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Those rich, sophisticated married couples you've seen? They can lose their tempers, too. When pressed, they might even curse, throw things and pummel each other. That's the joke of Yasmina Reza's "God of Carnage," now running at Prospect Theater Project in Modesto.
Modesto's new black theater company, Sankofa Theatre, sure knows how to make an entrance. The group's first production, of August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson" at the Gallo Center for the Arts, is a soaring achievement that shows this is a company to be taken seriously.
Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world because of its greatest hits score and its emotional story about a doomed love affair between a courtesan and a playboy. Townsend Opera modernizes the 1853 classic with its engaging new production set in San Francisco in the 1980s at the start of the AIDS crisis.