Culture Corner A Guide to Cultural Organizations of Tacoma

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“Carmen”

Tacoma Opera at Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma

Friday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m.

A classic opera, “Carmen” is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in March of 1875, where its breaking of conventions shocked and scandalized its first audiences. “Carmen” has since become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the classical canon. The opera is written in the genre of opéra comique with musical numbers separated by dialogue. It is set in southern Spain and tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen’s love to the glamorous toreador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage. The depictions of proletarian life, immorality, lawlessness and the tragic death of the main character on stage broke new ground in French opera and were highly controversial. For more information, visit: www.tacomaopera.com

Muh Grog Zoo – Improvised One-Act Plays

Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N. I St., Tacoma

Friday Feb. 16, 8 p.m.

Muh Grog Zoo is a truly unique experience, born from relying on openness, skill and imagination to spontaneously create meaningful, impactful and moving plays. They will perform two entire, improvised one-act plays. For mature minded persons. For more information visit www.muhgrogzoo.com.

“Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical”

Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 6th Ave., Tacoma

Saturday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 17, 11 a.m.; Sunday Feb. 18, 7 p.m.

TMP Family Theater is a regional theater favorite specializing in musicals for families, young audiences and the very young. These fully-produced musical productions are adaptations from children’s literature and feature many favorite adult TMP Mainstage performers.

“Polkadots” follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot, who just moved to the “Squares Only” small town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot in an all Square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From daily bullying to segregated drinking fountains, Lily’s quest seems hopeless until she meets Sky, a shy Square boy whose curiosity for her unique polkadot skin blooms into an unexpected pal-ship. Inspired by civil rights pioneers Ruby Bridges and the Little Rock Nine, Polkadots serves as a colorful history lesson for the world, reminding us that our differences make us awesome, not outcasts. This is the musical’s West Coast premiere. For information, visit www.tmp.org.

“The Glass Menagerie”

Lakewood Playhouse, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. SW, Lakewood

Feb. 16 through March 11: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. Pay-what-you-can performances Thursdays, Feb. 22 and March 1, 8 p.m.

Lakewood Playhouse is bringing the Tennessee Williams play “The Glass Menagerie” to the stage for the first time in its 79-year history. Directed by Michael O’Hara and stage managed by Alyshia Collins, this 1944 drama tells the story of Amanda Wingfield, who strives to give meaning and direction to her life and the lives of her children, though her methods are ineffective and irritating. Tom seeks escape in alcohol and the world of the movies and Laura, handicapped, has receded more and more into herself. When Tom invites Jim, a young friend, to dinner with the family, the guest is at once pounced upon by Amanda as a possible husband for Laura. This American classic of drama has some mature subject matter, but is a regular part of high school educational curriculums. The show features a cast of returning favorites including Dayna Childs (Amanda), Jess Weavah (Laura), Niclas Olson (Tom) and Nick Fitzgerald (Jim). For information, visit: www.lakewoodplayhouse.org

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