Verdi in Vegas Brings a Touch of Broadway to the Metropolitan Opera

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What's a theater critic doing at the opera house? Well, opera is theater, after all. But it's the particular Broadway connection of director Michael Mayer that caught New York Times critic Charles Isherwood's eye on the marquee at the Metropolitan Opera.

Best known for directing the Tony Award-winning rock musicalĀ Spring Awakening, Mayer is the latest conceptual maestro tapped by Met General Manager Peter Gelb to provide a new perspective to a staple of the operatic repertoire: this time, Verdi's Rigoletto.

The production is set in the Las Vegas of the 1960s. Does Mayer's update let Rigoletto remain true to itself, or should what happens in the Met's version of Vegas stay there? Isherwood lets us know if it's worth the gamble.