The much-applauded Troubadour Theater Company took an insanely complicated ancient Greek tragedy and turned it into a musical comedy featuring the hit songs of the Swedish pop group Abba. Yet the Troubies pull it off with ABBAMEMNON, playing at the Falcon Theatre through Sunday, July 13th.
It is literally a bloody good time, but I defy anyone who sees it to explain the convoluted plot. Just imagine songs like “Mama Mia,” “Dancing Queen” and “Take A Chance on Me” sung by a murderous family in Greece during the Helen of Troy era. Unless you have a degree in Hellenistic history and researched Aeschylus’ play Agamemnon, it will seem as if the Troubies are making it up as they go along. But actually it is a well-crafted spoof of the ancient text with tunes like “Waterloo” celebrating the Trojan War. Of course the rewritten lyrics are dripping with satire as the Greek chorus disco dances through the Abba songbook.
In the lead as Abbamemnon, King of Malibu, is super creative and irreverent Matt Walker, who also directs the ambitious production. The entire troupe deserves cheers as the sick game of Greek family Twister unfolds with Rick Batalla, Jen DeMinco, Katherine Donahoe, Joseph Keane, Tyler King, Rob Nagle, Suzanne Jolie Narbonne, Darrin Revitz, Monica Schneider, Mike Sulprizio, Patrick Toth, Jason Turner, and, stealing the scene with her rendition of “I Have a Dream,” Beth Kennedy plays the Watchman.
The impressive talent behind the scenes includes musical director Eric Heinly, choreographer Molly Alvarez, lighting designer Jeremy Pivnick, set designer Morgan Rusler, and costume designer Sharon McGunigle.
Too sordid and violent for kids, ABBAMEMNON runs through Sunday, July 13th, with performances Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 4 and 8pm; and Sundays at 4 and 7pm. The Falcon Theatre is at 4252 Riverside Dr., Burbank. Call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre.com.