Rave: ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ in Santa Monica

Did you make it to ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ this weekend?

Hi, folks —
This is a prime example of why I don’t do real reviews on this site: I’m way too biased, and prefer ‘Raves’, where I can gush without restraint. Pacific Opera Project‘s latest offering, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, was great fun and a rare treat, but I did feel a bit like a proud mama, with so many Listers involved. Directed by Josh Shaw, who has been very supportive of our doings, the cast of five included our own Jessica Mamey and Ryan Reithmeier as well as the equally vibrant talents of Phil Meyer, Robert Norman and Tara Alexander. They were all under the musical supervision of Stephen F. P. Karr, who has been part of our community for years, and the production was also supported by Listers Hannah Waldman and Kelsey Namara — it was a delight to see them both. (Hannah and Stephen are expecting a new kiddo in just a couple of weeks. Many congrats!)

Essential kvelling completed, here’s the nutshell: it was a small production of a rarely-done opera, but it was a very enjoyable evening that displayed considerable skill and imagination. I truly enjoyed the music, which is more than tricky. All of the theatrical elements were executed with professionalism and flair, in spite of the shoestring budget: the costumes were just right, the set was innovative and fascinating to watch as cast members transmogrified the settings rather magically (in the dark, no less) between scenes. The dancing and choreography worked well, and the acting was skillful and believable. The comedy was committed and full of surprises, and the drama was real and touching, bringing complex characters to life. This work is a challenge, as was the production itself — two small stages, quick turnaround and a compressed rehearsal schedule made the company’s achievement all the more impressive. Oh, that and — at last report, they sold out three of their four performances. (That’s what we want to hear!)

POP is doing Don Giovanni in September, and I highly recommend getting your tickets early. This group is one to watch. For more info, check out their website: www.pacificoperaproject.com


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