Mixing influences of modern comic book kitsch with its original Commedia dell'Arte spirit, Liv & Traco provides some good old-fashioned escapist relief from a globally-heated and war-torn present. Gina Crusco has given voice to the original intermezzo's two mute characters by interpolating music from other Pergolesi works set to new text. The resulting pastiche transforms the original into a satisfying evening's entertainment while heightening its inherent comic elements.
When the curtain opens, we find Liv, dressed as a man, hatching a plan to entrap the town's evil-doing Traco and send him off to prison. Later adventures send the couple into the Underworld, where an array of riotous happenings somehow manages to turn their mutual disdain to mutual attraction. Love triumphs, and the opera culminates in a hilarious double wedding.
YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood; and at Theatre at St. Michael's Church, 99th & Amsterdam