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Logan Presents “AIDA”

aida-logoBY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE - John A. Logan College will present “AIDA,” the Tony Award-winning musical with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice about the forbidden love between an enslaved Nubian princess and an Egyptian soldier.

Two evening performances are set for Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. and an afternoon performance is on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. They will be held in Logan’s O’Neil Auditorium, and tickets for the shows are $12 for general admission and $7 for JALC students and children 12 and under.

Derek Hamblin of Carbondale is directing the production.

‘”AIDA’ is a pop-rock musical that tells the story of forbidden love and shows that in the end, true love will always find itself,” Hamblin said. “Elton John wrote wonderful music for the show, which I really love. The music is a lot of fun.”

Hamblin has high praise for the costume designer.

“Joanne Ridenour made the costumes for the show and they are amazing,” Hamblin said. “She helped with the costuming when we did ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat’ last semester, and she does great work. The musical is an Egyptian story with a modern twist and the clothing reflects that. It’s very bright and colorful.”

Brandyn McGhee, the theater technician at Logan, plays the male lead in the musical.

“I’m playing Radames, the Egyptian soldier who falls in love with Aida,” said McGhee, who also serves as the show’s technical director. “I played this same role a few years ago in a community theater production so I’m familiar with the character. This experience has been a little different, though because we’ve completely redesigned the set. Since I build the sets, I was able to make them more elaborate. The director has also chosen different choreography, staging, and lighting so while it is the same show, there are many differences.”

Veteran performer Melissa Olsen of Carterville, a music student at JALC and the reigning Mrs. Volunteer, plays the title role.

“I was a professional actor and singer for 15 years, and this is the first part I’ve had in many years where I’m not funny at all,” Olsen said. “It’s very dramatic and a very different role for me. It’s a challenge but I’m enjoying it. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play the title role in an Elton John musical. It’s a great story and the music is incredible. I think people will love the show.”

For more information about “AIDA” or to order advance tickets, contact the Office of Student Activities and Cultural Events at Logan at 618-985-2828 or 618-457-7676, Ext. 8287.