AIDA (Broadway)

Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA (Broadway)

The Broadway production of Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi opened at the Palace Theatre on March 23, 2000 and ran a total of 1,852 performances until September 5, 2004 with a total attendance of 2,714,193 patrons and grossing a total of USD $165,928,398.00.

Produced by Hyperion Theatricals (under the direction of Peter Schneider and Thomas Schumacher); Associate Producer: Marshall B. Purdy.  Originally developed at The Alliance Theatre Company.

Directed by Robert Falls; Choreographed by Wayne Cilento; Scenic & Costume Design by Bob Crowley; Lighting Design by Natasha Katz; Sound Design by Steve Canyon Kennedy; Hair Design by David Brian Brown; Make-Up Design by Naomi Donne; Music Produced and Musical Direction by Paul Bogaev; Music arranged by Paul Bogaev and Guy Babylon; Music orchestrated by Steve Margoshes, Guy Babylon and Paul Bogaev; Dance arrangements by Bob Gustafson, Jim Abbott and Gary Seligson.

Starring Heather Headley (Aida, Feb 25, 2000 – Sep 09, 2001), Adam Pascal (Radames, Feb 25, 2000 – Jun 15, 2003), Sherie Rene Scott (Amneris, Feb 25, 2000 – Feb 25, 2001), Tyrees Allen (Amonasro), John Hickok (Zoser), Daniel Oreskes (Pharaoh), Damian Perkins (Mereb), Robert M. Armitage (Ensemble), Troy Allen Burgess (Ensemble), Franne Calma (Ensemble), Bob Gaynor (Ensemble), Kisha Howard (Ensemble), Tim Hunter (Ensemble), Youn Kim (Ensemble), Kyra Little (Ensemble), Kenya Unique Massey (Ensemble), Corinne McFadden (Ensemble), Phineas Newborn III (Ensemble), Jody Ripplinger (Ensemble), Raymond Rodriguez (Ensemble), Eric Sciotto (Ensemble), Samuel N. Thiam (Ensemble), Jerald Vincent (Ensemble), Schele Williams (Nehebka, Ensemble) and Natalia Zisa (Ensemble).

Swings: Chris Payne Dupré, Kelli Fournier, Timothy Edward Smith and Endalyn Taylor-Shellman

Standby: Neal Benari (Zoser, Pharaoh) and Thursday Farrar (Aida)

Understudies: Robert M. Armitage (Pharaoh), Troy Allen Burgess (Zoser), Franne Calma (Amneris), Kelli Fournier (Amneris), Bob Gaynor (Radames), Tim Hunter (Mereb), Kyra Little (Nehebka), Phineas Newborn III (Mereb), Raymond Rodriguez (Radames), Eric Sciotto (Radames), Endalyn Taylor-Shellman (Nehebka), Samuel N. Thiam (Amonasro), Jerald Vincent (Amonasro) and Schele Williams (Aida)

Associate Director: Keith Batten; Associate Choreographer: Tracey Langran Corea; Assistant Director: Hilary Adams; Associate Scenic Design: Ted LeFevre; Scenic Design Assistant: Mike Britton and Dan Kuchar; Associate Costume Design: Scott Traugott; Costume Design Assistant: Cory Ching, Rick Conway, Angela M. Kahler and Brian Russman; Associate Lighting Design: Edward Pierce; Lighting Design Assistant: Karen Spahn; Assistant to Lighting Designer: Richard Swan; Automated Lighting Programmer: Aland Henderson; Automated Lighting Tracker: A. Cameron Zetty; Associate Sound Design: John Shivers; Sound Design Assistant: Jennifer Morris and Lisa Shriver; Hair Design Assistant: Leslie Evers; Make-up Design Assistant: Richard Dean

Company Manager: Michael Sanfilippo later Lizbeth Cone (Apr 08, 2000 – Jun 14, 2000), Dave Ehle (Jun 15, 2000 – May 05, 2002), and Lisa Koch Rao (from May 05, 2002); Project Manager: Ken Silverman later Lizbeth Cone; General Manager: Alan Levey; Assistant Company Manager: Lisa Koch Rao later Charlissa Jackson.

