We Met in Moscow (2019)

Program from show (please click)

Summary

The Light Opera of Portland (LOoP), known for its spirited renditions of Gilbert and Sullivan and other classics, explores brand new territory by presenting an original, romantic musical called “We Met in Moscow”. The show is based upon events in the lives of Ralph Bunch, a professor emeritus from Portland State University, and his wife Eleanora Andreevna, head of cybernetics at the Kremlin in the 1990s. This modern-age romance between two people who met later in their lives is not another teenage romance, but a prime-of-life love story. The story 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.

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 Americas, 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 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.

Cast

Eleonora Andreevna“Elya,” a very attractive fifty year old head of cybernetics at the Kremlin in Moscow, RussiaLindsey Lefler
Richard Ballada sixty year old political science professor at Portland State University in Portland, ORTom Hamann
Marat Khabibullova mid-fifties Dean of the School of Environmental Science at Kazon University and heading a delegation visiting Portland State UniversityBill Wuertz
MariaElya’s mother at thirty in a flash back with Elya at three years oldGabrielle Juliette Widman
SusannaElya’s mid fifty year old adopted sisterGabrielle Widman
Hanzo BalladRichard’s 17 year-old Asian American sonLinh Nguyen
TanyaElya’s best friendCathrine Huard
Galina VladmirovnaElya’s younger secretary at the KremlinKristina Kindel
Doctora sham doctor from the Moscow concert hallMichael McGee
Hospital Doctora doctor at the Moscow HospitalJames Montgomery
Hospital Administratora late fifties, pompous Russian hospital administratorLaurence Cox
Taxi DriverRussian in late thirtiesAustin Hampshire
Voice of SilhouetteAct 1, scene 9James Montgomery

Chorus

Women of the ensemble

Becca Stuhlbarg
Beth Kahlen
Bryna Montgomery
Cathrine Huard
Jan Rosenthal
Jani VanPelt
Jaymie Sanfilippo-Sherrard
Kathy Horvath
Kristina Kindel
Lynda J. Person
Sarah Cawley
Sharayaha Guy

Men of the ensemble
Austin Hampshire
Dennis Kelly
Harold Williams
James Montgomery
Laurence Cox
Lincoln Thomas
Michael McGee

Crew

DirectorDennis Britten
Asst. DirectorLaurence Cox
Musical DirectorKevin Lay
ProducerDavid Smith
Production Technical DirectorDennis Freeze
Stage Manager/Prop MasterAmy Barnhart
Lighting DesignDennis Britten
LightingCarl Dahlquist
Ron Swingen
House ManagerChuck Weed
AccompanistDr. Linda Smith
Costume DesignerLucy Tait
SetDennis Britten
PublicityLaurence Cox
OutreachGabrielle Widman
MembershipDr. Linda Smith
Program and Web SiteSheryl Wood
PostersDavid Smith
Tony Smith
LogoTony Smith