Review Roundup: AIDA at John W. Engeman Theater, What Did the Critics Think?
Winner of four 2000 Tony Awards, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida is an epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal, chronicling the love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the soldier they both love.
An enslaved Nubian princess, Aida, finds her heart entangled with Radames, an Egyptian soldier who is betrothed to the Pharaoh's daughter, Amneris. As their forbidden love blossoms, Aida is forced to weigh her heart against the responsibility that she faces as the leader of her people. Aida and Radames' love for one another becomes 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 musical premiered on Broadway March 23, 2000, and won four Tony Awards, including "Best Score." It ran for four and a half years before closing September. 5, 2000.
To learn more and purchase tickets for John W. Engeman's production, tap here.
Let's see what the critics have to say below, and check back for more reviews!
Heidi Sutton, TBR News Media: Jenna Rubaii is divine as the materialistic Princess Amneris, "first in beauty, wisdom ... and accessories," and draws the most laughs - "Are you trying to get me drunk, Radames? You know it's not necessary," and special mention should be made of Chaz Alexander Coffin who plays Mereb, a Nubian slave. From his first appearance on stage Coffin quickly becomes an audience favorite.
Barbara Schuler, Newsday: Let's just acknowledge it was gutsy of the John W. Engeman Theater to give "Aida" a shot - and happily the risk paid off. The Northport theater's production is a stunner, making the most of this problematic musical with an extraordinary cast and lofty production values. Mostly it works because of the impressive performance of Kayla Cyphers in the title role, powerfully sung with a stirring combination of vulnerability and strength.
Jessica Kennedy, The Theatre Guide: The Engeman Theater always puts on a beautiful show, and this performance is no exception. While talent abounds on stage- Cyphers, Neely, and Rubaii create a painfully beautiful love triangle that is genuine and layered- there are countless other elements that make this performance practically perfect! The Creative Team for this show deserves a standing ovation for their artful construction and portrayal of both modern day and Ancient Egypt. Scenic Designers Michael Bottari and Ronald Case not only impress with a set that swivels and turns, but the dramatic set changes from scene to scene are incredibly fluid. John Burkland's lighting design adds both drama and subtlety to the scenes in a way which compliments and amplifies the superior talent of the performers. Speaking of talent- it abounds in this performance from start to finish! Jenna Rubaii's portrayal of Amneris is both hysterical ("My Strongest Suit") and heartbreaking ("I Know the Truth").