Highlights: Hopkins Center Plans a Globe-Spanning Program for 2018-19

  • Pianist Simone Dinnerstein collaborates with choreographer Pam Tanowitz on "New Work for Goldberg Variations," a performance coming to the Hopkins Center in January. (Courtesy photograph)

  • Zimbabwean roots band Mokoomba plays Feast and Field Market in Barnard tonight at 6:30. See 'Best Bets' for more information. (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, July 05, 2018

Dig out your atlases or click on Google maps: The Hopkins Center for the Arts is preparing to lead audiences on yet another tour of the global performing arts, straying far beyond the music, drama and choreography of dead white men.

During the Hop’s 2018-2019 launch party at Spaulding Auditorium on Monday afternoon, director Mary Lou Aleskie will host a preview of a 2018-2019 lineup that begins with a company of Indian dancers criss-crossing the Moore Theater stage in step with the jazz trumpet of Iraqi-American musician Amir ElSaffar in mid-September, and ends over Memorial Day weekend with the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra playing a commissioned work inspired by the Orozco murals at Dartmouth’s Baker Library.

In between, the offerings range from a production of a British play exploring the lives of African immigrants through their interactions in a barbershop, to Indigenous Rising, a fusion of music, poetry and theater by Native Americans.

“It was definitely our intention to take a step further in the Hop’s legacy of amplifying the best of who we are,” Aleskie, who took the reins at the Hop last summer, said on Tuesday. “When we were looking at the Ragamala Dance Company’s collaboration with Amir ElSaffar, for instance, some of us were asking, ‘Who is this really for?’ The answer was, ‘Well, for everybody.’ ”

Even classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein’s performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, in January, will come with yet another variation: Choreographer Pam Tanowitz’ ensemble of seven will dance around the musician.

“It’s yet another opportunity to do performance-plus,” Aleskie said. “This is a stretch for Tanowitz’ company and for Simone. We have more and more artists wanting to collaborate across disciplines.”

A team from Britain’s National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse will cross borders, national and cultural, during a three-night production of Barber Shop Chronicles in mid-January.

“It’s about finding home together,” Aleskie said. “It was a runaway hit in London. We’re the only non-major city that’s going to see that production in this country.”

Throughout the season, the Hop will continue to supplement the shows with public talks by the artists and Dartmouth faculty.

“We emphasize the conversations so that we know each other better,” Aleskie said. “That’s why the launch is as much a party as a preview.”

The Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College unveils its 2018-2019 season on Monday evening, with an audio-visual introduction to the upcoming performances at 5:30, followed by a launch party on the patio of the Courtyard Cafe at 6:30. Admission is free. Capsule previews of the season are viewable at hop.dartmouth.edu.

Best Bets

The Zimbabwe-based roots band Mokoomba performs during the Feast and Field Market in Barnard tonight. The ensemble will host a workshop at 5:30 before the concert starts at 6:30. Admission is by donation.

The Old Church Theater company opens a two-weekend run of the musical Stepmothers on Friday night, with a 7:30 performance on its temporary stage on Waits River Road in Bradford, Vt. The play looks at the fables — and foibles — of Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel and Snow White from the perspective of their fathers’ second wives. For tickets ($6 to $12) and more information about this and upcoming productions, visit oldchurchtheater.org or call 802-222-3322.

The Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar hosts four free concerts at Enfield’s Mary Keane Chapel in July, starting with this Friday night’s performance by seminar faculty members John Erikson, Erik Griswold and Tim Feeney, who is premiering a new composition. And Saturday night at 8, several seminar participants perform on the theme of “Explorations.” Seminar founder Edward Carroll will give introductory talks at 7:30 both nights. To learn more, visit chosenvale.org/performances.html.

The duos of Norman and Jeanne Fischer and of Andrew and Gail Jennings join forces on Sunday afternoon at 2 to perform on the theme of “American Birthdays and European Icons” at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish. Jeanne Fischer and Gail Jennings are the pianists while Norman Fischer plays the cello and Andrew Jennings the violin, in a program that includes works by Debussy, Bernstein and Beethoven. Admission is included in the price to enter the historic site, $10 for age 16 and up. For more information, visit nps.gov/saga.

The Haitian roots ensemble Lakou Mizik performs the first free concert of the Hopkins Center’s summer series on the green in Hanover on Wednesday evening at 5:30.

Looking Ahead

The folk-rock duo of Don Sinclair and Jenn Grossi will perform during the Bradford (Vt.) Fair next Thursday night at 7:30.

Classical guitarist Laura Mazon will cap off the ArtisTree Community Arts Center’s Cuban Cultural Festival on July 14, with a 7:30 p.m. performance at the Hayloft in South Pomfret. While admission to the festival is free, donations are welcome. For more information, visit artistreevt.org or call 802-457-3500.

Theater/Performance Art

The New London Barn Playhouse kicks off its staging of A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia next Wednesday, with performances at 2 in the afternoon and 7:30 at night. The comedy, about a dog who complicates a longtime marriage in New York City, runs through July 15.

The playhouse completes its production of the Broadway adaptation of Little Women with 7:30 performances tonight, Friday night and Saturday night and with the finale on Sunday afternoon at 5.

To reserve tickets ($20) for these and subsequent productions, visit nlbarn.org or call 603-526-6710.

World Under Wonder performs Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with performances on Friday night and Sunday afternoon at the Windsor Farmer’s Exchange building. Admission at the door is $12, with proceeds going toward completion of the troupe’s new playhouse in Weathersfield. To learn more, visit worldunderwonder.webs.com.

