Every Story is (Indeed) a Love Story
As a freshman in high school to say I was obsessed with the unit we did on Romeo and Juliet may have been a little understatement. I was a freshman right around the time director Baz Luhrman released his contemporary film of the classic Shakespearian work. In class, I had a book that contained both the original play as well as the script from the new movie.
I was enamored with not only the idea of love at first sight, but the thought of a secret forbidden love. “Star-crossed” lovers sounded completely romantic and I wanted someone to spout sonnets, compare me to the sun and call me a bright angel outside my bedroom window.
“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliette is the sun. Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon”
“O, speak again, bright angel! For thou art as glorious to this night, being o’er my head as is a winged messenger of heaven”
::sigh:: (and find my 15 year old self in a puddle)
Now older, wiser, and a bit better read the whole way around (I broadened my horizons just a bit beyond Shakespeare), I realize the immense impact that story of forbidden, eternal love has taken. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ol’ Billy Shakespeare takes the cake. Adaptations new and old have graced the screen (Dirty Dancing, Titanic), print (Mr. Nicholas Sparks is a master at this genre, and Twilight series, anyone?), to stage (with West Side Story being one of the most famous to grace the Great White Way).
In 1871, centuries after Shakespeare “penned” his play a gentleman by the name of Giuseppe Verdi created a four-act opera based on the iconic theme of forbidden love. Verdi’s work Aida catapults the two enamored souls to ancient Egypt where they secretly fall in love despite their warring nations. Flash forward another one hundred and thirty years to this classic opera of star-crossed lovers being given a stylistically eclectic kick in the pants by the award-winning team behind the music of The Lion King, Elton John and Tim Rice.
AIDA (Rice and John’s version) premiered on Broadway in 2000 to rave reviews. Featuring a mix of reggae, gospel and Elton John’s traditional pop sound it made Time Magazine’s top ten list of musicals for 2000. This fresh update on a classic tale was exactly what drew PRiMA Theatre Company to the material.
Premiering exclusively at Steinman Hall in the Ware Center for four unbelievable shows (September 8 and 15th – both with show times at 2 and 7 pm); PRiMA’S AIDA will be a feast for the senses. AIDA is filled with moving music, brightly choreographed dance numbers, and a brilliant chorale mix with hidden identities, hidden agendas and a romance that transcends time. It will be an ageless love story for all ages.
Signing off before I get too sappy,
Steph, the PRiMA Bloggerina
Steph is a hairstylist in Lancaster County, and blogger extraordinaire for PRiMA Theatre Company. Check out more of her zany musings at primatheatre.com.
Occasionally American Music Theatre asks other professionals to share their thoughts about music, entertainment, the region, and more. Please check back for more posts from these individuals.