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Entertainment Highlights: Laughing At Life’s Indignities

Cindy Pierce

Cindy Pierce

Cindy Pierce has always called herself an “incident magnet,” the kind of person that strange, wild things happen to, instead of the person observing from afar.

So those familiar with her comedic storytelling won’t be too thrown by her newest one-off show on Saturday at White River Junction’s Tupelo Music Hall, “Comfort in the Stumble,” a compendium of stories that find the Etna resident neck-deep in various situations.

“The theme continues,” Pierce said. “The incident magnetism continues.”

Neck-deep, in Pierce’s case, could mean finding female empowerment backstage at a strip club, or having a dress for a black-tie event rip in a Boston parking lot. The point is in her pivot, though: We all stumble and make mistakes, she said. It’s just a matter of not drowning in the shame, to get up and keep going.

“Instead of cowering and letting it define you, look at it and milk it for its lessons, milk it for its humor,” Pierce said. “I’ve been able to get to a point where I can find the humor and I hope it helps you be a little bit kinder to yourself.”

Many of the stories present in “Comfort in the Stumble” are new, and those that Pierce has told previously are making their first appearance in a larger body of work.

Pierce was compelled to gather the material together after she was randomly sent a TED Talk given by Brene Brown, who studies vulnerability and courage. It was the kind of talk that aligned perfectly with her own way of living. She took notes on the video, and then put it aside.

Later, with Brown quotes littering her desk, Pierce found out the author had released a book. She bought it and subsequently devoured it, except for the last 10 pages, which she came back to about a month ago. The completion of the book coincided with Pierce’s decision to group together her stories for this new show.

“I think that the universe sends you things when you’re ready to receive them,” Pierce said, admitting that although it sounds “cosmic and swirly,” she is kind of cosmic and swirly as a person. “I feel like my whole life has happened that way.”

Pierce, who owns Pierce’s Inn in Etna with her husband, also gives educational talks to all age groups, often about sexual education. A previous show geared toward adults focused on sex, especially from a women’s perspective. This one, Pierce said, is about courage and pushing through embarrassment.

“This is not directed towards women,” she said. “It’s for adults. It’s for humans. It’s for anyone who’s living and stumbling themselves.”

Cindy Pierce will perform her new show, “Comfort in the Stumble,” at Tupelo Music Hall at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased from tupelohallvermont.com.

Best Bets

The Corvettes Doo Wop Revue, a nationally touring group dedicated to keeping 1950s doo wop alive, will play at the Claremont Opera House at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Starting at 6:30 p.m., though, the Car Nutz Car Club of Newport will have classic cars from the 1930s through 1950s on display outside of the venue. Tickets for the show are $19.50 in advance and $22 at the door. They can be purchased at claremontoperahouse.org or by calling 603-542-4433.

∎ The Tetzlaff Quartet, a group led by violinist Christian Tetzlaff, will perform at the Hopkins Center on Friday. Hop regulars may remember Tetzlaff, who performed a solo recital at the venue back in 2011. This time, the quartet will perform Haydn’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20/2, Bartok’s String Quartet No. 4 and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show range from $25 to $40 for general admission, and can be purchased from hop.dartmouth.edu.

Looking Ahead

Steve Earle, the singer-songwriter and progenitor of the “New Country” genre, will play a show — along with his band, The Dukes — at the Lebanon Opera House at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1. Tickets range from $32 to $52, and can be purchased at lebanonoperahouse.org or by calling 603-448-0400.

∎ However, the Cyndi Lauper show at the Lebanon Opera House on Oct. 25 has officially sold out. The venue will post any updates regarding extra tickets on its Facebook page, at facebook.com/LebanonOperaHouse.

∎ God of Carnage, which has made splashes both on Broadway and as a Roman Polanski film, will be performed at Northern Stage in White River Junction. Shows will start on Oct. 30, and go through Nov. 17. Head to northernstage.org for more information.

Music

The Upper Valley Mozart Project will give a performance of “The Leutgeb Legacy,” which will feature the composer’s chamber music for french horns, at Hartland’s Damon Hall on Sunday. Eight members, including a pair of horn players, will perform. The show is at 3 p.m., and tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. They will be available at the door. For more information, call 802-299-8144 or visit uvmozartproject.org.

∎ On Friday, Randolph’s Chandler Music Hall will host “An Evening with Pikelny, Sutton, Bulla, Bales & Cobb,” a night of music featuring respected bluegrass musicians Noam, Bryan, Jesse, Barry and Luke (respectively), on Friday. The enormous list of accomplishments among the five players is too long to note here — go to chandler-arts.org for the rundown, as well as to buy tickets, which are $35 for adults in advance, and $40 the day of the show. The music itself begins at 7:30 p.m.

∎ Ska group The English Beat will perform at Tupelo at 8 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $35, and can be purchased from tupelohallvermont.com.

∎ Alt-country artist Fred Eaglesmith will bring his band down to Haverhill’s Court Street Arts at Alumni Hall at 7 p.m. tonight, as part of a tour of the northeastern U.S. Tickets can be purchased from alumnihall.org. They cost $20.

