Sunday, 17 June 2018

Aladdin Brings the Magic to West End Live!

Yesterday the cast of London's Aladdin played to a packed audience at West End Live!

If you couldn't make it, or if you just want to re-live the magic, Official London Theatre have posted the full performance for you to enjoy!

You've gotta love Leon, Julian and Daniel wearing shirts that match their Babkak, Omar and Kassim costumes!

West End Live continues today, with Disney's The Lion King at 12:10pm, and Aladdin's own Trevor Dion Nicholas joining a host West End stars to take it home at 4:00pm.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Catch London's Aladdin at West End Live TODAY!

The Cast of London's Aladdin at West End Live 2017

If you're in London this weekend then make sure you head over to Trafalgar Square for West End Live 2018! Starting today at 11:00am (gates open at 10:15am so go get in line!) West End Live showcases some of the best of London theatre, including Disney's Aladdin!

I went last year and had an amazing time so I'm gutted I couldn't make it again this year.

It's a fantastic weekend and a great way to see some highlights from your favourite shows and to get a glimpse at other shows you might not have considered before.

The Aladdin gang will be making magic at 11:15am today, then Trevor Dion Nicholas will be bringing us home tomorrow at 4:00pm, along with Nathan Amzi (London's original Babkak), Emma Kingston, Matt Henry and Danielle Hope in an incredible finale.

Last year Aladdin treated us to Matthew Croke singing Proud of Your Boy, duetting A Whole New World with Jade Ewen, then teaming up with Trevor Dion Nicholas and the BOK boys for Somebody's Got Your Back before Trevor finished things off with the unbeatable Friend Like Me (including an audience singalong). I can't wait to hear what they do this year!

I hope everyone going has an fantastic time!

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Genie Swap!

Trevor Dion Nicholas' lamp is all packed and ready to head back home to Pittsburgh this summer!

For a limited time only, the West End's original Genie is trading places with the US Tour's incredible Michael James Scott so that he can bring this iconic character to life in his home town.

Speaking about the move Trevor said, "My time here in the West End has been absolutely incredible so far, and I am beyond proud to call London my new home. Still, being presented with the chance to perform this phenomenal show as Genie in Pittsburg is something I cannot pass up.  In a city so close to where I grew up, having an audience full of family and friends, is another dream come true."

Michael James Scott, who's journey mirrors Trevor's from Broadway standby to leading an international production, is just as excited to be switching lamps! Saying "Playing this iconic role of Genie has taken me all over the world, something I never even dreamed of. My 'Genie Brother' Trevor Dion Nicholas has raved about his time in London, so to be a part of this awesome Genie swap and return to play the West End again is an enormous Genie-sized gift. I just can't wait!"

I just love that Disney Theatrical gives its cast members opportunities like this, allowing them to switch between productions so they can play their home towns. It's an amazing gift, not just to the actors but to their friends and families as well.

The US Tour of Disney's Aladdin is currently playing in Philadelphia, with stops in Boston and Buffalo this summer. Trevor will join the tour for it's runs in Pittsburgh from August 22nd - September 9th, Atlanta from September 12th - 23rd and New Orleans from September 26th - October 7th!

Michael James Scott is joining the West End production of Aladdin from August 17th - September 30th.

And here's the announcement from the Genie himself!

US audiences are in for an incredible treat when this home town superstar hits the stage of the Benedum Center later this year!  And I can't wait to finally see Michael James Scott as Genie!  He was sensational as Babkak when I saw him in the original Broadway production and I missed him in LA earlier this year, so I'm really excited to see what he brings to the role!

Monday, 4 June 2018

A Warm Agrabah Welcome to Aladdin's New London Cast!

Trevor Dion Nicholas and the West End cast of Aladdin

Tonight is the night! As Aladdin embarks on it's 3rd amazing year in the West End, it does so with an incredible cast of new and familiar faces.

Please extend a warm Agrabah welcome to Fred Johanson (or welcome back in Fred's case, the West End's original standby and now full time Jafar), Julian Capolei (making his West End debut as Omar), and our incredible new ensemble members Koko Basigara (making her Jasmine debut today!), Robertina Bonano, Angeline Bell, Abigail Climer, Nordine Ezzahr, Blythe Jandoo, Abigail Johnson, Victoria Layzell, Phil Mennell, Dominic Sibanda and Justin Thomas.

And a massive congratulations to Jermaine Woods who is taking over the role of Iago!

