Left – Ainsley Melham and Arielle Jacobs. Cover – Michael James Scott. Photos – Deen van Meer
Aladdin the stage musical has more dazzle than Liberace’s entire wardrobe. Those who loved the original Disney movie will not be disappointed as the charisma woven through the film has transferred beautifully to the stage. There is enough of the old to keep you nostalgically charmed, you’ll embrace the new additions and easily relinquish the things that have been abandoned.
From the silhouetted skylines and bustling market place full of vibrant colour to the exquisite scene in Princess Jasmine’s bedroom, Bob Crowley’s set design is breathtaking. Crowley is a supreme maestro. He creates sets that are vast and sets that are intimate, fierce ones and romantic ones. The costume design by Gregg Barnes with a bold colour palette, perfectly complements the set design. It was hard to believe how both costumes and staging could sparkle, shimmer and shine so brightly.
Michael James Scott plays Genie and he has taken on the role with such gusto that his performance radiates out into the audience and reverberates off the walls with joy and energy.
Ainsley Melham as Aladdin and Arielle Jacobs as Jasmine are both fantastic. They bring to life two of the screens most loved Disney characters and they never miss a beat.
There are new additions to the cast such as Aladdin’s three friends, Kassim, Babka and Omar. They replace Abu, Aladdin’s monkey, as his partners in crime and companions in redemption. Although Abu is missed it is nice to see Aladdin socialising and engaging with friends in what feels like a more realistic portrayal of the young man’s life.
The song ‘Proud of your Boy’ which was left out of the original film, has been brought back with much enthusiasm by Alan Menken. Although it is meant to add to the character of Aladdin as an orphan who longs to be all that his mother believed he could be, it fell short of that the emotional punch. It is a minor criticism, but it lacked the seamlessness of the rest of the show. We instinctively know Aladdin's mother would have been proud of the man Aladdin no matter what.
Aladdin is spectacular. Casey Nicholaw direction and choreography bring it all together giving the audience everything they could ever want from Aladdin and ever so much more.
Disney Theatrical Productions presents
music by Alan Menken | lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin | book by Chad Beguelin
Director Casey Nicholaw
Venue: Capitol Theatre | 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket, Sydney NSW
Dates: 3 August – 23 October 2016
Tickets: $65 – $165
Bookings: (02) 8240 2290 | www.ticketmaster.com.au