Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Aladdin the Musical Spectacular / Now at Disney California Adventure, Soon to Set Sail on the Disney Fantasy.

  1. Aladdin the Musical Spectacular

Now at Disney California Adventure, Soon to Set Sail on the Disney Fantasy.

At Disney California Adventure there is a fantastic Broadway style live stage show. It is in the Hyperion Theater and is free with admission to the park. The show is an amazing 45 minutes long. According to Disney Aladdin will be sailing on the Disney Fantasy when she takes to the sea in the next couple of months. I have enjoyed watching this show many times at Disney California Adventure. I highly recommend anyone going to DCA or on the Fantasy make sure you see this show. I hope that someday I can sail on the Fantasy to see how they adapted the show to the ships theater.

The play starts out much as the movie does with the storyteller coming out and singing a welcome and giving you the background of the story of the Genie in the Lamp. As he leaves the curtain comes up revealing the Cave of Wonders. Jafar and Iago send a poor helpless peasant into the cave and the mouth slams shut!

 There is a quick seen change and you are now in the city of Agrabah. Aladdin comes running through the people and the chase is on! He is finally captured and Jafar comes to his "rescue". Soon Aladdin finds out that Jafar has other than altruistic reasons for helping him. Jafar takes Aladdin to the Cave of Wonders and tosses him in! Now you get to follow Aladdin into the Cave of Wonders meeting Carpet and Genie in the bowels of the earth. There is a fantastic adaptation of Friend Like Me with a lit stairway and multiplying Genies.

In just that short time you have seven set changes and the show is just getting started!

Now the fun really begins as Jafar tells Jasmine that no one is going to just walk into the castle and blow a trumpet announcing the love of her life. At that point Genie comes in to a great amount of fanfare with trumpets. He announces Prince Ali and a parade commences through the audience! Aladdin comes in riding on a near life size elephant puppet! There is much dancing and singing as the parade continues through the audience ending at the stage where Prince Ali jumps off the elephant onto the stage to announce himself to Princess Jasmine. Just like the movie she rejects him and goes off leaving Aladdin, Genie and Carpet alone. Aladdin decides to use carpet to go talk to Jasmine.

At this point Jasmine sings a song written for the play. This is a beautiful solo replacing the scene with Jasmine and Raja in the garden. (Raja and Abu are not in the play.) Aladdin climbs over her parapet and Jasmine finally agrees to take a spin on the magic carpet. Look up at this part and you will see Aladdin and Jasmine flying over head! They sing "A Whole New World" as places famous in history are played out on the stage of clouds by dancers. The song ends with Aladdin and Jasmine on the stage with the dancers. During the song dancers, magical camels and horses parade around the audience. Often they will come over to the audience members seated near the aisle and let you pet them.

It is back to the castle for Aladdin and Jasmine. She tells Aladdin that she is going to talk to her father. Genie thinks Aladdin will keep his word to free him but Aladdin is too scared of losing Jasmine and does not. Jafar and Iago hear the exchange and Jafar takes matters in his own hands and captures Aladdin taking the lamp!

Jafar revels to the Sultan and Jasmine that Prince Ali is really Aladdin. With Jafar in position of the lamp he controls Genie. He tells Genie to make him Sultan. Genie does make him Sultan. For his second wish Jafar tells Genie to make him an all powerful sorcerer. Genie is required to. Aladdin tricks Jafar into believing that Genie, having the power to make Jafar so powerful must be more powerful. Jafar then demands to be turned into a Genie. As a Genie Jafar is all powerful but he must be confined to the lamp and live under the control of whoever has the lamp.

There is much singing and rejoicing that Jafar is vanquished and Aladdin is recognized as worthy of Jasmine's love.

This show has many special effects. As stated above Carpet flies above the audience, Genie and Jafar shoot up into the "sky" and people and things appear and disappear throughout the show. In total I believe there are over a dozen set changes and multiple costume changes for each actor. It will be extremely interesting to see how Disney adapts this marvelously engaging play to the stage of the Disney Fantasy.

What makes this show so wonderful is Genie, Jafar, Iago and to some extent Aladdin are allowed to adlib. The show is never quite the same. Genie is always changing the jokes so they hold the interest of the adults without being inappropriate in any way. The jokes are usually themed to current events in the news. I always love looking for the subtle changes they make in the show. Here is an old example. When Martha Stewart was in trouble Genie would tell the following set of jokes when explaining the "Genie Rules".

You can only have three wishes. Don't be greedy like Martha Stewart.

I can't make somebody fall in love with you. Just like Dr. Phill.

I can't raise the dead. It takes someone much more powerful than me, like Zeus, Apollo or Martha Stewart.

Another adaption of these jokes is.

You can only have three wishes. Bada Bing Bada Boom Don't think about it! (said in a Mafioso tone)

I can't make someone fall in love with you. I tried it on Britney Spears and that lasted about 50 hours.

I can't raise the dead.  I tried it once for a guy by the name of Jerry Garcia and he was so not Grateful!

I hope that sometime you, each of my readers gets a chance to see this wonderful adaption of the Disney movie Aladdin either at DCA or on the Disney Fantasy.

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