Going to London's National Theatre and New York's Metropolitan Opera to see world-class productions is as easy as going to The Ridgefield Playhouse. On Thursday, April 16, at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. on the big screen simulcast Live in HD, the award-winning play by Tom Stoppard, The Hard Problem, will expose the troubling question of where psychology and biology meet. Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana/Leoncavallo's Pagliacci is a double bill starring Marcelo Álvarez on Saturday, April 25, at 12:30 p.m.

Acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Arcadia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead) returns to the National Theatre with his highly-anticipated new play The Hard Problem, directed by Nicholas Hytner (Othello, Hamlet, One Man, Two Guvnors). In The Hard Problem, Hilary, a young psychology researcher at a brain science institute, is nursing a private sorrow and a troubling question at work, where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness? This is 'the hard problem' which puts Hilary at odds with her colleagues who include her first mentor Spike, her boss Leo, and the billionaire founder of the institute, Jerry. Is the day coming when the computer and the fMRI scanner will answer all the questions psychology can ask? Meanwhile, Hilary needs a miracle, and she is prepared to pray for one.

Opera's most enduring tragic double bill returns in an evocative new production at the Met from Sir David McVicar, who sets the action across two time periods but in the same Sicilian village. Marcelo Álvarez rises to the challenge of playing the dual tenor roles of Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in Pagliacci. Rae Smith (War Horse) has designed the moodily atmospheric 1900 village square setting of Cavalleria, which transforms to a 1948 truck stop for the doomed vaudeville troupe of Pagliacci. Eva-Maria Westbroek (Cav) and Patricia Racette (Pag) sing the unlucky heroines, and Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium. Bernard's (20 West Lane, Ridgefield) will serve a special $45 prix-fixe menu, or a complimentary glass of wine with dinner, the night of this event; reservations suggested. The Live in HD Series is underwritten by Jeanne Cook, Anita and Nicholas Donofrio, Liz and Steven Goldstone, Marilyn and Joe Kreitz, Joanne and John Patrick, Sabina and Walter Slavin and Taylor Zemo Foundation with support from The Ridgefield Press and Whistle Stop Bakery.

For tickets ($25 adults, $20 members & seniors, $15 students by calling the box office; students 18 & under are free with ID for operas), call the box office at (203) 438-5795, or order online at ridgefieldplayhouse.org. The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.

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