The Kennebunks are widely known throughout New England for their indie art galleries, local boutiques, and farm-to-table eateries. But one thing that has always been missing from this coastal getaway is a proper live music joint—queue Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, The Kennebunks’ newest entertainment venue.
Located in the former Arundel Barn Playhouse, the recently renovated space now includes balcony box seats as well as two bars (indoor and outdoor to accommodate the change in seasons). The outdoor bar echoes picaresque New England with lush foliage and globe string lights woven between the snack bar and barn, making it the perfect setting for pre-show cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
The Hill, which opened in June 2016, has seen overwhelming success during its inaugural season, with 50+ shows in the last four months. Performances thus far have included Tony Award Winner, Debbie Gravitte; The Voice contestant, Frenchie Davis; and Grammy Award Winner, Thelma Houston, among others.
“It was an exciting inaugural season. The combination of the beautiful venue with class A talent had the audiences leaping to their feet,” said Creative Director, George Dvorsky.
Dvorsky himself is an accomplished actor and entertainer as well, having appeared on Broadway in various performances such as The Scarlet Pimpernel; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Marilyn: An American Fable; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; and the Tony Award-winning Passion. Through this wealth of experience, Dvorsky brings Broadway connections and big city talent and diversity to small-town Maine.
Though, the Hill is currently wrapping up the season a little closer to home by spotlighting some of the area’s best local talent. On October 6th Spencer Albee, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer who has received four record deals and two publishing contracts during his nearly two decades in the Portland music scene, will grace the Hill’s stage.
Representing local talent was a mission of the Hill from the very beginning, “we wanted to do a ‘Local Night’ each week but the season booked up so quickly that didn’t happen,” said Dvorsky.
On the final night of the season, October 7th, the Hill will pay homage to a now-defunct performance arts space within the community through “Night at the Hive.” The three-hour show, which starts at 7pm, will feature local acts such as the Shanna Underwood Trio, Samuel James, and Eric Bettencourt—all of whom frequented the Hive during its heyday.
Throughout the coming seasons, the Hill hopes to offer opportunities for children’s theater and not-for-profits to utilize the performance space as well.
“We hope to include as much of the community as we can in upcoming seasons,” said Dvorsky, and also to “continue our reputation of bringing world-class talent to a first rate venue.”