Shane's Review Of Aida

By Shane Worden

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Hey guys! I just got back from seeing one of the final shows on this summer's AIDA tour with Micky in the role of Zoser....I was really looking forward to this show for a couple of reasons. It had been a number of years since I had been to the Weidner Center in Green Bay to experience a show, but more importantly, I have always wanted to see the guys doing things that didn't necessarily lean on their Monkee-images, but instead on their own talent. This show was a first for me in that regard, and I must say that Micky did not disappoint!

Although Micky's role is a supporting character, it is very important to the story nonetheless. Zoser is the father of Radames, an Egyptian captain, who in battle took a number of slaves as captive in the fictional nation of Nubia. Radames, however is unaware that one of his slaves, Aida, happened to be the princess of Nubia as she keeps that knowledge secret from her captives. Her fellow captives haven't forgotten, though, and look to her for help and a way home, as she becomes more than just a humble servant, but a handmaiden in the kingdom. The main thrust of the action of the show takes place amid the growing love that Aida and Radames begin to feel for each other, while Zoser tries his best to thwart Radames' attentions and thrust him towards a pre-arranged marrage to Amneris, an Egyptian princess. This union will only help to advance Zoser's own lust for power and riches.

Zoser is mainly a dramatic role, although he has some of the best funny lines in the show. One memorable piece of dialogue between him and Radames takes place when Zoser comments that if he had known that his son's betrothed (Amneris), would have turned out to be such an exceptional beauty that he would have saved her for himself. Radames, already falling desparately in love with Aida, says that he can have her! Later on, once Zoser discovers the ever deepening relationship beteen his son and Aida, he comments that Radames can have his little flings on the side, but he should wait until he is married like everybody else!

Although Micky has action and dialogue sprinkled throughout the entire show, including one particularly intense sword fight scene (!!) where he kills one of the Nubian servants, he has two major musical numbers, one in each act of the show. The first, "Another Pyramid", is an uptempo tune--a duet between Zoser and Radames as his son returns from battle and is updated on the changes that have taken place in his land while he was gone. This particular number ends with a rather impressive dance sequence that is wonderfully choreographed while Zoser prods the dancers on. The second number, "Like Father, Like Son", takes place amid the conflict that Radames and Zoser have over his son's choice of love interests, intensified by the fact that his wedding is about to take place under difficult conditions.

I was unsure of how well I would enjoy Micky's role. Some comments I had read on the internet from certain fans gave the impression that Micky played his role too stiffly, and was not dramatic enough. I tend to disagree. I will conceed somewhat that Zoser was "stiff", but I argue that a certain amount of that quality is needed in order to pull off the role. This is a guy who has a goal in mind and will do anything in his power to make it happen. This isn't a loose, roll with the flow, type of guy by any means. For those who are interested, the fact that Micky has a role in this show was downplayed to a very large degree in the advertising in this area. The radio and television ads that ran weeks prior to the show made absolutely no mention of Micky's involvement, and it wasn't until just before the show made it's run that his presence was made known on a few television news spots. (In fact, there were some people sitting behind me that were not aware of Micky's involvement at all until they looked at the merchandise that was being offered and spied copies of last year's "Monkeemania 2002" live CD being sold to patrons.) Depending on how you look at that, this may be a good thing--it could be that Micky and the Powers That Be were looking to downplay the Monkee image, and concentrate on how Micky can do on his own, as an entertainer in his own right. If the packed house that I saw was any indication, that is quite well!

I've been thinking about how I want to end this little mini-review for a little while now. I can't very well tell you to go out and see the show, as by the time you read this, the show will already have come to a close on the road. Let's just say that Micky was fantastic, and I am sure that should he take on his role on Broadway, as is the rumor, that he will continue to wow the audiences. The only thing that I hope is that a new cast album is recorded which features Micky, as well as some of the other fantastic musicians and singers in this touring production, and that he returns to the area again soon for an encore. Ya did good, Micky...kudos on a job well done.