Aida

Lest you were concerned that an Elton John musical couldn’t get any fruitier, directors Steve Tompkins and Brian Yorkey will leave you pleasantly surprised. Egyptian soldiers pirouetting in mesh tank tops is only the beginning. After returning from a successful invasion of Nubia, Egyptian army captain Radames takes pity on one of his newly captured slaves, Aida, by gifting her as a handmaiden to his betrothed, Amneris. He and Aida, a Nubian princess trying to hide her identity, unwittingly fall in love and are forced to choose between each other and their country loyalties. By most standards the show is enjoyable, even if it falls a bit short of expectations. Village Theatre imported two actors, Marliss Amiea and Michael Murnoch, to play the star-crossed lovers. They seem to have been cast for their voices, and to that end, Village certainly gets its money’s worth. Their acting is less consistent, though still competent. It’s Ryah Nixon, a local actress, who gives the most successful performance. She has a beautiful voice and her portrayal of the jilted Amneris is both funny and sincere. Although their choreography is sometimes reminiscent of the Backstreet Boys, the Egyptian ensemble is strong. With dancing at once graceful and visceral, the Nubian ensemble brings down the house. BRENT ARONOWITZ 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., also some Sat. matinees and Tues. & Sun. evenings; see Web site for complete schedule. Ends July 6.

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: May 14. Continues through July 6, 2008

 
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