BWW Review: AIDA at the John W. Engeman Theatre
Closing out The John W. Engeman Theatre's dazzling season is a thrilling a showing of Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida. The beautiful Northport venue outdoes itself with the lush production of the heart-tugging musical. Excellently directed by Paul Stancato, the cast is remarkable drawing the audience in at every turn.
Running through June 23rd, the tale is about love, loyalty, and betrayal. We follow the love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the soldier they both love. The soaring score only clinches why this show is a Tony Award winner.
Kayla Cyphers is exquisite in the titular role. In particular, her heartbreaking performance of "Easy As Life" doesn't leave a dry eye in the house. Ms. Cyphers makes a fantastic team with Ken Allen Neely, who skillfully portrays Radames. They carry the audience on an emotional roller coaster as the forbidden love of Aida and Radames grows. Also, Jenna Rubaii is stellar as Amneris, the Egyptian princess to whom Radames has been betrothed. Her performances of "Every Story Is A Love Story" is truly captivating. The full company is genuinely brilliant.
On the talented creative team, Michael Bottari & Ronald Case design the fantastic set. Rolling pieces and everyone contributing make for seamless scene changes. The atmospheric and sometimes chilling lighting by John Burkland enhances the visually moving show. Add in Kurt Alger's costumes, and you have a very touching production.
It's evident that Aida at Long Island's John W. Engeman Theatre is a must-see for this season. In true Engeman fashion, they do not disappoint. An emotional tale and a superb cast make for a very stirring night of theatre.
By Elton John & Tim Rice, Directed & Choreographed by Paul Stancato (Engeman Theater: In the Heights, Grease, Jekyll & Hyde, Sound of Music, Hairspray; Broadway: The Wedding Singer (Asst. Choreo.), The Lion King (Res. Director); National Tours: Flashdance, Jekyll & Hyde, The Wedding Singer), Musical Direction by Lena Gabrielle (New York: Tink (NYMF), Endangered: The Eco-Musical (Off-Broadway); Regional: Timber Lake Playhouse, Fort Hamilton Army Base Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Stage 62, The Palace Theatre, Stage Right!, Split Stage Production) , Associate Director is Dana Iannuzzi (Engeman Theater: In the Heights, Grease, Jekyll & Hyde; National/International Tour: Flashdance; NYC: ICON, The Cobalteans, Divided), Associate Choreographer is Karma Jenkins (Performer credits: Engeman Theater: In the Heights; National Tour: How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Regional: The MUNY, North Shore Music Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre), Scenic Design by Michael Bottari & Ronald Case, Costume & Wig Design by Kurt Alger, Lighting Design by John Burkland, Sound Design by Laura Shubert, Prop Design by Kristie Moschetta, Casting by Wojcik/Seay Casting, Stage Management by Leila Scandar & Jennifer Walsh (Assistant Stage Manager)
Starring Kayla Cyphers Aida, Ken Allen Neely as Radames, and Jenna Rubaii as Amneris with Enrique Acevedo (Zoser), Julius Chase (Pharaoh), Chaz Alexander Coffin (Mereb), Gavin Gregory (Amonsaro) and Daria Pilar Redus (Nehebka) with Patrick Ball, Jordan Bollwerk, Javontre Booker, Emily Bordley, Breanna Collier, Tara C. Fitzgerald, Jasmine Gobourne, Devin J. Hall, Ramita Ravi, Kristen Seggio, and Caleb Summers
For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (631) 261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com