Friday, 18 May 2012

Tuacahn Updates Keep Coming!!

Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to Heidi from the Tuacahn for her kind words in the comments of an earlier post, and for advising me that Deanna Dys will be Choreographer for the Tuacahn's production of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical.  If you want to know more about Deanna, her past experience and some teases about her work with on Aladdin then be sure to check out this radio interview that the Tuacahn posted on their YouTube channel;

And also make sure you check out the Tuacahn's latest blog post where Todd Dubail (Kassim), Randy Aaron (Omar) and Paul Vogt (Babkak) pose for press photos with some their new co-stars...

Updated - The Tuacahn have very kindly given me permission to post the picture here as well

Todd Dubail as Kassim, Randy Aaron as Omar and Paul Vogt as Babkak, Photo by Tuacahn

Aladdin and Jasmine Cast for Asian Premiere

With all the Tuacahn announcements recently (and more from there very soon!) I've fallen behind on international news!  Aladdin'sGenie over at Aladdin Central has found an article from The Philippine Star announcing the casting of the Aladdin and Jasmine in Atlantis Productions' Asian Premiere of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical.

"Playing the title role of Aladdin is PBB contestant and actor Tom Rodriguez. Tom has appeared in Maalaala Mo Kaya, Angelito, My Driver Sweet Lover, Here Comes the Bride, and Petrang Kabayo.

Chosen to play the iconic role of Princess Jasmine is recording artist K-La Rivera, who received an Aliw Award nomination for Best Actress for her critically-acclaimed performance as Nina in In The Heights."

Courtney Reed, who originated the role of Jasmine in last summer's World Premiere at The 5th Avenue, had also previously starred in In the Heights so K-La is in good company!

More casting will follow soon with the show to premiere in November at the Meralco Theatre.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Tuacahn Cast Part 3 - The Trio and The Sultan

As promised the final part of my more in depth look at the Tuacahn's cast of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical;

Paul Vogt is Babkak

Best known for his film and TV work, especially MADtv, Paul actually has an extensive background in live theatre, having starred in a wide variety of productions from musical theatre to Shakespeare, including playing the title role in Sweeney Todd, and of course starring as Edna in Hairspray first in Las Vegas, then on the first regional tour before making his Broadway debut in the role.  Paul is no stranger to Disney either, last year appearing in The Muny's production of The Little Mermaid as the sea witch Ursula (in a fantastic nod to Divine's inspiration of the character's design).

Randy Aaron is Omar

A graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Randy has appeared in the national tour of 9 to 5 and a wide variety of regional productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Peter Pan, The Tin Pan Alley Rag, Memphis, Dreamgirls, A Chorus Line, Once on this Island, Dame Edna Back with Vengeance, and Junie B. Jones amongst others.  Like others in the cast he is no stranger to Disney, having appeared in a regional production of Beauty and the Beast.

Todd Dubail is Kassim

Last seen at the Tuacahn in 2010's production of Tarzan where he played the role of the villain Clayton, this time Todd is playing one of the heroes.  Perhaps best known for playing the role of Pharaoh in that national tour Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to much critical acclaim (a role he first played seven years earlier in Elvis' hometown of Memphis!), Todd has also appeared in national tours of Grease, Leader of the Pack and Jesus Christ Superstar as well as in a wide range of regional productions including Ashman and Menken's Little Shop of Horrors.

Bob Walton is the Sultan

A veteran of stage and screen, Bob has previously appeared on Broadway in The Drowsy Chaperone, 42nd Street, Once Upon a Mattress, Show Boat and City of Angels.  On TV he has appeared on Law and Order: SVU, Hope and Faith, Picket Fences and Newhart amongst others.  In addition to this Bob and his brother Jim having been writing and performing new musicals together since 1991, including My Brother's Keeper, Double Trouble and Mid-Life! (The Crisis Musical).  More information on their works can be found at their website here.

