This week, I had the pleasure of seeing a show that I’ve been dreaming about seeing for over four years! Aladdin was truly an incredible show that lived up to the hype I’ve given it for all this time, and I was able to see it while it toured in LA. If you have the chance to see it at any point while it is on tour, do not miss the opportunity, get tickets and go! Aladdin on Broadway was absolutely spectacular, and completely different from the show that played in Disney California Adventure for many years. They really dive into more storytelling, more songs, and even new characters, which adds depth to this story that we know and love.
There are nine additional songs in the Broadway show, some of which were written for the animated version and cut either for length, or change in story. “Proud of Your Boy” made it into the show, and it is a beautiful ballad that Aladdin sings. Of all the new songs, that one may be my favorite. Aladdin and Jasmine also have an additional duet toward the beginning, Jasmine has another song, Jafar and Iago have a duet, and there are two songs for new characters, which I will get into later. By far, my favorite number was “Friend Like Me,” which is about ten minutes long and is as glamorous and spectacular as you can imagine! Honestly, it was so magical, I could have paid full price for admission and seen only that number and been completely happy. It’s THAT good! There were sequins, sparkles, a tap number, and fireworks! How could you not love it? Fortunately, with all of the new music, it fit in the show into the storytelling. It was seamless without making it seem like the new songs were fillers for a costume or scene change, they helped tell the story.
I did not think it was possible to love Aladdin more until I saw Adam Jacobs portrayal of Aladdin. He truly embodies the character, and you honestly believe that he really is Aladdin. Adam Jacobs has played this role since the very beginning, and it’s obvious that he loves this part, the role of a lifetime! We also got to see Courtney Reed as Jasmine, who has also been in her role since the original previews. She gave Jasmine quite the fiery personality, who was spunky and always stood up for herself. She gave Jasmine more complexity than what we see in the original story. It was a treat to be able to see both of the original actors in this show! During the performance we went to, we had the Genie’s understudy, and I unfortunately am not sure who it was, but it was evident he was having a blast. The Broadway Genie is very different from the animated version, as in the show, he’s very sassy. You still love him though because he is so much fun! Jafar had a bit more sass to him too, which I think was in part to that he feeds off of Iago’s personality and comedic relief. Iago is portrayed as a sidekick, not a parrot as there are no animals or puppetry in the show. There is also no Carpet as a character, just the actual carpet for “A Whole New World” and the finale. The biggest difference in characters is the additions of Aladdin’s three friends: Babkak, Omar, and Kaseem. Since there is no Abu or Carpet, Aladdin needed a sidekick, and in this case, he got three. I was surprised at how much I adored these new characters. They provided perfect comedic timing and were a perfect fit in the show. I equally loved their two songs.
Sets and Costumes
The sets were pretty simple overall, as I think it was due in part to how large the cast was, and because there was so much emphasis on the costuming. The Cave of Wonders was the most extravagant set, as it needed to be for “Friend Like Me,” which was gold and SPARKLY. That set was gorgeous, as was Jasmine’s private quarters. It was white lattice walls, and it may have been pretty simple, but it was stunning and worked.
The costumes were equally stunning all throughout the show. The detailing, the flowy skirts, and did I mention, the sparkle? The costumes were almost characters in their own right, as they drew so much attention, which is why the sets were as simple as they were, as to not detract from the performers.
I want to give the carpet it’s own section, because even though it may only have been in the show for five minutes, it is incredible! Folks, it actually flies! There’s no wires, no mechanisms, it is truly a magical mystery! I thought it might be some sort of magnetism, but then it flew off stage toward the ceiling, and then I was stumped on how it might work. Annie thinks it may be some sort of drone, which is very possible. Regardless how Disney did it, it is mesmerizing!
DCA Show Comparisons
Now, you may be asking if it compares to the show from California Adventure, and it does not. If you are going to see it, don’t expect it to be like the show you remember. There are so few similarities, but it is refreshing to see new storytelling on such a classic story.
Final Thoughts and GIVEAWAY
Overall, I loved the show and I was thrilled that I could see it while it was in town! If I get the opportunity again, I would probably go see it. Aladdin is currently playing at Pantages Theater in LA until March 31st! If you get tickets for a weekday show, they tend to be cheaper than on the weekends, but every seat is a great seat. There’s so much light and color and shine on stage, that it’s a fantastic point of view from anywhere you are. They also have interpreters for the show, which was fun to watch them sign and be so animated. Also, they have a photo op with the magic lamp, so don’t forget to snag a photo before you leave. Who knows, if you rub the lamp, you might just get three wishes!
Now, we have a special giveaway for one of our readers! It’s a keychain featuring the Aladdin logo. Just comment below what your favorite Aladdin song is – it can be Animated, DCA, or Broadway soundtrack, and you’ll be entered to win! Good luck! Giveaway is closed.
Have you seen Aladdin on Broadway or are you planning on seeing it?
Until Next Time,