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Forbidden love

The classic story of Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida hits Colorado Springs

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Yeah, go ahead ... call me a bucket   head just one more - time ...
  • Yeah, go ahead ... call me a bucket head just one more time ...

But Casey Elliott, who plays the lead male role in the Big League Theatricals touring performance, says the show has packed another surprise as well.

"A lot of people are fairly surprised about the depth of the story line," Elliott says. "If people want more than just a superficial element, they can get it with this show."

The 24-year-old Elliott, as Radames, is right in the middle of everything. In 1230 B.C., Radames captains the Egyptian army, which is at war with its southern neighboring country and longtime enemy, Nubia. Radames is returning from Nubia, where he's captured Aida, played by Marja Harmon, along with a group of other girls who will be taken to Egypt to work as slaves.

Aida has a secret, however: She's actually the daughter of the Nubian king. Radames is betrothed to Amneris, the Egyptian princess played by Leah Allers, although he and Aida soon fall in love. An intense love triangle ensues.

"It's a classic Romeo and Juliet story of two households and forbidden love," Elliott says.

While the story for the presently touring production of Aida is revised from the classic Italian opera written by Giuseppe Verdi in 1871, Elliott says it is simply "modeled after a rock opera." With well-known Crocodile Rock hits, Aida combines a powerful love story and a contemporary musical twist.

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His favorite song to perform is "Elaborate Lives," a duet sung between Radames and Aida. Elliott says the song is "a definite pivotal emotional turning point for both of the characters, when they give into their feelings for each other."

Elliott describes Radames as a generally good person who's torn between his love for Aida and the responsibilities and duties he's expected to fulfill. The connection he and Aida share is built upon the similarity of their situations: She is torn between the love she has for Radames and the expectation put upon her to free the Nubian people from slavery.

"[Radames] wants Aida and the others to bring to light the effects war has on people," Elliott says.

Big League Theatricals has been touring Aida nationally since September. The theater company will have performed in almost every state before the tour is finished this month.

And with the time and effort put into this production, making 84 scheduled stops throughout the United States is quite an accomplishment. A total of 112 people comprise the live orchestra, cast, crew and backstage personnel. This includes 50 people needed to unload 7.5 tons of equipment used for the lighting, elaborate costumes, sound equipment, props and added technical visual effects.

Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida

Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.

Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $32-$52; call 520-SHOW (7469) or visit ticketswest.com for tickets and pikespeakcenter.org for more information.

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