This Grammy Award and three-time Tony Award winning musical boasts passionate characters, stirring ballads, thrilling pop-rock music, lively dancing, exotic costumes, and a live camel ridden by Will Smith in “Independence Day” in what will surely be an event for all to enjoy.
(Ivins, UT) The Tuacahn Amphitheatre will be transformed into an Egyptian oasis when Elton John and Tim Rice’s popular Broadway musical adaptation of Verdi’s classic 1871 opera, “AIDA,” opens the outdoor venue’s fall season later this month. The final production in Tuacahn’s 2009 “Broadway in the Desert” season, “AIDA” will be performed each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evening, August 25 through October 17. Tickets, priced from $20 – $49, are available at the Tuacahn box office, by calling 435.652.3300/800.746.9882 or online at tuacahn.org.
Elton John And Tim Rice’s “AIDA” is a contemporary musical rendition of a classic tale, a story of the love between a soldier and an enslaved princess—a love that condemns them both to death, but ultimately transcends the vast cultural differences between their two warring nations, heralding an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity. As Radames, captain of the Egyptian guard, returns from a successful war campaign, he gives a slave, Aida, as a gift to his fiancé, the princess Amneris. Unknown to the soldier, Aida is actually the princess of Nubia, and her presence in the Egyptian court allows Radames to fall in love with her. The ensuing love triangle ultimately forces him and both princesses to make difficult, irreversible choices.
“AIDA”’s pop-rock music, exotic costumes, and conflicted love story will come together under the capable direction of frequent Tuacahn artist Tim Threlfall. The show marks Threlfall’s tenth production at the venue, and his expertise in giving breath to larger-than-life stories in Tuacahn’s expansive amphitheatre will be on display for all to enjoy. Threlfall, director of the music-dance-theatre program at Brigham Young University, has helmed many of Tuacahn’s most well-received productions including last season’s “Big River,” as well as “My Fair Lady,” “South Pacific,” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Also a successful actor, Threlfall appears in the upcoming feature film “One Good Man,” scheduled for theatrical release this fall.
Speaking of the show, Threlfall says “‘AIDA’’s power lies in its universal themes and metaphors. The brutality of imperialism, hope in the midst of desperation, and the ultimate triumph of truth and love over the tyranny of ambition and greed, allow ‘AIDA’ to resonate with today’s audience in the same way it did for Verdi’s audience that embraced his work commissioned for the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal.”
Taking on the title role of Aida is Jacqueline Rene, a native New Yorker who now calls Los Angeles home. Rene has performed on Broadway and throughout the world in numerous shows, including the Broadway production of “The Lion King.” Filling out the other parts of the story’s love triangle are Laura Dickinson as the Egyptian princess, Amneris, and Josh Adamson as Radames, the captain of the Egyptian guard. Dickinson has been playing the role of Vi Moore in Tuacahn’s “Footloose” all summer long and has also lent her voice to various television shows and feature films including “American Idol,” Disney’s “Cinderella III” and much more. Australian actor Adamson has appeared in productions of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Oliver” in his home country and currently performs the role of Rooster in Tuacahn’s production of “Annie.” All three actors appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.
They will be joined on stage by Jenn Aedo, Kile Anthony Allen, Maria Allen, Ronald L. Brown, Frank Bryant, Brian Conway, Liliana Corona, Cathy Ford, Kyle Fowler, Jesse Gonzales, David Kirk Grant, Stacia Hardy, Vincent Harris, Casey Harward, Danielle Hobbs, Thayne Jasperson, Bryanna Karratti, Lego Louis, Aaron Meadows, Chase Nichter, Allyson Pace, Kyli Rae, Katie Ribis, Tim Roberts, Dan Rosenbaum, Eddy Schumacher, Becca Schwartz, Allysa Shorte, Tino Smith, Dominique Stay, Jennifer Stone, Terrence Thomas, Ben Tichy, George Tobey, Kristin Wetherington, Bart Williams, and Chloe Ray Wood.
“AIDA” ARTISTIC STAFF
Producers—Scott S. Anderson, Kevin M. Smith, Kevin E. Warnick
Scenic Designer—Brad Shelton
Costume Designer—John Titensor
Lighting Designer—Joseph L. Eddy
Music Direction—Camille Villalpando Rolla
Sound Designer—David Swenson
Hair and Makeup Designer—Karine Ivey
Production Stage Manager—Monica Dickhens
“ANNIE” AND “FOOTLOOSE”
Tuacahn’s current productions of “Annie” and “Footloose” will continue to perform in the amphitheatre on select dates through October 16, with two notable changes to the cast.
A new little girl will don Annie’s brightly colored hair starting September 4 when Ellie Smith joins the company. Smith played the role of Mary Lennox in “The Secret Garden” at the Utah Shakespearean Festival this summer. “Annie” will be performed August 28, September 4, 9, 11, 18, 23, October 2, 7, 9, and 16.
Veteran actor David Kirk Grant assumes the role of Reverend Shaw Moore in Tuacahn’s popular production of “Footloose” this fall. Grant has performed in the national touring productions of “The Music Man” and “42nd Street,” as well as a production of “The Secret Garden” in New Zealand. “Footloose” will be performed August 26, 31, September 2, 7, 14, 21, 28, 30, October 5, 12, and 14.
Ronald L. Brown, SuEllen Estey, Thayne Jasperson, Kylie Rae, Bart Williams, and more than fifty actors from throughout the local area and across the United States will perform in Tuacahn’s productions for the fall season. Many of these actors have prominent credits in New York, on TV, and in film. Thayne Jasperson, a Tuacahn vet who played Mungojerrie in “Cats” at Tuacahn in 2006, continues in the role of
Ren in “Footloose.” Jasperson was a finalist on the FOX television show “So You Think You Can Dance” last summer.
Tuacahn’s 2009 season is sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation; Utah Office of Tourism; Washington County CVB; Split Rock Development Group; Wells Fargo; Parr, Brown, Gee, & Loveless; Entrada; Boulevard Home Furnishings; Marriner Eccles Foundation; Deseret News; St. George Ford; SkyWest Airlines; Canyon Media Broadcasting; Kayenta; The Salt Lake Tribune; The Spectrum; Rocky Mountain Power; Brent & Bonnie Beesley Foundation; Crossroads Equipment; Executive Car Sales; Ivins City; Ruby’s Inn; Snow Canyon Motor Sports; Sun Country Chrysler; Utah Arts Council; Snow, Christensen & Martineau; Best Western Abbey Inn; Zions Bank; America First Credit Union; and State Bank of Southern Utah.
Tuacahn is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.