BEST BETS: Ballet Theatre of Dover explores ‘Seven Deadly Sins’

Ana Pavon is featured in the Ballet Theatre of Dover’s performance of “Classics and More”. She is in “Midsummer Nights Dream” and “Seven Deadly Sins” (Submitted photo)

The Ballet Theatre of Dover’s annual Classics & More performance will be held on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the In–Studio Theatre, 522 Otis Drive, Tudor Enterprise Park, off South Little Creek Road in Dover.

“Seven Deadly Sins” will explore one man’s journey through life as he navigates the excesses of his passions — pride, envy, greed, sloth, gluttony, lust and wrath.

Primary choreographer Allycia Powell will be joined in her vision by faculty members Amber Clifford, Audrey Greene and Teresa Emmons, director of the Ballet Theatre of Dover, in a multi–faceted interpretation of this theme. Music from ancient chants to contemporary music will be featured in this piece.

Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” comes alive in a short ballet loosely based on the bard’s tale. Villagers, gypsies, fairies and a wood sprite, Puck, who in the play caused a whole lot of trouble for the protagonists, Titania, queen of the fairies, and her retinue, will all dance to Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music featuring actual passages from the play.

Dances from “Fosse Suite” pays tribute to the Broadway choreographer, Bob Fosse, who created a new style of dance characterized by hips thrust forward, snapping fingers, rakishly tilted bowler hats, minute isolations — a style both fluid and angular. Music from his works will be featured including “All That Jazz”, “Steam Heat”, and “Crunchy Granola Suite.”

Ballet Theatre of Dover is the performing company of the Dance Conservatory.

Tickets for the show are $10 for adults and $6 for seniors and students.

Tickets are available at the door and at Dance Conservatory at 302-734-9717.

Messina, Nichols tix on sale

Tickets go on sale today at noon for a pair of country acts coming to Harrington Raceway and Casino this fall as part of its Live On Stage series lineup.

Jo Dee Messina will play Exhibit Hall on Oct. 7 while Joe Nichols will perform Nov. 18.

With over 20 years in the industry, Ms. Messina still performs to sell-out crowds all across the country. She has nine No. 1 hits as well as 16 Top 40 hits to her credit.

In 1996, Ms. Messina burst on the scene with her debut hit single “Heads Carolina, Tails California”. Several albums would follow which would cement her into the country music industry. She has been honored by the CMAs, ACMs and Grammys.

Born and raised in the small town of Rogers, Arkansas, Mr. Nichols had aspirations at a young age for a country music career. His father, who supported his mother, Joe and his older brother as a trucker, also was in a local country band which peaked Joe’s interest in the music business. Nichols too would find work in a local country band and eventually as a country disc jockey at a local station.

At age 19, he would land his first record deal learning to tap into his singing and song writing skills. However, the music industry proved to be very tough for this young and aspiring artist after moving to Nashville with limited recording success. Mr. Nichols ended up getting odd jobs including moving furniture, installing cable systems and selling steaks door to door just to make a living.

In 2003, Mr. Nichols would again try to break into the business and recorded his second album entitled “Man with a Memory”. The title track “The Impossible” garnered Mr. Nichols the attention he sought after going on to become a No. 3 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles Charts.

That same year, his album earned him a Top New Vocalist award at the ACMs, three Grammy award nominations and Platinum certification. Its second single “Brokenheartsville” became his first No. 1 hit, making Mr. Nichols a hot new artist on the country music scene. Several more songs were released including his second No. 1 hit “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and a third No. 1 hit “Gimmie That Girl”.

Mr. Nichols spent most of 2004 touring with Alan Jackson and 2005-2006 with Toby Keith garnering more fans and honing his performing skills. More songs and tours would follow and in 2014, Mr. Nichols’ album “Crickets” would garner him another hit single “Yeah,” reaching No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart. In 2016 he released his latest single “Undone” which continues to do well on the music charts.

Ms. Messina was last in the area in September of 2014 at Dover Downs while Mr. Nichols played the Delaware State Fair, also in 2014.

Tickets for both 8 p.m. shows are $44 and can be purchased online at www.harringtonraceway.com, by calling 888-887-5687, Ext. 5246 or stopping by the Casino Gift Shop.

‘Much Ado’ at Abbott’s Mill

Also this weekend, Abbott’s Mill and The Second Street Players present “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, Milford.

Romance and deception intertwine between two couples in one of Shakespeare’s best known comedies.

The Princess of Aragon, Dona Petra, and her followers visit the estate of the governess, Leonada, after a small war against her half-brother, Don John, who has reluctantly joined her. It’s love at first sight when a young soldier, Claudio, falls in love with Leonada’s daughter, Hero. In time they pledge their love for one another and decide to marry.

Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice resume the war of witty insults that they have carried on with each other in the past. Seeing this, the Princess, Leonada, Claudio, and Hero decide to play a game and get Benedick and Beatrice to stop arguing and fall in love with each other, but Don John decides he wants to disrupt everyone’s happiness and with help from his companions try to disgrace Leonada’s family and dishonor Dona Petra and Count Claudio. Will Don John succeed in his plan? Will true love prevail?

Director Michael Forrest and a cast of actors bring this Shakespearian classic to Abbott’s Mill in an outdoor setting.

For more information go to www.delawarenaturesociety.org/AbbottsMillNatureCenter or call them at (302) 422-0847.

Mélomanie in Smyrna

On Sunday, Mélomanie returns to the Smyrna Opera House at 2 p.m. for an afternoon of audience and musicians in a setting for conversation and music — baroque and contemporary — featuring Donna Fournier, gamba and Tracy Richardson, harpsichord.

Mélomanie presents pairings of early and contemporary works in innovative chamber music collaborations with guest performers and composers. Doors will open at 1:15 with a cash bar available.

The concert will feature:

· Suite in A Major — Marin Marais

· Prelude in D Minor — Carl Friedrich Abel

· Civilisation — Mark Hagerty

· Musical Humors — Tobias Hume

· Sonata in D Minor — Johannes Schenck

· Fantasia in G Major — Georg Philipp Telemann

· Sonata Circumdederunt Me —Mark Rimple

Tickets are $16 general admission; $14 members, senior citizens & military; $8 children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at www.smyrnaoperahouse.org, by calling 302-653-4236, or at the SOH Box Office.

Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door. The Smyrna Opera House is at 7 W. South St.

Movie magic

In 2016, Hornpin Media, a film development company in Laguna Beach, California, came across a novel entitled “Thirty-Three Cecils,” written by Dover author Everett De Morier.

“The characters were so real,” said Kevin Cooper, managing partner of Hornpin. “And the book had such a humorous but powerful storyline, that all the time I was reading it I was thinking, yes, this needs to be a film.”

So after purchasing the film rights, seasoned film producer, Brian Esquivel, was brought in. Mr. Esquivel began his career as a young production assistant on HBO’s series “Entourage” and has since produced several feature films for Sony Pictures. He read the book and loved it.

“The thing about Brian is,” said Mr. Cooper, “that he was quickly just as passionate about the project as we were. But he knows where all the little pieces go. He understands the mechanics of translating a book like this onto the screen, without losing any of the magic.”

Mr. De Morier was asked to write the screenplay for the film, and worked closely with Mr. Esquivel. Hornpin Media has set a $4.5 million budget for the project.

Mr. Esquivel will be a producer of the film and there are several executive producers that have expressed an interest.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is “Alien: Covenant,” the comedy “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” and the romantic drama “Everything, Everything.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is the horror hit “Get Out,” Hugh Jackman in “Logan” and Matt Damon in “The Great Wall.”

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