Aladdin. New Amsterdam Theatre (see Broadway). Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Directed by Casey Nicholaw. With Adam Jacobs, James Monroe Iglehart, Courtney Reed. Running time: 2hrs 20mins. One intermission.
Aladdin: In brief
Disney unveils its latest cartoon-to-musical project: the tale of a boy, an uncorked spirit and an aerodynamic rug. Composer Alan Menken adds new tunes to the 1992 original soundtrack, and Chad Beguelin provides a fresh book. Reputed highlights include James Monroe Iglehart's bouncy Genie and the flying-carpet F/X.
Aladdin: Theater review by Adam Feldman
What do we wish for in a Disney musical? It is unrealistic to expect aesthetic triumph on par with The Lion King, but neither need we settle for blobs of empty action like Tarzan or The Little Mermaid. The latest in the toon-tuner line, Aladdin, falls between those poles; nearer in style (though inferior in stakes) to Disney’s first effort, Beauty and the Beast, the show is a tricked-out, tourist-family-friendly theme-park attraction, decorated this time in the billowing fabrics of orientalist Arabian fantasy. “It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home,” sings the genial Genie (a game, charismatic Iglehart) in the opening song, and that’s the tone of Aladdin as a whole: kid-Oriented.
As in the 1992 film, the Genie steals the show from its eponymous “street rat” hero (Jacobs, white teeth and tan chest agleam). The musical’s high point is the hard-sell “Friend Like Me,” in which the fourth-wall-breaking spirit summons wave upon wave of razzle-dazzle to demonstrate the scope of his power. (The number matches the rococo cornucopia of the New Amsterdam Theatre.) Granted three wishes for freeing the Genie from a lamp, Aladdin uses the first to become the extravagant Prince Ali, a potentate worthy of the Sultan’s spunky daughter, Jasmine (Reed); later he takes her for a ride on a flying carpet that more closely resembles a flying Craftmatic adjustable bed.
Aside from the tonic of Iglehart’s djinn, however, Aladdin is short on magic. Director Casey Nicholaw fills the stage with activity, and Jonathan Freeman and Don Darryl Rivera offer ripe turns as a villainous vizier and his squawking sidekick. But the plotting drifts into weightless silliness, with a surfeit of generic padding and glitz. There’s the rub: The musical is called Aladdin, but seems content to be Prince Ali.
THE BOTTOM LINE A carpet with colorful patterns but little texture.
Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam
|Venue name:||New Amsterdam Theatre||Contact:|
214 W 42nd St
|Cross street:||between Seventh and Eighth Aves|
|Transport:||Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority; N, Q, R, 42nd St S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St–Times Sq|
Average User Rating
3.6 / 5
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This show is a must see! Genie will make you laugh the entire time, he definitely stole the show. You will want to sing along to the show the whole time and you will be jealous that your not on stage taking a ride on the magic carpet. The girl playing Jasmine wasn't the best, but over all was a great cast.
If I found a lamp and gave it a rub - and a genie popped out , one of my three wishes would be a a trip to Broadway. Yep, I'm a Brit and to see a show in New York is an absolute treat. I was lucky enough to visit recently and took in a couple of shows Kinky Boots and Aladdin. Truth is I loved them both.
Aladdin worked for me on several levels. The colour, the pace, the energy and pure exhuberance of the cast saw my jet-lag vanish into thin thin air. The Genie had me totally engrossed from the start. Brilliant performance.
You can probably tell from my choice of shows that I was looking for entertainment , not anything too high-brow.
I got exactly what I wanted at Aladdin. It left me on a high. I hear its coming to London, so I look forward to seeing it next in my home town.
The set is to Aladdin as the costumes are to Lion King - they practically define their shows. The revolving city scenes are both fun and exciting, and the choreography is the same. The Marketplace and Cave of Wonders scenes are incredible. I missed Abu, who was written out of the broadway production in favor of a few of Aladdin's streetrat friends. Before Inglehart, I couldn't imagine anyone but Robin Williams who could pull off Genie, but I was drawn into every one of his lines and lyrics - you can tell he truly loves this role. The pacing starts off amazing, but ends with the rise and fall of Jafar in a grand total of about 3 minutes. It felt very rushed and underwhelming, compared to the rest of the story which was so detailed and well-planned. But that didn't deter from the overall experience, which was truly...magical (sorry, couldn't help it!).
I do not know what this show will do once James Monroe Iglehart decides to leave. As in the original animated film, take away the Genie, and you've got a bland story. Iglehart is the heart and soul of the show, stealing it from his very first rollicking number "Never Had a Friend Like Me." Just call the show over after that's done. For sheer production value, Disney coups another win, with a shimmering set. "A Whole New World," while I'm sure the vocals were beautiful, distracts away from the song with the gorgeous set design and audible "oohs" from the whole audience.
If you go into the show, expecting a disney-fied kid creation, then it will be a pretty fun time. Just don't go in expecting the next Lion King.
They do a great job at advertising the show, amazing ads everywhere so my expectations were uber high to see one of my childhood favorite movies on Broadway! The costumes and set were amazing! Very colorful and fun. The main actors had great voices. I was a little underwhelmed by the show overall, though. There was a lot of ad-libbing. You can tell they depended on having the Genie carry the show so he kept going off on tangents and throwing in modern references. It was funny at first, but after a while it was like, ‘Okay can we stick to the storyline, please?” Disney fans are tough! Haha But he did an amazing job. Definitely something to see for the visuals if nothing else.