FOUR STAR REVIEW: Elton John’s-Tim Rices “Aida” Superb at North Rockland High School

BY GEORGE J. DACRE

Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida” was first performed in Cairo, Egypt in December of 1871 and brought to Broadway in the Elton John-Tim Rice adaptation.

Friday it was performed by the North Rockland High School Drama Society in the school edition, directed by Jennifer Bankey and co-directed and choreographed by Justin Boccitto. This production excelled in both the acting, staging, production and musical performance.

Maya Cuevas played Aida and was stunning in her handling of the role of the Nubian Princess, captured and enslaved by the Eqyptians but lucky to become the love of Radames, an Egyptian soldier (Jason Herring). The two made beautiful music together, but Radames is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris (Justine Gizzi) and this leads to problems for all, with a very tragic ending to this great opera that has been performed all over the world.

The unforgettable score featuring soaring ballads and rousing choral numbers was well performed by an enthusiastic cast. The show was well directed and choreographed and the many scene changes were accomplished by impressive stage management.

The performance resulted in standing ovations by the several hundred who attended. Musical Directer John Bjorkman(also on guitar) and the orchestra are phenomenal.

Credit also goes to vocal director Jamie Santillo, producer Andrew Trow, technical director Randall A. Boswick, sound design Bryan Moy, student producer Brian Semsey, student directors Cat Mizzi and Kirsten Silverman, who all did their jobs. I rate “Aida” at North Rockland High School Four Stars Out of Four Stars!!!!