Photo Flash: Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA Premieres in Manila, 6/24 – 7/10 -

by Oliver Oliveros,

Manila, Philippines, June 24, 2011 -- Elton John and Tim Rice's contemporary take on Aida, a tale of star-crossed lovers based on the Giuseppe Verdi's opera of the same title, made it to Manila through Atlantis Productions Inc.'s local production that opened at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City Friday night. (The musical runs until Sunday, July 10)

Aida's local premiere has prompted the return of musical theater actress Ima Castro (Miss Saigon, Paglayang Minamahal), who's been based in London for the past 10 years, to the Philippine theater scene. Ms. Castro plays the title role opposite to Myke Salomon's (Care Divas, Magsimula Ka) Radames and Rachel Alejandro's (Xanadu, Avenue Q) Amneris.

Ms. Alejandro's real-life dad, Hajji Alejandro (Batibot, Kapinangan), plays Radames' father, Zoser. Recording artist and theater newcomer, Josh Santana, plays Mereb while one of local theater's most promising talents, Alys Serdenia (A Little Night Music, Rent), plays Nehebka.

In Aida, Egypt has enslaved Nubia. And when Nubia's princess, Aida, comes to the palace as a slave, Egypt's prince, Radames -- who's betrothed to the exceedingly materialistic Amneris -- falls in love with his Nubian slave.

Aida in Manila is directed by Chari Arespacochaga (Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening). It also features choreography by Cecile Martinez (Hairspray), lighting design by Dong Calingacion (Footloose, Rent), set design by Faust Peneyra (Shock Value), costume design by Twinkle Zamora (Next to Normal), musical direction by Jojo Malferrari (Rent, Altar Boyz) and vocal direction by ManMan Angsico (Next to Normal, The 2th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee).

For tickets, call Atlantis Productions Inc. at (632) 892-7078 or TicketWorld at (632) 891-9999. You may also visit

The original Broadway production of Aida opened in March 2000 and ran for 1,852 performances. The musical was nominated for five Tony Awards in 2000 and won four awards: Best Original Musical Score for John and Rice, Best Actress in a Musical for Heather Headley, Best Scenic Design for Bob Crowley and Best Lighting Design for Natasha Katz.

For more photos, click HERE.

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