NORWICH – This year the Norwich High School music department will be staging Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical “Aida.” Director Mark Sands said that “Aida” was Disney’s third venture on Broadway following the successes of both “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.” It was Disney’s first Broadway venture aimed at a more mature audience.
“Aida” opened on Broadway at the Palace Theater on March 23, 2000 featuring, Heather Headly and Adam Pascal. It was an instant audience favorite winning 4 of the 5 Tony Awards that it was nominated for and won the Grammy for Best Musical Show Album in 2001. “Aida” closed on Broadway in 2004 after an impressive run of 1, 852 performances. It has had two successful national tours as well as international staging’s in 14 different languages. The song “Written in the Stars” spent 4 weeks at number 2 on the Billboard Charts, sung by Elton John and Lee Ann Rimes.
Sands said that he and NHS Vocal Director Mary Mayo first saw the show in 2002 when they chaperoned a group of music students to Broadway to see it. He said that if you are an Elton John fan that you will instantly recognize his musical style in many of the production’s songs. “Aida’s” music score includes songs in several different genres including Reggae, Gospel and Rock and Roll. Like many musicals the story follows a love triangle between Amneris (Mallory Norton), the Pharaoh’s daughter, Radames (Dillan Smith), the Captain of the Guard and Amneris’ betrothed and Nubian Princess and Slave Aida (Breanna Guiffre).
The cast of 37 plus stage and light crew have been working hard on this production Aida since the beginning of January and it is sure to be another smash success following last year’s Phantom of the Opera. The performances are Friday and Saturday, March 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 1 at 2:30 p.m. in the Norwich High School auditorium. All tickets are $5 general admission and are available at the main offices of the Stanford Gibson, Perry Browne schools and Norwich High School as well as Service Pharmacy – Norwich. Tickets will also be available at the door before each performance. For more information contact Sands at 334-1600 x3153.