Production Supervisor: Clifford Schwartz; Technical Supervisor: Theatersmith, Inc.; Production Stage Manager: Clifford Schwartz later Paul J. Smith; Stage Manager: Paul J. Smith later Lois Griffing; Assistant Stage Manager: Caroline Ranald Curvan and Valerie Lau-Kee Lai; Prop Coordinator: Denise J. Grillo; Prop Assistant: Rebecca Haskins & Rashida Poole and Associate Special Effects: Bill McComb.

Development Casting: Jay Binder; Casting: Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc.; Assistant to the Associate Producer: Lisa Edwards; Fight direction by Rick Sordelet; Fight Captain: Raymond Rodriguez; Dance Captain: Jody Ripplinger later Krisha Marcano; Assistant Dance Captain: Timothy Edward Smith later Koh Mochizuki; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Marketing by Hyperion Theatricals; Online Marketing: Toby Simkin / BuyBroadway; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Photographer: Joan Marcus

Musical Coordinator: Michael Keller; Conducted by Paul Bogaev; Concert Master: Ron Oakland; Keyboard: Jim Abbott, Bob Gustafson and Rob Mikulski; Drums/Percussion: Gary Seligson; Bass: Gary Bristol; Acoustic/Electric Guitar: Bruce Uchitel and Jon Herington; Percussion: Dean Thomas; Cello: Amy Ralske; Viola: Carol Landon; Violin: Robin Zeh; French Horn: Russ Rizner; Oboe/English Horn: Jim Roe; Flute/Alto Flute/Piccolo: Melanie Bradford; Associate Conductor: Bob Gustafson; Music Preparation: Miller Music Services; Electronic Music Design & Programming: Music Arts Technologies, Inc.


Replacements in the role of Princess Aida included: Maya Days (Sep 13, 2001 – Jan 27, 2002 and again Aug 18, 2002 – Sep 01, 2002), Simone (Jan 29, 2002 – Jun 15, 2003), Saycon Sengbloh (Jun 17, 2003 – Jun 29, 2003), Toni Braxton(Jun 30, 2003 – Nov 16, 2003), Michelle T. Williams (Nov 11, 2003 – Feb 15, 2004), Deborah Cox (Feb 17, 2004 – Sep 05, 2004) and Merle Dandridge (Played the role on Broadway for 3 performances while touring).

Replacements in the role of Radames included: William Robert Gaynor (June/July 2002), Patrick Cassidy (During Adam Pascal’s sick leave Jun 25, 2002 – Jun 30, 2002), Matt Bogart (While Adam Pascal was on vacation in October 2002), Richard H. Blake (Jun 17, 2003 – Jun 29, 2003), Will Chase (Radames , Jun 30, 2003 – Jun 27, 2004) and the return of Adam Pascal (Jun 28, 2004 – Sep 05, 2004).

Replacements in the role of Amneris included: Taylor Dayne(Feb 27, 2001 – Sep 08, 2001), Idina Menzel (Sep 13, 2001 – Jan 27, 2002), Felicia Finley (Jan 29, 2002 – Jun 29, 2003), Lisa Brescia (Jan 2003); Mandy Gonzalez (Jun 30, 2003 – Jan 04, 2004) and Jessica Hendy. 

Other replacements included Graeme Malcolm (Pharaoh), Tom Nelis (Pharaoh), Donnie Kehr (Zoser, 2003 – Jan 04, 2004), Micky Dolenz (Zoser, Jan 06, 2004 – Sep 05, 2004), Robert Jason Jackson (Amonasro), Eric LaJuan Summers (Mereb), Nikki Delisco (Mereb), Melodye Perry (Nehebka), Renée Daniels (Nehebka, Ensemble), Terra Lynn Arrington (Ensemble), Afi Bryant (Ensemble), Ben Cameron (Ensemble), Tim Craskey (Ensemble), Anika Ellis (Ensemble), Steve Geary (Ensemble), Rhett G. George (Ensemble), Mandy Gonzalez (Ensemble), Darrell Grand Moultrie (Ensemble), Ashley Amber Haase (Ensemble, May 2000 – Jun 2004), John Jacquet, Jr. (Ensemble), Mahi Kekumu (Ensemble), Grasan Kingsberry (Ensemble, May 23, 2003 – Jun 20, 2004), Nina Lafarga (Ensemble), Noa Nevé (Ensemble), Karine Newborn (Ensemble), Keenah Reid (Ensemble), Alice Rietveld (Ensemble), Chuck Saculla (Ensemble), Solange Sandy (Ensemble), Michael Serapiglia (Ensemble), Slam (Ensemble), Lori Ann Strunk (Ensemble) and Brooke Wendle (Ensemble).

