Stepping Out

Pair of 'Carnival' concerts set for Sunday in Palo Alto

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center hosts “Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns” – an illustrated concert and ballet – Sunday in Palo Alto.

Performances are scheduled 10 a.m. and noon at the Albert and Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall on the campus of the Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way.


Some strong performances in West Bay’s ‘Abduction’

By Annelle Delfs

Special to the Town Crier

West Bay Opera is wrapping up its production of “Abduction from the Seraglio” (“Die Entführung aus dem Serail’’) with two final shows this weekend. Some strong performances from the West Bay cast ensure it is a production worth seeing.

“Abduction” is Mozart’s first successful opera, a singspiel (some spoken dialogue), written quickly after his arrival in Vienna. It is an exotic opera placed in Turkey complete with a Muslim Count living in a palace with a harem and servants. His head manager of the estate is Osmin, performed by Kevin Thompson, a wonderful bass whose extremely tall stature and huge, sonorous bass voice belongs in a much larger house.

Arriving on the scene are four lovers, three of whom were abducted by pirates and taken to Pasha Selim, and one who arrives later to save them. In the end, all four are set free by Pasha and sail off.

Of course there is much that happens during the three acts to keep this story interesting in the form of scantily clothed harem dancers, a chorus who sings beautifully under the apt direction of Bruce Olstad; but, as palace guards, has little to do but add much to the production with their extravagant Turkish attire designed by Callie Floor.

Eugene Brancoveanu, who makes his debut as director, sang Papageno in “Die Zauberflote” at West Bay Opera. His direction had moments of brilliance and moments of confusion, particularly in Act II during the staging of the quartet with the four lovers. The opera opens with the arrival of Belmonte (Michael Desnoyers) betrothed to Konstanze (Nikki Einfeld, also an Adler fellow and making her West Bay debut), who has been kidnapped for Pasha’s harem.

Belmonte (Desnoyers) arrived rowing his own boat and opens the opera with a very difficult aria, “Hier Soll Ich Dich Denn Sehen,” sung beautifully. His tenor is rich and resonant. The mission is to rescue Konstanze and her maid, Blonde (Chelsea Hollow) and Pedrillo, his man servant (Tapan Bhat, also making his West Bay debut).

Pasha appears with Konstanze who is in harem attire and quite stunning. Her opening aria, “Ach ich Liebte,” was a brilliant display of coloratura technique in an extremely difficult opening aria.

Performances are scheduled 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Tickets are $40-$75. For tickets and more information, call 424-9999 or visit

'Park' place

Courtesy of Foothill Music Theatre
Tyler Bennett (as George) and Katie Nix (Dot) star in “Sunday in the Park with George.”

Foothill Music Theatre’s production of “Sunday in the Park with George” is scheduled to run Thursday through March 8 in Los Altos Hills.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine.


'Maple & Vine' comes to the end of the line at Bus Barn Theater

The Los Altos Stage Company production of “Maple and Vine” is scheduled to run through Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

Jordan Harrison’s play explores society’s adoration of yesteryear and the lengths people will go to escape present-day realities.


West Bay Opera's 'Abduction of Seraglio' closes Sunday afternoon at Lucie Stern

This is the last weekend to catch the West Bay Opera production of Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio” at the Lucie Stern Theatre.

Belmonte travels from Imperial Austria to Turkey to rescue Konstanze, his betrothed, who was sold into Pasha Selim’s harem by pirates.


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