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A Reimagined Aida Will Debut at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2021

A national tour of the Elton John and Tim Rice musical will follow the New Jersey premiere.

A reimagined version of Elton John's musical Aida will premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse, followed by a national tour.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

Paper Mill Playhouse has announced plans to premiere a reimagined version of Elton John and Tim Rice's hit musical Aida during its 2020-21 season. The premiere, directed by Schele Williams (original Broadway cast member) and choreographed by Tony nominee Camille A. Brown, will run at Paper Mill Playhouse from February 4-March 7, 2021.

The production will feature a book revised by David Henry Hwang, who coauthored the original production with Linda Woolverton and Robert Falls. Following the Paper Mill Playhouse premiere, the show will launch a national tour playing Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; Nashville, Tennessee; Philadelphia; and Washington, DC, among other cities to be announced.

The creative team will include sets and costumes by Bob Crowley and lighting by Natasha Katz, both of whom won Tonys for their work on Aida in 2000. The music department includes Jason Michael Webb (musical supervision), Michael McElroy (vocal arrangements and co-incidental arranger), Jim Abbott (orchestrations), and Zane Mark (dance arrangements).

"Aida is in my DNA in ways I had never imagined until I began the journey for this production," said Williams. "I have a rich history with the show that I am very proud of, but when I recently made some discoveries about the history of its time period, the show broke open for me. It truly is the butterfly effect; subtle shifts have taken a story I love and turned it into an adventure I can't wait for audiences to discover."

Aida tells the story of star-crossed lovers belonging to feuding nations, torn between their conflicted loyalties to their countries and to each other. The musical opened at the Palace Theatre on March 23, 2000, and closed on Broadway on September 5, 2004 after nearly 2,000 performances. The show was nominated for five Tony Awards, winning four, including Best Score.

Casting will be announced later this year.