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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

'Aida' Comes to Greendale Community Theatre

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Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, based on the original opera by Giuseppe Verdi, has met with tremendous success since its debut in 2000. The story of love and politics in ancient Egypt is delivered with an interesting fusion of musical styles, including reggae, Motown, pop and gospel mixing with Indian and Middle Eastern influences. Stylistically, it's a very textured, nuanced piece that could prove difficult for most any community theater group.

Honestly, though, Greendale Community Theatre isn't just any community theater group. Under the artistic direction of Brian Bzdawka, the group has consistently taken on challenging material and made it work. They put together a staging of RENT with a young cast, and it ended up being better than a professional touring production. Recently they turned to a work far less traditional than RENT, when they produced the deep and deeply strange Batboy: The Musical.

Aida
may not be as conceptually challenging as the tabloid-based Batboy, but its distinct musical blend is very tricky. Musical director Tom Reifenberg brings enough experience to pull it off. With solid production values, choreography by Stephanie Staszak and a cast that includes Erica Brown in the title role, Greendale Community Theatre's Aida should definitely be worth checking out.

Greendale Community Theatre's production of Aida runs July 19-28 at the Greendale High School Auditorium. For ticket reservations, visit greendaletheater.org.

Theater Happenings


A big, glossy musical version of a sharp indie film comes to town as Billy Elliot: The Musical plays at the Marcus Center through July 22. For ticket reservations, call 414-273-7206.

A local tradition that satirizes the type of fare that turns into big, glossy musicals comes of age this week. The Improvised Musical celebrates its one-year anniversary July 19 at 7:30 p.m. at ComedySportz. This monthly long-form improv show takes a suggestion from the audience and turns it into a fully working musical. For ticket reservations, call 414-272-8888.
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