Back in May 1996, Walt Disney Theatrical Productions was holding children's auditions for a workhop of a new musical adaptation of Aida. Now the project is taking the next step with further auditions for leading roles in the "upcoming Broadway musical."
Based on Giuseppe Verdi's opera, this Aida is penned by Elton John and Tim Rice, who collaborated on The Lion King. John is a pop artist who, with Bernie Taupin, composed such tunes as "Daniel" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Lyricist Rice's credits include Chess and the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Auditions for Aida will take place in Davie, FL (near Miami), at the Bailey Concert Hall. The audition is an open call with a pianist provided.
(Aida seems to be going the Rent route, in that the producers are anticipating lots of auditioners beyond the usual stable of Actors' Equity performers. For resumes, the producers request a picture and resume stapled together -- but "a snapshot or polaroid will do.")
Roles being cast include:
Aida (Sept. 4): African-American or Hispanic woman, 18-27, high pop-rock belt, a la Whitney Houston. Radames (Sept. 5): White or Hispanic male, 25-30, gritty pop-rock baritone.
Nekhen (Sept. 5): African-American or Hispanic male, 12-16, comedic role.
Dancers (Sept. 6): All ethnicities, with hip-hop and acrobatic skills a plus.
A spokesperson from Boneau/Bryan-Brown, which represents the Disney project, would not elaborate on plans for Aida. No proposed dates, venues or time-frames were given for the workshop or production.
In other Disney casting news, auditions for The Lion King are being held Sept. 5-6, also in Davie, FL. Roles sought include Young and Adult Simba.
For those unable to get to Florida, send material to Binder Casting, 513 West 54 St., New York, NY 10019, Attention: Miami. Please do not call Playbill On-Line or Walt Disney Theatricals.