Friday, 8 June 2012

Tuacahn's Production of Aladdin Officially Premieres Today!

Dan Domenech as Aladdin and Haley Carlucci as Princess Jasmine, Photo by The Tuacahn

After a week of previews Aladdin: The New Stage Musical officially opens tonight against the beautiful desert backdrop of the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Utah.

Playbill has posted an article on the show, "Hop a Carpet and Fly", here.  Of particular note is that the Tuacahn's production "marks the first regional engagement of the newly expanded and revised production of Aladdin, which debuted at Seattle's 5th Avenue".  Newly expanded and revised?  I guess that explains the 3 days of meetings that Alan Menken, Chad Beguelin and Casey Nicholaw had towards the end of last year after the show had finished its pilot production in Seattle!

The article also provides further cast and crew details;

"The ensemble feastures Joline Mujica, Erica Amato, Gabrielle Reid, Chris Warren Gilbert, Shari Jordan, Brant Michaels, James Royce Edwards, Matt Densky, Ayesha Ayeni, Carlita Ector, Noelle Marion, Summerisa Bell, Erica Bryce, Amanda Jolley, Samantha Gershman, Allyson Pace, Daysha Pedersen, Jesse Lee Coffman, Brooke Aston, Oyoyo Bonner, Nicole Johnson, Bronwyn Tarboton, Samuel Warburton, JP Sarro, Ramone Owens, Troy McGee, Michael Milkanin, Olin Davidson, Wyatt Hopkins, Andre Melendez, Evan Walker, Jesse Gonzales, Chyka Jackson, Eddy Schumacher, Alexis Smith and Tino Smith.

Aladdin is choreographed by Deanna Dys and musical directed by Camille Rolla. The production has scenic design by Doug Ellis, costume design by Wilma Mickler, lighting design by Bruce Duerden, sound design by David Swenson and hair and makeup design by Matt Reeves."

Broadway World also has a short article on the show highlighting the new promotional images released by the Tuacahn.

The first images feature Dan Domenech and Haley Carlucci as Aladdin and Jasmine, and Edward Juvier as the Genie.  These images are taken from the banner that first appeared on the Tuacahn's website a few weeks ago.

Dan Domenech and Haley Carlucci as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by The Tuacahn

Edward Juvier as Genie, Photo by The Tuacahn
The final picture is all new and showcases Michael G. Hawkins as Jafar!

Michael G. Hawkins as Jafar, Photo by The Tuacahn
I must admit that this one surprised me the most.  Based on pictures of Aladdin and Genie (with Aladdin having a purple rather than patchwork vest and Genie being blue) I was expecting the characters to look closer to their film counterparts than they did in the 5th Avenue's production last year, so seeing Jafar looking so different to his film counterpart caught me by surprise.  Please don't take this as a negative as it's certainly not intended to be one.  My initial inclination is that the change from black and red to black and gold for Jafar may have been, in part, a creative choice based on the red rock backdrop of the amphitheatre in order to make him stand out more.  Or it could simply be a creative choice like giving Aladdin a patchwork vest.  The character is still easily recognisable as Jafar and the costume looks good, so I'm more than happy with his new look for this production.

One thing is for sure, this production is certainly ambitious!  Check out this article at The Spectrum where you can see a picture of a zipline being tested for Aladdin!  And this post at Riverdale Rising Stars by Bob Walton (who plays the Sultan in this production) where he shows off a picture taken (I presume) during rehearsals and you can see some of the set and the amazing desert backdrop.

All that remains now is for me to wish the cast, crew, and everyone at The Tuacahn the very best wishes for tonights gala fundraiser premiere of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical.  Make some magic everyone and hopefully we'll be reading fantastic reviews in the morning!

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