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Arts This Week | July 12, 2018

Arts This Week: 'Women in WWII,' 'Aladdin,' and the restoration of the Emerson Colonial Theatre

Arts This Week | July 12, 2018
Ansel Adams photographed a series of images of the Massachusetts Women's Defense Corps.
Howard Powell/WGBH News
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Arts This Week | July 12, 2018

This week, Jared Bowen visits the International Museum of World War II, reviews Disney's “Aladdin,” and takes us behind the scenes of the restoration of the Emerson Colonial Theatre.

“Women in World War II: On the Homefronts and the Battle Fronts,” on view at the International Museum of World War II through Oct. 7

Women in WWII
Princess Elizabeth II works on an ATS vehicle while her mother looks on.
Howard Powell/WGBH News

History is filled with stories of the men who fought in World War II, but a new exhibition in Natick highlights the varied roles that women played in supporting the war effort. From maintaining the home and caring for children, to working in factories and auxiliary military services, to serving as crack snipers and paranurses for the Red Army, the exhibition “Women in World War II: On the Homefronts and the Battle Fronts” features more than 100 wartime artifacts and highlights the diversity of roles women served in every major combatant nation, including England, France, Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, and the United States.

“Aladdin,” presented by Broadway in Boston at the Boston Opera House through Aug. 5

Disney's Aladdin
Michael James Scott stars as Genie in the "Aladdin" North American Tour.
Deen van Meer, courtesy of Broadway in Boston

Based on the 1992 Academy Award-winning animated film, the touring Broadway production of “Aladdin” has landed its magic carpet at the Boston Opera House. The rousing theatrical adaptation features the film’s original music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken with lyrics by Oscar winners Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, new lyrics by Tony nominated Chad Beguelin, and includes timeless songs from the films soundtrack, including “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me.”

The Emerson Colonial Theatre reopens its doors

Emerson Colonial Theatre
The new Emerson Colonial Theatre auditorium
Patrick Farrell, courtesy of the Emerson Colonial Theatre

After two years of uncertainty and renovation, the Emerson Colonial Theatre has finally reopened for the world premiere of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” under the stewardship of Ambassador Theatre Group. In its storied history, the Colonial Theatre was the pre-Broadway tryout venue for such seminal shows as “Anything Goes,” “Porgy and Bess,” and XX (later renamed “Oklahoma!”). The building, which opened in 1900 with a production of “Ben-Hur” that included live horses, is the oldest continuously operated theater in Boston and was meant to transport audiences even before they reached their seats. “The original intention of the architect was that each part of the building represents a different part of Europe,” says Erica Lynn Schwartz, general manager of the Emerson Colonial Theatre. “There's a lot of opulence, there's a lot of plaster work, there's a lot of wood detail.” For more information about the theater’s upcoming programs, check out http://www.emersoncolonialtheatre.com/calendar/.

What do you think of the new and improved Emerson Colonial Theatre? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!

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