The stage version of Disney's "Aladdin" has arrived on Broadway. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
Disney Theatrical certainly knows how to make a hit and if the producing giant's eight Broadway musicals haven't all been as successful, "Aladdin" lands near the top. Based on the animated feature film, this is a wonderful adaptation filled with color, charm and loads of theatrical magic. Unfortunately, they didn't send many images to share with you.
When all the pieces fall into place, the Disney formula makes for unbeatable family entertainment: Attractive romantic leads, snappy humor and dastardly villains - combined with melodically clever tunes and a satisfyingly happy ending. It's all here with the added bonus of ravishing technical designs, incredible stagecraft - how do they make that carpet fly? And a show-stopping turn by the phenomenal James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie.
Alan Menken wrote 11 songs for the film with Howard Ashman and later with Tim Rice after Ashman's untimely death. Only five of them made the cut. For the stage, three songs were restored along with some new tunes, and they're all terrific.
Chad Beguelin's book and additional lyrics are enchanting and funny in that self-referential Disney sort of way. And turbans off to director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw for shaping the production into a marvel of movement and kaleidoscopic sets and costumes.
The entire company is sublime. Courtney Reed’s Princess Jasmine and Adam Jacobs’ Aladdin are such perfect Disney specimens, you really have to wonder if there's any cartoon in their blood.
And remember Robin Williams' manically inspired Genie in the film...Iglehart matches that head-spinning portrayal while simultaneously singing and dancing. Such talent and energy could only come from a true Genie.
Wondrous as the show's special effects are, the real magic is the Disney team's miraculous ability to put flesh on their animated characters, creating a whole new world that’s both real and fantastic.