Official: Re-Imagined AIDA Will Premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse and Tour in 2021
The production will officially play Charlotte, Chicago, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., among other cities to be announced.
The new production, updated and re-imagined, retains the beloved Tony and Grammy-winning score and features a book revised by David Henry Hwang, who co-authored the acclaimed original production with Linda Woolverton and Robert Falls.
The new Aida is directed by Schele Williams (a member of the original Broadway cast) and choreographed by Tony-nominee Camille A. Brown. Sets and costumes are by seven-time Tony winner Bob Crowley, and lighting is by six-time Tony winner Natasha Katz, who both won Tonys for their work on Aida in 2000. The music department includes Tony Award-recipient Jason Michael Webb (musical supervision), Tony Honor recipient Michael McElroy (vocal arrangements and co-incidental arranger), Jim Abbott (orchestrations) and Tony-winner Zane Mark (dance arrangements).
Casting will be announced later this year.
A passionate and timeless story for today's audiences, Aida is the compelling tale of star-crossed lovers belonging to feuding nations, torn between their conflicted loyalties to their countries and to each other. With its stirring contemporary score and its powerful love story, Aida reveals that we have the power to change history, but only when we make brave choices and embrace our destiny.
Aida, which opened at the Palace Theatre on March 23, 2000, went on to become one of the biggest hits of its decade, closing in its 5th year on Broadway on September 5, 2004 after nearly 2000 performances. It received five Tony nominations, winning for Score, Set, Lighting and Actress. A tour played 53 North American cities from 2001 to 2003.
Its worldwide reach is greater still. Nine replica productions played 20 countries in 14 languages.
"Aida is in my DNA in ways I had never imagined until I began the journey for this production," said Schele Williams. "I have a rich history with the show that I am very proud of, but when I recently made some discoveries about the history of its time period, the show broke open for me. It truly is the butterfly effect; subtle shifts have taken a story I love and turned it into an adventure I can't wait for audiences to discover. David Henry Hwang has crafted a book that truly shapes this journey and Elton John and Tim Rice's score is the glorious foundation we have built upon. I am thrilled to be in collaboration with David Henry Hwang, Camille Brown, Jason Michael Webb, Bob Crowley, Natasha Katz, Michael McElroy, Zane Mark, Jim Abbott and the Sirs, Tim Rice and Elton John. All extraordinary storytellers unified in vision to revive a musical that is deeply meaningful to all of us."
"The classic tale of Aida has touched audiences across cultures and time," said David Henry Hwang. "I'm thrilled to revisit the show we created twenty years ago, so this epic love story can speak even more powerfully to audiences today."
The show's producer Thomas Schumacher, President & Producer Disney Theatrical Productions said, "Schele Williams, David Henry Hwang and the team have cracked the show open in new ways to bring the story into today's world while honoring what fans have cherished for 20 years: rich characters, gorgeous designs and those extraordinary songs."
In re-visiting the work, the Aida creative team saw an opportunity to allow history to more fully inform the story and, by doing so, to be more of today.
Director Williams researched Aida's time period extensively, making discoveries about the musical's setting that have fueled the work in new ways. These revelations have allowed for subtle changes to the show's plot while retaining the beloved score, characters and iconic imagery.
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