Seeing The Light
Aida's" Tony Award-winning lighting design complements modern-day
adaptation ofVerdi opera at Fisher Theatre.
And, when Aida has been trapped, we
turn the whole stage red. The colors have
the ability to be bold, which reflects
Elton John's world of rock 'n' roll."
It was back in the spring of 2000 that
Aida debuted - on Broadway, and it's still
playing to sold-out crowds. Katz feels
the reason the show has staying power is
the story. "I think it's an incredibly com-
pelling tale, and the music and visual
look have a lot to do with it," she notes.
Motor City Connection
ALICE BURDICK SCHWEIGER
Princess Amneris, who is his betrothed.
In the meantime, Radames continues to .
be attracted to Aida, who tries to hide her
n the musical Aida, playing at the
Fisher Theatre Sept. 11-Oct. 5,
Radames' armies capture the King of
lighting plays an important role in
Nubia — Aida's father — leading to con-
creating the mood. That's thanks
flicting loyalties between Radames and
to Natasha Katz, lighting director for the
Aida. But Radames abandons his mar-
riage to Amneris for Aida, and the
"My job is to drive the story home and
Pharaoh sentences both Aida and
tell the tale through lighting,"
Radames to be buried alive.
says Katz, who won a Tony
Lighting creates the mood
A scene fr om
Award for best lighting design
with must c and lyrics and helps drive the show, says
for Aida. "With the blessing
Katz, who adds that some
by Elton john and
and creativity of the director,
stage effects, too, are created
Tim Rice, their first
set designer, choreographer and effort sinc e writing
producers, lighting is built into "The Lion King"
"When Radames and Aida
are on the dock, a water
Based on Verdi's operatic
reflection can be seen," she
tragedy, Aida, set mostly in
says. "There is also a scene
ancient Egypt, uses a contemporary musi- where light reflects from the pool, and
cal score by Elton John and Tim Rice to
there are strobes that flash like paparazzi
tell the story of Egyptian captain
during the closet scene where Amneris is
Radaines and his love for Aida, an
starting her fashion show."
enslaved Nubian princess.
Color, too, sets the tone, she points
To spare Aida from certain death in the
out. "In the slave camp, we use earthy
copper mines, Radames sends her to be a
tones of light," Katz. says. "Upon arrival
handmaiden to the Pharaoh's daughter,
in Egypt, there is a brilliant yellow sun.
Special to the Jewish News
Bringing the road company to Detroit is
a particular pleasure for Katz. Her hus-
band, Dan Schreier, and his family are
from the Motor City. His parents,
Bernard and Florence Schreier, still live
"Because of our Detroit connections,
it's meaningful to have the show in
Detroit," says Katz, who has been mar-
ried for 12 years.
"Unfortunately we are not able to be
[there], as our schedules won't allow it.
But our kids (ages 5 and 7) would have
loved to go see their grandparents and
"Both Dan and I have had other
shows go through Detroit, including
Beauty and the Beast and West Side Story,
and it's always special."
Presently, Dan Schreier is the sound
designer for the upcoming Broadway
show Amour, which begins previews
Sept. 20 and opens Oct. 20 at the Music
Box Theatre in New York City. The
musical is set in Paris in the 1950s.
Schreier, who celebrated his bar mitz-
vah at the former Congregation Beth
Abraham in Detroit (now incorporated
into Congregation Beth Ahm in West
Bloomfield), graduated from
Birmingham Groves High School and
attended the University of Michigan and
Columbia University. He won a Drama
Desk Award for sound design for the
current Broadway revival of Into The
For Katz, being involved with the the-
ater was a childhood dream. Born and
raised in New York City, it was very
much a part of her life.
"I always knew I wanted to be
involved in the theater, and I enjoyed
the lighting aspect the most," says Katz,
For 33 years JARC
has helped people
with disabilities be
fully included in com-
munity life, but faced
with cutbacks in men-
tal-health funding, the
agency is facing a crit-
ical budgetary crisis.
This year's big fall
fund-raiser for JARC
will be performances
of Elton John and Tim
Rice's Aida, Monday,
Sept. 30 (sign lan-
and Tuesday. Oct. 1, at
the Fisher Theatre;
both evening programs
begin at 7:30 p.m.
tickets are $60 each;
other donation cate-
gories are available,
ranging from $125
each (dream builder)
to $2,200 for two
ships also are avail-
able. Seat location is
determined by donor
category and the date
order is received.
A young adult
(post-college to 40)
pre-glow will be held
5:30-7 p.m. Monday,
Sept. 30, at the Motor
City Grill in the
For more informa-
tion and to order tick-
ets, call (248) 538-
6610, Ext. 418, or go
to the Web site at
Note: When you
purchase tickets to
JARC's Aida, the
Fisher Theatre will
buy back tickets from
any series ticket hold-
er. Call (248) 538-
6610, Ext. 304, for