In Lewiston, The Public Theatre opens its 21st season with the comic adventure “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne and adapted by Mark Brown. It opens Friday and runs through Oct. 23.

Five actors portray 39 characters who travel seven continents. Audiences will join Phileas Fogg and his faithful French servant as they face stampeding elephants, raging typhoons and runaway trains.

The Public Theatre stages “Around the World in 80 Days” Oct. 14-16 and 20-23. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, with an additional matinee at 2 p.m. Oct. 22. Call 782-3200 or visit for tickets and information. The Public Theatre is at 31 Maple St.

The two primary Portland-area ballet companies both offer performances this week.

• Maine State Ballet presents its version of the classic story “Hansel and Gretel” at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday and Oct. 22 at the ballet company’s renovated theater at 348 U.S. Route 1, Falmouth. Seating capacity has expanded from 115 to 140, and the theater has received a series of upgrades, including new chandeliers and paint.

With music by Engelbert Humperdinck, “Hansel and Gretel” tells the tale of a brother and sister who get lost in the woods and stumble on a Gingerbread House, where they must outwit the Gingerbread Witch before she outwits them.

Tickets cost $15 at, 781-3587 or at the theater.

• Portland Ballet and the Portland Ballet Orchestra present their original interpretation of Washington Irving’s classic tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater St., Westbrook.

Portland Ballet premiered its version of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in 2010. It features original choreography by resident choreographer Nell Shipman and commissioned music by Kirt Mosier. A live orchestra, conducted by Robert Lehmann, will accompany both performances.

Tickets cost $35, or $25 for those 17 or younger, through PortTix: 842-0800 or

— Bob Keyes, Staff Writer