The story of Aida is one that has been around for over a 100 years. Originally an opera that premiered in 1871, in 2000, a musical based off of the opera premiered on Broadway. With music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, “Aida” was a big hit that ran for 1,852 performances.
The show follows the story of Radames, captain of the Egyption army and fiancé to Amneris, the daughter of the Pharaoh and princess of Egypt. When Radames’s soldiers capture a group of Nubian women, he is struck by and falls in love with one named Aida. Radames sends Aida to his betrothed Amneris as a handmaiden. Unbeknownst to Radames, Aida is the daughter of the Nubian king and a princess herself. Aida and Amneris bond quickly as friends, while Aida and Radames fall in love, causing a heartbreaking love triangle.
Studio Theatre of Long Island’s “Aida” is beautiful and heart-wrenching. Directed and choreographed by Central Islip native Lamont Brown, the show was most impactful when it showcased the spectacular Christen Dekie and Sophia Wilson, who played Aida and Amneris, respectively.
It would be very easy to play Amneris, the daughter of the Pharaoh, as solely shallow and self-absorbed. But instead, Wilson brings a sad heart to the character who loves someone in love with another. Beyond her amazing vocal performance, Dekie’s second-act song “I Know the Truth” is the very definition of heartbreak.
Dekie’s performance as the title character is stunning, and her performance of the song “Easy as Life” is spectacular. She seems to radiate the regalness needed to play Aida.
“Aida” is playing at Studio Theatre of Long Island’s Bayway Arts Center until Oct. 3.
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