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Counting Sheep: A Guerrilla Folk Opera 

When: Fri., Feb. 16, 7 p.m., Sat., Feb. 17, 1 & 7 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 18, 2 p.m. 2018
Price: $12.50-$25

Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s ‘Counting Sheep’

Welcome to the revolution, tovarysh! Your location, the streets of Kiev (aka, the Oakland Metro Operahouse). The time, January 2014 (aka now). Join the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Toronto’s dynamic “Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Party-Punk,” street band in an urgent, participatory reenactment of the Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution, which Counting Sheep co-author Mark Marczyk experienced firsthand as a traveling musician and third-generation Ukrainian. In fact, this is where he met his wife (and co-author) Marichka Kudriavtseva Marczyk, also a musician and ethnomusicologist, who found herself caught up in the unexpected chaos of the “revolution of dignity.” Neither strictly a concert nor a piece of polite (read: sit-down) theater, Counting Sheep is an interactive opera in which audience members are recruited to build barricades and throw (foam) bricks at the authorities, as fog machine “teargas” is deployed and larger-than-life footage of the protests are screened behind the musicians as their Ukrainian polyphony fills the room (supertitles in English). A timely and tireless tribute to the strength of the human spirit under pressure, this winner of the coveted “Fringe First” award at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe performs in Oakland for the first time, programmed by Cal Performances.
— Nicole Gluckstern


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