What do classical music, horticulture, food, storytelling and the urban ecosystem all have in common?
They are celebrated as one by a unique troop of players, the Picnic Operetta. In its 10th season, this joyous band is all about a lively theater experience in community gardens and green spaces accompanied by a five-course tasting menu of locally grown, performance-inspired delicacies served during the show.
This Thursday begins a Picnic Operetta tour of its new production, Dr. Falstaff and the Working Wives of Lake County, an adaptation of Otto Nicolai's classic The Merry Wives of Windsor with a little Bruce Springsteen on the side. Tour sites around Minnesota include Finland, Babbitt, Cook, Hastings, Red Wing, Oronoco, the Twin Cities and more.
I had a chance to speak with cofounder and artistic director Scotty Reynolds and music director Gary Ruschman, as well as to hear some songs in the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser studio with Nick Miller, Naomi Karstad, Alex Adam-Leytes, Leif Hove, Anna Hashizume and Lawrence Henry. Listen to our conversation and hear selections from the production using the player above.
More information and performance dates can be found here.