CENTERVILLE — The only thing better than seeing live theater is seeing live theater with a full house. Such was the case Thursday night at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre’s “Aida,” which runs through Oct. 31.
Based on the Egyptian love triangle first brought to life through Giuseppe Verdi's opera of the same name, this musical version is set to music by Sir Elton John with words by Tim Rice. The show won Best Musical, among other honors, at the 2000 Tony Awards.
"Aida" focuses on Nubian princess Aida after Radames and his Egyptian army capture her. Radames has been engaged to the beautiful Princess Amneris for the past nine years, but who's counting? Due to his love of sailing and exploration, he has no plans to settle down until the Pharoah and Zoser, Radames' dad, decide it's time for him to take the throne a little more seriously.
It's the perfect setup, pitting duty against passion and country against matters of the heart.
Scott Montgomery's direction keeps the show moving forward, and CenterPoint's production of this well-loved tale is solid with some big highlights.
Angie Winegar as Amneris (T/Th/F) has a wonderful stage presence and the pipes to easily handle the belty pop-rock score. She plays the princess as regal but sassy and looks like dynamite in the numerous costume changes.
Balancing out the love triangle are Raven Flowers as Aida and Brock Dalgleish as Radames. They sing a lovely "Elaborate Lives" and do a fine job, but it would be nice to hear Flowers really let loose vocally. She does a few times but seems a bit reserved in parts.
Such is not the case with Danny Inkley as Zoser, a surprise powerhouse, and Andrew Elia Taula as Nubian Mereb. Also enjoyable is the brief featured singing of Olivia Lusk as Nehebka.
The costuming is very well done. Sydnie Howard and Janell Roundy have done a great job making the show visual with nods to Egypt while taking some fun new twists. The wardrobe for fashion-loving Amneris is a particular standout — not only her beautiful dresses in each scene but also the fashion show for "My Strongest Suit," which is delightful with very inventive ensembles.
Maggy Lawrence's choreography adds a good energy. Justin Lee's fight choreography is solid, but the cast needs to get a bit more comfortable with it — the fight scenes are too deliberate to really sizzle.
Though the Nile River and the sand tomb are beautifully represented, the overall set is too vague for the audience to really feel lost in another world.
Overall, it's a solid show, and it's a great opportunity for audiences to hear these familiar tunes again — especially for those who haven't seen it for a few years.
Content advisory: According to a news release from the theater, “Aida” contains some intense action and mild innuendo.
Erica Hansen was the theater editor at the Deseret News for more than three years. An area performer, she was also the original host of the radio program "Showtune Saturday Night."
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