Don’t you dare close your eyes

Posing in front of a poster.

Portion of review as seen on Goldstar: http://www.goldstar.com/events/seattle-wa/disneys-aladdin?page_by_id=663974#review_663974

[Spoilers]

I got the tickets from www.goldstar.com for half the price for balcony seats (Did not have any problems with picking up the tickets).

First of all, 5th Avenue Theatre is stunning! It has an oriental decor, golden highlights overhead, with plush red seats! It was as if they’d renovated the whole theatre to fit Aladdin.

The show was described on the website as the “highly anticipated premiere of Aladdin, a new stage musical adapted from Disney’s hugely popular Academy Award-winning animated feature film.” It was around 2 hours and 15 minutes, with intermission.

Where to begin? The set was amazing! It was incredible how with today’s technology, they were able to use different aspects to tell the story. They’ve used projectors with anime a la Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ “The Tale of the Three Brothers” . Also, the genie was able to appear and disappear on stage! They used some magic tricks to accomplish this, and it was impressive!

Speaking of the Genie (James Monroe Iglehart), he stole the show ‘fo ‘sho! His performance of “Friend Like Me” (when Genie introduces himself to Aladdin) was a crowd favourite. His energy, charisma, musicality, and talent as an actor was mindblowing! I would love to see the show again just for this part.

Aladdin (Adam Jacobs) was the perfect Aladdin. He had the looks, the character, and the prince charming voice! Jasmine (Courtney Reed) was also very stunning and talented! The duo made my favourite Disney song “A Whole New World” their own. They did not stick to the way Brad Kane and Lea Salonga sang it in the movie, which gave the performance a unique flair.

Aladdin’s best friend Abu was replaced by three silly pals from the days when Aladdin was a thief. They also served as the narrators. The magic carpet also made an appearance only in “A Whole New World”, which was fine since I was wondering in the beginning how they would animate a carpet onstage.

The costumes were [insert positive superative here]! No costume underwhelmed. Heck, even the peasants’ wear were perfect!

The plot was quite different from the movie, since there’s a few things that would not suit a live performance (magic carpet and Abu). The production was entertaining at all times, and makes you sing along and clap jubilantly after every song performance.

I just wish I had a orchestra level seats, to have a better view of Agrabah onstage.

Overall, I loved the theatre, loved the actors, loved the songs, loved the show! I loved especially  how interactive and unpretentious the whole production was. The actors made a lot of jokes that only the audience could relate to at appropriate times. Everyone was cackling and clapping at the most “epic moments”. And Aladdin had plenty of these moments.

It made me smile inside how most of the audience wore fancy dresses and nice shirts for the men, declaring how special the evening was (and it really was!). Families were everywhere; the kids seemed to really enjoy as well as the moms and dads.

There’s a reason why I’m a theatre lover, and Aladdin renewed that passion. This production was worth the 4 hour drive to Seattle from Richmond with love.

Just sayin’…

__________________________________________________

From the site, behind the scenes:

Direct from the sensational Broadway hit The Book of Mormon for which he has received a Tony® Award nomination for Best Director, acclaimed director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw returns to the place where it all began: The 5th Avenue Theatre. Nicholaw received his first professional choreography gig (The Prince and the Pauper, 2001) and later choreographed My Fair Lady(2002). On Broadway, Nicholaw won praise as the choreographer ofSpamalot, and as the director / choreographer of The Drowsy Chaperone and Elf: The Broadway Musical, garnering three Tony nominations for his work. Music forAladdin is by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Tangled), who has won a total of eight Oscars, more than any living person. Lyrics are by the late Howard Ashman (Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid) and Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess, The Lion King). Librettist Chad Beguelin wrote the books forThe Rhythm ClubWicked City and The Wedding Singer, which premiered at The 5th Avenue in 2006. Menken and Beguelin contribute additional lyrics.

For more information on Goldstar, please visit: http://www.goldstar.com/

For more information on Aladdin and the Fifth Avenue Theatre, please visit: http://www.5thavenue.org/show/aladdin1011/

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