Love in any age, and at any age, is a complicated negotiation, but it's especially complex when one party is fabulously wealthy and the other party isn't. And if the prenup hasn't been invented yet — ooh, difficult. Hanna is a newly minted millionaire, thanks to her deceased husband's will. Her little homeland, Pontevedro, is flat broke, and Baron Zeta would really prefer she marry a local boy so all that cash stays in-country. The baron thinks Danilo would be a good match for the widow Hanna, and he's correct: The two were lovers prior to Hanna meeting her eventual husband. The feelings are still there, but Danilo has qualms about marrying someone so wealthy. And Hanna isn't going to say yes, either, unless Danilo admits his love for her first. Still, the baron's a smart guy. Surely he can manipulate the two into a relationship, right? Maybe he could, if he hadn't stumbled across the nineteenth-century version of an intercepted text message: A noblewoman's fan upon which someone has written in a bold, mannish hand, "I love you." Why's that fan look so familiar? To whom does it belong? Why is Danilo being so stubborn about becoming rich? Answers are forthcoming in the Union Avenue Opera's production of Franz Lehár's beloved comedy, Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow). Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (July 31 through August 8), with a 3 p.m. show on Sunday, August 9, at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881 or www.unionavenueopera.org). Tickets are $30 to $52.
Fridays, Saturdays; Sun., Aug. 9. Starts: July 31. Continues through Aug. 8, 2009