|Aladdin and Jasmine under the starry sky.|
I’ve nabbed great seats to my share of spectacular Broadway musicals over the years, but last week I sat just eight rows from the stage during Aladdin, Disney’s new contribution to the Great White Way.
Wednesday happened to be our wedding anniversary too, so this fun-filled night was even more memorable. As the love duet says, Aladdin transported us “A Million Miles Away,” as we remembered our Atlanta wedding 14 years earlier.
Mike and I settled into our side orchestra seats, neither of us knew what to expect, but our expectations were exceeded –– we loved the show from start to finish. We were captivated by the multi-talented cast, lavish sets and costumes, the old-fashioned love story, and of course, the famous magic carpet ride with a flickering night sky in the background. (We didn’t detect any strings!)
|Jasmine and Aladdin dream of traveling a million miles away.|
The cast was fantastic! James Monroe Inglehart wowed the audience as a hilarious Genie, while Adam Jacobs tugged at our heartstrings as Aladdin. Jonathan Freeman’s shrill voice sounded through the theater as the villainous Jafar, and Don Darryl Rivera lightened the mood as Iago, his outlandish sidekick, garnering laugh after laugh. Courtney Reed’s beauty and sweet vocals echoed the essence of a princess in her portrayal as Jasmine, and the amazing ensemble never missed a step, staying in sync while successfully performing big numbers with props, which is no easy task.
|James Monroe Inglehart delivers a wow performance as the Genie.|
|The ensemble performed intricately choreographed numbers without flaw.|
After the performance, we had a talkback with a few members of the cast. Some play multiple roles, and many have numerous costume changes, often switching complete outfits in just seconds before reentering the stage for a new scene. This show is fast-moving with few lulls, and I imagine is exhausting to perform day in and day out. Dancers repeatedly pull off jumps, acrobatics, and high-energy choreography. When someone asked Jaz Sealey (Prince Abdullah) and Marisha Wallace (Fortune Teller) what they like to do on their one day off per week, they both replied simultaneously, “ICE!” (The performers ice their tired and sore muscles, so they are ready for another eight shows to begin that week.)
Aladdin may have been an animated film geared towards children, but the stage adaptation is a show for all ages. Adults will be entertained, and children will be enchanted. With its clever one liners and melodic score, colorfully costumed cast, and show-stopping numbers, Aladdin is a Broadway musical for everyone. Catch it at the New Amsterdam Theatre, and purchase the cast album on iTunes, or on Amazon beginning June 17.
New Amsterdam Theatre
214 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
Tues at 7 p.m.
Wed at 2 and 8 p.m.
Thurs at 8 p.m.
Fri at 8 p.m.
Sat at 2 and 8 p.m.
Sunday at 3 p.m.
Thanks to Aladdin Broadway for our tickets. Photos courtesy of Aladdin.