Alcina's Island: A Picnic Operetta

As the traditional signal of summer's end, August represents one last fleeting chance to savor the simple pleasure of lounging outdoors, socializing with friends and family, relaxed and remote from such worries as frostbite and hypothermia. Heralding the essential value of such heady summer diversions, the performance-art organization Mixed Precipitation has created something of a tradition around their annual Picnic Operetta. Now in its third season, the event invites audiences to gather over a shared appreciation of performance, food, and camaraderie. Touring to 15 community gardens throughout the Twin Cities, this year's event features Alcina's Island, a clever reworking of Handel's Alcina in which the mystic garden setting is transformed into a highway truck stop where bewitching waitresses enchant drivers with a siren song consisting of classical compositions converged with bygone country tunes from the likes of Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, and Buck Owens. Accompanied by a five-course sampling menu from chef Nick Schneider, one of the Twin Cities' leading proponents of locally sourced foods and sustainable dining, Alcina's Island looks like an ideal oasis for commemorating our waning days of summer. Visit www.mixedprecipitation.org for locations and times or call 612.619.2112 for more info. (Clare Pix Photography)
Sat., Oct. 1, 4 p.m., 2011

 
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