Using the Brook adaptation as a starting point, Nelson, who also directs the show, has created new layers of theatricality, placing the action in a cabaret house where Carmen is a drag performer. Personally, I think the concept would have been helped considerably had Nelson found a countertenor with a big mezzo-ish tone for the title role (I've known a countertenor or two who would have jumped at the chance to sing this score). I also think the concept would work better without so much reliance on a speaking part Nelson himself portrays, that of a smarmy host who owes a little too much to the Joel Gray character in Cabaret. To my ears, Nelson's fake French accent wore out its bienvenue early on last night, and I didn't find his insertions into the drama all that helpful after a while. But he certainly threw himself into the assignment.