Aladdin, which is playing a limited Toronto run through Jan. 5, 2014, officially opened its pre-Broadway engagement Nov. 21, following previews that began Nov. 1, at Toronto's Mirvish Theatre. Broadway previews will begin Feb. 26, 2014, at the New Amsterdam Theatre towards an official opening March 20, 2014.
Jacobs (Les Misérables, The Lion King) and Reed (In the Heights, Mamma Mia!) co-starred in the show's Seattle premiere. James Monroe Iglehart, of Broadway's Memphis, also reprises his performance as the Genie, and Jonathan Freeman, who voiced the nefarious villain Jafar in the 1992 animated Disney film and reprised his performance on stage, again plays that role.
Brian Gonzales, Brandon O'Neill, Jonathan Schwartz play Aladdin's sidekicks Babkak, Kassim and Omar, respectively, and Tony nominee Clifton Davis plays the Sultan with Don Darryl Rivera as Iago. Merwin Foard and Michael James Scott standby for several principals.
Rounding out the cast are Tia Altinay, Mike Cannon, Andrew Cao, Lauryn Ciardullo, Joshua Dela Cruz, Yurel Echezarreta, Daisy Hobbs, Donald Jones, Jr., Adam Kaokept, Nikki Long, Stanley Martin, Brandt Martinez, Michael Mindlin, Rhea Patterson, Bobby Pestka, Khori Petinaud, Ariel Reid, Jennifer Rias, Trent Saunders, Jaz Sealey, Dennis Stowe, Marisha Wallace and Bud Weber.
Click here for the Playbill.com Screening Room of the cast in rehearsal. "We have an extraordinarily diverse and quite beautiful company of actors and dancers and singers who also happen to be blessed with vaudeville chops," said director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw in an earlier statement. "I think that will surprise people who expect they're just going to see the film onstage."
|photo by Heidi Gutman|
The stage production, which expands the 90-minute film into a two-act format, has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by the late Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin. Nicholaw directs and choreographs.
Menken previously told Playbill.com that the stage production incorporates many ideas he and Ashman conceived for the 1992 film that never made it to the screen. Among them are a trio of Aladdin's friends, Omar, Babkak and Kassim, as well as a handful of early songs including "Proud of Your Boy."
Tickets are on sale for the Toronto engagement at Mirvish.com or by calling (416) 872-1212 or (800) 461-3333.
Here's how the new musical is billed: "Aladdin, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including 'One Thousand and One Nights' is brought to fresh theatrical life in this exuberant new musical. Aladdin's journey will sweep audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage."
Aladdin is designed by six-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, three-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.
The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer and hair designer Josh Marquette. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.
Disney's Aladdin Begins Rehearsals for Broadway