Replacement Swings: Sylvia Aruj, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Ashley Amber Haase, Regi Jennings, Krisha Marcano, Koh Mochizuki, Jody Ripplinger, Martin Samuel and Derrick Williams.

Replacement Standby: Richard H. Blake (Radames), Matt Bogart (Radames), Lisa Brescia (Amneris), Jeb Brown (Zoser, Pharaoh), Will Chase (Radames), Mandy Gonzalez (Amneris), Jessica Hendy (Amneris), Cheyenne Jackson (Radames), Todd Alan Johnson (Zoser, Pharaoh), Darcie Roberts (Amneris), Saycon Sengbloh (Aida) and Schele Williams (Aida).

Replacement Understudies: Afi Bryant (Nehebka), Nikki Renée Daniels (Aida), Anika Ellis (Aida, Nehebka), William Robert Gaynor (Pharaoh), Rhett G. George (Mereb), Darrell Grand Moultrie (Mereb), James Harkness (Amonasro), Mahi Kekumu (Mereb), Grasan Kingsberry (Amonasro), Krisha Marcano (Nehebka), Raymond Rodriguez (Amonasro, Zoser), Chuck Saculla (Pharaoh, Radames), Lori Ann Strunk (Amneris) and Derrick Williams (Amonasro).

The Broadway theatre supersite Buy Broadway OnlineAs Founder and CEO of and  The pioneer in moving the Broadway industry onto the internet. The theatre press branded me as “Toby is the man pushing theatre, kicking and screaming, into cyberspace.” What started in 1989 as a Broadway industry service called ShowCall via dialup BBS for members of the League of American Theatre Producers evolved onto the world wide web in the early 90’s, and shortly after this, the vast majority of Broadway shows (starting with my production of Victor/Victoria) and theatrical organizations followed. The “Super site of Broadway” became a publicly traded company, prior to my re-branding it as at the Minskoff Theatre.

The global theater supersite theatre.comDescribed by Variety Magazine as a “marketing powerhouse“, it was the single largest theatre community in the world with over 180,000 active members (in the 1990’s this was massive). From buying official Broadway tickets and souvenirs, providing detailed global show listings, interactive show study & educational guides, live streaming shows and events (including many Opening Nights live broadcasts), industry news from major theatre journalists, pictures and videos, games, messaging directly to Broadway cast’s backstage or even licensing a musical, offered it all in a single, easy-to-use interface to theatregoers globally.

www disneyonbroadway comFor Hyperion Theatricals (Disney Theatrical Productions) in NYC, I developed and implemented a launch campaign for Disney on Broadway for Beauty and the Beast, Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA and The Lion King featuring their first Disney on Broadway website (, around-the-world contests and extensive guerrilla marketing to supplement their traditional marketing efforts.

Separately, for Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA the fabulously visionary Carol Chiavetta (then Director of Marketing for Hyperion/Disney) and I produced the first ever video email — from Elton John (shot in his hotel room), to introduce AIDA to Disney fans and AMEX cardholders.

🇨🇳 In China, with all non-Chinese video sites blocked, watch my videos on my WeChat Channel by scanning my QR:
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Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA Broadway

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About Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA

