read more

Whatever happened to the Peace Abbey? ‘She went off to college’ (UMass Boston)

Chris Harding, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 10, 2013

Statues of Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama and his grandmother, and Emily the Sacred Cow are now permanently on display on the fifth floor of Columbia Point’s Healey Library. Original sculptures (or fiberglass copies of them) by Lado Goudjabidze, the internationally acclaimed artist from the Republic of Georgia, are part of a windfall of art and archival materials donated to UMass Boston last July as part of the recent dissolution and sale of the famous-in-some-circles Peace Abbey in Sherborn, MA.  Read more