You want a taste of “normal” again? Get ready then, because on an upcoming March weekend, two arts organizations will force you to measure your priorities and make decisions. Just like it used to be.
On one hand, Mobile Opera will stage the last production in its intermezzo season when Domenic Cimarosa’s “The Secret Marriage” will be presented at Murphy High School Auditorium (100 S. Carlen St.). It’s the final installment in a year that found the Azalea City’s oldest extant arts outfit scrambling to accommodate the pandemic and a support base suddenly leery of gatherings.
Staving disappointment, Mobile Opera pushed the grandeur of their 75th anniversary celebrations back to 2021-22 and decided to offer free events. First was an online offering of Bach’s “Coffee Cantata” recorded at Chaleur Coffee in Midtown.
January’s Winter Gala was staged at Murphy High but remained free. Opera organizers were excited by the turnout.
The same price and venue are in play this time, along with the request for interested parties to make reservations so proper social distancing can be planned. Hand sanitizer will be available and masks are required.
The work is filled with comedic mishaps. A pair of sisters shake up their social order when the younger one elopes before the older sibling. Not only does she eschew her father’s blessing, but her betrothed is considered beneath her social class.
Meanwhile, Dad arranges for an upstanding nobleman to squire the older sister. The prized beau falls for the younger — and secretly wedded — daughter instead. Her hush-hush hubby? The nobleman’s attending servant.
The storyline was inspired by the 1766 stage play “The Clandestine Marriage.” First publicly performed in Vienna in 1792, it earned an uproarious ovation. Emperor Leopold II was in the house and so smitten that he ordered the entire opera company be fed dinner and the complete production restaged afterward.
It came to the U.S. in 1834 with a performance at New York City’s Italian Opera House.
The cast of six takes the stage on Friday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday, March 21 matinee is at 2:30 p.m.
Make your reservations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, which performance you want to attend and the number in your party. They will have a list at the door rather than issuing tickets.
For more information, call 251-432-6772.
That same weekend, Mobile Ballet will stage “Beauty and the Beast” at the Mobile Civic Center Theater (401 Civic Center Drive). It was originally slated for last spring and was postponed when the pandemic began and organizers opted for safety amidst a lot of unknowns.
Ticketholders for last spring’s delayed show will get priority, but ticketholders from then must have newly re-issued tickets for entrance. If previous ticketholders need further assistance, they are asked to email email@example.com, let them know the performance they want to attend and their preferred method for receiving new tickets.
As previous ticketholders are accommodated, new tickets will go on sale.
The same protocols used for Mobile Ballet’s December version of “The Nutcracker” will be in place again. They’re limited to 25 percent capacity in the building, roughly 500 attendees. Seating will be socially distanced. Masks are required.
There are two shows on Saturday, March 20, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 21 has only the 2:30 p.m. matinee.
For more information, call 251-342-2241.
Here’s to hoping the cultural schedule continues to be burdened with more tough choices. Compared to the last year, these are the “problems” we all crave.
The Bard on the Boards
Auditions for “Romeo and Juliet” will be held at the Playhouse In The Park (4851 Museum Drive) on March 22 and 24, 6:30-8 p.m. Those auditioning should be between 14 to 25 years old. Come prepared to read from the script or to perform a short, prepared Shakespearean monologue.
The show will run in May.
For more information, call Danny Mollise at 251-422-5434.
Since space has been Alabama’s topic du jour, take the family to the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center (65 Government St.) for their new exhibit, “Cosmos 2021: Adventure Into the Unknown.” It’s filled with artifacts, props, interactive exhibits and more highlighting the history and future of space travel.
The show is a joint effort between NASA sites like Stennis Space Center, Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center and Huntsville Space and Rocket Center.
The show is also sponsored by Mobile County District 2.
For more information, call 251-208-6893 or visit exploreum.com.
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