Pacific Opera Project’s Artistic Director Josh Shaw proudly exclaims, “La Traviata went so well last season, we couldn’t wait to present our next show!“ Now arriving to the stage at two venues (city and valley) is Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, a one act opera in seven scenes, with both wistful, melancholic arias and jazzy interludes. Everyone knows Bernstein mostly for his classical compositions and musical theatre (West Side Story), yet his body of work includes some magnificent operatic productions (Candide, Trouble in Tahiti). His style tells a story both through music and dialogue; he singlehandedly was ‘instrumental’ in revolutionizing the style of American operetta.
A whole West Side Story montage will start the show, along with show tunes from On the Town and Wonderful Town, truly Bernstein faves. The score, filled with both emotion and laughter (hence, “Trouble” and “Tahiti”), complements the theme of a show set in suburban America, 1950s, about a couple with a seemingly wonderful life on the surface, yet much darkness seething within. Directed and designed by Shaw with musical direction by Stephen Karr, the incredibly talented cast includes Jessica Mamey, Phil Meyer, Tara Alexander, Robert Norman, and Ryan Reithmeier. States Shaw, “It’s Mad Men meets West Side Story“ (with shades of the Oscar- nominated Revolutionary Road as well). In an intimate space, filled with song, dance, engaging dialogue, authentic period costumes and set, and even some slapstick comedy, the audience will be “on the town” for a wonderful treat, and sure to forget all troubles in paradise.
Trouble in Tahiti plays at the Santa Monica Playhouse on July 29 at 8 and 10 p.m. and at Vitello’s Restaurant on July 30 at 5 and 8 p.m. For tickets, visit www.pacificoperaproject.com or call (323) 739-6122