Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Aladdin Headed to Broadway!



Since the very first time I saw Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular at the Disney California Adventure, Hyperion Theater during its opening week, in January 2003 I felt it was more than fit for Broadway. It has left DCA had gone on the Disney Cruise line, the newest ship in the fleet, Fantasy has the show for evening entertainment on its 7 night and longer cruises.

The Aladdin Musical at DCA is Broadway caliber in performance, sets, costumes and quality of content. Where it lacks is length of show. It is quick moving and full of fun but at around 40 minutes it is not long enough for Broadway. Great for a show at the park or an evening entertainment on a cruise ship but needs a lot added to be on Broadway. The DCA version has left out two of my favorite characters, Abu and Raja. It leaves out several scenes from the movie that could be added on a Broadway stage.

The announcement was made at Destination D at the Disneyland Resort on August 12th, 2012 that Aladdin is headed to Broadway and has already made stops in Seattle and St Louis and is on stage in Utah through October of this year.

Allen Menkin announced that there are several songs that were dropped from the movie that are being used in the stage version, including “Proud of Your Boy”. He also said there are three new songs, “Call Me A Princess,” “Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim” (This song is named after several new characters not in the movie. They act as a Greek Chorus.), and “High Adventure.”

Menkin wrote a song for the DCA stage version called “To Be Free” Jasmine sings the song to a caged bird as Aladdin uses carpet to reach her parapet. I’ve not heard mention of this quite engaging song being used in the Broadway version. This song is beautiful and a great addition to the story. It also gives Iago some lines he can reuse as jokes at the end. I hope they decided to bring it forward.

What I find so engaging in the DCA version is the adaptability of the show. It has wide appeal to both the young and young at heart. Iago and Genie are allowed to adlib and change the jokes to fit current events in the news and pop culture. I’m sure this will be true in the Broadway version as well.

Many of the performers that were in the 2003 opening cast are now on Broadway and beyond. I’m dreaming of a reunion cast with the original main four reprising their parts on Broadway.

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