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Gerald Carpenter: Lit Moon to Bring World Theatre Festival to a Close

The two-day finale beings Friday at Center Stage Theater

The Lit Moon Theatre Company, whose shows always manage to be both inventive and entertaining, closes its 2010 World Theatre Festival this weekend with three productions at Center Stage Theater in the Paseo Nuevo mall.

Ottiliana Rolandsson plays the most enigmatic actress in film history in I Was Greta Garbo.
Ottiliana Rolandsson plays the most enigmatic actress in film history in I Was Greta Garbo. (Joshua Wood photo)

The two-day finale begins at 7 p.m. Friday with The Wedding: A Matrimonial Musical Fantasy, a pop musical extravaganza inspired by the 1842 play Marriage by the eccentric genius Nikolai Gogol (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls, The Overcoat and Taras Bulba).

Gogol looms much larger in the culture of Russia and Eastern Europe than he does in the west. Shostakovich wrote an amusing opera on his story, The Nose, and the great Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu wrote an opera on Marriage.

Directed by Lit Moon Artistic Director John Blondell, with an original musical score by Jim Connolly and Anna Abbey, this Matrimonial Musical Fantasy enjoys the distinction of having had its world premiere in Legnica, Poland. They don’t call it the World Theatre Festival for nothing.

The Wedding repeats at 9 p.m. Saturday.

On Friday, The Wedding will be followed at 9 p.m. by I Was Greta Garbo: Hanging on a White Line, a solo portrait of the Swedish film actress who, at more or less the top of her game, age 36, slipped out of the limelight and never came back. (Who will not resonate to Garbo’s opening line, in Grand Hotel: “I have never been so tired in my life!”)

Garbo is played by her fellow Swede, Ottiliana Rolandsson, a Santa Barbara resident.

I Was Greta Garbo will be performed at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26 as a fundraiser for Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. For tickets or information, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 805.684.6364.

At 7 p.m. this Saturday, Santa Barbara choreographers Robin Bisio, Victoria Finlayson, Christina McCarthy and Jeff Mills will perform in and present Fusion 5.0 — a dance anthology of pieces that celebrate modern choreography and contemporary fusions of dance, film and puppetry.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students. They’re available at the Center Stage Theatre Box Office; click here or call 805.963.0408.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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