∎ The Wholesale Klezmer band, which specializes in Eastern European music focusing on Jewish culture, will play a free show, aimed at the whole family, at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Top of the Hop.

∎ Tonight’s 7 p.m. Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn show at the Hop is sold out.

Film

The second entry in Chandler’s “Great Directors” film series will be a screening of Francois Truffaut’s 1959 French New Wave drama The 400 Blows. The movie will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, following a 7 p.m. lecture about the movie by Vermont film historian Rick Winston. General admission tickets are $9. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 802-728-6464.

Theatre

Theatreworks USA will bring Bunnicula, a musical based on the vampire bunny books by James Howe, to the Claremont Opera House at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are $5, and can be purchased at claremontoperahouse.org or by calling 603-542-4433.

∎ Playwright, poet and performer Edgar Oliver, a New York theater fixture and contributor to The Moth Radio Hour, will tell the story of his childhood, “Helen & Edgar,” at the Hop on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both shows are at 7 p.m., and tickets are $25 for general admission. They can be purchased at hop.dartmouth.edu.

∎ Irish actor Kenneth Branagh will star in the National Theatre Live in HD performance of Hamlet, which will be broadcast to the Hopkins center tonight and next Thursday. The show will take place in the Loew Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets are $23, and can be purchased from hop.dartmouth.edu.

∎ Speaking of National Theatre Live in HD, the London theater’s production of Othello will be shown at Woodstock’s Town Hall Theatre tonight at 7:30 p.m. Adrian Lester stars in the show, for which tickets are $20 for general admission. They can be purchased at pentanglearts.org.

∎ And finally, the Hop will play the National Theatre Live in HD peformance of The Audience, starring Helen Mirren, at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $23.

∎ Shaker Bridge Theatre in Enfield will continue its run of the Terrence McNally play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair De Lune through the week, with performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. The show’s final performance is on Oct. 27. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students, and can be purchased by emailing reservations@shakerbridgetheatre.org or calling 603-448-3750.

∎ Northern Stage will conclude its run of Twelve Angry Men on Sunday. The final shows will take place today and tonight, with shows at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and then 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to northernstage.org.

Dances

Caller Delia Clark will join The Old Sam Peabody Band for a third Friday contra dance in Woodstock this Friday. The dancing goes from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with a workshop at 6:45 p.m. to learn the steps. There will be a pot luck dessert break, though no dinner. The dance will take place at Woodstock’s Little Theater, and there is a suggested adult admission price of $8.

Bar and Club Circuit

Canadian folk singer Garnet Rogers will bring his baritone to the Flying Goose in New London tonight, starting at 8 p.m.

∎ Mike Spine, a Seattle-based rock, folk and Americana performer, will bring his talents to Hanover’s Salt hill Pub on Friday. The next night, Houston Bernard will make his Salt hill debut leading a trio that plays country and rockabilly. Both shows start at 9 p.m.

∎ Bernard will also perform on Friday at the Newport branch of the Salt hill Pub. On Saturday, Irish-influenced folk and rock group the Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio will perform. Both shows are at 9 p.m.

∎ Upper Valley dance group The Party Crashers will return to Hartland’s Skunk Hill Tavern on Friday, with the music starting at 9 p.m.

∎ Open mic mainstays Ed & Chris will play the Lebanon Salt hill Pub on Friday. The next night, Upper Valley rock, blues and swing group Dixie D & The Diamonds will play the pub. Both shows are at 9 p.m.

∎ Brooks Hubbard will perform at Sunapee’s One Mile West on Wednesday, starting at 8 p.m.

∎ Another full slate of Canoe Club performances starts tonight, when guitar and singer David Greenfield performs. Ted Mortimer & Tom Pirozzoli will play jazz on Friday, and Jonathan Kaplan will offer up some jazz piano on Saturday. Sunday will see John Menides & Victoria Grace, a multi-instrumentalist and singer, take the stage, and Monday will be the debut of pianist (and Tuck student) John Wheeler. The week will be rounded out by Bob Lucier on Tuesday and Alki Steriopoulos & Friend on Wednesday. All shows begin at 7 p.m., except for Wheeler, who starts at 8:30 p.m.

∎∎Nashville recording artist Clay Canfield brings his talents to the River Stones Tavern in Quechee on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 8 p.m. He also performs at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock on Sundays, beginning at 7 p.m.

Open Mics

Salt hill Pub in Hanover runs an open mic, hosted by Chad Gibbs, on Mondays at 7 p.m.

∎ At Salt hill in Lebanon, Brian Warren and Seth Barbiero will host an open mic tonight starting at 8.

∎ Brian Warren also hosts an open mic at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock. It’s on Mondays, starting at 8:30 pm.

∎ Bradford’s Colatina Exit hosts an open mic on Tuesdays starting at 8 p.m.

∎ The Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon runs an open mic on Wednesdays, beginning at 8 p.m.

∎ Gregory Brown hosts an open mic at Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern, beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Jon Wolper can be reached at jwolper@vnews.com or 603-727-3242. Send Highlights to Highlights@vnews.com.