Aida lights up the stage

After attending a performance of Aida at the Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theater in Coral Gables, I realized I’ve been missing out.

The theater, located on Miracle Mile, is small. The audience there ranged from young children to mature theater goers.

Directed by David Arisco, with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, Aida was pleasing overall.

The actors were skilled performers, some of which were Floridians, though many were touring professionals. Amneris, played by Melanie Penn, sang beautifully, captivating audience members with her delicate but powerful voice. Radames was performed strongly by Christopher Kent. The lead, Aida, was performed by Desmon Walker, who clearly stole the show. Her voice far surpassed the voices of her fellow actors, and her presence demanded attention. Currently working for the Miami-Dade County Department of Park and Recreation/Devision of Arts and Culture, she should be encouraged to pursue a professional, full-time acting career.

The plot of the musical revolves around Aida, a Nubian Princess. After being captured, she is made Amneris’ personal slave. Amneris, also a princess, is to wed Radames, who falls in love with Aida. Aida’s father, the Nubian King, is captured, only then to be helped by Radames and the Nubian slaves to escape. Aida remains with Ramades and the two are persecuted for their actions and sentenced to death.

Just as the story begins with a scene of a museum, it ends with Aida and Ramedes as modern characters who make eye contact in the museum and realize a past connection, ending the show with a kiss.

The show will continue through April 10th, with performances Wed. – Sat. at 8p.m. and Sat. and Sun. at 2 p.m.

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Aj Sarcione can be contacted at