NEW YORK CITY | The legendary sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer recently tread the boards as a narrator at Handel’s “Messiah” for the Bronx Opera in December 2012. A psychosexual therapist who helped to pioneer the field of media psychology with her radio program, “Sexually Speaking,” Dr. Ruth read from Biblical passages and visited the dressing room of the opera singers. She wished them all “good sex.”
Unfortunately, Dr. Ruth is not part of the Bronx Opera’s production of Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie), which begins performance in January 2013 in the Bronx and then in Manhattan.
Still, narrating is something she has done in the past, notably the Broadway Bach Ensemble.
The Thieving Magpie is Rossini’s story of a servant girl unwittingly embroiled in intrigue because of her romance with a young soldier. The simple theft of a silver spoon brings her in contact with the soldier’s unscrupulous mother and a lecherous politician who must never know the real identity of the servant girl’s father. Will this ordeal bring her to her true love… or her own execution?
Sung entirely in English with a full chorus and orchestra, the Bronx Opera’s tradition of supplying the borough with lavish musical fare as well as intimate engrossing concerts and educational programming has endured thanks to the Spierman family since 1967.
The Bronx: Sat.,Jan. 12, 2013 @ 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 13, 2013 @ 2:00 p.m. at The Lovinger Theatre @ Lehman College; Tkts: $15 – $30; http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/269789
Manhattan: Sat., Jan. 19, 2013 @ 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 20, 2013 @ 2:00 p.m. at The Kaye Playhouse @ Hunter College; Tkts: $25 – $40; (212) 772-4448
AN ASIDE: This bit of Dr. Ruth news is completely gratuitous. Basically I needed an excuse to post the photo of me and Dr. Ruth when we recently had lunch in New York City. At the Blue Hill Restaurant in Greenwich Village, Dr. Ruth and I had Berkshire pig with pressed carrots, almonds and spinach; winter fruit and vegetable salad; citrus desserts (milk jam and almond sponge cake) We talked about the importance of commitment in gay and straight relationships; the politics of the musical “South Pacific”; her growing up in Germany; and her teaching gig at Yale University. –rg, theaterofOneWorld