BWW Review: AIDA Basks In The Glow Of A Trio Of Towering Performances
Love is a knowing look of recognition that spans the ages, that weathers the sands of time, and proclaims that magic moment when old souls meet again.
There you have it ~ the essence of Sir Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA, their blockbuster adaptation of Giuseppe Verdi's opera, now pulling heart strings at Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert, Arizona through July 1st.
Ashley Jackson, Victoria Fairclough, and Ben Mason deliver towering, indeEd Royal, performances that imbue this production with sustained warmth, integrity, and vitality and their characters with distinctive and relatable authenticity.
The story line is the stuff of soap operas and fairy tales where love inevitably conquers all.
As visitors to the Egyptian Wing of Chicago's Field Museum amble among millennial-old relics, tombs, and hieroglyphs, one man and one woman, strangers for the time being, are transported back to a time when they were not strangers at all but lovers ~ Aida, the Nubian slave (Jackson) and Radames the conquering hero (Mason) ~ caught up in the intrigues of the Pharaoh's court and struggling to break the bonds of convention and expectations.
There is simply no pyramid high or Nile wide enough to keep the star-crossed lovers apart. Not the cunning of Zoser (Peter Cunniff), the warrior's father, who will go to any lengths to place his son on the throne. Nor the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris (Fairclough) to whom Radames is engaged. Nor Mereb (Vinny Chavez) and the Nubian slaves who call upon Aida, at her own peril, to reveal her royal descent and defy the kingdom.
In the end, true love is affirmed. What is also affirmed is the intelligent direction of M. Seth Reines and the extraordinary talent of his gifted cast.
Photo credit to Hale Centre Theatre