Winner of four 2000 Tony Awards, Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA is a musical bursting with contemporary energy chronicling the love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the soldier they both love. Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA is an epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal with an exhilarating Tony and Grammy Award-winning score by Elton John and Tim Rice, their first collaboration since writing the music for the worldwide phenomenon The Lion King. AIDA is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s Italian-language opera by the same name, the scenario of which was written by Auguste Mariette. The musical originated from a children’s storybook version of Verdi’s opera written by the soprano Leontyne Price. Set in the Egyptian wing of a modern museum, a man and a woman touring the exhibit catch each other’s eyes. A statue of Amneris, a female Pharaoh, comes to life and transports them to ancient Egypt, where Radames, captain of the Egyptian army, and his men are returning from an expedition through the land of Egypt’s long-time enemy, Nubia. When his soldiers capture a group of Nubian women, he is captivated by one of the women, Aida, who tries to free herself by out-dueling one of his soldiers. The show produced a number of hit songs including “Written in the Stars” (recorded by Elton John and LeAnn Rimes, which hit #2 on Billboard’s AC charts in 1999), “Easy as Life” (recorded by Tina Turner and also as a dance remix by Deborah Cox that hit #24 on the US Dance charts in 2004) “Elaborate Lives,” “My Strongest Suit” and “The Gods Love Nubia.”

Principal roles

  • Aida Daughter of Amonasro and Princess of Nubia. With her royalty unknown to all except Mereb, who recognizes her as princess, she is taken into slavery with the rest of Nubia, but attracts the attention of Radames.
  • Radames Captain of the Egyptian army, son of Zoser, and fiancé to Amneris. He is expected to succeed the Egyptian throne after the Pharaoh’s death, but finds himself intrigued by a Nubian slave, Aida, instead.
  • Amneris Princess of Egypt, daughter of the Pharaoh, and fiancée to Radames. She is renowned by all for her fashionable ways. Aida is given to her as a gift to be her handmaiden, by whom her true nature is seen: that she is merely using this fashion-driven identity to hide her own insecurities.
  • Mereb A Nubian servant to Radames, who was taken captive by Egyptians as a youth and has served among them ever since. The first to recognize Aida as Princess of Nubia, and the first to tell the other Nubian slaves about it with hopes that she can set them free.
  • Zoser Chief Minister of Egypt and father of Radames. He highly anticipates his son’s succession to the Egyptian throne and does all he can to make it arrive sooner, including poisoning the Pharaoh.
  • Nehebka Nubian slave who speaks to Aida as a representative for the Nubian people.
  • Pharaoh Father of Amneris and King of Egypt. One of the arrangers of Amneris and Radames’s much-delayed wedding, he is secretly being poisoned by Zoser to speed up Radames’s succession to the throne.
  • Amonasro Father of Aida and King of Nubia. He is taken into slavery by Egyptians after Aida and Radames have fallen in love, and commands Aida to break all ties she has to the Egyptians.

Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA history

AIDA was originally conceived for production as an animated musical film by Disney executives, who wanted to do another project with the collaborative team of Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice, following the success enjoyed by the animated film The Lion King, Disney wanted to do another animated feature, and it was John’s idea to develop the story directly as a musical.


AIDA had its world premiere under its original title “Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida” at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA on September 16th, 1998 and running till November 8th of that year. The Atlanta production featured Heather Headley (Aida), Hank Stratton (Radames) and Sherie Rene Scott (Amneris). The original Atlanta staging had a nearly empty set, with only a six-ton gold pyramid-shaped set piece in the center. Driven by hydraulic control, the pyramid’s sides and bottom could be turned and rotated to suggest various locations such as a ship stern or a tomb. However, the piece, constructed at a price of nearly $10 million, frequently broke down.


Nearly a year later, a newly revised production of AIDA opened on November 12th, 1999 at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago, IL and ran through January 9, 2000 featuring Heather Headley as Aida, Sherie Rene Scott, as Amneris and Adam Pascal joining the cast as Radames for the Chicago run. Robert Falls took over as director in Chicago, replacing Robert Jess Ross; and set designer Bob Crowley replaced Stanley A. Meyer. Also part of the new Chicago team was choreographer Wayne Cilento. During the Chicago run at the Cadillac Theatre, on November 13, 1999, a set mishap during the final moments of the performance injured stars Heather Headley and Adam Pascal when the two actors were being conveyed in a suspended boxlike “tomb” at the climax of the show, the set piece broke from its support and plunged approximately eight feet to the stage. Each only sustained minor injuries, but from then on, the tomb remained on the ground.

For fun, here is my parody of AIDA from early 2020


See about 100 more of my Broadway parodies

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