By Don Andrews
The glittering musical tale of Nubian princess Aida runs at the Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert through July 1. The Broadway-style production by Sirs Elton John and Tim Rice is a modern retelling of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera of the same name.
It begins when a contemporary couple meets in the Egyptology wing of a large, big-city museum. They are suddenly and magically transported into a memory of their past lives in the land of the Pharaohs, when their love story began.
It is an epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal. Nubian princess Aida is abducted from her country in Africa, transported to Egypt and falls in love with Radames, a captain in the Egyptian army.
Love triangle conflicts arise because Radames is engaged to marry Amneris, the daughter of the reigning Pharaoh. Their relationship is further complicated by the fact that Aida is the enslaved handmaiden to Amneris. As their love story progresses through soaring ballads and rousing choral works, tragedy strikes when Aida and Radames are accused of treason and condemned to death.
“Aida” is a modern crowd-pleaser that embraces a multicultural cast, exuberant dance numbers, staging and singing. The Elton John and Tim Rice score won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. Elton John and LeAnn Rimes recorded the show-stopping “Written in the Stars,” which charted at No. 2 on the Billboard U.S. adult contemporary chart and at No. 1 on the counterpart Canadian music popularity chart.