By Bonnie DeShong, Chicago Crusader
Disney Theatrical Productions “Aladdin” has come to the Great Chicago Way! Broadway in Chicago rolled out the purple carpet for opening night of the North American tour of “Aladdin.”
The two hour and thirty minute show was full of excitement, singing, dancing and color, Color, COLOR that not only lit the stage, but the emotions of the audience. If you are having a bad day coming into the theatre, you will definitely feel better leaving and I’m sure you will be singing at least two of the songs (your pick) as you head home.
From the ensemble to the leads the cast is amazing. I must admit that I was hoping that James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the iconic role of Genie on Broadway, would join his cast mate Adam Jacobs, who originated the title role in “Aladdin” on Broadway, on the tour. By the end of Arabian Nights, I didn’t give a second thought to Mr. Iglehart. Anthony Murphy rocks the Genie. He is so energetic; I was out of breath at the end of most of his numbers. His voice is great and he gives many levels to his performance. I’m still singing “Friend Like Me” and it’s been days since I’ve seen the production.
Adam Jacobs (Aladdin) is amazing and so great to watch. He and Isabelle McCalla (Jasmine) work really well together. There were many times when I found a big smile on my face after one of their numbers. It is hard to single out actors because the entire cast was amazing and entertaining.
There is one character that almost stole the show and that was the Greg Barnes’ costume designs. The costumes are colorful, sparkly, alive, and beautiful. Hats off to the quick change costume crew!
For those of you who may not know the story of “Aladdin” here you go:
The story begins in the market place in the Middle-Eastern city of Agrabah. Aladdin and his friends are doing what they do best, stealing food and money so they can eat. They aren’t a bad bunch – just poor. Princess Jasmine is at marrying age and her father the Sultan is expecting her to marry soon. Jasmine, however, wants to marry for love and slips out of the castle to the marketplace to find freedom. You can guess what happens from there. Enter the villain Jafar (next in line for the throne if Jasmine does not marry) who cons Aladdin into finding a lamp and bringing it to him. Things don’t go as planned and Aladdin ends up with the lamp and the Genie it holds. The rest is for you to see!
I have been asked if young children will enjoy the production. I would suggest five years old and up. Read them the story first or watch the Disney film to educate them about the story. The production moves pretty quickly.
Jump on your magic carpet and SPEND THE MONEY to see “ALADDIN” at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Visit www.broadwayinchicago.com for tickets.
Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!