Union Avenue Opera begins its nineteenth season with Trouble in Tahiti, Leonard Bernstein's modern meditation on a marriage that has a severely buckled foundation. Sam and Dinah are a young couple in a generic 1950s American suburb. He has an office job and his club to keep him busy, while she has the easy fantasy of the movies to occupy her time. They live together, but they no longer connect, which leads to endless bickering. Bernstein's score features his usual eclectic touches; a scat-singing jazz trio acts as an ersatz chorus, and the lyrics are written with American vernacular and cadence. It's a swiftly paced one-act that offers no easy answers. UAO pairs it with a cabaret performance of some of Bernstein's best-loved songs, such as "Tonight" and "Simple Song." Trouble in Tahiti is performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (April 19 through 21) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881 or www.unionavenueopera.org). Tickets are $30 to $52.
April 19-21, 2013