The incredible returning cast includes Matthew Croke (Aladdin), Jade Ewen (Jasmine), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Genie), Irvine Iqbal (Sultan), Leon Craig (Babkak), Daniel de Bourg (Kassim), Danny Becker, Bianca Cordice, Kevin Stephen-Jones, Nolan Edwards, Melanie Elizabeth, Anthony Hewitt, Travis Kerry, Dann Kharsa, Mitch Leow, Oliver Lidert, Richard Murphy, Ian Oswald, Tarisha Rommick, Kyle Seeley, Ricardo Spriggs, Joshua Steel, Kayleigh Thandani, Niko Wirachman and Damien Winchester.

You were all phenomenal at this afternoon's dress rehearsal (and a massive shout out to the amazing Leon Craig for that invite! Thank you so much!!). Tonight is your night, enjoy it, have fun with it, and make some magic! 

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Salaam Worthy Friends! Wishing a Magical Final Day to Aladdin's 2nd Year London Cast

Matthew Croke and Jade Ewen as Aladdin and Jasmine with the London Cast of Aladdin

Has it really been a year already?

Here's wishing a magical final day in Agrabah to Don Gallagher (Jafar), Nick Cavaliere (Iago), Miles Barrow (Omar), Chanelle Jasmine Anthony, Cindy Belliot, Albey Brookes, Lauren Chia, Filippo Coffano, Kade Ferraiolo, Sinead Kenny, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Katie Singh and Monica Swayne!

I've been lucky enough to see Aladdin's second year West End cast twice and I wish it had been a lot more.  This cast has been a joy to watch.  Matthew Croke is a fantastic Aladdin and I'm so happy that he'll be continuing in the role for another year. Trevor Dion Nicholas continues to prove that he's a super star and the West End is lucky to have him.  I've loved the pairing of Don Gallagher and Nick Cavaliere as Jafar and Iago, I've loved Jade Ewen's Jasmine and Irvine Iqbal's Sultan, who both just keep getting better. The trio of Leon Craig, Miles Barrow and Daniel de Bourg had a tough act to follow as Babkak, Omar and Kassim but they more than rose to the challenge. And this show would be nothing without it's incredible ensemble. I can't say this enough, the ensemble make this show. Aladdin is just a joy to watch.

And I just want to give a special shout out to the standbys, understudies and covers! I was lucky enough to see Monica Swayne in one of her final Jasmine performances, Oliver Lidert as Babkak and (finally!!) Leon Craig as Genie! They were all incredible. I loved the lead trio of Matt, Monica and Leon when I saw the show the other week, the chemistry between them was fantastic and the friendship of Matt and Leon really shone through. I don't want Trev to go anywhere but if Aladdin does a UK Tour then Leon is their Genie! Yeah, I'm greedy, America has two productions with amazing Genies and I want the UK to have that too!

Make some magic today everyone, and thanks for all the high adventures!

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Aladdin Bids Farewell to Denver!

Clinton Greenspan as Aladdin, Photo by Deen Van Meer
Here's the part where I realise I've been a bad fan & didn't wish the Aladdin tour a happy opening in Denver!

So instead here's wishing you all a magical final show tonight! I hope it's been an incredible run!  Next stop, Cleveland!!

Monday, 2 April 2018

End of an Era! Adam Jacobs Says Salaam to Aladdin!

Adam Jacobs as Aladdin on Broadway's Opening Night, Photo by Walter McBride/Broadway World

So this is it.  After an incredible seven year run from Seattle to Broadway and beyond, Adam Jacobs bid farewell to Aladdin on Saturday as he and the cast brought their incredible run at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre to a close.

Adam has been with the show from the very beginning.  In fact, if you count the 2010 workshops then his seven year run becomes an eight year epic adventure as he saw both this character and this show from concept to stage.  This magical show simply wouldn't be the same without him.  It's a journey he shared with his Jasmine, Courtney Reed, who was also part of those early workshops, so it was only fitting that the original Aladdin and Jasmine were reunited on stage last month as Courtney finished her own Agrabah adventures.

After all the wishes that Adam has made come true with this show, it was only fitting that Adam was presented with his very own magic lamp as the cast and crew gathered to sing him happy trails after his final bow as Disney's heroic street rat.

I was blessed to be in the audience for Adam's final Broadway performance last year.  I honestly thought that would be the last time I saw him as Aladdin.  I will be forever grateful that fate intervened and I got to see him again last month.  I know I have said this before, but it truly has been a privilege and a joy to see Adam grow in this role over the last 4 years, and Adam I am so grateful for all your support over the years, it's appreciated more than I can say.

Adam, I wish you all the very best for your future, whatever lies in store, but for now I wish you "a well earned rest", you've earned it!  I hope our paths will cross again.  Whatever happens, you will always be a prince to me.