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The Merry Widow finds herself in 1860’s Gold Country California via an English book and libretto by Josh & Kelsey Shaw. The production will feature a new arrangement for chamber orchestra written and conducted by music director Stephen Karr.
POP will once again transform the historic Highland Park Ebell Club, this time into an Old West saloon hall. Table seating for four or two is available and comes with a bottle of wine and snacks. Traditional rows of seating are also available. For the first time, all seating is reserved. Ever inventive and never wanting to do the same thing twice, POP will test the limits of the Ebell Club by flipping the audience around and building a two story set on the ground floor allowing for more playing room and better visibility for the audience. The orchestra will be behind the set and supertitles will be projected for the musical numbers.
Die lustige Witwe was composer Franz Lehar’s first major success and his most famous operetta with beloved melodies and unforgettable waltzes. The operetta premiered in Vienna on December 30, 1905 and has enjoyed immense international success since then. It has seen several English translations and various film adaptations, but none quite like this. Set in the fictional town of Goldless, CA, the Widder Gladberry is pursued by railroad men from New York City anxious to get their hands on her gold and land. Mayor Ezekiel Zeta is bound and determined to save the little town from the perils of big city life that come with the railroad and enlists the services of confirmed bachelor Sheriff Danny Loewe to fend off the would-be-suitors and to capture the Widder’s hand in marriage himself if it comes to that. With the Mayor distracted, his wife Valentine struggles to deny the advances of one of the railroad men, Camille Robinson. Much comedy, a little drama, and a lot of dancing ensue amidst characters audiences will (almost) recognize from movie and TV Westerns of years gone by. And don’t forget the dancing girls! Can-caning their way through the score are Maxim’s Exotic Showgirls assembled from across the globe (and from throughout the operatic cannon): Blondie, Mimi, Dido, Rosie, Queenie, and Cio-Cio.
Conductor Stephen Karr teams up with co-founder Josh Shaw, who will direct and design the show, for their nineteenth production at POP. Maggie Green returns to costume the production and Amy Lawrence will choreograph.