Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Broadway News Round Up

Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Deen Van Meer
Well it's been a busy two weeks for Aladdin!  Broadway's New Musical Comedy is now over halfway through its Broadway previews with the official opening night set for next Thursday, 20th March.

Whilst no press reviews are allowed until the show has officially opened, online and social media reactions have been, for the most part, extremely positive.  Personally I've been trying to avoid reading any in depth comments as the show has changed significantly since I saw it (especially with Babkak, Omar and Kassim no longer being narrators after Toronto) so I'm trying to remain relatively spoiler free for the Broadway production.  If you want to read some of the more detailed comments and spoilers I'd direct you to the Ultimate Disney and Broadway World message boards where you can find plenty of people talking about the show along with the revised song list for the Broadway production.  Rest assured I'll be posting the song list and a lot of detailed thoughts and opinions once I've seen the show and it has officially opened.

One thing I've been unable to avoid is just how popular James Monroe Iglehart and the ensemble's performance of Friend Like Me is.  Mid act standing ovations pretty much every night!  It's strange, I knew from the reviews, both from Seattle and Toronto, that Friend Like Me is one of the big stand out moments of the show, I expected thunderous applause but it sounds like this is something else entirely.  The only show I have ever been to where the audience gave a mid act standing ovation was the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables after Alfie Boe performed Bring Him Home.  That was a fantastic performance at a one off special event.  For Friend Like Me to be bringing audiences to their feet every night is beyond belief.  It must truly be a sight to behold and an absolutely killer performance by James Monroe Iglehart.  I can't wait to experience it for myself next week!!

Anyway, enough from me!  The last two weeks have seen the flood gates well and truly open and a tidal wave of new articles and interviews have been released.  So without further ado, here's the first Broadway News Round Up!!

Alan Menken talks with Playbill about the legacy of Howard Ashman
Adam Jacobs, Courtney Reed and James Monroe Iglehart speak with USA Today (with rehearsal footage of A Million Miles Away and Act One Finale/Proud of Your Boy Reprise)
Casey Nicholaw speaks with The New York Times's weekly grosses report confirmed that Aladdin was performing to 100% full houses for its opening week
New York Post talks with James Monroe Iglehart and highlights 6 changes from film to stage
Adam Jacobs talks Aladdin and fatherhood with
Brandon O'Neill performed the National Anthem at 10th March's Knicks Game at Madison Square Garden
BuzzFeed interviews Adam Jacobs, Courtney Reed, James Monroe Iglehart and Jonathan Freeman (with new photos!)
Playbill talks with Jonathan Freeman about bringing Jafar to life twenty years after the film
The current (Winter 2014) issue of Theater Mania features an interview with James Monroe Iglehart and can be read online for free

This last one isn't really Aladdin related but it does relate to a member of the cast;

Merwin Foard, a standby in Aladdin, talks with The Columbus Dispatch about The Standbys, a new film following the lives of Broadway standbys

Not every article is online though, the new issue of D23 has a fantastic 3 page article on the show featuring Alan Menken, Casey Nicholaw, Chad Beguelin and Jonathan Freeman.  It's well worth picking up the issue for and it's great to see the show pictures printed in such high quality (not like my iPad photo below).

With the show now in previews the merchandise has also been released.  You can find a selection online at the Disney Store.  And, of course, the one thing I know a lot of people have been waiting for since Seattle... The Cast Recording is coming!!!  The Cast Recording is due to arrive in May and, if you live in America, you can now pre-order it here!

And finally, yesterday saw the release of another video by Disney Theatrical - The Sitzprobe!  For those of you who don't know what at Sitzprobe is (I hadn't even heard the word until I started following the Seattle production of Aladdin back in 2011) I'll let JMI explain;

Sounds great, doesn't it!

Aladdin: Broadway's New Musical Comedy is now in previews at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre and the show officially opens 20th March.  Tickets are available here.

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