The Lincoln, N.H.-based Children’s IMPACT Theater Company performs Wendy and the Pirates, the group’s prequel to Peter Pan, on Monday morning at 10 at Claremont Opera House. General admission tickets cost $6. Groups aiming to reserve sections are encouraged to visit claremontoperahouse.org or call 603-542-0064.


The blues quartet Dr. Harp performs tonight at 6:30 on the Ben Mere Bandstand, overlooking Sunapee Harbor.

The Michael Vincent Band plays blues and rock tonight at 7, on the bandstand in Lebanon’s Colburn Park.

The South Royalton Town Band performs on the Richard W. Ellis Bandstand in South Royalton tonight at 7, on the back lawn of the Woodstock History Center on Friday night at 7 and on the green at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph on Tuesday night at 6.

GrooveSum plays soul and R&B at the town gazebo overlooking Lake Sunapee in Newbury, N.H., tonight at 7:30, and at Colburn Park in Lebanon on Monday night at 7.

The Hopkinton Town Band appears on the Haddad Bandstand in New London on Friday night at 6:30.

Kid Pinky & His Restless Knights play the blues at two venues overlooking Sunapee Harbor over the coming week: at the Flanders Stage on Saturday afternoon at 5, and on the Ben Mere Bandstand across the street on Wednesday night at 6:30.

Singer-songwriter Alex Smith appears on Saturday night at 30 Summer St. in Bradford, Vt. The music begins at 7, after a potluck dinner that starts at 6:30. Admission is $10. After the performance, musicians and listeners are welcome to sit in on an open mic session.

Rusted Chrome plays classic rock and country Sunday night at 6 on the Newport Common.

Singer-songwriter Phil Henry, drummer Gary Moon and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Kimball play on Tuesday night at 6:30, on the bandstand at the Fairlee common.

Bassist Dave Clark and guitarist Rob Oxford play a set of Americana on the bandstand at the Quechee Green on Wednesday night at 6:30.


The Flock Dance Troupe is looking for children to participate in its annual performance on July 21 at Star Mountain in Sharon. Rehearsals are scheduled for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., July 16-20. The theme of this year’s performance is “What is Missing? What Do We Need? How Are We Going to Get It?” To learn more, visit flockdance.org or call 802-765-4454 or email carolang@aol.com.

Bar and Club Circuit

The Whiskey Geese perform rock, blues and folk tonight 6 to 9 at Peyton Place restaurant in Orford.

The Americana quartet Conor & The Wild Hunt pulls into Windsor Station tonight at 7. Binger rocks the house at 9:30 Friday night and singer-songwriter Greg Goedewagen appears on Tuesday night at 6.

Singer-songwriter Reid SP and guitarist Steve Simollardes perform soul and Americana Friday night at 7 at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover.

Saxophonist Mike Parker and singer-guitarist Alison “AliT” Turner play the Farmer’s Table in Grantham on Friday night from 7 to 10, SILO Distillery in Windsor on Sunday afternoon at 1 and Crossroads Bar and Grille in South Royalton on Tuesday night at 6.

Bassist Peter Concilio, saxophonist Michael Zsoldos, keyboard wizard Bruce Sklar and drummer Tim Gilmore play jazz at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners on Friday night at 8:30.

Singer-guitarist Ted Mortimer performs Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in downtown Lebanon, and The Blues Brothers Revue duo of Teddy Makalinaw and Eben Brown appears Saturday night at 9.

FLEW-Z frontman Alec Currier performs a solo set of acoustic rock at Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Friday night at 9.

Acoustic country-rocker Mike Preston plays Hanover’s Salt hill Pub on Friday night at 9.

Newport’s Salt hill Pub holds the next karaoke round of the Newport’s Got Talent contest on Friday night at 9.

Pianist Sonny Saul performs jazz at On the River Inn in Woodstock on Saturday and Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 9.

Soulfix plays the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee on Saturday night at 8:30.

Keyboardist Doc Winslow, bassist Tom Lord, guitarist Kit Creeger and drummer Bryant Harris play their weekly set of Americana during the weekly brunch at Poor Thom’s Tavern in Meriden on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rock singer-songwriter Chris Powers visits the Anchorage on Sunapee Harbor on Sunday afternoon at 3.

Thistledown serenades the buffet supper ($10 to $25) at Loch Lyme Lodge with a set of roots music on Sunday night at 6, and singers and dancers from Revels North perform during the weekly cookout ($8 to $20) on Wednesday night at 5:30.

Open Mics

Woodstock musician Jim Yeager hosts open mics tonight at 7 at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret; at Bentley’s Restaurant in Woodstock on Monday at 7:30; at the Public House in Quechee on Tuesday at 6; and on Wednesday from 8 to midnight at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners.

String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

Open Door Wellness in White River Junction host an open mic from 7 to 8 p.m. on First Friday.

The Main Street Museum in White River Junction holds a summer hootenanny on Friday night at 8 and an open mic on Wednesday night at 7.

Joe Stallsmith leads his weekly session of Americana, folk and bluegrass on Monday night at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

Fiddler Jakob Breitbach leads a weekly acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music on Tuesday nights at 7 at The Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

Tom Masterson hosts an open mic at Bradford, Vt.’s Colatina Exit on Tuesday nights at 8.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304. Entertainment news also can be sent to highlights@news.com.