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Photos: Would Strauss recognize his opera reset in Alaska with drunks, strippers and Palin?

Corky, played by Cory Bix, tries to woo his old girlfriend, the recently married Wanda Wood. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Wanda Wood tries to resist Corky's operatic advances. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Dick Wood, left, an oil executive, argues with his lawyer, Bully Boy Rutt, after Wood saw his jail sentence increase from 5 to 10 days. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Chip Block, a reality TV marketer and Dick Wood's friend, comes over and convinces Wood to skip jail and go to a casting call. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
State Trooper Harry Brown comes to take Dick Wood to jail, but instead of Wood he finds Wanda's boyfriend Corky, who at Wanda's request pretends to be Wood and gets taken to jail instead. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Alaskans crowd around a production assistant at a reality TV casting call. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Charlie Gould, a reality TV producer, at auditions for his new show, "Alaska's Got Culture." Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Amber, Dick and Wanda Wood's cleaning lady and pole-dancer-in-training, sings at auditions for "Alaska's Got Culture." Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Alaska State Trooper Harry Brown, pretending to be "Bear Huggins," with the reality TV producer Charlie Gould. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Wanda Wood, disguised as a Russian baroness, takes a gold watch from her husband Dick, who was using it to try and woo young women at the auditions. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
A disguised Wanda Wood singing about seeing Russia from Alaska, at the auditions for the reality TV show "Alaska's Got Culture." Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Reality TV star hopefuls sing and dance at a casting call in Act II of The Polar Bat. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Horace Frost, the night jailer, took advantage of Chief Brown's absence to get drunk while at work in the Jail. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Alaska State Trooper chief Harry Brown returns to the jail after getting drunk at auditions for the reality TV show "Alaska's Got Culture." Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
A drunk Horace Frost makes inappropriate looks at Cherry, a Bush Company dancer. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Everyone at the audition was arrested for reckless endangerment, but the filming continued even as they were booked. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
All is well after it is revealed that the entire scene was orchestrated to be another episode of the Alaska State Troopers reality TV show, and the company sings a product placement ad for a snowmachine. Anchorage Opera took the classic Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus and re-wrote the libretto, re-naming it "The Polar Bat" and setting the story in modern-day Anchorage. Apr 2, 2014
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

Imagine that Sarah Palin and Bill Allen got together and started a reality television show. To make it really Alaskan, they held tryouts and invited drunks, strippers, ice-road truckers, troopers and politicians, including one Democrat recently turned Republican.

Throw in a few fishermen, lumberjacks, a giant vegetable farmer and a dog musher, set it to the music of Johann Strauss' classic operetta "Die Fledermaus," and you might have a sense of what the newest production from Anchorage Opera is about.

To make this chaotic casting come together, the opera hired former Alaska playwright Deborah Brevoort to rewrite the libretto, setting the story in modern day Anchorage (or perhaps more accurately, taking well-known Alaskans from today and setting the story in what resembles the notoriously seedy Anchorage of the early 1980s).

As Anchorage Opera director Kevin Patterson warned the audience before the student dress rehearsal on Wednesday, "If you're not offended by the end of the show, you probably missed something." Poking fun at everyone and everything "Alaskan," especially the current fascination with Alaska reality television, the production is a smart and funny nod to the wildly successful Fly-By-Night Club revues put on in Spenard by the legendary Mr. Whitekeys.

Anchorage Opera's production of Die Fledermaus runs April 4, 5 and 6 on the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts' Discovery stage.

Contact Alaska Dispatch Multimedia Editor Loren Holmes at loren(at)alaskadispatch.com or on Google+.

Disclosure: Loren Holmes is the production photographer for "Die Fledermaus."