Devanand Janki Directs Disney's Aladdin for Chicago Shakespeare

News   Devanand Janki Directs Disney's Aladdin for Chicago Shakespeare
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) will produce Disney's Aladdin, an adaptation of the 1992 animated film, in its kid-friendly summer slot July 1-Aug. 30.

The production features Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice's award-winning songs, including "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me."

Devanand Janki (Off-Broadway's Zanna, Don't!) will direct a cast that includes Larry Yando and Derek Hasenstab, as Jafar and Iago, respectively. The pair played Scar and Zazu in the national tour of Disney's The Lion King.

The troupe also includes CST newcomers Tony Clarno and Melissa Espinosa as Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively, plus Bill Larkin as Genie and Joseph Anthony Foronda as the Sultan, and Karissa Barney, Sean Blake, Alex Goodrich, Jillian Jocson and Erik Kaiko in multiple roles.

Immediately following each performance, the actors join the audience in the lobby for one-on-one conversations and photo opportunities.

According to CST, "Aladdin, a clever street urchin, is wrongly accused of kidnapping the beautiful Princess Jasmine and locked away in a dungeon, leading him to a cave of wonders and the discovery of a magical lamp. One rub of the lamp releases a larger-than-life, fun-loving Genie ready to grant Aladdin three wishes. Together, they make their way into the city of Agraba, where the devious, power-hungry Jafar and his parrot Iago are threatening to take over the kingdom. Aladdin and his newfound friends must now use their wits — and three wishes — to outsmart the villains and save the kingdom in this musical adventure full of unforgettable songs and lovable characters. A timeless message of friendship and the importance of staying true to oneself is at the heart of this entertaining family musical." For this stage version, Menken's music is adapted, arranged and orchestrated by Bryan Louiselle. The book is by Jim Luigs.

Performances will play CST's Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier. The CST production team includes scenic designer Brian Sidney Bembridge, costume designer Debbie Baer, lighting designer Jesse Klug, sound designer James Savage, wig and makeup designer Melissa Veal, puppet designer Meredith Miller and properties master Ann Meilahn. Musical direction is by Ben Johnson.

Aladdin performances are at 11 AM Wednesday-Saturday with 2 PM performances Thursday-Sunday. Tickets are $18 for children (12 and younger), and $23 for adults with special discounts available for groups of ten or more.

Tickets may be purchased by calling Chicago Shakespeare Theater's box office at (312) 595-5600 or by visiting the


Disney's Aladdin is recommended for ages five and up.

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