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Abba meets Aeschylus in darkly funny “Abbamemnon”

‘Clytemnestra’ (Monica Schneider) and the cast.
‘Clytemnestra’ (Monica Schneider) and the cast.
Chelsea Sutton

Abbamemnon

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Adultery, cannibalism and murder, oh my! Believe it or not, Troubadour Theater Company takes them all on and more in their latest “classic play meets pop music” offering. “Abbamemnon,” which fittingly opened Friday, June 13, 2014 at the Falcon Theatre, dances into Aeschylus’ Greek tragedy (458 BC), “Agamemnon,” to the beat of Abba. Matt Walker and his terrific Troubies manage miraculously to squeeze many laughs out of this unsavory 80-minute tale. Hitting all the low-lights (there really aren’t any highlights) this production is sure to delight Abba fans with the rewording of some, but not all, of their lyrics.

As with most Greek plays, “Abbamemnon” starts in the middle, jumping both backwards and forward in time. Abbamemnon (Walker) leaves his “Dancing Queen” wife Clytemnestra (Monica Schneider) for 10 years going to battle until “War is Through” (“Waterloo). While he’s away the queen must play . . . with Aegisthus (Rick Battalla up to his improvisational tricks). Slave of Abbamemnon and cursed with the gift of prophesy Cassandra (Katherine Donahoe) sends out an “S.O.S.” As a Watchman (Beth Kennedy) awakes to sing “I Have a Dream.” Get the picture?

Toubie favorites are back including Joseph Keane as A Hearld and Rob Nagle in dual roles as the Chorus Leader and Thystes. As always the entire ensemble of singer, dancer actors brighten the stage with their energy and talent.

On opening night the band led by Eric Heinly (drums) and including Kevin McCourt (keyboards), Linda Taylor (guitar), Dana Decker (bass) and especially Ginger Murphy (cello) rocked! Costume Designer Sharon McGunigle is at her best with the many colorful costumes and fun wigs.

In short, while not for children or early teens, or adults who are squeamish “Abbamemnon” delivers lots of laughs, topical references and inspired improv!

“Abbamemnon” performs 8 p.m. Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. and 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday through Sunday, July 13. Ticket prices range from $29.50 - $57.00 (group discounts are available), $27 student rate with valid ID. Call 818-955-8101 or visit www.falcontheatre.com.

The Falcon Theatre is located at 4252 Riverside Dr. in Burbank.