Aida receives a full-house on opening night after producing a magnificent show!
Irvington Conservatory Theater’s spring production of Aida had their opening night on March 12th, at 7:30 P.M. in Valhalla Theater.
As I entered into Valhalla, I came face-to-face with two soaring pillars with Egyptian figurines. While opening my program booklet, I noticed that there was a game sheet inside. To keep the audience busy, there was a decoding puzzle to solve using Hieroglyphics and at the end of the intermission, the lucky winner was given a small prize. The lights were set dim and the stage was decorated with golden-colored pillars and shiny draperies. The show began!
Acting: Each individual was perfect for their role. It did not look like it was staged at all; everything was truly original, from actings of the sinister Zoser to the determined Nubian soldiers. Leading actors seniors Katherine Dela Cruz as Aida, James M. Jones as Radames and Allison D’Ambrosio as Amneris, were undoubtedly perfect with their expressions, emotions and movement.
Dancing: The dances were very well coordinated, especially for the songs “Another Pyramid” and “The Gods Love Nubia” with their high jumps and spectacular moves. Of course, “My Strongest Suit” with its extraordinary fashion show, had the audience laughing and entertained. The belly dancers, sophomore Maritza Padilla and juniors Jazmeen Virk and Camille Griffith, were appealing to the audience. I would say the shadow dancing in the the prison scene, while Aida sang “Easy as Life” was an incredibly clever idea!
Singing: WOW. Vocals by Katherine really lifted my soul–it was simply amazing. The audience that once cheered and clapped for every scene sat quietly with tension and applauded strongly after every song. Katherine’s parts in songs like “Written in The Stars”, “Easy as Life” really kept me stunned. James portrayed his voice and power in “Fortune Favors the Brave” and “Radames’ Letter.” I also really liked the singing of Mereb, senior Dominic Hernandez, for the song “How I Know You.” Other stunning pieces included “A Step Too Far” and “I Know The Truth”.
Set design/tech: The lights, special effects and the set brought the actions to life. The lighting, done by junior Katherine Meyer, during the fashion show was colorful and attractive! The spot-lighters, freshmen Tina Huynh and Eric Liu, were right on the dot during the song “A Step Too Far.” The elaborate set pieces along with a massive boat, bridges and backdrop, were extravagant, adding to the originality of the setting in Egypt.
Music: Mr. Charlie Rodda’s musical crew: props to you! The music sounded like a real recording rather than live music. It set the mood really well for each scene with the combination of various instruments. There seemed to be no mistake or any note going off key. The violin played by senior Vi Troung and piano by senior Edward Chang were prominent features of the show.
All in all, to speak in the Sparknotes version, the show was spectacular, like none other! 5 stars. Period.