Salt Marsh Opera shows "La Boheme" this weekend

Editor's note: This version corrects the time of the Sunday performance.

“La Boheme,” written by Italian Giacomo Puccini, is one of the most popular operas of all time. After all, it has all the elements needed for a near-perfect story: 19th-century Paris; young artists, or in this case, struggling bohemians; a story about living a financially poor but culturally rich life; and, of course, love — in short, the quintessential Parisian dream. That’s why we can imagine that Stonington’s Salt Marsh Opera rendition of the show will be a hit with local opera lovers.

Salt Marsh will host three performances of the show this weekend, two of which will take place at Old Saybrook’s Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, and the other at Westerly’s George Kent Performance Hall. Westerly’s staging, in particular, will be a unique event, or in other words, a “theater in the round,” meaning that the audience will be surrounding the stage on all sides.

As the play unfolds throughout the room, show-goers will feast out of Parisian picnic baskets. The idea is to “drink and be merry” while the protagonists celebrate their fleeting taste of happiness. Then, as the show progresses into the climax of Act II, the audience will be invited to march with them into the imagined streets of Paris.

Tickets for the Kent Theater showing can be ordered by calling the Salt Marsh box office at (860) 535-0753. Seating charts can be viewed at www.saltmarshopera.org. Tickets start at $35. Tickets for Katharine Hepburn showings can be found at www.katharinehepburntheater.org.

“La Boheme,” 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Main Street, Old Saybrook, 7 p.m. Saturday at George Kent Performance Hall, High Street, Westerly; $35-$65; (860) 535-0753, www.saltmarshopera.org

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