Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Musical Takes the Magic Carpet Ride to Hollywood Pantages
The genie is out of the bottle. Aladdin has returned to the stage, and he’s riding his magic carpet from Broadway to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. The hit Broadway musical “Aladdin” is based on the classic 1992 animated Disney film of the same name, which featured an iconic performance from Robin Williams as the beloved Genie.
The timeless tale of “Aladdin” revolves around a thief with a heart of gold. Aladdin is a peasant in the Middle-Eastern city of Agrabah, which is ruled by the affable Sultan and his beautiful daughter, Princess Jasmine. Aladdin and his faithful monkey Abu find their way to the mythical Cave of Wonders in the Arabian desert, seeking the mysterious Genie’s lamp. Aladdin awakens the big blue Genie, who has a fondness for impressions and a habit of bursting into song. The Genie grants Aladdin three wishes, which he uses to make himself into the royal Prince Ali, with the goal of courting Princess Jasmine. As Aladdin and Jasmin begin a romance, the evil sorcerer Jafar and his pet bird Iago set into motion a sinister plot. Jafar wishes to steal the Genie lamp for himself and become the new Sultan, bent on the subjugation of Agrabah.
The musical version of “Aladdin” was written in 2011 and premiered on Broadway in 2014. It featured the return of the film’s composer, Academy Award winner Alan Menken, who wrote new material for the musical along with his famous original songs. Menken’s new score was accompanied by lyrics written by Tim Rice, Chad Beguelin and Howard Ashman. Upon its release, “Aladdin” was nominated for numerous Tony awards, including Best Musical. The original production won the Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for James Monroe Iglehart’s take on the Genie.
The Broadway musical’s success led to a North American tour. The Hollywood Pantages Theatre production opens on Jan. 10 for a 10-week run. The new version features a renowned cast, including Adam Jacobs as Aladdin and Courtney Reed as Princess Jasmine. Jacobs and Reed originated their roles in the original Broadway version. The Genie is played by Michael James Scott, who debuted the role in the International tour’s Australian premiere. Jonathan Weir plays Jafar, taking over from Jonathan Freeman, who debuted Jafar on Broadway and voiced him in the 1992 animated film. Reggie de Leon and JC Montgomery round out the cast as Iago and the Sultan, respectively.
The Hollywood Pantages Theatre’s production of “Aladdin” is directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholow. The production features Music Supervision and Vocal Arrangements by Michael Kosarin. The production also features Music Direction by Bent-Alan Huffman, Dance Music Arrangements by Glen Kelly, Sound Design by Ken Travis, Makeup Design by Milagros Medina-Cerdeira, Costume Design by Gregg Barnes and Lighting Design by Natasha Katz.