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Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - January 7, 2011

Worth a look

Opera

'La Fanciulla del West'

Opera and the Wild West don't always go together, but they're stuck like glue in Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West)." Throw in a barroom brawl, a blizzard and the American soprano Deborah Voigt, and you've got an opera.

This Saturday, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City is transmitting a live broadcast of a "La Fanciulla" performance to movie theaters in many states, including California. Locally, the curtain goes up at 10 a.m. at the CineArts at Palo Alto Square, 3000 El Camino Real; and at the Century Redwood City 20, 825 Middlefield Road.

The production also features tenor Marcello Giordani and is conducted by Nicola Luisotti. It's sung in Italian, with subtitles. Tickets are $24 general, $22 for seniors and $16 for children. For more information, go to http://fathomevents.com .

Music

Robert Dick

When flutist Robert Dick performs, it's the art of the unexpected. His music blends the blues with rock and classical sounds. He plays alto flute, bass flute, stand-up contrabass flute, piccolo and his invention, the "Glissando Headjoint," which lets him "smear notes."

Tonight, Jan. 7, he's playing an 8 p.m. concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. The program includes several pieces he composed, including "Lookout" and "The Fish Are Jumping." He'll also perform as a soloist with the Areon Flutes quartet.

Also at the church, on Jan. 8, Dick is scheduled to present a public workshop on extended flute techniques from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by a master class from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

The church is at 505 E. Charleston Road. Concert tickets are $20 general and $10 for students. Admission to the workshop is $25/$15, and auditing the master class also costs $25/$15. (The deadline has passed for auditioning to take part in the class.)

For more information, call 650-961-1566.

Theater

'No Good Deed'

Playwright Paul Braverman has had many short plays produced and performed at the Pear Avenue Theatre in Mountain View. Next week, his first full-length play, "No Good Deed," opens at the Pear.

The script centers on Frankie Payne, who was once a pioneering female Boston police detective and is now a private eye, "gin-soaked but not washed up." It all takes place in 1962 in tough East Boston in the middle of an Irish gang war. The cast features Palo Alto's Diane Tasca, artistic director of The Pear.

The show previews at 1220 Pear Ave. next Thursday, Jan. 13, at 8 p.m. Opening night is Friday at 8 p.m., and the show then runs through Jan. 30 with performances Thursday through Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2. Tickets are $15-$30. Go to http://thepear.org or call 650-254-1148.

Dance

Firebird Dance Theatre

Ballet and ballroom dance cheek to cheek with modern, folk and lyrical dance when the Mountain View-based Firebird Dance Theatre performs this Sunday in Palo Alto. A family show called "Imaginarium" features bright costumes and global stylings, and the program also includes pieces from past seasons that company members call their signature dances.

The 5 p.m. performance is dedicated to the memory of Firebird founder Roza Lysaya and is a benefit for the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, where the event takes place. Tickets are $22 general, $17 for students and JCC members, and $15 for children ages 14 and under.

The JCC is at 3921 Fabian Way. For more information, go to http://firebirddance.com or call 650-996-9305.

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