Opera Columbus' re-entry into the world of locally produced opera begins when Opera Cabaret opens its production of La Boheme on Oct. 14.

Opera Columbus' re-entry into the world of locally produced opera begins when Opera Cabaret opens its production of La Boheme on Oct. 14.

A collaborative effort of Opera Columbus and Shadowbox Live, the production is an updated, abbreviated and English-language version of the classic Puccini work.

Oh, and it's free.

Opera Columbus' Peggy Kriha Dye told The Beat the collaboration furthers the newly evolved mission of the company to provide opportunities to local singers to perform opera and to serve the community.

Opera Columbus commissioned the one-hour, English-language libretto.

The opera will be staged in modern dress, on a small stage at Shadowbox Live's Backstage Bistro, and – get this – it's set in Columbus, not Paris.

Dye pointed out that, with all the updates, Puccini's music remains the same.

Shadowbox Live's Stev Guyer, a rock-and-roller at heart, is directing.

He said the challenge has been to combine the strengths of the fine singers with his own and the needs of the adapted production.

La Boheme will run Sundays at 5 p.m. Oct. 14 to Nov. 18.

It falls in between the presentations of Shadowbox's production of the musical Chicago.

For more information, visit operacolumbus.org.

Molly Pauken has, for years, lived the glamorous life of a rock-and-roll star hidden away here in central Ohio.

OK, so while it might not be exactly that, Pauken has made her living as a professional musician for the past 21 years, balancing that unfixed-schedule existence with raising a family.

"I've got the best of all worlds, because the people I play with get it," she told The Beat.

A permanent member of five bands, including a 21-year stint in McGuffey Lane, Pauken also is in demand as a side musician, often on bass.

She has toured with, among others, the gifted singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell, and not too long ago he called Pauken and invited her to sit in on his Thursday, Oct. 18, gig at the Valley Dale Ballroom.

"He could play with anybody he wanted to, so I'm really lucky," Pauken said.

That said, the upcoming date is a little bit of a mystery.

"He just said, 'Why don't you come out and sit in, since I'm going to be up in your neck of the woods?' I'm just going to bring my rig and see what happens."

Visit zeppelincolumbus.com.

Two cool and unique programs are coming to the Wexner Center for the Arts in the coming days. (Not that this should surprise anyone.)

Comic fans will enjoy the "live graphic novel" production of The Intergalactic Nemesis: Book One: Target Earth set for Friday, Oct. 12.

This all-ages show, created by Jason Neulander, features more than 1,000 hand-drawn, full-color comic book images projected onto a screen while three actors, a sound effects artist and a keyboardist perform voices, music and sounds effect on stage.

Not unlike an old-time radio show, but not on the radio.

The other is by filmmaker Sam Green and alt-rockers Yo La Tengo, who narrate and perform music to Green's film examination of architect, designer and social critic R. Buckminster Fuller.

Two settings of this show are scheduled Thursday, Oct. 18.

Visit wexarts.org for details.