Thursday, 24 July 2014

JMI to Host "The View"

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Just a quick reminder for my American readers - tomorrow morning James Monroe Iglehart will be co-hosting ABC's "The View".

"The View" airs from 11am-12pm ET on ABC and if you've ever seen an episode of The JMI Show (if not shame on you!) you'll know James is a natural presenter and interviewer so you're sure to be in for a treat.

Make some magic JMI!!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Aladdin Celebrates Alan Menken's Birthday

 
Happy birthday Alan Menken!

Today is the award winning composer's 65th birthday and to celebrate Aladdin is giving away copies of their cast album on Twitter.  Just tweet with the hashtag #aladdinbroadway today for your chance to win a digital copy of the Broadway Cast Recording.


Alan Menken at the Official Opening Night of Aladdin on Broadway

Monday, 21 July 2014

Broadway News Round Up 11

Two weeks worth of news updates today (apologises for missing last week, more on that later)!

Courtney Reed as Princess Jasmine, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

First up this week, Broadway World reports that Princess Jasmine herself, Courtney Reed, will be one of the teaching artists at this summers 7th Annual Dare to Go Beyond Children's Performing Arts Camp.  Courtney, along with over a dozen other Broadway stars, will be donating her time and experience to help teach the next generation of artists.  This year's camp runs 28th July through to 1st August.

On August 17th Aladdin's Dennis Stowe joins Disney Theatrical's Thomas Schumacher and other Broadway stars and creatives in the Broadway Sleeps Out event to raise support and awareness for homeless children.  You can find out more at Covent House's website where you can also donate to help support the cause.  The participant's own support pages are linked above, Thomas Schumacher has already exceeded his target of an incredible $10,000 so let's help Dennis reach his goal!

This Friday (25th July) James Monroe Iglehart will be co-hosting "The View"!  "The View" airs 11am - 12pm ET on ABC so make sure you check him out!  Here's a little preview courtesy of Aladdin's Instagram account.

The one and only Jafar, Jonathan Freeman himself, spoke with Playbill about his theatregoing experiences and the performances that have stayed with him.

Ron Clements and Jon Musker, the directors of Disney's original, animated, Aladdin saw the show last week and James Monroe Iglehart, quite rightfully in "Disney Nerd Heaven", shared a photo of the moment on his Instagram.

Another Disney alumni also visited the show this week as Phil Collins headed back stage after the show to meet the cast this weekend.  Playbill was there to capture the moment.

Courtney Reed and James Monroe Iglehart took part in the 16th annual Broadway Barks event, helping to find pets a good home, and Broadway.com was there to capture the moment.  Vanity Fair was also there and they were able to catch a few words with our favourite Genie who told them that another furry friend, his cat Zoe, had claimed his Tony Award.

Buzzfeed voted Adam Jacobs' Aladdin the "Hottest Disney Character Brought to Life" in their "26 Hottest Performances on Broadway".

Broadway World reported that Brian Gonzales (Babkak) joined other Broadway stars for the annual Voices of Broadway performance at the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.  You can see some photos by following the link.

If you're musically inclined then you would be most rewarded to consider thisAladdin's Piano/Vocal Selections will go on sale 1st August!  Whilst I'm really excited for this release, part of me is a little disappointed that all of the reprises are cut.  I know that's just the way they do the vocal selections these days (The Little Mermaid was the same) but I miss the days of Beauty and the Beast where they included everything bar the overture, the entr'acte and the incidental music.

For anyone trying to make it on Broadway, Tara Rubin (who cast Aladdin on Broadway along with many, many other shows) spoke with Playbill to offer some audition advise.

And finally a quick vacation alert!  Jonathan Freeman will be away tomorrow night (22nd July) and Merwin Foard will be playing the role of Jafar.


Ok, at the start of this post I promised an explanation for missing the news update last week.  The honest truth is I was busy, but it was something blog related and (fingers crossed) I'll be able to share it with you all soon!

I've also set up a new Twitter account for the blog (@AladdinBDWYBlog) so you can follow me on Twitter for all the latest updates.  Instagram is next!

And that's everything for this week.  Let's end on this amazing video that Disney Theatrical shared recently where James Monroe Iglehart proves to be a real life Genie and grants some lucky fans' wishes at Aladdin's daily lottery!


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Broadway News Round Up 10

Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Deen Van Meer

Aladdin is going from strength to strength as Deadline reports that the final week of June was its best since opening on Broadway, bringing in a staggering $1,623,495!

As the hype of opening and the Tony Awards dies down these news updates will probably get a bit shorter but hopefully that'll give me more time to do some original content in the near future.  For this week;

Liberty Voice took a look at James Monroe Iglehart's portrayal of the Genie and how the character was translated from screen to stage, whilst the man himself spoke with Playbill about the role.

Jasmine's original singing voice Lea Salonga saw the show and visited the cast back stage and Playbill was there to capture the photos (and the cast themselves have posted more on Twitter).

Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed teamed up with Broadway.com to answer fans questions and took People's Co-Star Challenge.

And that's it for this week!!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Happy Birthday Iago

Don Darryl Rivera at Aladdin's Opening Night, Photo by Broadway World
Ok, you have to imagine the post title read in Jafar's voice because it just sounds cooler!

Happy 30th birthday Don!  I hope you have an amazing day!

Artist Spotlight - Gregg Barnes

It's been a while since Disney posted one of these so I was really pleased to see a new addition to the Artist Spotlight video series released last week.  This time the focus is on Gregg Barnes and the absolutely stunning costumes that he created for the show.




This one's worth watching in HD just to see the incredible detail in the costumes.  They're just beautiful.

Broadway News Round Up 9

To start this week's news round up here's one final piece on the Tony Awards and this one is rather special as it's written by Aladdin's own Marisha Wallace - True Story: I'm a Black Girl from North Carolina & I Performed at the 2014 Tony Awards!  Marisha is part of the ensemble and one of Jasmine's attendants, but if you're really lucky you may also get to see her playing the part of Babkak (I love this as it shows incredible gender equality by Disney for these supporting roles and it's also a nice call back to Howard Ashman's original treatment where there was a female member of Aladdin's gang).

Continuing the theme of great female performances, Courtney Reed took part in Broadway Sessions on May 23rd and Broadway World have now posted a video of her singing Gravity.

The New York Times has published an article focusing on the work of Glen Kelly that's well worth a read.  Glen Kelly provided the dance music arrangements for Aladdin and this article provides a fascinating insight into an area that I admittedly had no knowledge about.

We Blog the World has posted a short fan review of the show.  They even used the photo manip of Genie holding aloft a Tony Award that I made which, I have to admit, is kinda cool!

Emerson College's Entertainment Monthly has also posted a positive review, calling James Monroe Iglehart's Genie "one key player that elevates it to Broadway stardom", Adam Jacobs "everything you want in the character of Aladdin" and Don Darryl Rivera "a standout ... his comedic moments have the entire audience laughing out loud".

Last week Merwin Foard took the stage as Sultan Hamed.  Since I posted a photo of him as Jafar I figured I'd post this one as well (any excuse to post a photo!)



And finally another Vacation Alert!  Adam Jacobs will be away from 7th-14th July, and a quick reminder that Courtney Reed will be away from tomorrow (1st July) until 6th July.

Ok, one last thing!  On a more light hearted note JMI's Genie topped Broadway.com's weekend poll as the most wanted guest at a 4th July BBQ party!