The Apache Pow Wow

Aladdin at the Pantages

Tanya Lee, Staff Writer

What do you get when you cross a magic carpet with the magic of Broadway? Aladdin the musical!

From Jan. 10 to Mar. 31, Aladdin is playing at the Hollywood Pantages as part of its North American tour. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, the Broadway rendition of the classic movie has proven popular with all ages.

Disney Theatrical Productions is responsible for numerous famous musicals, such as The Lion King and Frozen. In addition to the great cast, the musical also has a fantastic design team including Tony Award winners Bob Crowley, Gregg Barnes, and Natasha Katz.

For those not familiar with the movie, Aladdin follows the story of a street rat who frees a genie from a lamp. He finds his wishes, but realizes that there are others with evil motives who wish to get their hands on the lamp and his love interest, Princess Jasmine. Aladdin has to combat the evil force, Jafar, and save Jasmine while simultaneously trying to show her that he isn’t what he appears to be.

As for those of us who are obsessed with the movie, don’t fret! The musical contains all of the original soundtracks, from the romantic refrains of “A Whole New World” to the haunting melody of “Arabian Nights”. But if you can’t get enough of the music, some new songs were written by Tony and Academy Award winning composer Alan Menken, who wrote the original score to the movie, with lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tony Award winner Tim Rice, and Chad Beguelin. New songs include “Proud of Your Boy”, “These Palace Walls”, and “Diamond in the Rough”. In addition to working on Aladdin, Menken has written some mind blowing songs for movies such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Captain America: The First Avenger, and numerous others.

The musical also features some amazing and extremely experienced performers. Aladdin is played by Teddy Leung, who has starred in numerous shows such as Rent, Wicked, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and as one of the members of the Dalton Academy Warblers on the hit TV show Glee. Jafar is played by Jonathan Freeman, who was in Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and actually voiced Jafar in the original Disney movie. The Genie is played by Major Attaway, who debuted on Broadway through Aladdin and was in Frosty the Snowman, Ain’t Misbehavin, and Hot Mikado. Jasmine is played by Isabelle McCalla, who is also making her Broadway debut. She is in various performing groups, such as the Alliance Theatre and the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and was in the American drama series Bull.

If you’d like to watch Aladdin, head over to the Hollywood Pantages website or the official tour website, www.aladdinthemusical.com. Tickets range from approximately $60 to $100. The tour will be continuing throughout the U.S. until Sept. 9.

Photo courtesy of HOLLYWOOD PANTAGES

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Aladdin at the Pantages