Augsburg News

News Archives - 1998

Weird Romance Premiers at Augsburg

Jan. 21 1998

The Augsburg College Theatre Program is pleased to present the area premiere of Weird Romance, two one-act plays set to music by composer Alan Menken. Menken is best-known for his collaborations with the late Howard Ashman on the Disney feature movies "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" in the late eighties and early nineties. The team achieved their first success with the off-Broadway musical version of the Roger Corman cult film "Little Shop of Horrors," which opened in 1982.

Guest director Ben Krywosz, who is stage director for the production, characterizes Weird Romance as "two Twilight Zone episodes set to music." Musical director is Sonja Thompson, adjunct professor in the Augsburg College Music Department.

The stories, "The Girl Who Was Plugged In" and "Her Pilgrim Soul," present two explorations of love in the extremely post-modern world of cloning, time-travel, and altered reality. Weird Romance was first performed at the WPA Theatre in New York in 1992, and was created in collaboration with lyricist David Spencer and novelist/screenwriter Alan Brennert, whose credits include L.A. Law, China Beach, and The Twilight Zone (on which "Her Pilgrim Soul" first appeared).

Performances of Weird Romance take place February 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14 at 7 p.m., and February 8 and 15 at 2 p.m. All performances will be at the Tjornhom-Nelson Theatre in the Foss Center on the Augsburg College campus, 22nd and Riverside Avenues in Minneapolis. Tickets are $10, or $5 for Augsburg students, faculty, and staff members. For advance reservations or more information, call the box office at 612/330-1257.

This performance contains adult language.

Ben Krywosz

Ben Krywosz (Stage Director) serves as Artistic Director of Nautilus Music-Theater (formerly known as The New Music-Theater Ensemble), for whom he has directed such works as Into the Woods, Hearts on Fire, Fly Away All, Without Colors, Moonface, Mescal Manna, The Dream Before, Halfway Between Dante's View and Vegas, Baked Soprano, and the revised version of Snow Leopard. He has also staged productions for The Minnesota Opera, San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, California Coast Opera, Midwest Opera Theater, West Bay Opera, New Dramatists in New York, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Lake George Opera Festival's Apprentice Program, and most recently, new productions of The Merry Widow and Candide for Opera Roanoke. From 1984 to 1987, Krywosz was Project Director for Opera America's OPERA FOR THE 80S AND BEYOND PROGRAM, where he concentrated on introducing the professional opera field to the work of innovative music-theater artists. He has also directed over twenty-five composer-librettist opera studios in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Washington, Portland, Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities.

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Sonja Thompson

Sonja Thompson (Music Director) is an adjunct professor of Music at Augsburg College, working closely with singer-actors in the Music and Theater Departments. After completing her Master of Music degree in Accompanying and Coaching from The Juilliard School, Ms. Thompson worked as coach and educator locally and nationally with organizations such as The Lincoln Center Student Program and the Aaron Copland Music and Arts Program in New York, the Greater Miami Opera, Minnesota Opera, Nautilus Music Theater and the Minnesota Orchestra. In addition to her activities at Augsburg, Sonja is Music Director at University Baptist Church, and is the mother of two children aged 4-1/2 and 2.

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