And that wraps it up! More information about the rest of the cast and creative team is expected to be annouced shorty so please keep checking back and remember to keep reading the Tuacahn's blog here for all the lastest news and updates direct from the theatre (you can also find the Tuachan on Facebook and follow them on Twitter).  Tickets for Aladdin: The New Stage Musical are now on sale and the show runs from June through to October.  It's currently breaking Tuacahn sales records so make sure to grab your tickets fast to be sure of a good seat!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Tuacahn Cast Part 2 - Genie, Jafar and Iago

Continuing right where I left off;

Edward Juvier is Genie

Though he is best known for having performed in Les Miserables on Broadway, Edward has had a far more prolific career in regional theatre, having starred in a wide range of productions, many at the Stages St. Louis, including Guys and Dolls, Miss Saigon, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Secret Garden, SleuthPromises, Promises, Man of La Mancha, Laughter on the 23rd Floor and The Music Man among others.  He is also no stranger to Disney shows, having starred in regional productions of The Aristocats and Alice in Wonderland.

Michael G. Hawkins is Jafar

Michael has perhaps the most challenging role of all in this production; following in the footsteps of Jonathan Freeman who not only originated the role in film, but also on stage last summer.  A founding member of the Musical Theatre Guild in Los Angeles with a resume covering both stage and screen, Michael has a great background in musical theatre having starred in a wide variety of shows including Guys and Dolls (Las Vegas), Sweeney Todd, Chicago and originating the role of Adam in the world premiere of Western Star.  He has also had a lot of experience at playing the villain, having portrayed Bill Sykes in Oliver and Captain Hook in the recent national tour of Peter Pan.

Jeff Asch is Iago

Jeff Asch in Guys and Dolls
Perhaps best known as Maxwell in Saved by the Bell and for his appearances in several other TV sitcoms, Jeff has also some significant theatre credits, having starred in regional productions of Guys and Dolls, Rumors, Laughter on the 23rd Floor and The Man of La Mancha.  He has also directed productions of Oliver and Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's first collaboration, Little Shop of Horrors.

That's all for tonight!  The final part (Sultan and the trio) will be posted tomorrow.

The Tuacahn Cast Part 1 - The New Aladdin and Jasmine

As promised last night, this is the first part of a slightly more in depth look at the cast of the Tuacahn's production of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical.

Dan Domenech is Aladdin

Dan has previously starred in a wide variety of regional productions including Rent, Altar Boyz and The Who's Tommy, along with pre-Broadway productions of both Sister Act and Wonderland.  More recently he joined the touring cast of Rock of Ages as a swing, before taking on the role of Drew for his Broadway debut last year.  Of special note to Aladdin fans, Dan made his Tuacahn debut this weekend singing "A Whole New World" with the original Princess Jasmine, and Disney Legend, Lea Salonga!  He is currently learning to fly a magic carpet and ride a camel.  That's right, in this production the camels are real!  You can follow Dan on Twitter @dan_domenech

Haley Carlucci is Princess Jasmine

Haley is best known for the playing the role of Maria in the Broadway revival of West Side Story.  Regionally she has starred in The Mikado, Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof and Into the Woods.  Most recently she starred in the premiere production of The Nutcracker and I at the New Jersey George Street Playhouse last Christmas.  Like Dan she is now in camel training for he Tuacahn production of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical.  You can follow Haley on Twitter @haleycarlucci

Over at Aladdin Central, Aladdin's Genie has made another great find.  This time a short promotional teaser released by the Tuacahn on their YouTube channel to promote their productions of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical and Hairspray.  We're not sure as no credits are listed, but we think this is a brief clip of Dan and Haley singing "A Whole New World"!

I'll be back soon (hopefully later tonight) with a look at Genie, Jafar and Iago!

