PHOTO CALL: Disney's Aladdin Opens on Broadway; "Purple Carpet" Arrivals, Curtain Call and Cast Party

By Matthew Blank
and Joseph Marzullo
21 Mar 2014

The 1992 Disney animated film "Aladdin," about a street rat's journey to capture the heart of a misunderstood princess — and the magical Genie he befriends along the way — comes to life at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre, where the musical adaptation of the same name officially opened March 20.



Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed co-star as Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively, in Aladdin, which began performances Feb. 26. 



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Courtney Reed and Adam Jacobs
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN



James Monroe Iglehart, of Broadway's Memphis, also reprises his show-stopping performance as the Genie, and Jonathan Freeman, who voiced the nefarious villain Jafar in the 1992 film and reprised his performance on stage, again plays that role.

Read the Playbill.com Brief Encounter with Freeman, who talks about returning to the fictional land of Agrabah

Tony Award-winning director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon) is at the helm of Aladdin, which — through bright colors and flashy choreography — takes audiences to the Middle East.

Brian Gonzales, Brandon O'Neill and 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, Aleks Pevec, Ariel Reid, Jennifer Rias, Trent Saunders, Jaz Sealey, Dennis Stowe, Marisha Wallace and Bud Weber.

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."

Read the Playbill magazine feature in which Menken discusses bringing Ashman's work to Broadway 25 years after his death.

The New Amsterdam Theatre box office is open Monday-Saturday from 10 AM–8 PM and Sunday from 10 AM–6:30 PM, and tickets are also available at AladdinTheMusical.com or by calling Ticketmaster's Disney on Broadway hotline at (866) 870-2717.

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.

Visit AladdinBroadway.com.