| Book by Linda Woolverton.
Based on Verdi's opera, Aida.
Music by Elton John. Lyrics by Tim Rice.
The original Broadway production opened on 23 March 2000 and was directed by Robert Falls, with choreographed by Wayne Cilento.
The production closed on 5 September 2004, running for a total of 1 852 performances.
For his second Broadway musical (and first time out writing a full show directly for the stage), Elton John certainly set his sights high by turning to one of the grandest of all operas as a source. His continued collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice has produced a work far closer to the agreeable pop style and formula of the team's Disney musical, The Lion King, than to the majesty and tragic passion of Verdi's opera. But the compelling tale of conflicting loyalties and star-crossed lovers--retooled in part by acclaimed playwright David Henry Hwang--inspires some of John's signature melodic felicity, as in "Elaborate Lives" and "Every Story Is a Love Story." And the original cast recording marks a dramatic leap forward from 1999's dreary mishmash studio concept album, thanks to the heat generated by Heather Headley and Rent star Adam Pascal as the forbidden lovers. Sherie Rene Scott can turn on a dime from a parodic stance ("My Strongest Suit") to sad resignation ("I Know the Truth"), while the three get to blend in the ensemble "A Step Too Far"--a pop counterpart to the intensity of operatic ensemble. The score touches on reggae and gospel, and on all-out rock balladry (where it's fun to hear Pascal clearly imitating John's characteristic vocal inflections), but it's most touching in the more reflective moments given to Headley's dignified Nubian princess.