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BWW Interview: Troubies' Matt Walker Making Hilarious Music With LIZA & Aristophanes

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The infamous Troubies will be back LIVE on the Getty Villa stage in LIZASTRATA world premiering September 9, 2021

BWW Interview: Troubies' Matt Walker Making Hilarious Music With LIZA & Aristophanes

The infamous Troubies will be back LIVE on the Getty Villa stage in LIZASTRATA world premiering September 9, 2021. Since 1995, the Troubadour Theater Company has been producing laugh-filled, stomach-clutching programs of entertainment marrying the Classics with modern pop songs and references (i.e., FLEETWOOD MACBETH, MUCH ADOOBIE BROTHERS ABOUT NOTHING, CHRISTMAS Carole King).

Had the chance to revisit with Matt Walker, the Troubadour Theater Company's founder/artistic director/director to chat about Troubies' latest, sure-to-please creation.

Thank you for taking the time for me to interview you again, Matt! I interviewed you before in 2016 when you were prepping for LITTLE DRUMMER BOWIE at the then-called Falcon Theatre. When did you start creating LIZASTRATA?

In late fall 2019, the public programs department at the Getty called and said the show they had planned to do for 2020 with another company fell through and would we consider producing a show with little notice? (Typically, the Getty likes to plan a year and a half ahead.) BWW Interview: Troubies' Matt Walker Making Hilarious Music With LIZA & Aristophanes We said, "Of course!" and began to plan a production of LYSISTRATA with roughly six months to plan. We had our first developmental read-through on March 14, 2020 - The next day the world shut down.

What would your three-line pitch of LIZASTRATA be?

When Greece's war with Sparta drags on for another year, one Athenian lady has had enough. Aristophanes' LYSISTRATA features its titillating titular character fighting to end the fighting by ending sex. Rallying the women from all sides of the conflict, she gives the men her ultimatum: Make war or make whoopee.

Was casting done via Zoom?

BWW Interview: Troubies' Matt Walker Making Hilarious Music With LIZA & Aristophanes In essence. We are a company with a certain vocabulary when it comes to tone and style, so I prefer to work with the same people over long periods. Some members have been with the company for over 25 years! So, I made calls to performers, and we read the play on Zoom multiple times with various company members and sorted out who would do what. With COVID as a factor I preferred to work with a close-knit group that would be responsible to each other both in and outside of production with regards to safety and caution.

When did you start rehearing LIZASTRATA?

Officially, August 2, 2021 at the Getty Villa in Malibu.

BWW Interview: Troubies' Matt Walker Making Hilarious Music With LIZA & Aristophanes Is there one lead character of Liza? Or a bevy of Lizas?

There is one titular character, played magnificently by Cloie Wyatt Taylor.

There'll be lots of sequins and rhinestones, right?

Duh.
Pre-pandemic, the last time the Troubies performed live at the Getty Villa was HAUNTED HOUSE PARTY, A ROMAN COMEDY in 2016. When were you able to set a live performance schedule for LIZASTRATA with the Getty Villa?

It is still fluid! But performances are on sale! The schedule was made back in June with an eye to shifts as needed.

After producing your five-episode YouTube series THE ODDYSSEY for the Getty Villa, would you say you are a Master of Zoom?

Can anyone ever be a master of evolving technology! We wrote to Zoom early on in May 2020 to request 1080p resolution for recording purposes... we heard back in November! Approved!

BWW Interview: Troubies' Matt Walker Making Hilarious Music With LIZA & Aristophanes Besides THE ODDYSSEY, what else did you do to keep yourself creatively sane all these pandemic months? New Funky Punk shows?

We produced our annual holiday show, this time on Zoom - THE WINTER WARLOCKDOWN HOLIDAY PARTY. It's up on our YouTube channel. We had over 1,000 attendees in the couple weeks that we put it on live!

What's in the near future for Matt Walker, outside of The Troubies?

Currently involved on the creative team developing a new musical for Broadway, called: ALICE IN NEVERLAND! And working on an original musical for a regional theatre in Miami - MIAMI VICE THE MUSICAL!

BWW Interview: Troubies' Matt Walker Making Hilarious Music With LIZA & Aristophanes What's in the near future for the Troubies? A new production? And then a new edition of your perennial Holidaze favorite LITTLE DRUMMER BOWIE, perhaps?

This holiday season we are back at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank with Santa Claus IS COMING TO MOTOWN! ...Then perhaps a Shakespeare in the spring: DURAN DURANTONY & CLEOPATRA! ... and look out for our 2022 holiday show: DIE HEART!

Thank you again, Matt!

Thanks Gil!

For tickets to the live performances of LIZASTRATA through October 2, 2021; log onto www.getty.edu/LIZA

To read my 2016 interview with Matt, click here.


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