As Disney nerds, we are always staying “one jump ahead” when it comes to Disney fan experiences. So, we couldn’t miss an opportunity to see Aladdin the Broadway musical in New York’s New Amsterdam Theatre. This hit Broadway musical did not disappoint. While we saw the show recently, it first graced the Broadway stage on July 7, 2011, it has been a wowing Guests ever since.
As one of the newest Disney Broadway shows, Aladdin draws crowds in New York City, as well as on tour across the country. This article showcases why we love Aladdin the Broadway musical and why we think it is a must-do for all Disney nerds and Aladdin fans. Who knows, Aladdin the musical could be headed to a theater near you soon!
Sure, Aladdin is the headliner and Jasmine is a Disney Princess, but the star of this show is clear from the first lift of the stage curtain. The Genie is a larger-than-life role that carries the momentum of the show by narrating the story of Aladdin (usually through song). The genie alternatively keeps guests rolling with laughter and applauding with gusto as he belts out the story of Aladdin, plays his role as a supportive friend to Aladdin as he wishes his way to the heart of Princess Jasmine, and of course sprinkles plenty of Genie pizzazz throughout the story.
The role of the Genie carries a lot of weight, and Robin Williams left some big shoes to fill. Still, Guests are not only consistently pleased with how well the role is executed in the Broadway show, but they also leave the theater with a newfound love for this Disney character.
Fans of the Walt Disney movie Aladdin will likely cite the incredible music as one of their reasons for loving the film. The score for the movie was amazing, from the first to the last song, a testament to the work and talent of composer Alan Menken. Lucky for you, the music just gets better (we didn’t even think that was possible) in the Broadway show Aladdin.
Old favorites like One Jump Ahead and Arabian Nights keep Guests humming along and of course, the signature song of the film – A Whole New World is a high point of the show. Still, there are so many new toe-tapping songs that Guests will leave the theater loving – that were not in the original Disney film.
Princess Jasmine’s song Behind These Palace Walls coveys her struggle to relate to the people of Agrabah and to the world she so longs to explore. Aladdin’s three loyal and silly friends Babkak, Omar, and Kassim warm hearts in their rendition of a new song Somebody’s Got Your Back, on their way to the palace to back up Aladdin when they realize he’s in trouble with Jafar.
Of course, the most tear-jerking song in this musical is Aladdin’s number, Proud of Your Boy, which he sings from the rooftops of Agrabah as he reflects on his dreams and makes plans to make his mother proud.
A Reimagined Iago
One of the biggest surprises of the show and one of my favorite characters in Aladdin the musical was Iago. The sassy, temperamental, and sometimes evil parrot Iago is an important part of the story, carrying the film version of the tale forward. Let’s be honest, Iago is also the perfect sidekick for the evil sorcerer Jafar.
Without giving it away, let’s just say Iago in Aladdin the musical kept Guests laughing as usual, but in quirky new ways. The way the character was reimagined for the stage instead of the screen was an act of Disney genius and one of my family’s favorite parts of Aladdin the musical.
Disney on Broadway has set the bar high for special effects, costuming, and all the little extras. These details bump the show up even higher on the Broadway excellence scale but are bits of Disney magic that loyal Guests come to expect from the company. Aladdin the musical was no different, wowing crowds with intricate and colorful costumes that reflected the time, culture, and climate of the fictional city of Agrabah.
The patterned cloth roofs of bazaar stalls in the city scenes, Aladdin and his friend’s rag-tag street rat costuming, and of course, the grand regalia of the palace worn by the Sultan, Princess Jasmine, Jafar, and the royal court enhanced the storyline and show.
Some of the costumes are familiar, think the iconic sky blue two-piece outfit worn by Princess Jasmine. Other costumes were unique to the stage show and pointed out more details about the wearers. Work roles and socioeconomic status of Agrabah villagers were denoted by clothing, perhaps even more than we noticed in the film. Regardless, the costuming in this Disney musical is stunning and enhances the performance tremendously.
Two Words: Magic Carpet
That’s right, you can’t think of the Disney movie Aladdin and forget about his flying carpet. Well, does Disney have a treat for you. Once again, Disney on Broadway hit it out of the Park with special effects. During the magic carpet scene, we watch Aladdin and Jasmine exit the palace via her balcony before lifting off and soaring in the air above the stage. As you can imagine, the special effects coupled with the story, Disney nostalgia, and the talent of the performers, make for an emotional and iconic moment in the show.
As the music swells, audible gasps from the audience can be heard around the New Amsterdam Theatre. Performers accent the ambiance of the number with a lyrical ballet that incorporates silk textiles that stretch across the stage, dancing underneath the magic carpet.
In addition to enhancing the musical number, theatergoers learn there is no support structure underneath the magic carpet, and it raises questions about the flight. This Disney magic wows crowds with each performance and ensures that patrons leave the theater humming A Whole New World. This Disney theatrical production is truly unforgettable. A must-see for fans of the animated film, Disney nerds, and music buffs, this hit Broadway Musical is well worth the ticket.