(Zachary Woolfe’ article appreared in The New York Times, 12/25; Via Pam Green.)

In a chilly room deep within the Metropolitan Opera on the morning after Thanksgiving, a rehearsal was about to start. Susan Stroman looked over at the pianist and spoke a phrase that had quite possibly never before been heard in the high-art precincts of the Met.

“Hit it,” she called out, and the music began.

The language of Broadway has come uptown. For a new production of Lehar’s fizzy operetta “The Merry Widow,” to be uncorked on New Year’s Eve, the Met has turned to Ms. Stroman, who has won five Tony Awards for hit shows like “The Producers,” “Contact” and “Crazy for You” but has struggled over the last few years through a flurry of flops. The company is learning her exotic vocabulary of high kicks and jump splits, and is also adjusting to that operatic rarity: a dual director-choreographer.

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