BYU NewsNet

Audience praises Aida premiere at the SCERA

Photo by Mark A. Philbrick
Justin Utley (Radames) and Kandyce Cameron (Aida) in Aida.

By Valerie Chapman
Daily Universe Staff Reporter
15 Sep 2005

It's 7:30 p.m. and eerie Egyptian-type music and soft lighting fills the SCERA Theater, transporting the audience to an exotic land. As the lights dim, the first dramatic notes of the overture sound and "Aida" begins.

Last weekend marked the Utah premiere of the musical, and cast members said, it couldn't have gone better.

Despite a few technical difficulties on opening night, Kandyce Cameron, who plays the title role of Aida, said the show went well

"During one of the songs, the music just stopped playing," Cameron said. "Justin [Utley, who plays Radames] and I looked at each other for a split second, then just kept on singing."

Though the cast had a few microphone difficulties during Monday night's performance, audience members didn't seem to notice; they only had good things to say about the show.

Courtney Rogers, from Mapleton, came to the show because his cousin was in the production. After the performance, he praised the lead characters as well as the technical aspects of the show.

"I really enjoyed the lighting," Rogers said. "It portrayed the mood of the scenes exactly how they should be."

The lighting had the feeling of a rock concert at times and fit with the driving rock beats of Elton John and explosive, fast-paced choreography.

Besides the lighting, several audience members said they enjoyed the songs and the way the actors performed them.

Lindsey Brown, a junior from Myrtle Beach, S.C., studying marriage, family, and home development, came to the show because she knew the music but had never actually seen the production.

"I just love the music to 'Aida,'" Brown said. "I was very impressed with the quality of the leads in this show. They were able to make the songs really powerful through both the lyrics of the songs and the way they sang."

Brown said one of her favorite songs was 'Elaborate Lives,' which was a typical Elton John piano ballad.

Utley said 'Elaborate Lives' is also one of his favorite songs to perform. He said he likes the overall message of love that the song expresses.

"No matter what age or century we live in, the same concept of love and the heart applies," Utley said. "Love has been the same since the beginning of time."

Utley said his favorite part of the show is the scene where his character, Radames, and Aida finally break down the barriers between them and have an intimate conversation.

"I get to fall in love every night," Utley said. "It's great."

Copyright ©2005 BYU NewsNet

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