PLAYBILL PICKS: From Jafar to Scar to Gaston, A Rogues' Gallery of Disney Stage Villains

By Michael Gioia
10 Apr 2012



Jonathan Freeman (right) and Don Darryl Rivera

Villain: Jafar
Musical: Aladdin
Crime: Jafar, another power-hungry Disney character, was on the hunt for fame, fortune and immortality. The only thing that stood in his way was the charming street kid, Aladdin. In his quest to capture the Genie and the magic lamp, Jafar turned to his sidekick, the foul-mouthed parrot Iago, to steel the magic lamp out of Aladdin's possession. Now, as the Genie's new master, Jafar uses his wishes to become the Sultan of Agrabah — and the most powerful sorcerer in the world.
Onstage: The role of Jafar was brought to life by Tony Award nominee Jonathan Freeman, who also voiced Jafar in the 1992 animated Disney film, at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. The production's future life is yet to be determined.
Musical Numbers: When the Disney version of Aladdin premiered at 5th Avenue in summer 2011, the musical incorporated songs from the film's Oscar-winning score, plus never-before-heard songs restored from early drafts of the film score. In Seattle, Jafar was seen singing "Why Me" (a song cut from the film) in the first act (the revised Alan Menken score features lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice with new lyrics by Chad Beguelin).

For more on Jonathan Freeman, visit the Playbill Vault.

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