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That's Good! That's Bad! Something's Rotten!

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“The course of true love never did run smooth,” as Shakespeare had the character Lysander observe in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and never has this been more true than in the love triangle at the center of the Verdi opera, Don Carlo.

Long before vaudeville used the “That's good!” -- “No, that's bad!” comic set-up, Verdi gave us the tragic story of the prince of Spain, Don Carlo, contracted to wed the princess of France in a political move to bring peace and solidify power between the nations. An arranged marriage? That's bad! But Don Carlo and the princess, Élisabeth de Valois, fall in love, so that's good! But then Don Carlo's father, King Philip II, decides to marry the princess himself, so that's bad! You can find out how it all works out: The Wichita Grand Opera will have two performances of Don Carlo, sung in Italian, at Century II Concert Hall on Sept. 25, with a matinee on Sept. 27.

Meanwhile, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” and if you head out to the parks this weekend, you can see for yourself: The Wichita Shakespeare Company is finishing its performances of a non-gender-specific production of Shakespeare's finest tragedy, Hamlet, in Wichita area parks, Friday, Sept. 18 through Sept. 20. Fine weather and fine language join forces to bring you the not-to-be-missed experience of outdoor theatre. Don't forget a blanket, lawn chairs and insect repellent.