by Lenise Willis

Wednesday through Sunday, Theatre Alliance will finish up its last run dates of Avenue Q. The laugh-outloud musical and winner of the Tony “Triple Crown” for Best Musical tells the timeless story of a recent college grad who moves into a shabby New York apartment and soon discovers that he’s in no ordinary neighborhood. Together, he and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates and the ever-elusive purpose of life.

Thursday, Piedmont Opera presents Puccini’s Turandot live in HD film, starring Maria Guleghina and Marcello Giordani. Originally broadcast in 2009, the production is a breathtaking take on Puccini’s last opera and is a favorite of the Met repertoire.

Guleghina plays the ruthless Chinese princess of the title, whose hatred of men is so strong that she has all suitors who can’t solve her riddles beheaded. Marcello Giordani sings Calàf, the unknown prince who eventually wins her love and whose solos include the famous “Nessun Dorma.”

Then, Friday through Sunday, the City Arts Drama Center presents Shakespeare in the Park, featuring Richard III at 5:30 pm at the Barber Park Amphitheatre. Admission is free with donations accepted. Richard III follows the demise of one England’s most despised kings, the murder of young princes to maintain the throne and political turmoil created by the War of the Roses. The production is in partnership with the Guilford County Schools and the NC Shakespeare Festival.

In other news, the Winston-Salem Youth Chorus is now holding auditions for the upcoming 2013-14 season. Auditions, held from 4-7 p.m. at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, will fall on Thursdays, July 25, August 1 and 8; and Tuesdays, July 30 and August 13. To schedule an audition, call Chris Duffer, chorus manager, at 336-703-0001.

Also, The Touring Theatre of North Carolina is seeking poetry or prose written by veterans, their family members, and anyone now in service. The collaborative project will include professional actors reading the submissions.

Suggested topics include the various perspectives of military life, enlistment, training, deployment, relationships, separation from family, retirement, parenting, war-time experiences and medical issues. Submissions to Joseph Bathanti at or to Brenda Schleunes at bps@ttnc. org are due by July 31.