Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fleetwood Community Theatre presents "Aida" August 4-7

Fleetwood Community Theatre  is bringing the contemporary musical "AIDA" to Berks County on August 4, 5, 6, and 7. Elton John and Tim Rice’s pop-rock score is a modern crowd pleaser. A classic tale of timeless love between an Egyptian Soldier and the Nubian princess he enslaves.

The story begins in modern day. The star-crossed lovers encounter one another in the Egyptian exhibit at a local museum, and spark the spirit of Amneris (played by Allyson Horn) to begin the telling of the tale. Quickly, we are taken to ancient Egypt. Radames (Jonathan Quier) has just returned from a mission in the rival country of Nubia. He and his soldiers have captured more of the Nubian people, and among them is the Princess Aida (Nichole McFarlane Hunsberger). Radames is intrigued by her strength and stature. She is not the usual frightened slave. She speaks her mind. Because of his interest in her he does not submit her to the mines, but instead gives her to his betrothed, Princess Amneris, as a maidservant.
Aida is introduced to the princess at the baths. Here the audience learns that Amneris is the typical princess... a material girl. We are given a full out runway show of Amneris’ closet with fabulous costumes designed by Jenni Juntunen. Aida, no stranger to the finer things, easily befriends Amneris because of her knowledge of fine fabrics and style. Amneris has no idea that they share a title. Both are unaware that they are in love with the same man. Upon learning of the affair, Amneris makes the decision to send the traitor and his love to face death together.
This musical includes high-spirited dancing, multi-cultural casting, and powerful vocals. Directed by Debra Silas, the cast promises to be standout in Berks County theatre. Christopher D. Hoster, makes his Music Directing debut with Fleetwood this year, and has done a remarkable job. The choreography of Irving Gonzales appears on FCT’s stage in “Dance of the Robes” and “Strongest Suit.”
Other performers include: David Hornberger as Zoser; James Damore as Mereb; Deborah Anne D'Haiti as Nehebka; Caitlin Cavallomagno, Olivia Damore, Ashley Frankhouser, Kelly Klick, Rebekka Thomas, Donna Torres, Jessica Wolf, Ausjoli Colon, Anna Heitman, George Benjamin, David Erb, Dean Fichtorn, Brian Miller, Will Patti, and Lance Thomas.
In March of 1999, the song “Written in the Stars” Stars", a duet by Elton John and country star Lee Ann Rimes, become a breakout hit. It stayed at number two on the Billboard charts for four weeks. 

AIDA was an instant audience favorite. It received 5 Tony nominations, winning for Best Original Score, Best Actress in a Musical and Best Lighting Design. The show also won the 2001 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.
The idea of doing AIDA was discussed for several years. In past years, we’ve chosen our summer musical well. We’ve done things differently: we’ve chosen shows that haven’t been overdone, but we’ve also done the popular and well known. AIDA was one we knew had been tackled by many of the local High Schools, but not recently by a community group. We like being innovative and original at FCT. It is what being artistic is all about.” said FCT’s Production Manager, Tara Sands. “The cast is brilliant. Our directors had a vision and they’ve stuck to it. They chose very, very talented individuals and created one heck of an ensemble.”
Fleetwood Community Theatre is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) volunteer organization of theatre lovers currently planning their 24th season. FCT is committed to the education and development of their membership within the theatre arts program by offering opportunities to all ages both on-stage and behind the scenes. As an outlet of quality musical, dramatic and ensemble productions, it encourages and supports local youth to pursue performing arts opportunities through school, church, collegiate or other local productions.
Fleetwood Community Theatre’s production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s "AIDA" is at the Fleetwood Area High School, 809 N. Richmond Street, Fleetwood, PA. Four performances are scheduled: evening performances on Thursday August 4th and Friday August 5th at 7:30 PM. Saturday August 6th and Sunday August 7th performances are matinees at 2 in the afternoon. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for Students/Seniors and can be purchased at the door or by calling 610-944-3610.


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