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"This is a story of a love that flourished in a time of hate

Of lovers no tyranny could separate"
—Amneris, "Every Story is a Love Story."

Aida is a musical based on Verdi's opera of the same name, with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. It premiered on Broadway in 2000, garnering five Tony Award nominations, of which it won all but one, including Best Original Score and Best Actress in a Musical (Heather Headley as Aida).

The title character, Aida, is the Princess of Nubia. Her country has been invaded by the neighboring Egyptians, and their captain, Radames, captures her with a groups of women, and not recognizing her, brings them back to Egypt. Aida becomes a slave to Egyptian Princess Amneris, who is betrothed to Radames. Another slave in the palace, Mereb, recognizes Aida and reveals her to the other captives, who beg her to lead them to freedom. Aida tries to deal with her feelings for Radames when she hears her father has been captured.

Rumours of it being filmed by Disney circulated in 2007, with Beyonce Knowles as Aida and Christina Aguilera as Amneris, but nothing more has ever been announced. Since the film was supposed to release in 2010 and hasn't started production, it's likely that it got swallowed up in Development Hell.


Includes examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: Amneris and Radames
  • Book Ends: "Every Story Is a Love Story"
  • Concept Album: With contributions from Tina Turner, Lulu and Sting, amongst others.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Aida and Radames suspect they may be this in "Written in the Stars".
  • Crowd Song: "Dance of the Robe", "The Gods Love Nubia"
  • Cut Song: The Messenger. Can be found on the concept album.
  • Dark Reprise: "My Strongest Suit", "How I Know You" and "Elaborate Lives".
  • Disneyfication - the one who suffers most from this is Amneris. In the opera, she's a Clingy Jealous Girl who is rather ruthless to her rival in love, but tries her hardest to make certain Radames survives. Ultimately, she is unable to save him. Radames gets engaged to Amneris due to being the leader of the victorious Egyptian army, something he can't refuse in front of all the celebrating Egyptians, especially when he uses up his wish from the Pharaoh on freeing Aida's father and the captured Ethiopians upon seeing her distress. Aida has been a slave for a long time when we're introduced to her and her father is the one who forces her to trick Radames into revealing where the Egyptian army will march to attack the Nubians. Only Radames gets captured, feeling he betrayed his country, after this comes out. And Aida deliberately sneaks into the tomb he is to be sealed in, because she is unable to choose between her love and her homeland. Of course, the ending is the real killer. The opera ends on the death of Aida and the impending death of Radames in the tomb. The musical maintains this, but still tries to force this into a happy ending when the story told by the spirit of Amneris who allows the modern reincarnations of Aida and Radames to find each other all over again.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The imprisoned and chained Aida is alone in a room with her captor. He says "You know what happens next" as he takes off his shirt... he then orders her to wash his back.
    • A later scene (before they admit their love for each other) has them arguing and him demanding that she respect him. She snaps that he can't command her to show him affection, and he responds by outright telling her "I could demand your "affection" right here and now if I wanted it."
  • Final Love Duet: "Written in the Stars" for Radames and Aida. Or, probably actually "Enchantment Passing Through (Reprise)" sung as the two lovers are dying from deprivation of light and air whilst being buried alive for treason.
  • The Ditz: Amneris. She gets better.
  • Ermine Cape Effect/Pimped-Out Dress: Amneris is a walking fashion show, Lampshaded through Aida's contrasting rags
  • The High Queen: Amneris becomes this at the end.
  • I Am Not My Father: Radames' lines in "Like Father Like Son" are all about this.
  • "I Am" Song: "My Strongest Suit"
  • "I Want" Song: "Fortune Favors the Brave"
  • Like Father, Like Son: Cleverly murdered in the song of the same name, as though Radames fails at turning it into a "The Villain Sucks" Song, it's not so much In the Blood as Zoser thought.
  • Love Triangle: Aida, Radames and Amneris. Mixture of 1 and 5.
    • Actually, it's more square or pentagonal. Zoser shows some interest in Amneris now tht she is beautiful and no longer awkward (as she was apparently when a child) and Mereb seems to love Aida, but YMMV on if it's a romantic attachment or the fact that she is his princess.
  • Reincarnation Romance: At the end, Radames and Aida are reunited in the modern-day museum, having been reincarnated.
  • Royal Blood: Aida
  • Rhyming with Itself: What rhymes with 'build another pyramid'? How about 'build another pyramid'? Brilliant!
    • "How I know you" rhymes with "yes I know you", "you don't know me", and "I don't know you".
    • "Like father like son" rhymes with "Like father like son".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The whole premise of the reprise of "How I Know You".
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Aida and Radames embrace passionately at the end of "Elaborate Lives". The scene fades to black. When it fades back in, they're lying in each others arms, with him shirtless and her dress now wrapped around her in Modesty Bedsheet style.
  • Sinister Minister: Though his role as "Chief Minister" is sometimes strictly political, Zoser, the only person in the show that can really be called a villain, is Egypt's high priest in most versions.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Zoser's ministers who are helping him plot to kill the Pharoah so Zoser's son, Radames, can rule alongside Amneris. Unbeknownst to Radames. They seem to be dancing perfectly in time, that must mean they are surely evil. See Radames and his soldiers' dancing (or lack of) in "Fortune Favors the Brave".
    • Complete with Corrupt Church, as most of Zoser's cronies are in on his regicide plot.
  • Stepford Smiler: Aida as of "Dance Of The Robe".
    • I know expectations are wild
      And almost beyond my fulfilment
      But they won't hear a word of doubt
      Or see sign of a weakness.
      • She does, however, state later on in "Easy As Life" that her duty will not let "a coward run".
    • Also, Amneris
      • I feel better when beguiling/find that fashion keeps me smiling/but in my heart i know it's sad.../So I'll flutter to decieve/no, you must believe, that one day you'll find a different/a stronger suit.
  • Tenor Boy: Mereb
  • Villain Song: "Another Pyramid"; though Zoser isn't the Big Bad, he's clearly evil.
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