Elton John and ‘Tim Rice’s AIDA’ hits local stage this week

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bainbridge Little Theatre Teens have taken on a challenging production this summer.

They are doing a modern musical version of the story of Verdi’s opera Aida.  Most of the songs may not be familiar to the audience, but those who love Elton John should appreciate the eclectic musical selections composed by John and Tim Rice. The music ranges in style from modern reggae, African, Indian and middle Eastern to Motown, Gospel and pop.

The story begins when a man and a woman are strangely attracted to each other while viewing an Egyptian display in a modern museum. It continues with their becoming aware of a statue of Amneris that comes alive and proceeds with the musical telling of the ancient love story of Aida, the unknown daughter of (Amonasro) the king of Nubia. She is a slave girl along with the other Nubian slaves who serve in the court of Amneris, the daughter of the Pharoah.. She attracts the attention of the captain of the Egyptian army, (Radames), who is already engaged to Amneris. Radames is the son of Zoser, who expects Radames to ascend to the throne upon the death of the Pharaoh. To add a bit of suspense to the story, Radames’ father is doing all he can to ensure the Pharoah’s early death, as he is slowly poisoning him, all unbeknown to Radames.

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The plot quickly thickens as Radames, Amneris and Aida find themselves in a love triangle. Following many complications, Radames and Aida are arrested for treason and sentenced to be buried alive in the same tomb.

Lauryn Ransom, a spring graduate of Cairo High School, takes the role of Aida. She has been performing on stage since age 6. She loves the singing and the romantic theme of the show.

Also from Cairo is Brendan Forrest, a rising senior at Cairo, who plays the leading male role of Radames. Brendan brings five years of stage appearances to the show, along with a huge dose of energy and passion expressed by his love of the music.

The show is directed by Brandi Adkins of Cairo and the musical director is Mike Inlow, recently retired choral director at Cairo High School. Miss Adkins is a former student of Inlow and performed in Aida as a student when Inlow was the director. She has been teaching for three years, and was recently named Teacher of the Year for Cairo High School.

Adkins allows this production is a new challenge for her, as she is used to having much more time to prepare a show, but she is embracing the opportunity to broaden her horizons.

The cast is made up of teen members who have taken advantage of the Class Act summer workshop. Included are: Rachel Rentz as Amneris, Michael Bentley as Mereb, Edward Moorhead as Zoser, Elijah Harris in the double role of the Pharaoh and Amonsro, Rosie Rentz as Nehebka, Nubian slaves, Paige Overman, Shelby Harper, Brooke Philips, Isabella Barnett, Maddy Clark and Liv Free; Egyptian solders Liv Free, Juan Munoz, Edward Moorhead and Elijah Harris. Four are from Cairo, four from Bainbridge High School and five from Grace Academy. An additional member is Liv Free, of Ithaca, N.Y., who is spending summer vacation with her grandparents, Dean and Marlene Free.

The production opens this Friday, July 14 at 7 p.m., continues on Saturday evening and closes its run with a Sunday, July 16 matinee at 2:30.

Doors open thirty minutes prior to curtain time and tickets may be reserved by contacting bainbridgelittletheatre@gmail.com.