Monday, Nov. 1, 2010

Singing With Oscar Wlide

Wisconsin Lutheran College debuts musical version of LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN

By Russ Bickerstaff
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 “Music makes one feel so romantic - at least it always gets on one's nerves - which is the same thing nowadays.”  --Oscar Wilde

The above quote notwithstanding, it’s difficult to imagine Wilde not enjoying a little music every now and then. That being said, it’s difficult to imagine what he might’ve thought of a traditional American musical being adapted from his first comedy. This is precisely what Wisconsin Lutheran College aims to do as it opens a debut musical production of Lady Windermere’s Fan.

This, of course, is NOT the first musical adaptation to make it to the stage. Noel Coward’s 1954 musical After The Ball. Coward worked on that musical during a vacation to Jamaica. The Wisconsin Lutheran College’s musical stage adaptors likely did not have the kind of luxury afforded Coward. Directed by WLC’s Jan Gompper, the new adaptation was written by Gompper and Dr. David Eggebrecht of Concordia University Wisconsin, with Gompper writing both music and lyrics. The production features Wisconsin Lutheran Choir members Anna Biedenbender and Chelsea Nillissen in lead roles.

From the press release:

“This musical adaptation is faithful to Wilde’s original story line,” said Gompper, “and the script and lyrics keep his witty repartee intact.  I also believe that the play’s themes of societal hypocrisy  –  and its depiction of self-sacrifice – still have something to say to a modern audience.  Add to all of that the fact that the two leading roles are female, a rarity in the theatre world, and I believe we have combined elements for a memorable and meaningful musical performance.”


Wisconsin Lutheran College’s production of Lady Windermere’s Fan runs November 5th – 13th at WLC’s Raabe Theatre. To purchase tickets, call the WLC box office at 414-443-8802.

 

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