The stage production, which expands the 90-minute film into a two-act format, has a Tony-nominated score by Alan Menken (music), the late Howard Ashman and Tim Rice (lyrics) and Chad Beguelin (additional lyrics and book). Tony Award-winning director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon) directs and choreographs the musical, which officially opened on Broadway March 20.
The musical received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Book of a Musical (Beguelin), Best Choreography (Nicholaw), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (James Monroe Iglehart), Best Original Score (Menken, Ashman, Rice and Beguelin) and Best Musical.
Jacobs (Les Misérables, The Lion King) and Reed (In the Heights, Mamma Mia!) starred in the show's Seattle premiere and Toronto engagement. Broadway performances began Feb. 26 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. 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 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.
|photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann|
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."
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.
Meet the cast: