Multi-cultural musical ‘Aida’ coming soon

Kenzie Sixt

The forbidden romance between Radames, captain of the Egyptian guard, and Aida, the Nubian princess, is set to a pop-rock soundtrack by Elton John and Tim Rice in Saddleback College’s spring musical, “Aida.”

“Aida” draws from the book by Linda Woolverton and Giuseppe Verdi’s original opera first performed in Italy in 1871. It recounts the timeline of the star-crossed lover’s affair. Throughout the musical loyalties are abandoned, war is common, and true love is eventually attained through deceptive, Romeo and Juliette-esque twists and turns.

This year’s spring musical is under the direction of Daniel R. Trevino. In an effort to expand their audience base, “Aida” was chosen because “we thought a rock musical with a great love story would appeal to college students.” Also, Trevino saw it as a perfect piece to showcase young talent.

Of the young talent in the musical, Jena Slipp is playing the female-lead as Aida, and Alex Walters is playing the male lead as Ramades.

“We have a dream cast and the leads are so talented and very good looking,” Trevino said.

Slipp tried out for the musical and landed the lead role as a newcomer to the Saddleback

performing arts program.

This will be be her first time participating in a Saddleback theater production.

“Aida was a difficult character to master,” Slipp said. “There have been lots of ups and downs with my acting.”

In preparation for her role, she and her co-lead, Walters, have spent many hours outside of rehearsals working together and have got to know one another very well.

Especially at one rehearsal in particular when the first run of their kissing scene went on much longer than expected. The kiss is supposed to be interrupted, but the cast member missed the que.

“No one interrupted, so we just kept kissing,” Slipp laughed.

Trevino and his “dream cast” have been busy enjoying the process of putting together the show.

“Aida is a very complex show,” Trevino said. The cast and crew alike have been working very hard to put it together.

“It has taken the cast a long time to finally get focused, but it is finally coming together to be a masterpiece,” Slipp said.

The masterpiece would not be complete without the choreographing by Ellen Prince, and musical direction by Lex Leigh.

Opening night, the audience can expect, “beautiful scenery, great singing, acting, and dancing,” Trevino said.

Saddleback’s McKinney Theatre will host, “Aida,” April 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 8 p.m. and April 9, 10, 16,17 at 3 p.m. General admission tickets are $13, students and seniors are $12, and ASB card tickets are $9. For tickets and more information call the Saddleback College ticket office at 949-582-4656.

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