From left:  Toddra Brunson as Aida, and Charles Benitez as Radames, just before being the characters are buried alive.

From left:  Toddra Brunson as Aida, and Charles Benitez as Radames, just before being the characters are buried alive.

Put away your librettos and Cliffs Notes, for Elton John and Tim Rice have transposed one of the greatest Italian operas, Aida, by Giuseppe Verdi, into a love story the general public can understand.

Under the direction of the Seminole’s Executive Director, Mickey McGuire, this “Timeless Love Story” was presented with an array of flamboyant costumes enhanced by the creative genius of volunteer Production Manager & Designer, Frankie Navarro affectionately dubbed as “the Prop Meister.”

This story centers around a Nubian Princess Aida (Toddra Brunson), who is captured by an Egyptian Warrior Radames (Charles Benitez). Though Radames is engaged to be married to Egyptian Princess Amneris (Arielle Benitez), he falls in love with Aida. Coupled by his release of the Nubian King, and the

discovery of his affair with Aida, both Radames and his lover are condemned to separate death sentences.

However, Princess Amneris steps forward and gives them the opportunity to be buried alive, in each other’s arms, beneath the sands in an Egyptian tomb.

As this story began to unravel, my expectations were not too high since I have seen the original story professionally performed on stage several times. But like English Reality TV Judge Simon Cowell during the performance by Susan Boyle, my attitude was blown away by the strength and quality

of the entire cast. It was unfortunate that I waited for the final performance, for at the bargain price of $15.00 per ticket I would have seen it several times.

It is always amazing attending a show at the Seminole Theatre. There is such a variety of entertainment for a bit more then the price of a movie ticket plus the popcorn. The audience seems to love plays that use local talent. This cast ranged in age from senior citizens to several 14 year olds. From now on, when I flip the three minute egg timer, I will think of the sands of Egypt and the performance of Aida at the Seminole.

For those who have yet to witness a live performance at the Seminole…shame on you! People from all over Miami-Dade and Broward are discovering our “Little Theatre with GIGANTIC performances.”

I encourage you to support the entertainment at the Seminole Theatre and help rebuild the luster of Downtown Homestead. You will not be disappointed!

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