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My take: While I haven't seen the Union Avenue production yet (my own rehearsal schedule means I won't get there until closing night), I'm putting this on the list because I have been a great admirer of this funny and cuddly comic opera ever since Opera Theatre presented it as part of their inaugural season back in 1976. Like Britten's tragic Peter Grimes, Albert Herring looks at the way a traditional society deals with the local oddball, but it does so is a comic and ultimately forgiving way. The cast includes renowned soprano Christine Brewer as Lady Billows.
|A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum|
My take: Combine a great score by Sondheim with a fast and hilarious book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart (of M*A*S*H. fame)—based on the farces of the Roman playwright Plautus—and you have a recipe for a show that has been a hit since its 1962 Broadway debut. The key role of Pesudolus has been taken over by Jeffrey Schecter, replacing Peter Scolari (whose allergies couldn't stand up to a St. Louis summer) and word is that Mr. Schecter is doing a bang-up job.