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Aladdin: The Musical

Is pretty much unnecessary.

Spoilers for the stage show!


Balmut, rest assured the movie is far superior.

I had high hopes for this production, since Aladdin is one of my favourite Disney movies. My sister and I wore out our first VHS copy oh-so-many years ago. So when it appeared as part of our theatre subscription, we were really excited! It`s Aladdin!

So, I'm going to assume you've seen Aladdin: Magic and Abu and Rajah and Iago and flying carpets and Genie doing even more magic.


Yeah, no. They went for the cheap jokes, I assume for the children. It was cheesy and campy. And not the good kind of campy- the bad kind of campy.

Abu was played by three new characters - Aladdin's streetrat friends. They also acted as a chorus - describing events, setting up scene changes, etc. No, thank you. They had names, but let's just call them Red, Blue and Green. Green was a bigger guy, so he got all the "I'm always hungry-Did someone say a food word?-Let's go eat!" jokes. My eyes rolled so hard it hurt.


Iago fared slightly better. He just became an Igor-like henchman to Jafar. No Rajah, though. Booo!

The Genie grabbed the stage and ran with it, though. Of course, if they didn't find someone with a crap-ton of personality for the Genie there would have been riots in the theatre.


His "Friend Like Me" number did bring some much-needed liveliness to the show, but it went on about a minute too long, as they had added more to it. It also took a slightly-creepy turn, as they had Aladdin sit in a chair while the "Lookee here" dancers 'poofed' out and danced around him. It honestly looked a little like a lap dance. *Grimace*

The 'Prince Ali' parade? Disappointing. I want to see the golden camels and peacocks and white Persian monkeys. They did not appear.


They did give us a magic carpet ride, though. While at first it was intriguing, it quickly became ridiculous. Did you know Jasmine and Al left the Earth and went flying among the planets? News to me!

Now, Jafar. Jafar Jafar Jafar. They voice actor for the movie is actually a Broadway actor, so they conscripted him to play Jafar on stage. While the same voice was comforting (unlike in The Lion King stage show, where I want to hear James Earl Jones all the time and it isn't), his performance didn't feel right. Not menacing enough.


They added some new songs, some of which of I'd heard of before, like "Proud of Your Boy." Well, if I hadn't heard it before I certainly have now: He sang it once, and reprised it twice. I get it! It's a good song!

There were some good parts, do get me wrong. The costumes were rich and detailed. The way the Genie came out of and into his lamp was delightful. And the magic carpet's 'trick' was seamless; I couldn't see the wires. Most of the performer's have lovely singing voices.


Essentially, after it was finished, I wondered why it was made in the first place. There is too much magic and too many sassy animal sidekicks to be properly displayed in a stage production. The songs weren't always adapted to work with the stage show. Jafar's little song at the end about sending Aladdin to the ends of the earth? Well, Aladdin doesn't go anywhere so that song doesn't make much sense.

Unlike The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, this stage adaptation didn't enrich the original movie and story. It just made me want to watch the original and forget this ever happened. Which I probably will.


** New Yorkers: This is the pre-Broadway showcase, so some things might change before it gets to you next year.

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