Without doubt, Disney Theatrical’s latest production, Aladdin, simply has to be the hottest ticket on Broadway right now.
Whilst I thought that it lacked the sophistication of sister show, The Lion King, it isn’t really a show that cries out for clever costumes and heavily thought through movement and choreography.
Aladdin has transferred well to the stage, and it has been managed with with minimal change/deviation to the movie’s story – I ended up liking the band of friends a lot more than I thought I would, from the OBC Soundtrack, though I grew up with the movie and definitely missed sidekick Abu and Jasmine’s tiger pal Raja. Whilst we’re talking animals, Iago has been very strongly cast, and Don Darryl Rivera played perfectly with Jonathan Freeman’s epic and dastardly Jafar, bringing to life the best Disney villain ever created in my opinion – the character he originated in the 1992 movie..
Of course, the show really should be called ‘Genie’ for Tony Award winning James M. Iglehart is the absolute star of the show, and probably the hottest talent on Broadway at the moment. I really can’t say enough about this chap – the sort of guy who you wish was your friend in real life and with a sassy personality to boot!
Of course, the show is a team effort, and top marks to everyone appearing in it, especially all the toned men (Adam Jacobs, as Aladdin, I’m looking at you here!), ha! 😉
My only gripe with the set was that I felt they could have made a lot more of the Cave of Wonders and the Palace itself. I loved the inventive way that the Genie was able to enter ad exit the stage, but I did feel that Jafar’s demise fell a bit flat on the staging side, compared with the movie.
Ultimately a fantastic show, which I really hope makes it across to the West End. I would, however, worry a little for the show’s success once they have a cast change if I am truly honest. The Genie role, worryingly, lends itself to celebrity casting – a direction I sincerely hope that they avoid. Pay him as much as you need to, but keep James M. Iglehart on board at all costs would be my advice!