Review: TROUBLE IN TAHITI & SERVICE PROVIDER at MN Opera - Luminary Arts Center

Running thru March 23, 2024

By: Mar. 13, 2024
Review: TROUBLE IN TAHITI & SERVICE PROVIDER at MN Opera - Luminary Arts Center
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Review: TROUBLE IN TAHITI & SERVICE PROVIDER at MN Opera - Luminary Arts Center

A duo of triumphant, heartbreaking, and comical one act operas is lighting up the Luminary Arts Center thru March 23.

Beginning with Leonard Bernstein’s stunning, Trouble in Tahiti. The MN Opera wastes no time presenting a pristine presentation of Bernstein’s orchestral score while accompanied by a cast of remarkably talented singers.

Trouble in Tahiti shows us a slice of life in the suburbs in the 1950’s, Sam and Dinah have come to a point in their marriage where they seeming are not seeing eye to eye on what they want or what they expected they would have at this point in their lives. As they separate to go about their day, we are given glimpses into their day to day lives, the lies they tell one another, and finally, how they may choose to move forward in their marriage.

At times heartbreaking and others comedic, Trouble in Tahiti proves that a composer doesn’t need a full length show to tell a great story. His incredibly well paced orchestrations and melodic lyrics move the story along at a brisk pace but he takes his time focusing on the smaller moments of the story.

This is where Kyle Weiler’s inspired direction comes into play. In placing his performers at different vantage points on the stage, he forces the audience to get a different glimpse of his characters. Placing them far offstage left or right, Weiler dares us to see the characters in a way that almost feels intrusive, as though we are eavesdropping on to their most intimate thoughts and feelings.

Providing the heartbreak and bravado, Charles H. Eaton (Sam) and Zoie Reams (Dinah) transcend the material, taking it to new heights. They hold such control over their vocals and emotions that it is impossible not to be completely swept away by their talent.

Following an experience like Trouble in Tahiti could be a difficult task but the second act provides extreme feelings just as well with Service Provider. A comedic and yet dramatic take on the modern date night and the perils that can come with it when cell phones are added to the mix.

Review: TROUBLE IN TAHITI & SERVICE PROVIDER at MN Opera - Luminary Arts Center When Autumn (Zoie Reams) and Beau (Jeremiah Sanders) venture out to celebrate their three year anniversary at an upscale restaurant, Autumn becomes enthralled with showing off her evening on social media - much to her husband’s dismay. Adding a kink to their night is a fellow diner, the sultry Charlene (Keely Futterer) who has been carrying on an affair with Beau, who is also dining at the restaurant. Add in an exuberant waiter, Dallas (Efraín Corralejo) who takes his job a tad too seriously and you’ve got a recipe for…..disaster?

Filled with comedy and drama, Service Provider, provides a commentary on the modern day experience in restaurants. Whether it is a married couple who is obsessed with social media and constantly showing off their lives, or a singleton who is just seeking a night out but is enraptured in their phone. We see it everyday and this one act sums up our reality to a T.

If there is one standout of Service Provider it is the charming and hilarious Efraín Corralejo who commits wholeheartedly to the over the top persona of Dallas. One can only wonder why he stays working in a place where the clientele is so dismissive but he delivers a stand out performance in this piece.

Perhaps the best part of these two one acts is that they are easily accessible operas. They provide a well rounded taste of what opera can be. They are both in English, the stories are easy to follow, and they are short. These three elements can provide audiences, who are new to the medium, the opportunity to decide if opera is for them or if they feel like they would prefer to stick with standard musicals or plays.

The MN Opera has crafted a wonderful night at Luminary Arts Center that is not to be missed by long time opera fans or newcomers alike.


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