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Missing opera and comedy shows? Two chances this weekend to get your fix
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Missing opera and comedy shows? Two chances this weekend to get your fix

It’s been forever since we were able to sit in a theater and enjoy live entertainment.

We wish we were telling you that is about to change, but the stubborn coronavirus pandemic hasn’t let up and stages worldwide still remain largely dark.

On Saturday, July 25, though, we can catch a live opera production and comedy show from the comfort of our living rooms.

Time for some ha-ha’s

The folks at Unscrewed Theater, Tucson’a preeminent improv troupe, are putting on a pair of “House Party” shows, one aimed at families and the other for adults only. Admission to either is free, although tips sent through the group’s website (unscrewedtheater.org/product/donate) are encouraged.

The family-friendly house party kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom, featuring east side resident Mark Berry, who Unscrewed organizers say is “an OLLLLD and retired member of the troupe and still has his original T-shirt,” according to a press release.

Berry last appeared with the improv troupe as part of its “Candy Corn” during Unscrewed’s last “Quarantine Countdown” event. He’ll team up Saturday with Jon Benda, Scott Shaver, Cy Barlow, Rosanne Crago, Rob Sparks and host Chris Seidman. To register for a Zoom invite, visit tinyurl.com/y3dqwm3d.

You might want to put the kiddos to bed before the troupe hits the virtual stage for the “Uncensored Show” at 9:30 p.m. Expect some ribald humor, perhaps a few curse words and big belly laughs. “Uncensored” features Allana Erickson-Lopez, Anna Lepa, Susie Carey, Jessica Spenny, Crago, Sparks and host Barlow, with special guests Big Daddies. That would be the father duo of seasoned improv-ers Matt Beaudry and Michael Pierce, who have seven kids between them and just love giving you their perspectives on parenting.

Again, admission is free but tips are appreciated. Register for the Zoom code at tinyurl.com/yyzdp7tj

Opera meets telenovelA

If we were in “normal” times, members of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, Linus Lerner, would be in Mexico about now, presenting operas and hosting vocal competitions as part of Lerner’s annual San Luis Opera Festival.

But these are not normal times. The orchestra has been on hold since its last live performance in March and its conductor is stuck in his native Brazil, where he has been waiting out the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. But isolation doesn’t mean that creativity halts dead in its tracks.

Lerner and a couple alumnus of that festival — soprano Liliana del Conde and bass-baritone Daniel Noyola — and actor Fernando Barragán are teaming up to present Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s opera buffa “La Serva Padrona” (“The Servant Turned Mistress”) as an operatic telenovela, borrowing from the Latin American soap opera tradition. Pergolesi penned the 45-minute opera in 1733 as a humorous intermezzo, a short work performed between acts of a larger, more serious opera.

The San Luis Opera Festival production was created following pandemic social distancing protocols at the San Luis Potosí Arts Center, Lerner said. The performance airs at 5 p.m. Admission is $3.50 through teatropolivalenteceart.mx where you will receive an access code to view the performance online.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

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