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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Big Production Writ Small: SF Parlor Opera Takes On Carlisle Floyd's Susannah

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 1:00 PM

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By picking Carlisle Floyd's Susannah for its eighth production, San Francisco Parlor Opera has cunningly rendered moot your last excuse for not checking out its consistently terrific shows. The company has always performed its chosen operas in their original languages, lack of subtitles be damned -- not that it's necessary to be a polyglot to appreciate the artistry and drama that Parlor Opera packs into its micro-scale productions.

But Floyd hails from South Carolina, and his dark tale of repression and prejudice plays out -- in English -- in the fictitious town of New Hope Valley, Tenn. Company co-founders Patricia Urbano and Cole Grissom bring their talents to the leading roles at the Zellerbach House, and the pair proves no less engaging when we can understand what they're saying. Last weekend the cast managed to shine despite wet weather (read the review here) so if there's no rain for the final two performances we can expect even more.

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Also auspicious is the return of director Tony Daussat, who led Parlor Opera's ambitious and sophisticated take on Tosca last year. The company breaks new ground with each successive production, and it's a safe bet that Susannah, too, will transcend the limitations of the living room.

Susannah starts at 7 p.m. Thursday (and again Saturday, Nov. 12) at the Zellerbach House, 1550 Fell (at Lyon), S.F. Admission is $25-$65.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Emily Hilligoss

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