The musical Aida will be showing in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center from April 6 to April 9 and April 13 through April 15.
With music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, Aida follows the love triangle of Aida, a Nubian princess, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, an Egyptian soldier. When the show begins, Egypt and Nubia are at war. Aida, along with her people, was stolen from her land by Egyptians and brought to Egypt as a slave.
Radames presents Aida as a gift to Amneris to make up for the long time spent away from her. Aida and Radames quickly fall for each other, but must face the obstacle of Amneris, Radames’ betrothed. Aida must decide what is more important: her love for Radames or saving her people.
Aida is based on an opera of the same name by Giuseppe Verdi. Walt Disney originally wanted to create an animated film with the story and acquired the rights to it. However, the idea was soon put on hold and eventually formed into the musical it has become today. After being presented to executives at Disney in 1996, it was put into production two years later.
The show won a Tony for Best Original Musical Score in 2000 and was praised for its rock score.
“The music is rock and roll influenced, being written by Elton John, and the dance numbers are some of the best I’ve seen,” said Delanie Weidrich, who plays Amneris in the show.
“The show has powerful music that will draw people into the story,” said Anastasia Ellis.
Ellis, the understudy for the role of Aida, is making her Minnesota State University, Mankato theatre debut in Aida. Taking on such a major role and responsibility in the show would be enough to shake the confidence of a lot of newcomers, but Ellis is taking it in stride.
“I think this story is important to show right now because of the racial controversy of Egyptian versus Nubian. It shows that you can love or care about whoever, no matter the race or social class,” said Ellis.
Ellis and Weidrich both are confident audiences will fall in love with the show just as they have.
Weidrich voiced her passion in saying, “It’s a fun show for the entire family and would make for a great family night at the theatre. No matter the age or previous involvement or understanding of theatre, people will love the spectacle and entertainment this show provides.”
Aida opens Thursday, April 6, runs through Sunday, April 9, and runs the following weekend from Thursday, April 13, through Saturday, April 15. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. nightly with 2 p.m. shows on Sunday, April 9, and Saturday, April 15. Tickets are available in the Performing Arts box office from 4 to 6 p.m. throughout the week, or starting an hour before each show. Tickets are $11 for current MNSU students and $16 for general admission.