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Entertainment Highlights: Russian Ballet Company Brings ‘Romeo and Juliet’

The oft-told tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is getting a new treatment from the State Ballet Theatre of Russia, which will perform Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet with new choreography at the Lebanon Opera House tomorrow night and Saturday night.

The ballet was revisited in 2011 by choreographer Mikhail Lavrovsky, formerly a principal dancer with the renowned Bolshoi Ballet, and whose father Leonid had choreographed the original production scored by Prokofiev in 1940.

“He used totally different choreography than his father did in the fifties,” said Igor Levin, managing director of the Hollywood Entertainment group, which manages the State Ballet Theatre of Russia touring company. Mikhail Lavrovsky’s production, Levin said, puts greater emphasis on the tragic love story at the heart of Romeo and Juliet.

The 65 dancers are products of Russia’s rigorous training system for young ballet talent. That system may be the greatest difference between North American and Russian styles of ballet. Starting at the age of 8, promising dancers are sent to subsidized ballet schools, where they eat, sleep and breathe dance, with only two breaks per year.

“In the United States, you go to (a) studio, work in the studio two to three years, take classes, and if you’re talented, you can go professional. In Russia, it’s impossible,” Levin said.

In 2011, the State Ballet Theatre of Russia celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding in the Russian city of Voronezh, about 300 miles southeast of Moscow. The company performs both classical and contemporary ballets, both in Russia and in tours around the world.

The State Ballet Theatre of Russia performs Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday at the Lebanon Opera House ($35-$55).

Best Bets

e_STnSThe Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde’s comedy about the dual identities of two Victorian men, gets the Northern Stage treatment this month in a production directed by New London Barn Playhouse Artistic Director Carol Dunne and starring Catherine Doherty, Northern Stage’s longtime producing director, as Lady Bracknell. The show opens at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction and continues through Feb. 24. Visit www.northernstage.org for more information.

∎ Now in its seventh year, the Parish Players’ Ten-Minute Play Festival unfolds in the Eclipse Grange Theater in Thetford this weekend, with performances at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. The festival’s reputation has grown in recent years, with the players receiving anywhere from 80 to 200 short play submissions annually. This year, the troupe is performing eight plays from its reserve of unproduced plays. The batch in this year’s festival depict a wide range of scenarios, from two insects waking up after a 17-year hibernation to a hostage situation ($10-$15; $2 discount tomorrow night).

∎ In the more than 200 shows that singer-songwriter Seth Glier plays each year, the Shelburne Falls, Mass., native has won over audiences with his well-crafted pop melodies and lyrics. Having performed at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas and opened for The Verve Pipe and Edwin McCain, Glier makes his next stop at Chandler Music Hall in Randolph tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. ($16, advance; $19, day of show).

∎ Grammy-winning gypsy jazz master John Jorgenson performs with his quintet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Town Hall Theatre in Woodstock. A co-founder of the Desert Rose Band and The Hellecasters, Jorgenson has collaborated with artists like Bonnie Raitt, Elton John and Peter Frampton ($33, advance; $35, day of show; $15, students). While in Woodstock, he’ll lead a guitar master class at 3 p.m. Saturday at Town Hall Theatre; call 802-457-3981 to register or to learn more ($25).

∎ Longtime Upper Valley favorites The Grand Slambovians, formerly Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, encompass a variety of spiritual themes in their one-of-a-kind brand of high-energy folk-pop. Selling out venues up and down the East Coast, and equally popular among folk music fans and those who prefer their music louder, the Slambovians will bring their show to Tupelo Music Hall at 7 p.m. Sunday ($25).

Alternative Music

The “@ Home” series of free concerts at the Lebanon Opera House continues tonight at 7, with an “Alternative @ Home” show featuring singer-songwriter Justin Goodrich and Turkey Point Swim Club, a group that comprises members of area bands like The Pilgrims and Giant Travel Avant Garde.

Blues

British blues-rock group Savoy Brown is still going strong after nearly 50 years, and founder Kim Simmonds will perform with the latest lineup of the band at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction. One of the architects of the ‘60s British blues movement, Savoy Brown performs at Tupelo shortly before Simmonds’ induction into the New York Blues Hall of Fame ($30).

Benefit Shows

The Sharon-based band Still More Cats plays a dance party at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Royalton Academy building in South Royalton, with proceeds benefiting the Easter Seals of Vermont.

Dances

A family contradance with fiddler Harold Luce will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. tomorrow at 279 Route 110 in Tunbridge ($5 donation).

