Saturday, 7 July 2012

A Wish or Two or Three! - Aladdin's One Year Old Today

Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Photo by Chris Bennion
7th July, one year ago today Aladdin: The New Stage Musical had it's World Premiere performance at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.  It was the start of two weeks of preview performances leading to the show's official Opening Night on July 21st (I'm hoping to have something special to celebrate the show's official anniversary later this month, so fingers crossed!).  One year later and the show is going strong with two regional productions currently being performed at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre and The Muny, and two international productions planned to debut later this year.

To celebrate this special anniversary I thought it would be appropriate to feature something new from each of the three productions so far.

The 5th Avenue

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Chris Bennion
It's hard to believe that a year later I've actually found some "new" material from 5th Avenue's World Premiere production of Aladdin but I was on JMI's website (for the first time in way too long, I really need to check it more frequently) and he's posted a fantastic gallery of production photos that I haven't seen anywhere else.  As the majority of these aren't from the small batch released for the show's publicity I'm not going to re-post them here as it's possible that James paid photographer Chris Bennion to use them on his site.  The gallery can be found here and includes some great shots from Prince AliSomebody's Got Your Back and the show's Finale.

Tuacahn Amphitheatre

Dan Domenech as Aladdin, Photo by Tuacahn
I missed posting this whilst I was away.  The Spectrum has posted another great review of the Tuacahn's production of Aladdin, concluding that ""Aladdin" lives up to its promise to take the crowd on a magical ride to "a whole new world.""  Also of note is the photo gallery included with the article which includes a good selection of images from the production.  If The Muny and international productions can get good reviews like the Tuacahn is, maybe there's still some hope that Disney will consider taking this show to Broadway or on a National Tour!  Having seen the show last month I have to say it is well worth the trip (even if you do live "A Million Miles Away"), the Tuacahn have put on a spectacular show in what I can honestly call the most beautiful theatre I have ever been to.

The Muny

1st Night Bows, Photo by The Muny
Just opened last Thursday, The Muny's production of Aladdin only has 1 week left to run (making the line "so it goes short and sweet" very appropriate for this production) so expect to see quite a bit of coverage this week as reviews and photos flood in from around the web.  Playbill and Broadway World have both posted photo galleries from The Muny's opening night, whilst The Muny has posted two videos on YouTube, the first featuring some behind the scenes footage from rehearsals;

and the second from opening night;

KSDK have posted a video preview here which includes interviews with the cast and more footage from the show's opening night.

And the reviews are also starting to come in.  Harry Hamm for CBS St. Louis gave the show 5 stars.  He's done a short audio review for the show (which you can listen to here), calling it "an immensely entertaining, funny, clever, hip show" and a more detailed written review which can be found hereSt. L Today gives a slightly more mixed review, citing problems with the staging of A Whole New World and a lull in the first act, but still calls the show "beautifully staged, performed with vigor and bursting with surprises".  And I'm sure there will be more reviews coming in over the next few days.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank once again everyone who's helped and supported me with this blog over the last year, especially the staff at both 5th Avenue and the Tuacahn, and the cast of the original production who generously gave me so much of their time and allowed me to have exclusive content on this blog.  THANK YOU!

Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Chris Bennion

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