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, Ala
Broadway shows are practically synonymous with New York City, and the word Broadway is often used as shorthand for theater itself. Visiting the Great White Way means attending one of 41 large theaters concentrated in the vicinity of Times Square, most of which seat more than 1,000 people. The most popular Broadway shows tend to be musicals, from long-running favorites like The Lion King and Hamilton to more recent hits like Hadestown and Moulin Rouge!—but new plays and revivals also represent an important part of the Broadway experience. There’s a wide variety of Broadway shows out there, as our complete A–Z listing attests. And for a full list of shows that are coming soon, check out our complete list of upcoming Broadway shows.
RECOMMENDED: Find the best Broadway shows