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March 23

March 23, 2000 – The Musical Aida Premieres on Broadway

“This is the story of a love that flourished in a time of hate.”

On March 23, 2000, the musical Aida premiered on Broadway. The music was written by Elton John, with lyrics by Tim Rice, and was produced by Walt Disney Theatrical. Based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, it tells the story of a forbidden love between the Egyptian military commander Radames and the captured Nubian princess Aida. The original cast starred Heather Headley as Aida, Adam Pascal as Radames, and Sherie Rene Scott as Amneris. Aida would go on to win the Tony Award for Best Original Musical Score, Best Actress in a Musical (for Heather Headley), Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design.

The film began as a possible animated feature for Disney, conceived as another vehicle for Sirs Elton John and Tim Rice after their great success with The Lion King, but John suggested that it was a better story for a full-fledged musical production. The first production of the musical took place in Atlanta in September of 1998. It was revised after the showing there and shown in Chicago in November of 1999. After more revisions and recastings, the show premiered on Broadway on March 23, and closed on September 4, 2004, as the 34th longest-running show in Broadway’s history with 30 previews and 1,852 performances. A recording was released with the original Broadway cast on June 6, 2000; it won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.


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