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Picnic Operetta starts this weekend

If you missed it last year--or enjoyed it so much you'd like to go back--the Picnic Operetta is returning to Twin Cities community gardens this weekend. This time, eleven singers and musicians will be performing director Scotty Reynolds's take on Tales of Hoffmann, beginning Saturday, August 21 at 4 p.m. at the Eat Street Community Garden, and continuing on subsequent Saturdays and Sundays through September 26. The plein air performances offer all the thrill of a traditional opera, sans the snooty opera glasses, the tuxes, and balcony boxes.

The Picnic Operetta, presented by Mixed Precipitation, is an irreverent theatrical performance that tells the tale of a globetrotting poet who encounters ghosts, robots, and evil magicians during his adventures. Tastings of sustainably grown local foods highlight important plot points throughout. Collaborating chef/gardener Nick Schneider gave us a peek at the picnic menu he's preparing--though you'll have to see the show to find out how they relate to the story:

home-brewed elderberry kombucha watermelon tomato basil amuse sauerkraut crostini with roasted garlic chevre raspberry glazed baby beets greek meze of roasted red pepper stuffed with herbed feta

Tales of Hoffmann: opera at its freshest.
Tales of Hoffmann: opera at its freshest.
photo courtesy Mixed Precipitation

Seating is limited, so for reservations call 612.619.2112. BYO folding chairs and beverages. Voluntary donations ($10-$20 suggested) collected at the end of the performance. Visit Mixed Precipitation's website for additional information.

Performance Calendar (performances start at 4 p.m.)

August 21 - Eat Street Community Garden 2416 1st Avenue South, Minneapolis August 22 -- Eat Street Community Garden 2416 1st Avenue South, Minneapolis August 28 - Birchwood Community Garden Vernon Avenue South and West 26th Street, St. Louis Park August 29 - JD Rivers Children's Garden Glenwood Avenue and Washburn Avenue North, Theodore Wirth Park *ASL services provided at the JD Rivers' Children's Garden September 4 - Soo Line Community Garden Garfield Avenue and the Greenway, Minneapolis September 5 - Midway Greenspirit Community Garden Taylor and Hamline Avenue, St. Paul September 11 - Urban Farming Community Garden 12th and Morgan Ave North, Minneapolis September 12 - Gateway Trail Community Garden 300 Arlington Avenue at Mississippi Street, St. Paul September 18 -- Swede Hollow Park East Beaumont Street and Payne Avenue, St. Paul September 19 - Bronx Park Community Garden 2500 Georgia Avenue and Cedar Lake Trail, St. Louis Park *Audio description provided at the Bronx Park Garden September 25 - Augsburg Community Garden 20th Avenue South and S. 6th Street, Minneapolis September 26 -- Corner Copia Student Organic Farm Cleveland and Larpenteur Avenue, Falcon Heights


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