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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Aida Wows the Crowd

Uploaded: Mar 20, 2011
I saw a matinee of Aida the Musical this Sunday at St. Joan of Arc Church. I went because I told Margie Ryan, who choreographed the show, that I would. Margie is in the Arts Advisory Committee and she always contributes good ideas and comments to the group, so I wanted to see her work. It was outstanding (as much as I know about choreography).

I also wondered why a Catholic Church would choose Aida as a Teen show. The story is about a Nubian princess captured by Egyptians and kept as a slave. She falls in love with an Egyptian soldier and sacrifices herself for him in the end.

It sounds like a bummer, but the theme is full of ethical lessons like being true to yourself and upholding your responsibilities to others, which are noble values appropriately presented in a Church by a large cast of very capable teens.

Two of the leads, Radames and Amneris, are played by Cal High juniors Graham Harper and Kelly Iaquinta. Kim Santana, a senior from San Ramon Valley High School, played Aida. The rest of the large cast is from throughout the tri-valley.

In fact the young cast was so good it made me wonder why Glee wasn't cast with real high-school-age talent instead of professional performers in their twenties. I always felt that Doogie Howser MD was a successful TV show because Neil Patrick Harris really was 16 when he played the 16-year-old Doctor.

The auditorium, actually the basketball court, was completely filled. The audience was very attentive and appreciative, giving Kim Santana and the ensemble a standing ovation at the end.

Three more performances of Aida the Musical at St. Joan of Arc Church are scheduled for March 25, 26, and 27. Tickets are only $15 a person and seating is open. I recommend sitting in the center section opposite the band for the best view.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Margie Ryan, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 21, 2011 at 8:42 am

Thank you Roz!! The cast worked so hard with me for hours without taking a food or rest breaks for several Sundays - 4 hours at a time learning the blocking and choreography, merging song with dance/movement and melting each number into and out of the scenes to bring you this wonderful event. It truly is a celebration of youth and the tremendous strength, will, talent and generosity they can possess. Way to Go Aida Cast!!!!!!! Thanks to all the audience goers for your kind support of community musical theater with teens inspiring the community via the performing arts.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Lulu, a resident of another community,
on Mar 21, 2011 at 10:56 am

I was unbelievably impressed with all aspects of the production - especially the professional quality sound. I am a season ticket holder to plays at the Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. The sound was just as good or better than the sound at these professional productions. I think your volunteer sound man is a keeper!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer,
on Mar 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

Margie,

I was surprised how professional it looked. The teens looked much older than 16 and it didn't look like a high school production. I read you profile in the Showbill and you have a very impressive background. With the cutbacks in school budgets, artistic programs like this at Churches and other independent organizations are very valuable for young people who might not have an opportunity to be in a show like this at school.

Roz



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