Expressing the 50-year history of German Village through song and spoken dialogue isn't easy.

Expressing the 50-year history of German Village through song and spoken dialogue isn't easy.

"It's next to impossible," said Wayne Owens.

Owens is the founder of the Village Singers, which is staging "German Village: The Musical." He's responsible for the score, rewritten lyrics and spoken-history interludes for the 90-minute performances, slated for 7 p.m. May 8 and 3 p.m. May 9 at the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St. Tickets are $10 each and will be available at the door.

"We're not telling the story," he said. "We're trying to capture the history, events, traits (of the neighborhood)."

The group is using music standards - including "On the Street Where You Live," "They Can't Take that Away from Me" and "Lean on Me" - to celebrate the official founding of the neighborhood in 1960 and its sense of camaraderie.

Many village landmarks and events - such as Schiller Park, the Book Loft, the Haus und Garten Tour and Oktoberfest - will be factored into the performance, Owens said.

Village Singers got its start nine years ago. The group has about 25 members, some of whom live outside the village.

Owens said "German Village: The Musical" is one of two major performances the singers will do this year, the other being the Christmas concert.

Creative director Karen Chitu has been guiding the vocal ensemble through the songs for three months.

"I think we're progressing," she said. "For every director, two weeks out you wonder if it's going to happen," she said last week.

Still, she's optimistic the ensemble will be ready for the shows.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Chitu said. "It's really about German Village, what it means."

Terri Dickey, who's been a member of the group since the beginning, said she will do a solo reading articulating the contributions of Fred Holdridge and the late Howard Burns to the neighborhood.

"It's got some history that's near and dear to my heart," she said.

Aside from a few changes in the composition of the chorus, things are moving in the right direction, she said.

"I love the people who are in the group," she said. "I love to sing and I've laughingly said over the years the Village Singers are a group of adults who didn't get to sing enough as kids."

gseman@thisweeknews.com