New hope and romance are found again under the most unlikely circumstances
The Light Opera of Portland (LOoP), known for its spirited renditions of Gilbert and Sullivan and other classics, this season, explores brand new territory by presenting an original, romantic musical called “We Met in Moscow.” The show is based upon events in the life of 91-year-old, long-time Portlander and Portland State University Professor Ralph Bunch, and will play the last two weekends in March at the Alpenrose Opera house in Southwest Portland.
This refreshing, true-to-life story, playing March 22nd-24th and March 29th-31st, honors Ralph’s late, beloved, Russian-born wife, Eleonora Andreevna and promotes the idea that love has no boundaries. Both middle aged and broken hearted when they met, the show not only explores the unique way this couple fell in love during the post-Cold War era but also the adventures they had exploring their cultural differences.
Combining two unique talents, this production has been made possible by the founder and artistic director of LOoP, Dennis Britten as well as composer Kevin Bryant Lay. Dennis, who will be directing the show, wrote the book, script and lyrics while Kevin, serving as the musical director, composed and orchestrated it.
When asked about this one of a kind piece, Dennis Britten explains. “Everyone has been asking me what the show is about. I think I’ll have two characters – Richard, a sixty-year-old American and his Russian friend Marat, answer what those two messages are succinctly.
MARAT: “Everywhere world is much the same. Everybody, no matter age, need love and romance, Nyet?”
RICHARD: “I suppose you’re right…I can’t get over how Russians are so much like Americans, Marat”
MARAT: “Like I say, I think people same everywhere, Richard. Just government different.”
Kevin Bryant Lay elaborates. “This show is about two people who fall in love across distances and cultures, reminding us that we are all more alike than different. Neither culture nor individual need change their native key. We can stretch our ears and hearts to accommodate both keys simultaneously.”
In view of the divisiveness in our society today, these themes could not be more timely or relevant. LOoP expands their repertoire with an original, serious production performed with a full orchestra. Its modern issues, costumes and set design will reflect the 1990’s. “We are all the same no matter what our backgrounds may be” emphasizes Ralph Bunch. So, come out and celebrate our similarities as well as differences with songs, dance, and laughter that bring us all together. The players will greet audience members and serve ice cream sundaes after the show.
Performances are at 7:00PM on March 22, 23, 29, and 30 and at 2:00PM on March 24 and 31. Tickets are available at https://loopmoscow.brownpapertickets.com/.
For more information on this performance, visit https://www.lightoperaofportland.org/.
About LOoP: Now in its eighth year, the Light Opera of Portland is one of the very few resident musical repertory companies in Oregon. As much an extended family as a group of players, the troupe brings together talented cast and crew members to perform live light opera and musical theatre productions, specializing in the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. Outside of creating a fantasy world on stage, a few LOoP players have real world jobs that are a bit less fanciful, including an insurance agent, a public health manager, an accountant, a policeman, and a forest cartographer. More information is available at www.lightoperaofportland.org.
About the Alpenrose Opera House: Located at 6149 SW Shattuck Rd, Portland, OR 97221, the Alpenrose Dairyville Opera house is centerpiece of a replica western frontier town, which hosts nightly screenings of comedy shorts as well as theater performances of the Northwest Senior Theatre and the Light Opera of Portland.