Sunday, 24 November 2013

Two More Reviews and a LOT of News

Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann
Two more reviews surfaced yesterday, the first was a mixed to positive review by The Vancouver Sun ("Aladdin's Magic May Charm Kids, but Maybe Not Their Parents").  The review is well worth checking out as it also contains a short video from The Canadian Press featuring interviews with the cast.  Though the reviewer felt that the show may appeal more to kids than adults they also say "it's hard to argue with simple, straightforward fun" and that's exactly what this show is - a lot of fun!

The second review by The National Post's Robert Cushman has quite possibly my favourite title of any review; "Forget the Lion, this Aladdin is King of the Stage".  Like the Vancouver Sun review, this review also highlights how much fun the show is, stating "though it may not be as outlandishly imaginative as The Lion King, it has its own kind of inventiveness and is frankly more fun".  Continuing the comparison to The Lion King the Cushman goes on to state "and it has, obviously, a much better score. Alan Menken's music, and the lyrics of the late and much lamented Howard Ashman, have the kind of verve and wit that used to be taken for granted on Broadway and is now mostly a memory".  Cushman praises Chad Beguelin's book and "new lyrics worthy of the Ashman tradition", Adam Jacobs' engaging performance as Aladdin, Courtney Reed for giving Jasmine more dimension than she had in the film and calls James Monroe Iglehart's Genie a legend brought to life.  Honestly, with the exception of A Whole New World (the song not the staging) I don't think there's anything he didn't like!  He closes the review fittingly, saying "what a joy to encounter a big, splashy, funny musical that works".  A few more reviews like that would be nice!!

Ok, now for some news updates!  In the week leading up to opening night there was a lot of stuff I didn't get time to post so here's a quick round up!

Firstly a BIG congratulations to Don Darryl Rivera (Iago) and Brandon O'Neill (Kassim) who have both been nominated in the 2013 Broadway World Seattle Awards!  Don is up for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Local) for his performance in Illyria and Brandon is up for Best Leading Actor in a Musical (Local) for his performance in The Pirates of Penzance.  Please click on the above link and show them your support!

Disney Legend Alan Menken did an interview with The Star's Richard Ouzounian discussing his life and bringing Aladdin to the stage ("Alan Menken Puts Howard Ashman's Vision into Aladdin The New Musical").  It's a very touching piece with Alan saying that even now Howard is still with him.  Talking about Aladdin he says "I see what's on the stage now, and I say, 'Yes, this is what Howard would have wanted all along.'"

CHCH have posted a short article and video containing interviews with Adam Jacobs, Courtney Reed, James Monroe Iglehart and Jonathan Freeman.

Canada's CTV News have posted a short video interview with James Monroe Iglehart about playing the Genie, Jonathan Freeman is there too but this is definitely the JMI Show ;)

But don't worry, if you want to hear from Jafar then Broadway Direct have posted an interview with Jonathan Freeman that you can read here.  They've also posted an interview with director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw here.

Both of the Broadway Direct articles contain special priority codes that will allow you access to the advanced ticket sale for Aladdin on Broadway, so if you haven't already signed up for the official site's updates and want a code this is the place to go!  Or if you're a D23 member you can go here.  I can't find the link (probably because I'm not a member) but apparently Disney Vacation Club members also have a code available to them.  All advanced tickets are discounted from their standard rate, so book now before general sales start 2nd December!

And speaking of tickets Broadway World is reporting that more tickets are due to be released for the final dates of Aladdin's pre-Broadway Toronto run.  Additional seats for shows December 17th through January 5th go on sale tomorrow morning at 9AM and can be bought here.

Disney on Broadway have posted a new video to their YouTube channel;

It's the same video that Mirvish posted a few weeks back, now featuring the Broadway title design and dates, but still great to watch. have included Aladdin in an article of new attractions in Toronto, saying that "the magic carpet scene ... is worth the price of the ticket all by itself".

And finally, now that the official photos have been released and the show is officially open Courtney Reed has posted the first SIP (Saturday Intermission Pic) of the show.  The photo, taken by Michael James Scott, shows her and Adam Jacobs along with their dolls :)


  1. Any news about the official cast recording album? Thanks for sharing the news of one of the most beloved musicals ever.

    1. Hi Eva, no news about the cast album yet. The show doesn't open on Broadway until March 20th so it definitely won't be before then. Looking at Newsies (which also opened in March), they released the cast album on iTunes in April and then on CD in May, so April/May is what I'd expect (hopefully without a month between iTunes and the CD!)

      Personally I'm hoping Playbill Radio do a "virtual opening night" like they did for The Little Mermaid and premiere the cast album on 20th March. It'll make the wait for the CD a little more bearable!