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‘Aida’ – a Nubian princess’ story – gets Ridgeway High treatment

  • Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Ridgeway High School’s Performing Arts Department has a long-standing history of producing high-quality shows, and the now playing production of “AIDA” is no exception. Ridgeway High School’s Performing Arts Department has a long-standing history of producing high-quality shows, and the now playing production of “AIDA” is no exception.

Generously sponsored by Grumpy and Gigi Wiertelak, the show’s cast brings their pre-professional best to the stage. On display is an impressive use of energy, focus and skill in acting, singing and dancing.

“AIDA,” the musical, was originally produced by Disney Theatrical, with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang. The Ridgeway High School production of “AIDA” is directed by Julie Watson and choreographed by Emma Crystal. The musical director is Jacob Craig, with Chris Piecuch as conductor.

“AIDA” is the story of Aida, a Nubian princess, who falls in love with Radames, captain of an Egyptian army. Radames is engaged to Princess Amneris, the daughter of Egypt’s pharaoh. Radames captures Aida and her hand maidens in a raid that he leads into Nubia and takes them from their native land back to Egypt. He has no plans to fall in love, but is drawn to Aida’s strength and honesty from the moment he and his soldiers capture her. Aida fights her own feelings, knowing that her country and his are at war. Aida’s people look to her as their salvation, and she struggles with loyalty to her people versus her love for Radames.

Radames gives Aida to Princess Amneris as a gift, and Amneris is impressed by Aida’s poise, ease of being and insight.  She wishes she had Aida’s strength. Aida appreciates the confusion Amneris feels about being a princess the responsibilities that come along with that title (although neither Amneris nor Radames know that Aida is a princess). Amneris and Aida become fast friends.

Despite their efforts to the contrary, the bond grows stronger between Aida and Radames. They are soul mates and cannot deny the love they feel for each other. Aida’s father is captured by another of Egypt’s many armies and Aida knows she must give up the one she loves to save her country. Radames, too, is clear. He makes plans for Aida and her father to escape Egypt by boat on his wedding day, but their plans are ultimately foiled. Amneris loves Aida dearly as a friend and has loved Radames all her life. Now, as Princess of Egypt, she must decide their fate.

Aida runs through Sunday, with the following performances: Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday April 3 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, available at the door or call 416-8820, ext. 80221)

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