This Saturday the Met’s Live in HD Series Brings Puccini’s Stunning Madama Butterfly to the Big Screen

You won’t want to miss seeing this breathtakingly beautiful production designed by Anthony Minghella and featuring Bunraku traditional Japanese puppetry along with the live singers. Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is one of the world’s best-loved and most-performed operas, not only because of its astonishingly lyrical beauty, but also because of its wholly believable story – a heartrending tragedy brought on by imperialism and the clash of different cultures.

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The Met In HD Performs Massenet’s Ever Popular Manon Saturday, October 26th

For its second live in HD transmission of the 2019-20 season, the Met has chosen Jules Massenet’s wonderfully melodic, Manon – a deliciously French take on the tragic story of Manon Lescaut (also made into a deliciously Italian opera by Puccini – but that’s another story!). A teenage girl from the country – far too pretty for her own good – is sent alone to the outskirts of Paris to be met by her cousin and escorted to a convent. Her non-too vigilant, and non-too-upstanding, cousin allows her to catch a glimpse of the decidedly un-convent-like life of actresses who are enjoying the company of wealthy “patrons”–and the rest, as we say, is history.

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Pelish at the Movies – ‘Joker’

Joker is a tale set in a city named Gotham, Gotham of Batman fame that is. A figure named Thomas Wayne is the principal antagonist of our mad protagonist. Capitalism is the enemy. Wayne, running for mayor of Gotham is the nexus between the corporate state and its citizens. Corporations enslave, imprison, murder, and drive mad the helpless millions. Our abused and marginalized hero strikes back, and the oppressed millions join him making his personal madness a national sickness. This cautionary tale argues that anarchy may be preferable to slavery.

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Backstage Review: ‘Harvey’ at Reno Little Theater

Elwood P. Dowd is certifiably insane but not by happenstance. He is that way by choice. It’s the only way he can cope with an insane world. Sane people act insane in an insane world. Dowd did that for 40 years but gave it up for a sane world of his own creation. As he tells us, “…I wrestled with reality for forty years, and I am happy to state that I finally won out over it.” And in Dowd’s reality one must be “…so smart…or so pleasant. For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.” He is the most pleasant person imaginable.

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The Met in HD Kicks Off the Season with Turandot

From Wagner to Berg, from Gershwin to Glass, from Handel to Puccini – there is literally something for everyone this season. We ended last season with Verdi’s grandest spectacle opera, Aida; so what better way to begin the new season than with Puccini’s grandest spectacle opera, Turandot. That’s TEWR-ən-dot. With the T! Remember – Puccini was Italian – not French – hence most people agree on “dot” not “doh”! Actually, the name of the opera is based on a name in ancient Persian poetry for a Central Asian princess, Turan-Dokht (daughter of Turan). But I digress – since Puccini decided to make her Chinese, not Persian, there is a decidedly Chinese flavor to this particular spectacle, and a never ending debate on dot or doh!

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Backstage Review: ‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’ at the Brüka Theater

Casey is a happy-go-lucky guy who is employed at Cleo’s, a bar in Florida’s Panama City Beach in the panhandle. He earns his living, such as it is, as an Elvis Impersonator. He wears Elvis garb and lip-syncs to Elvis music. His life is about to change. Cleo’s is going down the financial toilet, and so is Casey’s career. Bar owner Eddie, desperate for more revenue, brings in two female impersonators, Tracy and Rexy, to replace him. It looks like he’s out of work.

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Backstage Review: Restless Artists Theater Opens Their New Season with ‘Election Day’

That’s what the Restless Artists Theater is doing, and a tip of the hat to them for it. They have announced their 2019/20 season chock-full of new plays by young writers. These are fresh faces with fresh voices. They are the writers of our new century. When we look back at the 21st Century and ask who its great playwrights were, the names will be drawn from this group. Our playwright Josh Tobiessen could very well be one of them.

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