Directed by Kym Longhi and written by Jerrod Wendland, who also plays keyboard and directs the lovely four-piece orchestra (also including two violins and a cello), Donald Giovanni in Cornlandia sets the story of the opera (based on the legend of Don Juan) amidst the current election. Specifically, it seems to be in the primary phase, as Donald's opponents are Carly Davidson and Ted Snuz. This makes the jokes a little less timely, but they'd have to be rewriting every day to keep up with all the new craziness. Donald (played by Michael Liebhauser as a mix of Donald Trump and a young John Travolta, making him both revolting and strangely appealing at the same time), Carly (Naomi Karstad), and Ted (Jim Ahrens) vie for power, because "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." Donald is aided by his reluctant campaign manager (Nick Miller), and hindered by a woman he's wronged (Carolyn Cavadini) and Paris Hilton (Lizz Windnagel). As the show goes on, there are debates, fundraisers, parties, and eventually... repentance (one can only hope).
|the cast of Donald Giovanni (photo courtesy of Mixed Precip)
And there's nature! They perform at parks and gardens around Minneosta. I've previously seen them in Falcon Heights, but this time I saw the show in Loring Park. It was lovely as the sun set, and delicious fall (our reward for making it through the heat of summer) was in the air. Runners, kids, and dogs pass by and look over to see what's going on, and mosquitoes, wind, and sun are added elements of the experience. The cast works with the elements, running through the park and the crowd, making this a truly immersive site-specific experience.
Theater doesn't have to be formal, indoors, stuffy, regulated, it can also be casual, fun, playful, outdoors. Mixed Precipitation is the latter, and offers a truly unique experience. So check out their schedule, grab a folding chair or blanket to sit on, and go see some pop/opera accompanied by yummy food in a beautiful outdoor setting.
|the sun sets over Cornlandia