This weekend marks the first performances of Shannon Wheeler's "Too Much Coffee Man Opera" outside of his hometown of Portland, Ore., where it premiered last year. Wheeler, who received an honorable mention in this year's AltWeekly Awards, says after being prodded to turn his comic strip into a opera by a friend, it was a dream in which a character sang an aria that sealed the deal. "I woke up and thought, Why am I fighting this?," he tells the San Diego Union-Tribune. "It's an opportunity to learn new things." Thus far, response to the opera has been overwhelmingly positive, and Wheeler is already planning an as-yet-untitled sequel to hit the stage next year in Portland.

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