∎ Saturday night’s contradance at Tracy Hall in Norwich has a Hawaiian theme this week. David Millstone will call and Northern Spy will accompany dancers. As always, beginners and singles are welcome to the contradance, which begins at 8 p.m. ($5-$8; seniors by donation; free for students 16 and younger).

∎ The second Saturday of the month is Latin dance night at Gusano’s Mexican Restaurant in Lebanon. Salsa lessons begin at 8:45, and DJ Spin Doctor provides Latin dance music into the evening.

∎ The Saturday night dance at the VFW Hall in White River Junction will feature music from The Ghost Riders from 8 to 11 p.m. ($5, members; $6, non-members).

Family Performances

Ian Ethan Case comes to the Sunapee Community Coffeehouse tomorrow night for a show of African kalimba music. It starts at 7 in the basement of the Sunapee Methodist Church; a hat will be passed for the performer.

Jazz

The Bill Rosen Quartet plays at the Library Arts Center in Newport at 7 tonight, as part of the Newport Winter Carnival festivities. Tickets may be purchased at the library, or online at www.libraryartscenter.org ($15, advance; $18 at the door).

∎ Jazz pianist Chris Bakriges and bassist Mark Dunlap will perform music from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and others in a free show at Artistree Community Arts Center and Gallery tomorrow night from 7 to 9.

∎ The Peter Concilio Jazz Trio provides the music tomorrow night at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland, starting at 8.

∎ Jazz vocalist David Thorne Scott, an associate professor at Berklee College of Music, travels from Boston for a show at the Center at Eastman in Grantham at 4 p.m. Sunday, the latest concert in the 2012-13 Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon (JOSA) series. Scott will perform with the JOSA ensemble, which includes Sunapee pianist Bill Wightman and percussionist Tim Gilmore from Lebanon ($18, adults; $16, students and seniors; reserve tickets by calling 603-763-8732).

Classical

Sally Pinkas, the pianist-in-residence at Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts, joins husband and fellow pianist Evan Hirsch for a concert of piano pieces from Poulenc, Schubert and Gabriel Faure, among others, at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Hop’s Spaulding Auditorium ($17-$27).

Bar and Club Circuit

Several bands from Tuck’s Rock Dojo will play a show from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday at Lebanon Village Pizza. Schedule to perform are Circa, Socially Awkward, Airborne and Rocket Science.

∎ Jason Cann performs at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor tonight at 6, and tomorrow, he’ll entertain diners at New Socials Bar and Grill in Claremont, starting at 7 p.m.

∎ These musicians will play at Canoe Club in Hanover: tonight, pianist Bob Lucier; tomorrow, the folk duo of Don & Jenn; Saturday, Joseph Stallsmith; Tuesday, pianist Gillian Joy; and Wednesday, guitarist Phil Singer.

∎ Salt hill Pub in Lebanon has The Wall-Stiles tomorrow and the jazz-funk outfit Green Room on Saturday; both shows start at 9 p.m. The pub also has live traditional Irish music sessions at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

∎ The Dusty Gray Band plays country and rock music at 9 p.m. tomorrow at Salt hill Pub in Newport. The following night, the Road Trash Band plays the pub at 9 p.m.

∎ Live traditional Irish music sessions have made their way into the Salt hill Hanover schedule, and they’ll take place tonight at 8. Tomorrow, the Hanover pub has Brooks Hubbard at 9 p.m., and on Saturday, The Gobshites play a 9 p.m. show at the pub.

Open Mics, Jams

A new open mic night will be held on the first Thursday of each month at Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction, starting at 7, hosted by Dave Clark and featuring a different band each month. Tonight, local bluegrass band Sweetgrass performs. Clark will also lead a new acoustic showcase at Canoe Club in Hanover every Sunday at 8 p.m. with rotating musicians. This week, Enfield’s own Brooks Hubbard performs.

∎ Bentley’s Restaurant in Woodstock has an open mic led by Brian Warren on Monday nights.

∎ Chad Gibbs hosts the Monday night open mic at Salt hill Pub in Hanover, starting at 7:30.

∎ Shepard’s Pie Restaurant on Route 4 in Quechee is the site of a Tuesday night open mic, starting at 6.

∎ The Colatina Exit in Bradford has an open mic on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

∎ There’s an open jam every Tuesday night from 7 to 9 at Tuck’s Rock Dojo in Etna.

∎ Wednesday night is open mic night at Skunk Hollow Tavern. It’s led by Gregory Brown and starts at 8:30.

∎ Anthony Furnari hosts an open mic at Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

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Entertainment Highlights appears each Thursday. Email news of upcoming events to kbryan@vnews.com.