Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Aida"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"Aida"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at Company Theatre is the smash hit musical "Aida" with a Tony and Grammy award winning score by Elton John and Tim Rice. Based on Verdi's opera, "Aida" is an epic and classic tale of love, loyalty, betrayal and courage. The Broadway show opened on March 23, 2000 and closed on September 5, 2004, running for 1852 performances. The show is a true and passionate love story that tells the story of the love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess and Radames, the soldier they both love. Directors Zoe Bradford and Jordie Saucerman choose the best cast to portray each and everyone of their roles with the expert musical direction of Michael Joseph who obtains tremendous vocals from the cast in many different styles of music including rock, gospel, blues and pop ballads achieving a perfect harmonic blend from the cast and the orchestra with energetic choreography by Sally Ashton Forrest. The lighting, costumes, sound and set add the finishing touches to this sensational musical, making it a must see show. The power of this musical leads the audience to tears at its poignancy and makes them rise to their feet to give the show the standing ovation it so richly deserves.

The scenic design by Zoe including the huge Egyptian museum set as well as the numerous other sets look splendid and are easily moved on and off stage quickly with Jordie as the production stage manager who keeps the set changes and scenes flowing smoothly.The magnificent lighting design by Artie Sharpe with the multitude of colors from red to blue to bright yellow on the scrim as well as a backdrop with stars on it, help to set the mood perfectly. The colorful costumes are by Shirley Carney which include a bridal gown, Egyptian soldier costumes in bright red, numerous costumes for the fashion show scene including a black cat head piece with glowing eyes and the slave costumes.

Angela Williams shines in the role of Aida with her acting, singing and dancing prowess. She is outstanding in all her scenes and her voice is powerful in all her numbers. Angela's regal bearing makes you notice her at all times. Her fabulous voice stops the show at the end of Act 1 in "The Gods Love Nubia" which musically sounds like "The Rose" at certain times. Angela and the chorus celebrate the beauty of their homeland with an exuberant dance in this number and she stops the show again with her terrific solo, "Easy As Life" where she sings about having to leave the man she loves to obey her father. Her duets also soar in some beautiful ballads, "Enchantment Passing Through", "Written in the Stars" and "Elaborate Lives" with John King who plays Radames. John's awesome tenor voice is heard in the belting rock song "Fortune Favors the Brave" with the male chorus singing and dancing as soldiers, in the duets with Angela and his strong falsetto is heard in "Enchantment Passing Through". He also shows the tender side of the character in the poignant "Radames' Letter" where he pleads Aida not to leave him. John makes the transition from callous warrior to tender, understanding lover with ease but also stands out in his confrontation song with his evil father in "Like Father, Like Son". The third member of this triangle, Amneris is played fantastically by Christine Maus Joyce. Her first song, "Every Story Is A Love Story", opens the show as a quiet ballad and builds into a powerful, belting rock song. She next appears as the not too bright bombshell who seems to be only interested in her wardrobe in "My Strongest Suit". Christine has the funniest lines in the show and makes every one of them count. She also handles the dramatic turn of Amneris after she discovers Radames' love for Aida in the song "I Know the Truth" as she is being dressed in her bridal outfit by her handmaidens. The three leads in this show are standout performers who will knock your socks off with their talent in creating memorable and powerful performances.

The loveable but mischievous slave of Radames, Merob is played wonderfully by Matthew Romero who has strong tenor voice. He gets to show it off in "How I Know You" where he discloses that he knows Aida is a princess and in the gorgeous quartet with Angela, John and Christine called "Not Me". The villain of the show, Zoser is well played by Michael Foley who towers over everyone while singing of his poisoning of the Pharaoh in "Another Pyramid" and in "Like Father, Like Son", his duet with John. Kerri Nichole Wilson plays Nehebka, a slave girl who sacrifices herself for Aida. She shows off her powerful voice in "The Dance of the Robe" which sounds like an Evita number during the chorus' Aida section of the song. The Pharaoh and The King of Nubia are played with regal bearing by Marty West and Mark Rocheteau. The chorus members do fabulous work with their singing and dancing, earning the show the kudos it well deserves. So for some topnotch musical entertainment of epic proportions always done with the highest professional standards, be sure to catch "Aida" at Company Theatre before time runs out. Tell them Tony sent you.

"Aida" (17 March - 9 April)
COMPANY THEATRE
30 Accord Park Drive, NORWELL MA
1 (781) 871-2787

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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