Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida is based on the the opera by the same name by Verdi. The production marked the third Broadway outing for Walt Disney Theatricals after the successes of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion King’. As well as a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, the book was by Linda Woolverton who had worked on previous Disney successes. The show opened in 2000 and ran for almost 2000 performances on Broadway. Although the show was considered to be a huge financial success, it has never transferred or played in an professional capacity in London. The show made stars out of Heather Headley who won the Tony Award as well as Adam Pascal.

Aida

Elton John

Tim Rice

Linda Woolverton

Walt Disney Theatrical Productions

Robert Falls

Wayne Cilento

Productions
Aida Original Broadway

Original Broadway Production

Palace Theatre - Opened 23 Mar 2000, closed 4 Sep 2004, 1852 performances

Cast: Heather Headley (Aida), Adam Pascal (Radames) and Sherie Rene Scott (Amneris). Replacements included:  Deborah Cox, Toni Braxton and Michelle Williams for Aida,  Idina Menzel, Jessica Hendy, Mandy Gonzalez and Felicia Finley for Amneris.



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Synopsis

Twitter Synopsis:

A Nubian slave is captured by an Egyptian Captain who falls in love with her and gives her as a gift to a Princess creating a love triangle

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The show opens in a modern day museum amongst the Egyptian artefacts. A statue of Amneris, a female Pharaoh comes to life and sings “Every Story is a Love Story”. She takes the story to ancient Egypt where the Egyptian army have returned from a successful expedition through Nubia, their long term enemy, “Fortune Favours the Brave”. The army is led by Radames who is captivated by one of the Nubian women Aida and makes her wash his back, but she refuses, saying that whilst Egypt steal everything from Nubia they won’t take her pride, “The Past is Another Land”. Radames sends her to be a handmaiden to his betrothed Princess Amneris. Radames’s father prepares him to take over as Pharaoh, not telling his son that he is accelerating his death by slowly poisoning him, “Another Pyramid”.

Whilst delivering Aida to Amneris, she is recognised by Radames’s Nubian servant as a Nubian princess. She silences him saying her identity must remain secret or she will die, “How I Know You”. Amneris takes to Aida straight away and shares her love of fashion with her, “My Strongest Suit”. The Pharaoh tells Amneris and Radames that they are to be married in seven days and Radames is upset that his youthful life is coming to an end. He shares his dreams with Aida, “Enchantment Passing Through”.

Amneris confides in Aida about her father’s ill health, Radames steals a moment with Aida and tells her that he has developed feelings for her. Aida is then led to a Nubian camp where her people ask her to lead them to victory “Dance of the Robe”. Aida goes to Radames and asks him to help her people, and he gives some of his possessions to them (“Not Me”) and sings about his love for Aida, “Elaborate Lives”. Aida and Radames embrace, unable to restrain their feelings any longer. They are interrupted by the news that Aida’s father, the king of Nubia, has been captured. Aida has faith that her people and Nubia won’t die (“The God’s Love Nubia”).

As Act II opens Aida, Radames and Amneris are locked in a conflicting set of loyalties and actions, saying it is “A Step Too Far”. Aida manages to get to see her father and they plan to free him during the wedding ceremony of Radames and Amneris. Aida realises that the only way she can save her father and Nubia is to betray her father “Easy as Life”. Radames’s father finds out about his affair with Aida and order his men to kill her, warning his son about losing the throne, “Like Father, Like Son”. Radames writes to Aida to apologise for his behaviour, but Aida is ready to leave him forever. Radames tells Aida that he is going to leave Amneris, but Aida knows this wont help her father and encourages him to go through with it, “Written in the Stars”. Radames promises to help Aida escape but Amneris has overheard the whole conversation, “I Know the Truth”.

Aida’s father escapes, but the plan is foiled and Radames intervenes by letting his boat set sail. Aida and Radames are arrested for treason, and Amneris uses her powers as future Pharaoh to get them both buried in the same tomb so they can be together. As they are buried together, they swear to each other that they will find one another in a future life. Nubia and Egypt are no longer at war, as the couple die underground.

Songs

ACT I

  • Every Story Is a Love Story ……………………. Amneris
  • Fortune Favors the Brave…………Radames and the Soldiers
  • The Past Is Another Land …………………………..Aida
  • Another Pyramid ………………….Zoser and the Ministers
  • How I Know You …………………………..Mereb and Aida
  • My Strongest Suit ……….Amneris and Women of the Palace
  • Enchantment Passing Through ……………..Radames and Aida
  • My Strongest Suit (Reprise) ……………..Amneris and Aida
  • The Dance of the Robe ……….Aida, Nehebka and the Nubians
  • Not Me ………………….Radames, Mereb, Aida and Amneris
  • Elaborate Lives ………………………..Radames and Aida
  • The Gods Love Nubia …………Aida, Nehebka and the Nubians

ACT II

  • A Step Too Far ……………….Amneris, Radames and Aida
  • Easy As Life ……………………………………Aida
  • Like Father Like Son ……..Zozer, Radames and the Ministers
  • Radames’ Letter ………………………………..Radames
  • How I Know You (Reprise) ………………………….Mereb
  • Written in the Stars ……………………Aida and Radames
  • I Know the Truth ……………………………….Amneris
  • Elaborate Lives (Reprise) ……………….Aida and Radames
  • Every Story Is a Love Story (Reprise) ……………Amneris
Awards

2000 Tony Awards: Best Original Musical Score (Elton John, Tim Rice), Best Actress in a Musical (Heather Headley), Best Scenic Design (Bob Crowley), Best Lighting Design (Natasha Katz)

Licensing

UK: Josef Weinberger

USA: Musical Theatre International