Fryeburg Academy Theater will present its 2020 One-Act Festival play, “Last Tuesday” on Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center. The people in Donald Margulies’ play are strangers on a train, but not to us. They are familiar figures on a Metro-North train going from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan to New Haven — a man talking too loudly on his cellphone, a woman isolated with her Discman, another silently reading the Times, a couple coordinating their weekend’s activities.

In the triviality of their lives, they are us. But something unexpected happens that jolts the audience, breaking it from the trance-like state of listening to mundane prattle to being stunned by the shock of a fantastical force. In an instant, the short work becomes something else. Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted.

A pancake breakfast fundraiser to benefit Fryeburg Academy Project Graduation will take place on Saturday, Feb. 29, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Pythagorean Lodge No. 11 at 50 Portland St. in Fryeburg Village. The breakfast is generously hosted by the Fryeburg Masons. Breakfast will include pancakes, eggs, sausage and more. Proceeds will benefit FA Project Graduation and the Class of 2020.

On Sunday, Feb. 29, at 1 p.m Met Opera Live in HD will be presenting the first-ever performances of “Agrippina,” Handel’s satire of sex and power politics, at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center. Sir David McVicar reconceives a production he originally created for the Monnaie in Brussels in 2000, evoking a scandalous world in which the Roman Empire never fell but simply kept going right up to the present.

Holding a distorted mirror to contemporary society (as Handel did when he staged this opera), the production presents the corrupt intrigues of the political classes, brought to life by Joyce DiDonato as the power-hungry empress Agrippina, Brenda Rae as the scheming, seductive Poppea and Kate Lindsey as the feckless teenager Nerone. Iestyn Davies portrays the ambitious officer Ottone, and Matthew Rose is the emperor Claudius, on whose vacated throne Agrippina is determined to install her son. Renowned for his interpretations of the Baroque repertoire, Harry Bicket conducts.

Local opera enthusiast Joe De Vito will be continuing his opera lecture Series on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. in the the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center Seminar Room (free admission). Tickets for the Feb. 29 performance are $26 for adults, $23 for seniors and $18 for students.

The presidential primary and special state referendum election will be at the American Legion Hall on Bradley Street from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 3. The last day to request absentee ballots will be Feb. 27, unless you have a special circumstance. Republican and Democratic Party candidates will be on the ballot. You must be in a party to vote for a candidate. For candidate listings, go to

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.” — John Burroughs, “Winter Sunshine”

Robin Johnson can be contacted at

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