Thursday, November 22, 2007
As an Egyptian captain and a Nubian princess fell in love while their countries waged a war, Walt Whitman High School's weekend production of "Aida" proved that, in the words of the show's opening and final song, "Every Story Is a Love Story."
"Aida," written by Elton John and Tim Rice, is the musical adaptation of Giuseppe Verdi's opera of the same name. When the Egyptian Radames (Aaron Mouton) returns home from an expedition with a group of Nubian slaves, he is captivated by Aida (Andrea Carroll). The story of their forbidden love is the subject of the show.
As the impassioned Aida, Carroll moved the audience with powerful, well-sung songs that articulated her conflicted feelings toward the man with whom she had fallen in love, but who was an enemy of her country and people. Mouton also gave a stirring performance as he faced his character's dilemma with emotional fervor.
Amneris, the Egyptian princess to whom Radames is betrothed, was portrayed by Mikayla Braun as a multifaceted character. She jokingly sang about her passion for fashion in "My Strongest Suit" but was successful in drawing sympathy from the audience a few scenes later while dealing with her love for Radames, who does not reciprocate.
In the fairly large ensemble, each member of the chorus took several parts. Most were able to give each role a persona that kept the audience from being excessively conscious of the reuse of performers.
The Whitman pit orchestra rose to the challenge of playing almost continuously through a lengthy show while not overwhelming what was happening onstage.
The show's tech crew, although sometimes slow with scene changes, handled its job well. The sound quality was impressive, and the light cues were all well-timed.
As Radames sang, "Fortune Favors the Brave." Fortune clearly favored the Whitman cast and crew of "Aida," who rose successfully to the challenge of the material.
St. Andrew's Episcopal School,