Aladdin and his famous story, loved by generations after generations, needs few words for an introduction. Let yourself be transported back in time in the realm of mystery, beautifully lit palace’s domes, flying carpets, magical princesses and talking parrots. Smell the Arabian coffee, feel the breeze of the night wind moving through the Old City and listen to the amazing tale that lives forever. Played all over the world, this musical will undoubtedly send shivers down your back. As The Wall Street Journal simply puts it, Aladdin is simply “Broadway Magic!”
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The musical follows the famous tale in which a poor young man who is accustomed to stealing from the street vendors of the fictional Arabian town of Agrabah, gets into trouble and is later saved by a magical Genie. Aladdin must enter the Cave of Wonders to retrieve a lamp after he gets arrested by the authorities but saved from prison by Jafar, the Sultan’s Grand Vizier. In order to make things right, Aladin, a pure soul, must retrieve the magical lamp for Jafar, whose evil plans are to overtake the Kingdom and become the next Sultan.
Things don’t go as planned inside the Cave of Wonders. Freed by the Genie from the evil cave, Aladdin sets up to win Princess Jasmine and marry her, which is unheard off in the Arabian world, as princesses never marry street thieves. With dangers posed by the Grand Vizier and his band of killers at every corner, eager to get their hands on the lamp, Aladdin embarks on an impossible quest filled with adventures and despair, as he gets ready to confront even the darkest of forces in order to win Jasmine’s heart forever.
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Past, Present, Future
Aladdin – The Musical is based on the original, 1992 Disney animated film. Music is provided by world-class musician Alan Menken, with lyrics by three of the most important figures in the business, Howard Ashman, Chad Beguelin and Tim Rice. Chad Beguelin also wrote the book for the play. First rumours of the play were made public back in 2010 when Alan Menken confirmed that he and his team were working on a theatrical adaptation of the famous animated movie.
Although the characters were deemed to be Middle Eastern, the cast was composed by James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Adam Jacobs as Aladdin and Courtney Reed as Jasmine. After the first production in Seattle in 2011 and several other regional and international shows in 2012, Aladdin was offered a Toronto play in 2013. Soon afterwards, the musical had its fabulous debut on Broadway on March 20th, 2014 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The play was nominated for 5 Tony Awards.
Besides the home run, Aladdin was soon to be a worldwide phenomenon in musical theatre, as the play is now produced in the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan and other countries occasionally. In London, the musical is playing at the Prince Edward Theatre from June 15th, 2016 until the present day and forward. Main character Aladdin is played by Dean John-Wilson, alongside beautiful and talented Jade Ewen as Jasmine. Trevor Dion Nicholas plays the role of the Genie, considered to be one of the best performances for the character in all of the play’s history.
Back at the Broadway theatre, actor Isabelle Mccalla replaced Courtney Reed as Jasmine and Telly Leung replaced Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, with the original cast currently being on a national tour in the United States. The tour is now playing in Los Angeles, with following performances in Denver, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Boston and so on.
About the director
Award-winning director Casey Nicholaw, aged 55, is the original director of the musical, now directing the London production. He is also the lead choreographer of the play, and has won Tony Awards for his directing of famous plays like “Something Rotten!”, “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and “The Book of Mormon”. Casey started his career as a performer, with different roles in plays like “Crazy For You”, “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, “Saturday Night Fever” and others. In total, he won 6 awards in his career and is now favorite for two “Helpmann Awards” for “Best Choreography in a Musical”, for “Aladdin” and “The Book of Mormon”.
For the Broadway show at the New Amsterdam Theater, tickets to the play are available online on the official website, www.aladdinthemusical.com. Ticket prices vary for the play, so make sure you book in advance if you’re looking for the best scores. Prices start at $76,9 for a seat at the Mezzanine, $99.5 for an Orchestra seat and $199 for a premium seat. Performances are scheduled daily and even two times per day on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, with no performances on Mondays. The official full schedule is available on the website.
If you’re looking for your seat at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, you can visit the official website at www.aladdinthemusical.co.uk for the best tickets available. Ticket prices start from as low as 29,95 pounds for a balcony seat, and can reach sums like 100+ pounds for a premium seat. Performances are set to take place every day of the week except for Sundays, with singular, 7:30 PM performances on Thursdays and Saturdays and double performances for the rest of the week, starting at 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM. As usual, do book in advance and try to get a mid-week ticket, as weekend and afternoon tickets are ultimately more expensive.
Don’t forget to check out places like SeatGeek and StubHub for comparison, as you might find even better deals sometimes due to special offers.
Fun facts about “Aladdin – The Musical”
- In the West End production of Aladdin, special effects are taken cared off by Jim Steinmeyer, the famous master magician and illusions designer behind David Copperfield and his famous illusions;
- For obvious reasons, Abu the monkey and Rajah the tiger were unfortunately excluded from the live performances, with Rajah the tiger being replaced by 3 handmaidens which are serving Princess Jasmine and safely giving her advice during the play;
- There are 11 musical numbers in the first act and 9 musical numbers in the second act, totalling for 20 songs in the entire play.