Experience Verdi’s impeccable musical genius at its most voluptuous, when Pacific Symphony delivers the concert opera, Aida. The opera recounts the doomed, love triangle of an Egyptian princess, a young, Nubian slave girl and the soldier they both love. Set amid the chaos and political upheaval of ancient Egypt, Aida unfolds its edge-of-your-seat story with all the dramatic power, glorious writing for the voice and vivid orchestration associated with the composer’s late period. This classic, grand tragedy offers exquisite music and some of opera’s most beloved arias and powerful choruses, including the stirring “Triumphal March.” “‘Aida is a masterpiece—both epic and deeply personal,” says the stage director, Mary Birnbaum. “Although we tend to think of romantic Italian opera as traditional and conventional, Verdi was incredibly innovative. I think a lot of productions of Aida deal with its epic nature—we think of elephants and giant temples. However, like in all of Verdi’s operas, at Aida’s core are beautifully-writ individuals with deeply human wants and needs.” Making her North American debut as Aida, is the young spinto-soprano Kelebogile Besong . The opera will take place Thursday, February 23, Saturday, February 25 and Tuesday, February 28 in the Segerstrom Concert Hall, whose spectacular lobby will be transformed into ancient Egypt for the occasion.
For tickets and more information, call 714.755.5799 or visit pacificsymphony.org.
SHADES OF DISCLOSURE
Skylight Theatre Company kicks off their new season with the World Premiere of Shades Of Disclosure, created and performed by the revolutionary voices of QueerWise. Performances will be held on Saturdays and Sundays, through February 25. QueerWise, a Los Angeles-based collective of LGBTQ writers and spoken-word artists, illuminates an emotionally charged landscape from the perspective of HIV/AIDS survivors. The many social issues that affect us all, including homophobia, racism, immigration rights, healthcare and the rights of transsexual people, are the lasting legacy of the AIDS epidemic. Director Michael Kearns has devoted himself to the illumination of HIV/AIDS in artistic terms, “As honestly as we can do it, we are committed in telling our stories and we hope that it encourages others to do the same. Ultimately, we know that honesty about one’s self is a beautiful, unifying and galvanizing force that we need to carry into 2017 if we are to survive, thrive and maintain who we are.”
For tickets and more, call 213.761.7061 or go to skylighttheatrecompany.com.
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER
Getting away with murder can be so much fun and there’s no better proof than the knock-‘em-dead, hit show that earned unanimous raves and won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder makes its Orange County debut at Segerstrom Center for the Arts from Tuesday, February 28 through Sunday, March 5, during its first national tour. Gentleman’s Guide tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune, who sets out to jump the line of succession by any means necessary. All the while, he’s got to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?) and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance…And be done in time for tea. Gentleman’s Guide opened on Broadway to overwhelming critical acclaim in November 2013 where The New York Times raved that the show “Will lift the hearts of all those who have been pining, for what sometimes seems a lost art form.”
For tickets and more information, call 714.556.2787 or go to scfta.org.
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
An enchanting musical fable, this play tells the story of forbidden love between two people from different worlds. This glorious, Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale The Little Mermaid comes from the Tony Award-winning creators of Ragtime and Seussical. Once On This Island follows the story’s young heroine, Ti Moune, on her quest to prove that love is more powerful than the forces of prejudice, hatred and death. Full of capricious gods, island magic and joyous dance numbers, Once On This Island plays first at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center from Friday, February 10 through Sunday, February 19 followed by performances at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts from Friday, February 24 through Sunday, March 5.
For tickets and more information, call 714.589.2770 or go to 3dtheatricals.org.