The cast album of Aida, Elton John and Tim Rice's lavish Broadway musical, has won the 2001 Best Musical Show Album Grammy Award, The Recording Academy announced the afternoon of Feb. 21.
The Disney-produced musical, still packing them in at the Palace Theatre, tells the story of a love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess forced into slavery, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the soldier they both love. It was inspired by the classic opera. The show earned a Best Score Tony Award in 2000.
Winners in some Grammy categories were announced by The Recording Academy prior to the 43rd annual awards ceremony broadcast, which was scheduled for the evening of Feb. 21.
Disney's Buena Vista Records released the original Broadway cast CD June 13, 2000. Seventeen songs are on the disc, including "Easy As Life," "Elaborate Lives," "A Step Too Far," "My Strongest Suit" and "The Gods Love Nubia."
Aida opened at Broadway's Palace March 23, 2000. The show stars Adam Pascal, Sherie Renee Scott and Tony winner Heather Headley, and is Disney's third Broadway venture, after Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King (both of which are still running). Scott will give her final performance as Amneris on Feb. 25, to be replaced by Taylor Dayne Feb. 27. *
Aida's 2001 Grammy competitors were the cast albums for Kiss Me, Kate, The Music Man, The Wild Party and Swing! The 43rd Grammy Award nominations were announced Jan. 3. The competing recordings in the Musical Show category in 2001 represent three shows still humming along on Broadway — Aida, Kiss Me, Kate, The Music Man — and two that went dark, Swing! and Michael John LaChiusa's The Wild Party. Swing!, however, is currently on a national tour.
Aida began previews Feb. 25, 2000, after concluding a two-month stint at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre Jan. 9, 2000. As in the Windy City, Robert Falls directs, Wayne Cilento is choreographer and Bob Crowley provided the Tony winning scenic designs. Pop songwriter-performer John, of course, is the composer, and musical theatre veteran Rice (Evita, Chess) is the lyricist.
The book credit for Aida has been revised with the New York bow; director Falls and playwright David Henry Hwang now share credit with original book writer Linda Woolverton. Hwang was hired as a "creative consultant" shortly after the ill-fated, initial Atlanta production of the musical.