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Broadway-bound version of Disney's "Aladdin," a new musical comedy, holds its first day of rehearsal in NYC

Broadway-bound version of Disney's "Aladdin," a new musical comedy, holds its first day of rehearsal in NYC

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Hey! Clear the way in the old Bazaar
Hey you!  Let us through!
It's a bright new star!


Adam Jacobs -- who plays the title role in Disney's
big new Broadway-bound production of "Aladdin"
-- grabs a snack on the first day of rehearsal.
Photo by Heidi Gutman. Copyright Disney
Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Oh Come!
Be the first on your block to meet his eye!


Courtney Reed -- who will play Princess Jasmine in
the all-new stage version of this Academy Award-
winning film -- looks on as rehearsal gets
underway. Photo by Heidi Gutman.
Copyright Disney Enterprises,
Inc. All rights reserved

Make way!
Here he comes!
Ring bells! Bang the drums!
Are you gonna love this guy!


Tony Award-winning director Casey Nicholaw (R) confers with James Monroe Iglehart (L),
who will be playing the Genie in this new musical comedy. Photo by Heidi Gutman.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Today marks a very special day for Disney Theatrical. For -- after weeks of behind-the-scenes casting sessions & negotiations -- they finally got the talented group of performers who will be appearing in their brand-new musical comedy, Disney's "Aladdin."

Now some of you may recall the pilot production of  this show that was mounted at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre back in the Summer of 2011. That early iteration of Disney's "Aladdin" was so well received that many of the lead players from that production are now part of the Broadway production which Disney Theatrical is mounting. Among them Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Courtney Reed (Princess Jasmine), James Monroe Iglehart (Genie) and -- in a bit of casting that is sure to thrill all you Disney Animation fans out there -- Jonathan Freeman (who originally voiced the character of Jafar in Disney's 1992 animated version of "Aladdin" ) will now be playing the evil vizier onstage.


Jonathan Freeman (R) poses with Gary Martori (L), the Broadway veteran
who will be serving as Production Hair Supervisor for this soon-to-be-
headed-out-of-town show. Photo by Heidi Gutman. Copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

This new musical comedy version of Disney's "Aladdin" will feature music by Alan Menken; lyrics by the late Howard Ashman & Tim Rice; and book & additional lyrics by Chad BeguelinCasey Nicholaw will serve as the overall director & choreographer of this production which promises to mix high elegance with old school Broadway-style buffoonery.


Chad Beguelin (L) yuks it up with Casey Nicholaw just before the first day of
rehearsal begins on Disney's "Aladdin." Photo by Heidi Gutman. Copyright
Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

""We have an extraordinarily diverse and quite beautiful company of actors and dancers and singers who also happen to be blessed with vaudeville chops," said Casey. "I think that (this show will) surprise people who expect they're just going to see the film onstage." 


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Following several weeks of rehearsal in NYC, Disney's "Aladdin" then heads out-of-town to begin a series of performances at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon) from November 1, 2013 to January 5, 2014.  This show's official opening night there is November 21, 2013.

Look for further stories on this Broadway-bound musical comedy in the weeks & months ahead here at JHM. But in the meantime ...

... try your best to stay calm,
Brush up your Sunday salaam

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  • I saw Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins on Broadway several years ago (I think 2008 and 2010 respectively). I had also seen Beauty and the Beast on Broadway many years ago (1998 maybe?).  I don't think that every Disney movie should be turned into a Broadway show.

    Beauty & the Beast was WONDERFUL as a stage show. I truly loved it.

    Mary Poppins was strange and at times boring.  The man next to me fell asleep. I liked the surprise at the end when Mary flew up to the ceiling with her umbrella...but it was not worth the $100 ticket to the show.

    The Little Mermaid was just an ugly train wreck. I had never seen Lion King on Broadway, but I was aware of how gorgeous the costumes and props were for that show...and I basically expected the same kind of beautiful puppetry with Mermaid. Instead, what we got were people on wheelie-sneakers moving around the stage.  It was underwhelming and odd.

    I don't know about Aladdin going to Broadway.  This to me feels like it's just a show from the theme parks or cruise line. While it's good on the ships and at DCA, I just don't know if it would be worth spending $100 a ticket to watch this on stage.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: To be fair, the production of "The Little Mermaid" that director Glenn Casale mounted at the Papermill Playhouse back in June which then went out on a brief tour addressed many of the problems that the original Broadway show had. And Disney Theatrical so liked the changes that Casale made (i.e., adding a new song for Ursula, doing away with those heelies you hated, BradyNBradleysMom, as well as adding several moments to this show where Ariel -- thanks to some clever wire work -- "swam" through the air) that Glenn's revised version of "Mermaid" is now the one that they'll be licensing for regional, college, high school and amateur productions from here on in. So at some point in the future, BNBM, you may want to give this show another try and then see if the revised version of "Mermaid" is more to your liking.

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