PROVO — "Aida," is the story of an enslaved Nubian princess (played by Clotile Bonner) torn between her duty to her people and her love for the captain of the Egyptian guard, Radames, (double-cast and played by Matthew Flynn Bellows and Kevin Goertzen).

It opened Jan. 25 at Brigham Young University produced by the BYU Department of Theatre and Media Arts.

The show is the Disney version of the musical with pop-rock music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice.

The original "Aida" is an opera which was a longtime Broadway favorite, written by Giuseppe Verdi.

The musical is based on the book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang.

The Egyptian musical incorporates humor, passion, tragedy and love.

"We chose "Aida" in large measure because it is a beautiful love story with a strong message that is appropriate for our BYU audience," director Tim Threlfall said.

"We also chose Aida . . . because Elton John's music is performed with the vocal style that is prevalent in contemporary musical theatre today. Our students are studying this vocal style often called pop/belt here in the Music Dance Theatre program," he said.

"(The) message that love conquers all is shown in a mature and respectful way," Threlfall said. "There's not a Hollywood ending but a nation is changed because two people fell in love," he said.

Other cast members include Kami Lynn Threlfall, Nicole Richards, Adam Daveline, Jeff Steves, Anya Young and Tafadzwa Solomon Guramatunhu.

The commanding metaphor used throughout the production is the concept of flow, Threlfall said.

"The set is very simple, but it incorporates a huge piece of silk fabric reminiscent of the Nile River that brings life to the Egyptian desert," he said. "The scenic designer uses this theme of flow with the silk fabric as a prop, a tent, a room and a river."

The production team includes scenic designer Susan Jaussi, lighting designer Joseph C. Fox, production stage manager Chelsea Lynn Cordell and dramaturg Megan Sanborn Jones. Randy Boothe is the musical director.

"The costuming is modest and really very exciting," Threfall said. "The show is part of costume student Emilee McVey's graduate thesis project."

The setting for "Aida" is primarily modern, yet has a distinctive Egyptian-African flavor that flows unrestricted, he said.


If you go . . .

What: "Aida"

Where: Pardoe Drama Theatre, Fine Arts Building, BYU campus, Provo

When: 7:30 p.m. nightly (except Sundays and Mondays) through Feb. 11 with matinee on Feb. 4 at 3 p.m.

How much: $14/$10 students, $4 for matinee show

Phone: 422-4322

Web:www.byu.edu


E-mail: rodger@desnews.com