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From the big screen to a Broadway stage, Walt Disney’s 1992 family favorite, Aladdin’ comes to life. The musical features all the songs we know and love, all our favorite characters and more. Alladin: The Musical first hit the stage for its premiere in 2011 in Seattle at The 5th Avenue Theatre. It opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 20, 2014. With music written by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, the captivating rags to riches story is reborn.

The Broadway production follows a similar storyline to the one created by Walt Disney, but with a few alterations. In this production, we are introduced to some new characters and to a slightly different storyline. The cast for the original Broadway show; Aladdin-Adam Jacobs Jasmine. Courtney ReedGenie-James Monroe. Inglehart Jafar-Jonathan Freeman. Sultan-Clifton Davis. Lago-Darrly Rivera.

Plot

Same as the popular film adaptation, Aladdin is a poor young man who steals from merchants to survive. In this version however, the famous Abu, his trusty companion is not part of this story. Neither is Jasmine’s tiger, Rajah. Instead, Aladdin is accompanied by three friends, Kassim, Omar and Babkak who are also thieves. Jafar’s sidekick lago, in the film was originally a parrot but in the musical was rewritten as a man. Aladdin wishes that he didn’t have to steal to survive. This is strongly evident in the new song Proud of Your Boy’ where Aladdin vows to never steal again after the tragic death of his mother. We do not know the story of his father in the musical.

Meanwhile, back in the palace, the beautiful and young Princess Jasmine refuses yet another suitor her father, the sultan has chosen for her. She longs to be free, to choose her own husband. But unfortunately the law clearly states that she must be married by her next birthday, which is only three days away. Jasmine is not the only one who is troubled by this news. The sultan’s evil adviser, Jafar is also disturbed by this news. But for his own reasons. He wants to claim the crown for himself. He devises a plan to convince the sultan to agree to let him marry Jasmine.

The only way for Jafar to succeed is for him to enter the Cave of Wonders. It is said that the only one who may enter the cave is someone who is a diamond in the rough. Jafar asks the identity of the so-called diamond in the rough. It is revealed that it is Aladdin. He sets out to find Aladdin to trick him into getting the treasure that lies within the cave, the genie lamp. He disguises himself as an old peddler. When Aladdin realizes that he fell into a trap, he tricks Jafar and secretly steals back the lamp.

Jasmine runs away from home out to the marketplace, where she meets Aladdin and his friends. She disguises herself as a commoner to experience life outside the palace walls. Unfortunately she gets in trouble from one of the merchants because she tried to give a crying boy a piece of fruit and being unable to pay. But Aladdin whisks her away to his secret hideout where they both express their feelings about their current lives. Aladdin immediately falls in love with her.

Captivated by his love for jasmine, Aladdin wishes Genie to turn him into a prince so that he can court Jasmine legally. He is transformed into Prince Ali and goes to the palace to ask the sultan for Jasmine’s hand in marriage. The sultan is thrilled with Prince Ali or rather Aladdin and introduces him to Jasmine. Jasmine thinks that he is just another snobby suitor but then she realizes there is something strangely familiar about him. Jafar is also suspicious of him and tricks him again. This time he tricks him into going into Jasmine’s quarters which is forbidden unless supervised. Aladdin is arrested and sentenced to death.

His friends hear of his arrest and invade the palace to free him but they are unsuccessful and are thrown into prison with Aladdin. But Genie comes to their rescue when Aladdin wishes them to be free.

When he is free, he is confronted by the Sultan. He is granted permission to marry Jasmine. Aladdin confesses to Genie that he has decided to use his last wish for another purpose if he ever needed it rather than to free Genie. Genie is devastated and refuses to speak to Aladdin. Jafar then finds the lamp and Genie then has to serve him instead of Aladdin. Jafar reveals Aladdin’s true identity, a commoner from the streets; to the sultan, moments before he is about to reveal the news of their engagement. He is baffled a he comes to terms with this unexpected development.

Genie is forced to take Jasmine prisoner on Jafar’s wishes but Aladdin tricks him into wishing to become a genie and traps him inside the lamp for all eternity. Hope is finally restored and Aladdin uses his last wish to set Genie free. Lago is thrown into prison.

Post-production

In 2014, the musical was nominated for the Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards. James Monroe Inglehart, who played Genie, won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor and Outstanding Featured Actor. In 2015, it was nominated for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Conclusion

Aladdin: The musical was international success. The musical was staged in several countries all over the world including Japan, at the Dentsu Shiki Theatre Umi in Tokyo, Hamburg, Germany, The West End Theatre in London, and the Capitol Theatre here in Australia. For years to come we will continue to cherish and appreciate the magic the story has brought to us. It shows us how to be grateful for what we have in life and to be careful what we wish for because it always comes with a price. That is only a few of the morals I personally have interpreted from both the film and the musical. The amazing talent behind the musical was extraordinary. Not just the actors but the entire production team.

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