Saturday’s Live in HD Broadcast to Local Cinemas: Akhnaten by Phillip Glass

This rarely performed modern masterpiece is another spectacular must-see opera from the Met’s 2019-20 live in HD season. Staring one of the world’s greatest living countertenors, Anthony Roth Costanzo, in the title role and featuring J’Nai Bridges as his Queen, Nefertiti, and Dísella Lárusdóttir as his mother, Queen Tye, it will literally knock your socks off. This is the last opera in Glass’ historic “Portrait Trilogy” (the others were about Einstein and Gandhi) and is a mystical examination of events in the life of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV who took the first known steps towards monotheism two centuries before Moses, and then re-named himself Akhnaten after his one God – Aten – a higher manifestation of the Sun God Ra.

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Backstage Review: ‘The Humans’ at Reno Little Theater

This play is an ensemble piece, a fast-paced tragedy and comedy that will leave you touched by the humanity of it all and laughing uproariously at its comedy. But it is different from ordinary plays. Ordinarily, a play lays some groundwork by showing us the characters and the situation. Then the playwright builds some tension and some conflict. In the denouement at the end the conflicts and tensions are resolved, and all the loose ends are tied up. The play has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

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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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