In case you haven't heard, the world comes to an end on the 21st. Made-for-TV movies, parties, and unpaid credit card bills abound — because, you know, the apocalypse, this time courtesy of the Mayan calendar. But most of those whose belief is sincere are speaking metaphorically — in other words, it's not the end of the world, it's just the end of the world as we know it — and they feel fine. The Edge of Forever is a new chamber operetta by writer/director Elizabeth Cline and musician Lewis Pesacov of Fool's Gold, which posits this as an occasion for epic poetry, a time for pondering the nature of cosmic magic, ritual devotion, and transcendent love. And there's maybe nothing better than opera to express such intense and lofty themes in drama, music, and costume. Telling the story of a philosopher who decamps to a sacred cave to await mystical reunion with his true love, this genre-defying work melds old-time religion with modern art and musical fusion. Swoon-inducing romance and immersive staging inside a treasure of Mayan Revival architecture come as close as 21st-century Angelenos are likely to get to the spirit of the, er, original material, minus the virgin sacrifice. Philosophical Research Society, 910 Los Feliz Blvd., Fri., Dec. 21, 8:30 p.m.; $12;

Fri., Dec. 21, 8:30 p.m., 2012

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