Before “Harry Potter,” there was “Aladdin.”
Many people associate me with the Boy Who Lived (“Hey Steph! What’s that one spell that turns on the lights?”), but since I was a child, Disney’s 1992 “Aladdin” movie had a stronger hold on me than anything else. So when Disney first announced last January that they were bringing “Aladdin” to Broadway, I was ecstatic. I knew I had to see it. And on Saturday night, a week after it began previews, I finally did.
The show was everything I could’ve hoped for and more. It stayed true to the movie, while also adding and removing a few things to make it more adaptable for the stage. Obviously, the genie isn’t going to be able to shape shift into different people and objects, but that didn’t make his character any less entertaining on stage. From the opening number, “Arabian Nights,” I had goosebumps. They kept all the songs from the movie and even added a few more, which were just as catchy! Certain lines of dialogue from the movie were also included, but a lot was also changed to make it more relevant to the times we live in.
Jonathan Freeman, who voiced Jafar in the movie, reprised the character on stage. I cackled so loud when he said, “Prince Abubu” and was on the edge of my seat toward the end when he sang his (evil) version of “Prince Ali.” My brain could not handle hearing Jafar in real life, just a few feet away from me on the stage. The rest of the cast was equally amazing; Adam Jacobs who plays Aladdin even sounded a bit like the character from the movie (and wore the infamous vest well); Jasmine was as feisty and beautiful as you would expect, and every time the Genie was on stage, you knew you were in for a treat.
I went to the show with my cousin, who is just as big of a fan as I am. We both wore Aladdin shirts from Hot Topic – seriously, check out their Disney collection – and went a little overboard at the merchandise stand. But we made a friend named Zach, so shout out to him for being so patient and awesome with us!
I already have tickets to go back next month with another group of friends, and I’m counting down the (32) days before I return.
Have any more questions about the show and want spoilers? Ask them in the comments! I’m only too happy to dish and continue fangirling.