It's time to get your blush on with Image Theater's 12th annual "Naughty Readings" fundraiser.

The R-rated evening of plays, music and poetry is held upstairs at The Old Court on Central Street in downtown Lowell on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m.

The lineup this year includes short plays by Con Chapman, Karla Sorenson and Jerry Bisantz, plus songs by Lynda Vernalia and Stephen Gilbane, and erotic poetry by Dan Bacon. Lowell's own hip-hop poet, D-Tension, will also perform an original piece.

"It should be a great night," said Bisantz, Image's co-founder, who will perform in his darkly erotic play "What I Did On My Summer Vacation," which won both the Audience Choice and Playwright's Choice awards at the 2003 Playwrights Platform Festival in Boston.

The event is definitely adults only. Drinks will be available, and the audience is invited to stay after for the cast party. Tickets are $27 in advance at or $30 at the door.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is

On the marquee

LOTS OF LAUGHS: ShirleyArts! presents the hilarious musical-comedy "Once Upon a Mattress" this weekend at Ayer Shirley Middle School, 1 Hospital Road, Shirley. Performances are Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and 3, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. The show is the musical retelling of the fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea.


" It features music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer. Heather Pruiksma of Ayer stars as the Princess and John Williams of Leominster is the Prince. More than 20 other community members play other members of the royal household in the musical romp. Tickets $15 at the Hazen Library or online at Visit for details.

LENA AND LENNIE AT CCA: An array of musical offerings is on the calendar at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts in November. On Saturday, Nov. 3, join songstress Joan Watson-Jones for a concert called "Lena and Me" at 7:30 p.m. The tribute concert to Lena Horne is part of the CCA series on Women in Jazz. Tickets are $15 general/$10 CCA members, students and seniors. On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, the Illumination Opera celebrates Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday with a musical tribute from several of his shows including "Trouble in Tahiti," "On the Town" and "Wonderful Town." Tickets $10 at the door or by reservation at 978-250-3780. Visit for more musical offerings at the CCA.

ON LOCAL STAGES: Halloween horrors continue through Sunday, Nov. 4, with the critically acclaimed production of Ken Ludwig's "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" at Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth, N.H. Visit for tickets and information. ... Greater Boston Stage Company (formerly the Stoneham Theatre) presents the world premiere of "The Salonnieres" by Liz Duffy Adams, on stage now through Nov. 11 in Stoneham. Directed by Weylin Symes, the play is set in pre-Revolutionary Paris and is an evening filled with fairy tales, façades and the feminist revolution. The cast features Lisa Joyce, Laura Latreille, Elainy Mata, Bill Mootos and Sarah Newhouse. Tickets $45-$55 at 781-279-2200 or visit