Eastport Arts Center will host Barbara Toothpick and Alan HorseRadish in a concert titled “Kitchen Songs” on Friday, September 16 at 7 pm. Written in the 1970s and 1980s in Pembroke by Toothpick, and sung at events and festivals back then, the songs are still relevant, and often hilarious, today. Though in the past, HorseRadish provided musical accompaniment for Toothpick’s vocals, the couple will sing together for this show. “After all these years, we have learned to sing together,” says Toothpick. “We sing every day for pleasure.” Anne Moody and Helen Swallow, fellow Pembroke residents, are producers of the show.
The songs tell stories about events in Pembroke in the 1970s and 1980s when the couple lived here full-time: the 3rd of July dance at the old high school where the fire station is now; the fight that brought 27 cop cars into town; the dirty movies Howard Smith showed in the Sears building across the street from the couple’s home; and the Girl Scout song Toothpick wrote while HorseRadish was Scout Leader.
Toothpick and HorseRadish bought their Pembroke home in 1969 and resided full-time in Washington County until 1980, when they moved to Philadelphia. They have since returned to their Pembroke home every year except two, and the two of COVID. They have appeared together in shows at the Tides Institute, Eastport Arts Center, the Back Door Gallery, the Rose Garden and the University of Maine at Machias.
A poet, painter and musician, Barbara Toothpick notes, “My goal was to get where I am.” In addition to performances and exhibitions of art and music, she has run Play Theater in Philadelphia for 5 seasons, which is now morphing into Play Theater presents Play Dates.
Alan HorseRadish is Alan Kirschenstein. “During my Pembroke years I got called Bozo,” notes HorseRadish. “Now I’m so old I get referred to as, ‘Hey, you!’”
The concert is being presented as a benefit for Eastport Arts Center; admission will be by suggested donation of $5 to $10.
Additional information may be found at toopik.com. Toothpick’s music may be found on iTunes and YouTube, including “Maine Songs from a Different Head” and “More Maine Songs for a Different Head”. In addition, the 2019 “One Woman Show with Alan” is on YouTube.
Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. The EAC abides by the State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, the EAC recommends that people wear masks when in our building.

Barbara Toothpick (seated) discusses with producers and fellow Pembroke residents Helen Swallow (from left) and Anne Moody the stage set and lighting for the upcoming show of Toothpick’s original music written in the 1970s and 1980s, “Kitchen Songs,” planned for Friday, September 16 at Eastport Arts Center.