Aida in a Nutshell
March is the month of new things, one being the high school musical season. This year, many are anticipating of the performances of Woodside’s spring musical: Aida! Barry Woodruff, director of Aida, has chosen to perform this rock opera musical written by Elton John, and based on an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi. Sounds pretty challenging for a high school production, right? Well, Woodside has bravely accepted this challenge, and it is equipped with a cast of talent beyond the staff’s expectations.
“This is really hard, hard show. This is a trained voice level of performance,” said Shari Steele, a parent volunteer and the set and props manager for the set of Aida. “These people have trained voices. And Woodside always has really high trained talent.” Many of the cast and crew of Aida would call this a college-standard performance, from all the experience and talent walking the stage. Woodside’s cast of Aida is full of well trained performers, singers, and dancers, many being on Woodside’s dance team and participants of some of their previous musicals.
Though talent is a wonderful thing to have when doing a musical, hard work and dedication are the key ingredients that bring the musical together in the end. Antoinette Thomas, a member of the chorus and the freshman class, comments that ”there’s a lot of dedication. I have to be here pretty much every day, and the only times that I don’t have to be here are days where the principals have to be here.”
Auditions for Aida began in early December, consisting of two rounds of call backs, which included singing and dancing. After the characters had been cast during winter break, preparation for the musical was planned out into eight weeks, and that’s when the hard work begins. Freshman Sophia Androlowicz describes the immense dedication required for Aida as “probably 20 hours a week or over and lack of sleep is involved.”
But what exactly is Aida about? Where did this musical even come from? Don’t worry, if you’ve never heard of Aida, we’ve got you covered.
Aida is a rock opera written by Elton John and Tim Rice, the writers of the music for The Lion King. It premiered on Broadway in 2000 and was produced by Walt Disney Theatrical. It was nominated for five Tony Awards, four in which it won, and won a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, so you could say it’s a pretty big deal.
Set in ancient Egypt, the musical tells the story of a forbidden romance and a love triangle between an Egyptian military commander Radames, the Ethiopian princess Aida, and Egyptian princess Amneris. Aida is captured, forced into slavery in Egypt, and forced to serve the Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris. Soon Radames falls in love with Aida and struggles with choosing between his love for her or his loyalty to the Pharaoh. However, to complicate the story even further, Amneris is in love with and engaged to Radames already, but he does not return her feelings. The action builds up when the Ethiopian enemies, headed by Aida’s father, decide to invade Egypt. Aida if faced with the ultimate dilemma – whom she should support: her father, or the love of her life.
To find out what happens next, be sure to come to one of Woodside High School’s performances! Musical performances are:
-Fridays, March 9th and 16th, at 8:00pm
-Saturdays, March 10th and 17th, at 8:00pm
-Sunday, March 11th, Matinee show at 2:00pm
Tickets are on sale now, $20.00 for adults, $15.00 for seniors (65+), and $10.00 for WHS students and staff. You can buy your tickets online at http://whsdramaboosters.com/, or the PAC box office after school.
“I think Aida is going to an amazing show,” says Bella Mallow, a junior who plays a leading role as Amneris, the princess of Egypt. “It’s a very big show and we haven’t done a show this large. There’s about 50 kids on stage. It’s huge and it’s dramatic.” Aida is a monumental production that requires more cast members, more props, and a lot more time than Woodside’s last musical in 2011, Once On This Island. “So I think a really big Broadway style show is a great thing to come see. You don’t get to see that everyday and it doesn’t even happen in a high school very often.“ Bella, as well as the other cast members have amazing talent and hard work to show, this is a show you wouldn’t want to miss. See you at the theater!
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