Aida is a Disney Theatrical Musical based upon the opera of the same name by Giuseppe Verdi. The musical, a rock opera, has music from Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice and went on to win the Tony for Best Original Score. The production at Moonlight Stage is the opening musical of the season and what an amazing way to open up what promises to be an amazing season and one that truly is an ethnically diverse season.
The musical marks Moonlight Stage Productions 37th season and features some of the best actors actress and dancers that will take you us through an epic love story of an Egyptian Prince and a Nubian princess. The show features an orchestra that has to lean heavy into the 80’s rock opera feel of the musical, once again under the direction of Lyndon Pugeda. Once again John Vaughan is at the helm of this production and provides his directorial experience and choreography to help bring out the talents in the actors.
The rock opera is a story between an Egyptian prince, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, and an Egyptian princess. As the love between the prince and Aida begins to blossom after her capture she must weigh her love versus leading her people. At the same time Radames must face the fact that he is set to marry Amneris despite his growing love for Aida. A true love like Aida and Radames transcends their cultural differences especially at a time that their two countries are in war against one another.
John Vaughan does a good job directing this musical that has numerous opportunities for epic dance numbers. The music by Elton John stands out and one song you might recognize “Written in the Stars”, recorded by Elton John and LeAnn Rimes, reached No.2 in the Billboard US adult contemporary music charts.
Daebreon Poiema, who we saw last year in Sister Act, returns once again this time playing the nubian princess with a voice that soars throughout the show. We feel such emotion from her as she falls in love and must face an ultimate decision of choosing between love or her people. The chemistry is absolutely amazing when she interacts with Radames played by Richard Bermudez, you feel what they are feeling its that poweful. Moonlight favorite Bets Malone also stars in this production playing a part made for her as Princess Amneris, daughter of Pharaoh. In this role her dynamic range of singing along with her fun comedic sense is on full display and everytime she is on stage you just smile.
The show is anchored by a very strong cast of actors that include Daebreon Poiema (Aida), Richard Bermudez (Radames), Bets Malone (Amneris), Terrance Spencer (Mereb), Bill Ledesma (Zoser), Greg Nicholas (Pharoah), Gabrielle Jackson (Nehebka), Morie Williams (Amonasro).
Ensemble: Marqell Edward Clayton, Deborah Fauerbach, Desiree Noel Gillespie, Reggie Hutchins, Gabrielle Jackson, Erin Li, Milan Magana, Jessica Mason, Sebastian Montenegro, Koda Montoya, Joy Newbegin, Pierre-Daniel Petitt Frere, Marco Puente, Kenny Ramos, Janissa Rose, Chad Takeda, E.Y. Washington, Morie Williams, Arianna Young.
Additional Credits: Stanley D. Cohen (Stage Manager), Eden Michel (Assistant Stage Manager), Jean-Yves Tessier (Lighting Design), Jim Zadi (Sound Design), Peter Herman (Wig Design), Gabe Nunez (Make-Up Design).
Aida: Book by Linda Woolverton, Lyrics by Tim Rice, and Music by Elton John.
Single tickets for Moonlight Stage production of Sister Act range from $10 – $55. There are discounts for Seniors and Students and military. For tickets contact The Moonlight Amphitheatre at 760-724-2110 or visit The Moonlight Stage Production Ticket Website.
SCHEDULE: Aida show times are June 14 – July 1 with gates opening at 6:30pm and showtimes at 8pm.
LOCATION: The Moonlight Amphitheatre is located at 1200 Vale Terrace Drive
Take the Civic Center Drive and exit off Highway 78, go north. Turn right on E Vista Way. Turn right on Vale Terrace. Continue on Vale Terrace about 1/2 mile and turn left into Brengle Terrace Park.
PARKING: There is free parking available at Brengle Terrace Park. Shuttle service is available for those who end up parking in the upper grass lot. The shuttle will begin running 2.5 hours before the show starts as well as after the show.
For more information and tickets call The Moonlight Amphitheatre at 760-724-2110 or visit The Moonlight Stage Production Ticket Website.
Photos by: Ken Jacques