‘Aida’ at The Lopez Conservatory Program by Mike Spain

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The Lopez Conservatory Program production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical Aida demonstrated they can produce talented young actors who will have bright futures in theatre. After watching the show it was clear the young cast had a blast performing the show. When the cast took their curtain calls they were filled with smiles, and the audiences rewarded these young actors with a loud round of well-earned applause.


Throughout the performance there were persistent sound problems. Most of the time the sound was too loud and unfortunately drowned out some of the singing. I moved closer to the stage for the second act hoping that the sound problems from the first act would have been rectified at intermission, but they were not. Hopefully the sound problems will be corrected for future productions.

On the brighter side, there were some excellent performances: Anthony Logan Cole (Radames) was the most experienced actor in the cast, and it showed in his confidence and great stage presence that he brought to his performance. I really enjoyed Anthony’s singing of “Radames’ Letter” in Act 2.

Megan Hubbell (Amneris) is only a freshman at Langley High School, and you can tell she was having fun playing the snobbish and self-absorbed, and materialistic princess. She was a hoot singing “My Strongest Suit,” and delivered a heartfelt rendition of “I know the Truth.” Megan also had the most costume changes. They were designed by Jennifer Kessler, and her colorful costumes added sparkle to the production.

Elise Bartakke (Aida), a senior at Oakton High School, delivered a strong acting and vocal performance as the exiled Princess. Her solo highlight was “Easy as Life” in the second act. There was lots of emotion and chemistry between herself and Anthony and they provided some of the musical’s best moments. Their trio with Megan -“A Step Too Far”- provided some beautiful vocals, and they also delivered a very moving “Written in the Stars.”

Dori Prescott (Mereb) delivered a heartfelt “How I Know You.” I look forward to seeing her in future productions. Austin Lawson delivered a strong and emotional performance as Amonasro. It is hard to believe he is a 12 year-old elementary school student. He has a lot of talent and I feel he will have a bright future in the theatre,

I was so impressed by these talented young actors. They gave it their all. Chances are you will see them again performing in a college, community, or professional production soon. I look forward to attending and reviewing more Lopez Studios Inc. productions.

Running time: Two hours and 15 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission.

Aida played its final performance on April 15, 2012 at The Lopez Conservatory Program at The Industrial Strength Theatre – 269 Sunset Park Drive, in Herndon, Virginia.

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