Review of Old Mill’s Aida

Review of Old Mills Aida

Erin Shoul

While some may say that a show filled with epic sword battles, forbidden love, and spectacular dance numbers is a step too far, Old Mill’s production of “Aida” showed that their success was written in the stars.

“Aida” follows the star-crossed love story of an Egyptian warrior and Nubian princess, as they strive to overcome the obstacles hindering their new life together. Complete with a chorus of songs written by the acclaimed Elton John and Tim Rice, “Aida” is jam-packed with compelling ballads, upbeat musical numbers, and of course, non-stop energy.

Leading the show as ill-fated lovers, Bradley Leverrett (Radames) and Genesis Hayes (Aida) successfully captured Radames and Aida’s ever-evolving relationship, beginning with passive-aggressive remarks, and ending in the ultimate act of sacrifice. Hayes’ exceptionally beautiful vocals allowed for seamless transitions from song to song, bringing vitality and strength to each musical number. Addie Mason (Amneris) was also a standout for her gentle spirit and fabulous presence that brought Amneris’ bold, diva attitude to life. Rounding out the palace inhabitants, Nyzaiah Herbert (Mereb) was the lovable sidekick with a stunning voice. In each scene, the audience looked forward to Herbert’s divergent comic relief and sassy enthusiasm that simply lit up the stage with delight.

As Radames and Aida struggled to show that their love could overcome anything, Zoser (Devin Van Dine) worked tirelessly to prove them wrong. Van Dine’s descriptive facial expressions and unexpected powerhouse vocals were the perfect contrast to Leverrett’s confident defiance, showing that life father, like son, is not always the case. The ultimate servant to her country, Nehebka’s (Rebecca Lee) willingness to sacrifice herself for Aida, inspired each member of the audience and created a beautifully dramatic moment in the show. The final member of the Egyptian royal family, Pharoah (Alexa Appel) demonstrated the astute and professional manner that is expected of a respected leader.

Bringing life to the spectacular musical numbers, the ensemble effortlessly transitioned the production from one scene into the next. Executing extremely difficult choreography, the dancers handled the challenge with grace and energy. From beginning to end, the ensemble filled the stage with their nonstop enthusiasm and skill, bringing laughter and joy to entirety of the auditorium.

Under the leadership of Kristen Orisich, Rose Stevens, and Hannah King, the technicians of Old Mill are to be applauded. Overcoming the limitations of the space, the sound and lighting crew filled the auditorium with pitch-perfect sound and lighting fit for an Egyptian pharaoh! The stage crew took us on an adventure through Egypt, transforming the stage to the many iconic scenes of Radames and Aida’s love story.

Complete with a strong cast of performers, it is clear to see that Old Mill High School put on its strongest suit to produce a memorable and captivating performance of “Aida.”

by Erin Shoul of Notre Dame Prep