Sunday, 8 May 2011
Jafar, Jafar, He's Our Man!!
First the big news, then an apology.
JONATHAN FREEMAN IS JAFAR!!!
Playbill reported on Friday that Tony Award Nominee Jonathan Freeman will once again bring the classic Disney Villain to life in Aladdin: The New Stage Musical.
For those of you who don't know (and I can't imagine that would be any of you!) Jonathan Freeman voiced Jafar in the 1992 animated classic and again in the direct to video sequel The Return of Jafar. He has since had roles in the Broadway adaptations of Ashman and Menken's other Disney classics Beauty and the Beast, where he played Cogsworth, and The Little Mermaid, where he originated the role of Grimsby. To my knowledge this is the first time an actor from the original animated classic has reprised the role on stage!
I was fortunate enough to see Jonathan Freeman in The Little Mermaid when it opened in Denver. I actually joked at stage door with him that he'd now had roles in all 3 of Ashman and Menken's Disney musicals, and if they ever did Aladdin for Broadway he could go full circle. When the casting calls omitted the role of Jafar I suspected that was because it had already been cast, or at least offered to someone, but I never dreamed I'd actually get my wish of Jonathan Freeman coming back to the role!
They had better put this thing on DVD/Blu-Ray if they're not taking it to Broadway!! Those of you that are going are in for a really magical event!
The Playbill article also reveals that the official opening night is set for 21st July (1 day after my birthday incidentally). More casting is expected shortly.
Now for the apology I promised earlier. I can't believe I haven't posted anything since January! The time has just flown and I'm sincerely sorry for that, and extremely grateful to those of you who still come here and check for updates. I've been so caught up in preparing for my wedding (just under 10 weeks to go now... "A Whole New World" is going to be the first dance, naturally) that I've neglected this blog and the lack of news made that easier to do when I should have been doing opinion pieces to make up for that.
It won't happen again. This week I'll catch up with some of the news I've missed and next weekend I'll have an opinion piece on all the potential "new" songs that could go into the show and what I think their chances are of making it to the stage. But for now lets just celebrate the return of Jonathan Freeman as Jafar!