Audiences of all ages will love the newest production of Disney’s Aladdin on stage at the New Amsterdam Theatre on the Great White Way. The musical tells the story of Aladdin, a self-proclaimed street rat of the fictional city of Agrabah. Through his travels, he encounters a genie, who is able to grant three wishes.
Wanting to be close to Princess Jasmine, Aladdin wishes to become royalty as well. Yet, the evil Jafar – consult to the Sultan, Jasmine’s father – has other plans and takes every action possible to thwart the budding romance. Aladdin, backed by Genie and Jasmine, must battle Jafar to save Agrabah from ruin. What will happen when the princess realizes Aladdin is not a real prince? Will their love survive? Audiences will have to wait and see.
The 2014 production of Aladdin has performed well on Broadway since its debut. Based on the 1992 Disney musical of the same name, the play opened in Seattle in 2011 and on Broadway in 2014. The show was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Performance for a Featured Actor in a Musical, which James Monroe Iglehart (Genie) won. In addition, the cast album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
At the helm is Casey Nicholaw, best known as director and choreographer behind fan favorites including The Book of Mormon, Something Rotten!, Tuck Everlasting and Elf: The Musical. The original team of musician Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman is back, with help from Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin – who also wrote the book of the musical.
Aladdin is a production for theatregoers old and young. While some audience members may be familiar with the story and music, the play is sure to keep people on their toes and maybe even dancing in the aisles.
Cast and Crew Introduction
Aladdin features a talented cast and crew. The current roster is as follows:
Adam Jacobs as Aladdin
James Monroe Iglehart as Genie
Jonathan Freeman as Jafar
Courtney Reed as Jasmine
Steel Burkhardt as Kassim
Brian Gonzales as Babkak
Brad Weinstock as Omar
Clifton Davis as Sultan
Don Darryl Rivera as Iago
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin
Book by Chad Beguelin
Direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw
Scenic Design by Bob Crowley
Costume Design by Gregg Barnes
Lighting Design by Natasha Katz
Sound Design by Ken Travis
Aladdin is currently playing at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway. The space seats around 1,700 people, split between orchestra, mezzanine and balcony sections.
Aladdin officially opened March 20, 2014. The show currently has an open run, with no end date set.
Critics and audiences alike have had positive reactions to the Broadway production of Disney’s Aladdin:
“…the prospect of Aladdin, promising another weary night in the presence of a spunky youngster and wisecracking animals, didn’t exactly set my heart racing. But this latest musical adapted from one of Disney’s popular movies, which opened on Thursday night at the New Amsterdam Theater, defied my dour expectations. As directed and choreographed (and choreographed, and choreographed) by Casey Nicholaw, and adapted by the book writer Chad Beguelin, Aladdin has an infectious and only mildly syrupy spirit. Not to mention enough baubles, bangles and beading to keep a whole season of RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants in runway attire…
…James Monroe Iglehart, [is] a burly and… genial presence who presides over the proceedings with a wink and a sly smile, and stops the show on cue (it must be in his contract) when he emerges from his lamp to sing the hyperactive ‘Friend Like Me.’ As Mr. Iglehart races through Ashman’s witty lyrics with impressive breath control, the gold-dripping cave designed by Bob Crowley (in excellent form) explodes with members of the chorus performing a series of antic divertissements.
‘Just be yourself,’ the Genie says to Aladdin, when lesson-learning time arrives. But the production’s relentless razzle-dazzle and its anything-for-a-laugh spirit also infuse the show with a winking suggestion: If you can’t be yourself, just be fabulous.” – The New York Times
“The carpet flies, kids, and it’s awesome. Aladdin, an urchin from the streets, and Princess Jasmine float far away into the extremely twinkly sky.
Such awesomeness, of course, is to be expected from “Aladdin,” Disney’s latest Broadway translation of a beloved animated fantasy. But what’s a whole new world, as the song promises, is the almost modest, down-to-earth human scale of director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw’s big, cheerful production — an enjoyable throwback to old-time musical comedy… The result is sweeter, with spiky comic humans who almost make up for the missing animal sidekicks, and with three endearing Ashman songs that didn’t make it into the film…Courtney Reed’s Jasmine is surprisingly womanly, even a bit sultry, for a Disney heroine.” – Newsday
“…no Broadway performer is currently burning more calories per second than James Monroe Iglehart does during ‘Friend Like Me’ … [Aladdin] delivers a rush that may surprise folks who attend either as chaperones or to relive their own youths… Beguelin uses obvious jokes and references, yet they’re delivered with such gleeful savvy by Nicholaw and his excellent company that you suspend skepticism and dive right in…Even the most jaded observers will …share in [the] enthusiasm.” – USA Today
“The clapping starts during the overture, as the orchestra strikes up the familiar notes of Alan Menken’s Oscar-winning score. And it’s hard to resist the toe-tapping charms of ‘Friend Like Me’ or the lush ballad ‘A Whole New World.’ …As the young thief Aladdin, the buff and adorable Adam Jacobs seems like a 3-D cartoon…James Monroe Iglehart plays the genie as a cross between Robin Williams… and RuPaul.
Overall, this is one of the better Disney stage musicals, complete with several eye-popping production numbers that benefit from Nicholaw’s spirited choreography, Bob Crowley’s elaborate and chameleonic sets, and Gregg Barnes’ glittery costumes.” – Entertainment Weekly