|Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann|
This week, the entertainment Goliath hoped for a hat trick, unveiling its stage version of the 1992 Disney animated tales of genies and flying carpets, Aladdin, at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The Alan Menken-Howard Ashman show had already opened in Canada earlier this year to mixed notices.
The critic from the all-powerful New York Times admitted to entering the theatre predisposed to dislike the show, but found himself won over: "The prospect of Aladdin, promising another weary night in the presence of a spunky youngster and wisecracking animals, didn't exactly set my heart racing. But this latest musical adapted from one of Disney's popular movies, which opened on Thursday night at the New Amsterdam Theater, defied my dour expectations. As directed and choreographed (and choreographed, and choreographed) by Casey Nicholaw, and adapted by the book writer Chad Beguelin, Aladdin has an infectious and only mildly syrupy spirit. Not to mention enough baubles, bangles and beading to keep a whole season of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' contestants in runway attire."
(I'd like to see "Only Mildly Syrupy" in big letters above the New Amsterdam marquee.)
The Hollywood Reporter, too, offered a bad news/good news review, saying, "it's perhaps the most old-school of the company's screen-to-stage adaptations since Beauty and the Beast. But that shouldn't deter audiences from making this splashy Arabian Nights wish-fulfillment fantasy into a family-friendly hit. Directed and choreographed by musical comedy specialist Casey Nicholaw with loads of retro showmanship, an unapologetic embrace of casbah kitsch and a heavy accent on shtick, this is sweet, silly fun."
Enough good ink to fuel a hit? I should think so.
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