Lopez Studios AidaBy Laura & Mike Clark • Apr 13th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
Industrial Strength Theater, Herndon, VA
Through April 15th
2:15 with one intermission
Reviewed April 12th, 2012
Aida is a musical with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, book by Linda Woolverston, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang. A Nubian princess is captured by an Egyptian soldier and taken to Egypt along with a group of other slaves. Wanting to keep her royalty a secret, she insists that she is just a slave, even after her secret “leaks out” among the other slaves. The captain takes her to the princess as a gift and the two become friends. Radames and Aida who start off as enemies eventually fall in love. When Aida’s father is captured and brought to Egypt, Aida’s secret is revealed. Radames tries to help Aida and her father escape, but the two are caught and end up being buried alive in the sands of Egypt.
The Lopez Conservatory Program accepts children of all ages through auditions to put together a professional level production while attending supplemental classes and workshops. The group putting on Aida range from first-time performers to accomplished veterans ready to graduate from high school and move on into college. Both Radames (Anthony Logan Cole) and Aida (Elise Bartakke) were veteran actors who showed strong emotion as their characters developed. Their final scene together was quite touching. Another strong performer was Megan Hubbell as Amneris who also grew as the play developed. She began as kind of a ditz, but in the final scene showed compassion and strong leadership by allowing Radames and Aida to die together.
Sound problems were one drawback to the performance. Since the actors were not using microphones of any kind, some of their singing voices were hard to hear. They simply weren’t able to project their voices enough to be heard. It seemed like the volume of the music coming through the sound system was uneven, as there were times it was too loud and the singers could not be heard at all, while at other times it was balanced quite well and the performers could be heard clearly. The set was very basic, just a large platform and three obelisks all of which were maneuvered around the playing area with ease by the cast. The lighting was a bit uneven, with the second act looking a bit more polished than the first act. Quite possibly the technical crew simply ran out of time to create all the cues that could have been made for the first half of the production.
Aida was a heart-felt production by Lopez Studios. It will be interesting to see how the next generation of performers develops over the next few years.
Disclaimer: Lopez Studios provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review. Lopez Studios also purchased advertising on the ShowBizRadio.net web site, which did not influence this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/7885.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.