Sondheim, opera set for Colonial

Jan 29, 2014
Jenna Russell, Damian Humbley and Mark Umbers starred in a much-lauded London revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along.”

Belfast — Colonial Theatre's More Than Movies series featuring captured-live-in-HD performances from around the world returns with two Stephen Sondheim shows and three operas. Admission will be $10.25, $8.25 for teens and $5.25 for children.

The series will open Sunday, Feb. 9, with “Merrily We Roll Along,” Sondheim’s musical based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The performance is from a Harold Pinter Theatre production in London's West End that Sondheim called the best he’d seen.

“Merrily We Roll Along” will be screened Sundays, Feb. 9 and 16, at 1:30 p.m.; and Friday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m., a good Valentine’s Day date option. The show runs two hours and 40 minutes.

“Merrily We Roll Along” is a show-biz tale of three friends — Franklin, Mary and Charley — who have spent 30 years in the entertainment business. Powerful and moving, the show travels backwards in time and offers some of Sondheim's most beautiful songs including "Good Thing Going," "Not a Day Goes By" and "Old Friends."

Next up in the series will be “La Gioconda” by Amilcare Ponchielli (1878), sung in Italian and captured live at Paris Opera last May; it runs three and a half hours. “La Gioconda” will be screened Sunday, Feb. 23, at 1:30 p.m. This must-see for any opera fan and has been called the grandest of all grand operas, featuring an on-stage shipwreck and great third act ballet. It is all about the loves and intrigue of street singer La Giocanda and is set in Venice. Violetta Urmano and Marcelo Alvarez lead the cast.

Upcoming in the series will be: Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus,” sung in German and captured live at Vienna State Opera, Sunday, March 2, at 1:30 p.m.; the New York City Philharmonic production of Sondheim’s “Company” starring Stephen Colbert, Neal Patrick Harris, Christina Hendricks, Martha Plimpton and others Sundays, March 9 and 16, at 1:30 p.m. and Friday, March 14, at 7 p.m.; W.A. Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” sung in German and captured live at the Salzburg Festival, Sunday, March 23, at 1:30 p.m.; Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” sung in French and captured live at Paris Opera, Sunday, March 30, at 1:30 p.m.; and Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel & Gretel,” sung in German and captured live at Paris Opera, Sunday, April 6, at 1:30 p.m.

The Colonial Theatre is located at 163 High St. Wine and beer are served, along with an expanded concession menu. For more information, call 338-5087.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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