Sunday, 17 February 2013

More Auditions, Preview Tickets, a New Poster and a New Song for Jafar?

Firstly, if you went to any of the Aladdin auditions over the last week then I hope they went well and that you had a good time.

It looks like Disney is casting a pretty wide net for this show as Playbill have added another four open chorus calls for Orlando (March 2nd/3rd), LA (Feb 26th/27th), Chicago (March 12th) and Toronto (March 16th).  If you're going - good luck!

Toronto's The Star has published an article entitled Aladdin, Once, Les Miserables highlight new Mirvish season.  According to the article this is the Mirvish's 50th year and they're celebrating by presenting their largest subscription program ever, including "the world premiere of the new Disney stage musical Aladdin".  The article goes on to state that "Aladdin will have its premiere tryout here at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, on its way to Broadway, as previously reported in The Star, with Tony Award winning director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw helming the proceedings."

This week also saw The Mirvish launching their own page for Aladdin complete with a new poster and banner for the show!

The poster's a little small (hopefully a larger version will turn up soon) but it's great to see new artwork turning up so soon!

The Mirvish's page includes the following description of the show;

"In an exotic, faraway land, one man’s life is about to change with the lucky rub of an ancient lamp—and you’re invited to join the magic carpet ride.

Welcome to ALADDIN, Disney’s new Broadway-bound musical, adapted from the hit film and featuring some of the best-loved music by Academy® and Tony Award®-winning composer Alan Menken and lyricists Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin, with a book by Beguelin.

Brought to you by the producer of Toronto’s record-breaking hits The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, ALADDIN will be directed and choreographed by Tony® -winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon) and will feature the award-winning and acclaimed design team of Bob Crowley (sets), Gregg Barnes (costumes) and Natasha Katz (lights), with illusions by Jim Steinmeyer.

With its timeless story, extravagant sets and costumes and a host of memorable characters and songs, ALADDIN will transport you to a place you only know in your dreams. Go ahead, make a wish. And discover a whole new world, in a whole new way… at ALADDIN."

Individual tickets aren't on sale yet (I'll update as soon as they are), but if you live in Toronto and love theatre then why not consider getting a season subscription for all 7 of the 2013/2014 season shows?  Information on the Mirvish's 2013/2014 subscription can be found here.

And finally, Playbill has published an interview with none other than Alan Menken himself at the Junior Theatre Festival.  The full interview can be found here and Mr. Menken talks about Newsies, the process of adapting his film work for the stage and, of course, bringing Aladdin to Broadway;

"At the same time Howard Ashman and I were writing "The Little Mermaid," we were writing "Aladdin." So we had a whole score that involved Aladdin's mom, and his sidekicks, Babkak, Omar and Kassim, and it had a lot of plot elements that we don't have in the movie. And the movie was great, but I said, "If we are going to do this theatrical adaptation, for me, the perk would be to try to bring in the songs that Howard and I wrote for the movie that never made it in.

So we have "Proud of Your Boy," a number that Aladdin was originally to sing in the movie to his mother directly, but now it's to his mother in heaven. There's a number "Babkak, Omar, Aladdin and Kassim," which is kind of the friends' Vaudeville number that they do in the streets of Agrabah. There's a song called "High Adventure," where they perform a rescue at the end of Act Two, which is so much fun. It's one of those numbers I was dying to see on stage. There's "Call Me Princess" for Princess Jasmine, which was a real early throw-away, but we were able to make use of that thanks to my new collaboration with Chad Beguelin (Elf, The Wedding Singer), who wrote the book.

He was brilliant in finding ways to adapt songs we had originally written into the new book, and we also wrote three new songs together with him as my lyricist. We wrote one new song for the Genie, one new song for Jafar and a new duet for Aladdin and Jasmine — and we still have all the original songs from Howard Ashman and Tim Rice from the film. So much creative energy has gone into this new Aladdin, I love it. We had a production in Seattle that was one of the highlights of my life and we've even improved it since then."

Now, I may be reading too much into this, but have we just had the first bit of information on a new song for this new production?  In the above quote Alan Menken mentions 3 songs written by himself and Chad Beguelin for the show; a song for Genie (Somebody's Got My Back), a duet for Aladdin and Jasmine (A Million Miles Away) and a song for Jafar (???).  Sure Jafar had a "new" song in the 2011/2012 productions, but Why Me is one of the unused Menken/Rice songs that was done for the movie, not a new song by Menken/Beguelin.  So is the Jafar song he mentions a new one for this production?  And if so, what does that mean for Why Me?  Is this going to be an addition or a replacement?  I guess we'll have to wait until November to find out!

And it's always great to hear Alan Menken call the 2011 Pilot Production of Aladdin one of the highlights of his life :)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Good Luck!

Just a quick update this morning to wish the very best of luck to anyone auditioning for Aladdin today and next week.

Make some magic everyone!