Edit - Just a quick update to say that it's definitely Dan and Haley singing in this teaser as Haley has now tweeted a link saying "check out a mini preview of Dan and me!" They sound great together!  I'm literally counting the days now!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Cast Announced for the Tuacahn's Production of Aladdin

Little behind the times with this one!  At the end of last month Playbill and the Tuacahn's blog announced the principle cast for this summer's production of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical.  Like the world premiere in Seattle last year, this production is bringing together a cast of Broadway and regional performers to bring the classic story to life;

Aladdin - Dan Domenech
Princess Jasmine - Haley Carlucci
Edward Juvier - Genie
Jafar - Michael G. Hawkins
Iago - Jeff Asch
Babkak - Paul Vogt
Omar - Randy Aaron
Kassim - Todd Dubail
Sultan - Bob Walton

Playbill goes on to state that "The Tuacahn production marks the first regional engagement of the newly expanded and revised production of Aladdin, which first debuted at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre July 7, 2011.Tuacahn artistic director Scott S. Anderson will stage the production that is set to run in repertory with Hairspray through October. The company also presented the post-Broadway regional premieres of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Tarzan.

The two-hour and 15-minute stage adaptation incorporates the Academy Award-winning songs from the 1992 film, penned by composer Alan Menken (Sister Act, Leap of Faith, Newsies) and lyricists Howard Ashman (Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid) and Tim Rice (Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar), with a new book by Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), who has also penned new lyrics along with Menken. Aladdin also restores several songs that were cut prior to the original film release.

The Tuacahn production is staged by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions and Music Theater International."

The full cast and creative team will be announced shortly (be sure to keep an eye on the Tuacahn's Blog here) and be sure to check back tonight as I'm planning on doing the first of two extended posts on the principle cast as I did for 5th Avenue's world premiere production last year.

And whilst you're checking out the Tuacahn's blog, make sure you read their latest post which goes behind the scenes of the production to look at the green screen filming of some of the 3DS special effects which will be used to help create the magic (I'm not entirely sure what the S stands for, and a quick google search is only giving me the Nintendo console, so I guess I'll have to wait and find out next month when I see the show!).

Aladdin and Jasmine, Together Again!

Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Mark Kitaoka

Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed, better known to readers of this blog as Aladdin and Jasmine from last summer's world premiere production of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical, are to share the stage once more in the Paper Mill Playhouse's production of Once on this Island.  Like Aladdin, this is a limited production running only from 30th May until 24th June.

Courtney will be playing the role of Andrea and Adam will be playing the role of Daniel in this exciting re-invention of the original production by the Tony Award winning director Thomas Kali (who also directed In the Heights, which Courtney Reed starred in).

Tickets are now on sale at the Paper Mill Playhouse's website so if you can make it to New Jersey whilst this is on, be sure to go see it!  For more information on the production, check out the Broadway World article here.  Special thanks to Tipawan for bringing this to my attention!!

In related news (and I'm sorry for not reporting on this earlier) The Newsies, which made it's world premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse last year, has extended it's limited Broadway run through to 19th August.  Tickets are on sale hereThe Newsies stars another Aladdin alum, Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Omar) as Crutchie, a role he originated at the Paper Mill Playhouse.  More details are available here.

Andrew Keenan-Bolger (left), Phto by T. Charles Erickson

I can only hope that after this next round of regional productions and international premieres, Aladdin: The New Stage Musical goes on to share the same level of Broadway success as The Newsies, which has just been nominated for Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical (Jeff Calhoun), Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Jeremy Jordan), Best Book of a Musical (Harvey Fierstein), Best Original Score Written for the Theatre (Alan Menken/Jack Feldman), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Tobin Ost/Sven Ortel), Best Choreography (Christopher Gattelli) and Best Orchestrations (Danny Troob)!  Disney's new play Peter and the Starcatcher is also up for several awards, including Best Play and a Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play nomination for Andrew's sister Celia Keenan-Bolger!  Alan Menken's other new musical, Leap of Faith, is also up for Best Musical, meaning he's worked on half of the category!