The story began in a modern-day Egyptian setting at a museum where visitors admired the ancient artifacts. A man and a woman, who both seemed to be pulled by a mysterious force, approached the burial chamber. The statue of Amneris, then, explained that “Every Story is a Love Story” – as the story of these two significant strangers began to unfold and the audience were transported back to Ancient Egyptian times.
Here’s the plot description which can be found here:
Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA is a contemporary musical take on a grand classic tale of the timeless bond between an enslaved Nubian princess and an Egyptian soldier. As forbidden love blossoms between them, the young lovers are forced to face death or part forever. Together, they set a shining example of true devotion that ultimately transcends the vast cultural differences between their warring nations, heralding a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity.
The show ended with the souls of Radames and Aida being reincarnated to the present time in the bodies of the two strangers, proving that their lives had indeed been “Written in the Stars”.
I enjoyed Aida, as this was the second time I watched a local broadway production. Directed by Chari Arespacochaga, the show was full of singing and dancing, combined with some humorous dialogue lines from Princess Amneris.
The main cast members are as follows:
Ima Castro as Aida (the enslaved Nubian Princess); Rachel Alejandro as Amneris (the daughter of the pharoah who was bound to marry Radames); Myke Salomon as Radames (the Egyptian soldier whom Aida and Amneris loved); Hajji Alejandro as Zoser (the Chief Minister and power-hungry father of Radames); Josh Santana as Mereb (the Nubian young servant of Radames); and Alys Serdenia as Nehebka (the Nubian slave who pretended to be Aida and sacrificed her life in the hope that Aida will bring freedom to the Nubian slaves).
Being affected by war, Aida was portrayed as a type of character who took life and experiences seriously. Ima Castro played the role well and I was truly amazed by her singing voice. She was as great as Lea Salonga. How I wish both of them would work together sometime in the future.
Rachel Alejandro, on the other hand, was appropriate for her role as Princess Amneris. The audience evidently loved her character as some of her lines made us laugh. Her Disney-like voice conveyed gentleness and sweetness in her character’s personality. Amneris may be a naive princess who, at first, valued physical appearance more than what was inside, however, her character development throughout the story was the strongest. No sign of anger, envy, and jealousy was shown when she found out about the love between Radames and Aida. She became mature and composed, a sign of her becoming a good leader in the future.
Overall, the stage props and lighting was good. The songs, especially, were what made the show worth watching. They became part of the dialogue, so one should not neglect listening to them. The feelings conveyed in the songs, as well as the lyrics added depth and progression to the story line. I only had a problem with the costume. Although the show was set during Ancient Egypt, the costumes of Zoser and his ministers seemed like Chinese clothes. However, I was also amazed by the creativity of their costumes. What one might think as a mere bath towel wrapped in one’s body, those handling the costumes made it more innovative as when it was turned to the other side, a formal dress appeared.
I really enjoyed watching Aida. I hope that more exciting broadway shows will be produced in the future, e.g. Wicked. hihi!