Broadway's Smash Musical, Aida, Will Close Sept. 5

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04 May 2004

Original <I>Aida</I> stars Adam Pascal and Heather Headley.
Original Aida stars Adam Pascal and Heather Headley.
Photo by Joan Marcus

After 54 months, Elton John & Tim Rice Broadway musical, Aida, will play its final performance on Sunday, Sept. 5 after playing 1,852 regular performances at the Palace Theatre, the producers announced.

Disney Theatrical Productions continues on Broadway and internationally with 13 productions including The Lion King, which will celebrate its seventh anniversary this fall, and Beauty and the Beast, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary on Broadway.

New Disney productions opening this year include Mary Poppins — in association with Cameron Mackintosh — bowing this fall in London's West End, and On The Record, a new musical celebrating Disney's catalog of famed songs, which will launch with a U.S. national tour this fall.

Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions said in a statement: "Aida is a show that has delighted us and defied all expectations. From its earliest developmental production in Atlanta, to its opening night in Chicago in 1999, we absolutely knew this was a show that needed to be on Broadway. Although we were not even nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical, we were very proud when Aida went on to receive four Tony Awards, including Best [Score] for Elton John and Tim Rice. While we will end our Broadway run on Sept. 5, our productions of Aida continue in multiple languages around the world, and, starting this summer, regional and community theatres across the country will put their own creative interpretation on Aida through our partnership with Music Theatre International (MTI)."

James M. Nederlander, chairman of the Nederlander Organization, which operates the Palace Theatre, said in a statement, "I think it's fair to say that no one expected Aida to be the huge success it has been on Broadway. You've got to hand it to them: Tom Schumacher and the Disney Theatrical group have made this show work. It's a real crowd pleaser, and we've seen lots of young people and new theatregoers night after night coming to see Aida. Hell, I'd take 10 more Aida's."



The musical inspired by the Verdi opera of the same name opened March 23, 2000. Aida will have run 232 weeks and played 1,852 performances, surpassing such long running hits as La Cage Aux Folles (1,761), Hair (1,750), Evita (1,567) and Mame (1,508).

Aida won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. The musical won Tonys for Best Score (Elton John & Tim Rice), Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Heather Headley), Best Lighting Design (Natasha Katz) and Best Set Design (Bob Crowley).

The Original Broadway Cast recording has sold almost 500,000 copies since its release in 2000. Aida is the only production to open during the 1999-2000 theatrical season still running on Broadway.

The Broadway production of Aida earned back its investment in 99 weeks and to date has generated profits of $12 million.

Aida "tells the story of a forbidden love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess forced into captivity, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the soldier they both love."

Aida currently stars Deborah A. Cox in the title role. Her co-stars include Will Chase (Radames), Lisa Brescia (Amneris) and Micky Dolenz (Zoser).

Robert Falls directed. The libretto is by Linda Woolverton and Robert Falls & David Henry Hwang.

Wayne Cilento is the choreographer. Set and costume design is by Bob Crowley; lighting design is by Natasha Katz, and music produced and supervised by Paul Bogaev.

Aida began performances at the Palace Theatre on Feb. 25, 2000.

Aida plays Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, and Sundays at 3 PM. Tickets are available at the Palace Theatre Box Office (1564 Broadway, NYC), through Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4747, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Visit www.DisneyOnBroadway.com.