Sunday, 1 June 2014

Broadway News Round Up 6

Well the big news this week was the digital release of Aladdin's Original Broadway Cast Recording and Disney have released a new video to celebrate the event - In the Recording Studio

And if that's not enough to convince you to pick up a copy (assuming you haven't already), Disney are currently streaming the entire album on the show's official website!  If you like what you hear then please make sure to pick up a copy either digitally or when the CD is released later this month.

But of course that wasn't the only news this week.

NY Times' Arts Beat reported a record week from Broadway, stating that "Among the new shows this spring, Disney's "Aladdin" was the top selling musical with $1,207,953" and ""Aladdin" and the new revival of "Les Miserables" have been vying week-to-week for the No. 1 title among new musical productions".  That's some great company to be in!

Examiner have posted a new review for the show, calling Aladdin "a great addition to The Great White Way".

Variety looks at Aladdin and the legacy of Howard Ashman.  Howard Ashman, along with Alan Menken, helped to revitalised Disney animation in the late 80s and early 90s, returning to the studio to it's musical and fairy tale roots and in the process inspired a generation.  Though Howard sadly passed away in 1991, before Beauty and the Beast was even released in cinemas and whilst Aladdin was still in production, his legacy endures today.  Twenty three years after his death all three of his Disney classics have gone full circle, being adapted for the Broadway stage that initially inspired them, with Howard Ashman receiving posthumous Tony nominations for both Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin (which he could still win!), but that is not his most incredible legacy.  His greatest achievement is his inspiration to others, including Chad Beguelin, who worked with Alan Menken to restore Howard's work and bring Aladdin to stage, and Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the song writers behind Disney's latest musical megahit Frozen who are now themselves writing the songs that this generation will grow up singing just as Ashman and Menken did for mine.

And speaking of Howard's legacy, here's a great interview Chad Beguelin did with Out about restoring Howard's songs and vision in Aladdin.

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

James Monroe Iglehart took part in The New York Times' In The Performance series Tony Awards edition, performing a jazzy cool-cat rendition of Friend Like Me.  Now, if you're anything like me then you've probably heard JMI sing this song like 20 times since Tuesday but this is well worth a listen as he gives it a different feel to the cast album/stage version, one better suited to the more intimate environment he's performing in.

As the countdown to the Tony Awards continues James also features in a few special videos;

The Tony Awards Tie the Knot (watch out for an appearance by Andrew Keenan-Bolger as well and no one is saying how the carpet flies!)

CUNY TV's Pat Collins and 4 time Tony Award Winner Harvey Fierstein host a special Tony Preview as they discuss several of the major categories for the upcoming awards.  Watch out for interviews with both Alan Menken and James Monroe Iglehart;

WNYC talks with James Monroe Iglehart and Disney Theatrical's Thomas Schumacher about Aladdin

Whilst Aladdin didn't take anything home at the Outer Circle Critics Awards or Drama League Awards, the Camp Broadway's 2014 Family Favorite Awards have declared Aladdin to be both Best Musical and Best Show for a First Time Theatregoer.  They also declared Adam Jacobs Matinee Idol of the Year and James Monroe Iglehart to be Showstopper of the Year (naturally!)

Last but certainly not least on the subject of awards, tonight is the Drama Desk Awards and you can watch live at Theater Mania from 7:15pm Eastern (Red Carpet, Awards Ceremony from 8:00pm).  Good luck everyone!!

I guess I'd better get an Instagram account as this week Aladdin joined the photo website.  Many of the cast already have their own pages and you can now find the show's official page here;

And finally, yesterday Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed took part in Schmackary's Broadway Bakes fund raiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, spending 2 hours serving up delicious cookies for their fans... and co-stars as Don Darryl Rivera just happened to stop by ;o)  You can see photos from the event on their Instagram pages (yeah, I definitely need to get one of those!)

That's all for this week!

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