Southern California Youth Theatre Premiere

Choreography by Jean Isaacs of Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theatre

Matt Maretz, Michelle Cabinian, Andrew Miller, Emma Stratton. Photo by Daniel Baird.LA JOLLA, CA – The award-winning J*Company Youth Theatre, a program of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS, is pleased to announce its production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA, a soft-rock family musical based on Giuseppe Verdi’s opera of the same title. The production runs March 1-16, 2008, at the David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla.

In Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA, two contemporary youths are swept from an exhibition of Egyptian artifacts back in time to live an adaptation of the famous story of Radames, the prince of Egypt, engaged to Amneris, but fated to fall in love with the beautiful slave girl, Aïda, the princess of Nubia.

Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA was produced on Broadway in 2000 by Disney Theatricals. It features music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and a book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang. The musical played for nearly 2,000 performances, and won four Tony® Awards and a Drama Desk Award, as well as a Grammy® Award for the rock opera show album. A 12-piece orchestra composed of both professionals and young musicians will provide live accompaniment to the musical.

Directing Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA is J*Company’s Artistic Director, Joey Landwehr. Music director is Tim McKnight, and choreography is by Jean Isaacs of Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theatre. Tony Award nominee David F. Weiner is designing the set, Matthew Novotny is the lighting designer, and Lisa Forrest is the costume designer.

Heading the cast are:

Michelle Cabinian Aida

Matt Maretz Radames

Andrew Miller Mereb

Emma Stratton Amneris

“We could not be more excited to be the first youth theatre in Southern California to perform this work,” said Landwehr. “It is wonderful to see these talented young people work on such challenging music and content. This is not your run-of-the-mill youth theatre piece.”

“The caliber of the young artists, coupled with the fantastic choreography of one of San Diego’s best, Jean Isaacs, promises to make this show one not to be missed,” said Landwehr.

Landwehr has worked extensively as an actor and director in New York City, both on and off Broadway, as well as in national tours and regional theatre. He has studied under such instructors as Betty Buckley, Marcel Marceau, Francis Sternhagen, F. Murray Abraham, Twyla Tharpe, and has had the privilege of working with great performers such as Phyllis Diller, Sam Harris, Joel Grey, Kaye Ballard, Michael Feinstein and Howard Keel. Landwehr is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Actors’ Equity Association (AEA). Landwehr was honored in 2006 by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine as one of the 40 San Diego residents under the age of 40 who are making significant contributions to the community. Landwehr directed Oliver!, Yours, Anne, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Hansel and Gretel for J*Company last season and Disney’s Jungle Book Kids this season. He will also direct the upcoming Disney’s 101 Dalmations Kids, rounding out J*Company’s 15th Anniversary Disney season.

Landwehr always provides an educational component to enhance the cast’s learning experience. Since 2008 is an election year, the young actors will write to the Mayoral and District 1 candidates, expressing their feelings about the importance of the arts, and inviting the candidates to attend a performance.

Production dates and times:

Saturday, March 1, 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 2, 1:00 & 4:30 p.m.

Friday, March 7, 10:00 a.m. (school show)

Saturday, March 8, 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 9, 1:00 & 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 15, 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 16, 1:00 & 4:30 p.m.

Tickets for Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA are $12.50 for children and $16.50 for adults and are

available online at or by phone at 858-362-1348. A complete listing of production dates

and show times are online at

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About J*Company Youth Theatre

Celebrating its 15th Anniversary Season, J*Company Youth Theatre has become one of the leading youth theatres in San Diego, garnering local and national attention through its award winning productions, as well as providing a foundation for young artists to train and develop their creative potential through year-round classes and workshops, and giving them the opportunity to express themselves through the dramatic arts.

About the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture

The San Diego Center for Jewish Culture is the largest Jewish institution in San Diego dedicated solely to presenting high quality, nationally recognized programs which are unique to San Diego County. The mission of the SDCJC is to expand and enrich cultural life in San Diego by presenting the finest in Jewish artistic expression, encouraging the preservation of Jewish culture and heritage, and nurturing new creativity in the arts. A core belief of the SDCJC is to promote respect for diverse cultures and build community tolerance.

The SDCJC offers a wide variety of multi-disciplinary artistic programs that explore cultural identities and perspectives, promote cross cultural understanding, and highlight human themes of family, tolerance, compassion, and hope. These programs, including the San Diego Jewish Film Festival, the San Diego Jewish Book Fair, New Jewish Plays Project, the San Diego Jewish Music Festival, a Holocaust Education Program, and the J*Company Youth Theatre, foster ideas of cultural appreciation and respect. Its facilities feature a 500-seat theatre, a Judaica library, an art gallery, and a community Holocaust Memorial Garden. Approximately 40,000 tickets are sold or provided annually to residents, visitors, and students for San Diego Center for Jewish Culture events.

About the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS

The mission of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS is to provide social, cultural, educational, and recreational programs to individuals and families of all ages, religions, races, and financial, physical and mental abilities. Likewise, the JCC provides equal opportunity employment to individuals of all religions and backgrounds. The JCC welcomes San Diego’s diverse Jewish community and the community at large. The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Cent


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