Aladdin wows

Adam Jacobs truly captured the Disney character Aladdin. (Paige Gregorzek/Snapper)

Paige Gregorzek
Contributing Writer

The Disney classic, Aladdin, is brought to the Broadway stage by director, Casey Nicholaw, with a modern and comedic twist that will keep the entire audience laughing.

Aladdin is performed at New Amsterdam Theatre. (Paige Gregorzek/Snapper)
Aladdin is performed at New Amsterdam Theatre. (Paige Gregorzek/Snapper)

Nicholaw’s Broadway version of Aladdin puts a unique twist to the 90s Disney film. The story takes place in a middle-eastern city called Agrabah, where Aladdin, a poor homeless man, spends his days stealing food with his three friends, Kassim, Omar and Babkak. After a brief encounter with Jasmine, the princess of Agrabah, Aladdin realizes he has fallen in love with her. With the help of Genie, Aladdin grants three wishes that change his life forever.

Aladdin, played by Adam Jacobs, truly captures the fairy tale that is originally created by Disney. Jacobs captures Aladdin’s energy, kind-heartedness and humor in this show. Aladdin’s sidekick, 2014 Tony Award winner, James Monroe Iglehart plays Genie, a hilarious and exuberant rendition of the Disney character. Iglehart’s performance was a crowd favorite, as he kept the audience wanting more.

Adam Jacobs truly captured the Disney character Aladdin. (Paige Gregorzek/Snapper)
Adam Jacobs truly captured the Disney character Aladdin. (Paige Gregorzek/Snapper)

The villains of the musical, Jafar and Iago, put a humorous angle to their usual wicked characters. Jonathan Freeman, who plays Jafar, is the original voice actor in the Aladdin movie. His well-developed evil laugh and outstanding costume provides the audience with a perfect portrayal of a sinister villian. His sidekick, Iago, played by Don Darryl Rivera, is a tiny man packed with a lot of attitude. In the Disney film, Iago is merely Jafar’s parrot assistant. Rivera delivers the parrot’s temperament in a unique way that varies from the film with his awkward demeanor and hilarious dialogue.

The choreography, also done by Nicholaw, of this Broadway rendition of Aladdin is upbeat and catches the essence of a diverse Arabian city. The musical even features a tap number, which blows the audience away. Alongside Nicholaw is J. Allen Suddeth, the fight director, who is responsible for teaching the actors how to properly handle swords, which were used in many scenes. Suddeth’s hard work pays off in this production. The sword fights are realistic and well constructed in the dance numbers.

One of the many aspects which differs from the film version of Aladdin is the music. Composer Alan Menken, and book writer and lyricist Chad Beguelin, created an original song called, “Somebody’s Got Your Back.” This song is a wonderful duet between Aladdin and Genie that depicts their friendship, which can only be heard on Broadway.

The Broadway rendition of Aladdin is a must-see musical. The show premiered in March 2014, and continues to be a crowd favorite, nearly a year later. The ever-changing set design, bright costumes, and fabulous acting and choreography, make this show one-of-a-kind. This production is extremely successful as it is a box-office record breaker and enjoyable for the entire family.