Kalei Volk is the featured soloist in one of the 18 dance numbers that comprise the 2020 edition of “Tap, Tap, Jazz,” Maine State Ballet’s annual late-January terpsichorean showcase. Courtesy / Maine State Ballet

A variety of options for light indoor entertainment await those who are tiring of the dark, cold and snowy outdoor world this late January. The spectrum embraces dance, music and theater.

Maine State Ballet opened its annual late-January potpourri of terpsichorean art last weekend in Falmouth. It’s called “Tap, Tap, Jazz,” and the show has one more weekend to run.

A classical pianist will tackle a number of works in the Russian repertoire this Saturday in Portland, then move on to a spontaneous improvisation to accompany a Charlie Chaplin silent film. Thank Portland Ovations for this innovative program.

“Popcorn Falls” is a wacky comedy about a nearly defunct town and the efforts of 21 of its residents to stave off bankruptcy. And all 21 of those folks are played by a pair of actors. Thank Portland’s Good Theater for this tour-de-force of comic stagecraft, which runs through Feb. 2.

‘Tap, Tap, Jazz’

I’ve been enjoying Maine State Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” for more than two decades, but it’s only comparatively recently that I’ve been attending some of the company’s other offerings.

One that particularly appeals to me is the late-January production of “Tap, Tap, Jazz,” a showcase for the company’s professional dancers, instructors and top students. This year’s edition opened last weekend in Falmouth and wraps up with four performances this Friday and Saturday.

The format is simple. Eighteen individual numbers are presented. Some are big ensembles, while others are smaller ensembles and a couple are solo performances. As suggested by the show’s title, tap is a major genre with jazz dance a close second. But other styles are featured in a number or two, such as classical ballet, the Charleston, Irish step dancing and Broadway.

Choreography is definitely a family affair. Choreography credits go to company founder and artistic director Linda MacArthur Miele, her husband Jonathan Miele (a veteran Broadway hoofer), their daughter Janet Davis and her husband Glenn Davis. Their daughter Emma Davis is a principal in several of the numbers.

The finale was created by Maine State Ballet’s most distinguished alumna, Robyn Hurder, who is currently performing a starring role in the Broadway production of “Moulin Rouge.”

And the costumes are exquisite. Gail Csoboth has been designing and building costumes for the company for decades, and “Tap, Tap, Jazz” gives her a chance to strut her stuff in truly spectacular fashion.

Maine State Ballet, 348 Route 1 in Falmouth, wraps up “Tap, Tap, Jazz” with four performances this weekend: Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 25 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Call 781-3587.

Gabriela Montero

A Venezuelan-born piano virtuoso who lives in Spain will perform a concert revolving around three Russian composers and an American silent movie is the next selection on Portland Ovations’ 2019-2020 season.

Pianist Gabriela Montero won a Latin Grammy Award in 2015 for Best Classical Album, plus she’s topped several music magazine polls for other recordings. She has extensive experience in the U.S., appearing as soloist with symphony orchestras and in smaller ensembles and solo recitals.

On Saturday she’ll appear on the Portland campus of the University of Southern Maine. Four pieces from the classical canon are slated, all by a trio of Russian composers: Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Dmitri Shostakovich.

For the second half of the program, Montero will improvise an accompaniment to “The Immigrant,” a 1917 romantic comedy silent film, written, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin in his famous Tramp character.

Catch Gabriela Montenaro at 4 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Abromson Community Education Center, 88 Bedford St. on the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus. Call PortTIX at 842-0800.

‘Popcorn Falls’

The rural town of Popcorn Falls is about to go bankrupt. And that’s quite the laughing matter in Good Theater’s latest offering in its 2019-2020 subscription series.

One of the cleverest comedies you’ll ever see, “Popcorn Falls,” written by James Hindman, is an utterly over-the-top tour-de-force of theatrical stagecraft. Its Maine premiere runs through Feb. 2.

The chief gimmick is that there are 21 characters plus an unspecified number of cats, all played (and meowed) by two human actors. The pace is frantically fast and the laughs are nonstop.

The plot concerns the efforts of the town’s mayor to stave off bankruptcy by a plan too complicated and clever to describe in a small space. Actors Nathan Gregory and Philip Hobby handle their myriad characters with great aplomb, assisted by Steve Underwood’s direction.

Good Theater presents “Popcorn Falls” at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St. (top of Munjoy Hill) through Feb. 2. Call 835-0895 or visit GoodTheater.com.

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