Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Broadway News Round Up 17

Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Deen Van Meer

Ok, time for the second of my three promised news updates (three updates, three wishes, I'm seeing an unintended theme here!)  This one covers all the Aladdin Broadway news from 11th-20th September and tomorrow's final catch up post will bring us completely back up to date.  So, here we go!

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Disney (Cylla Von Tiedemann?)

First off, competition time!!  Aladdin and American Tourister are offering you the chance to win a VIP experience for two including flights to New York, tickets to see Broadway's Aladdin and a special VIP backstage experience!  You'll also win a new 3-piece set of American Tourister Duralite luggage and, to help you get started with your Aladdin souvenirs, they're also including a copy of the original Broadway Cast Recording (though I'm guessing most people reading this will already have that, and if not, why not?!  It's on iTunes, go!).  For your chance to win just head to http://www.caveofwishes.com/ and rub the lamp.  This competition is only open to US residents.

On Monday 15th September the American Theatre Wing paid tribute to the legendary Dame Angela Lansbury.  Adam Jacobs, Courtney Reed and James Monroe Iglehart were all in attendance and you can see some of the comments and tributes to Dame Angela in the video below.  Adam and Courtney both appear at the 2:07 mark followed by James and a very special tribute as he sings Angela Lansbury's world famous Disney song.

Adam Jacobs has certainly been doing his fair share of publicity for the show this month.  He and his with Kelly invited Playbill into their home and Metro recently got the chance to spend the day with Adam, going backstage at Aladdin.

The Disney Dose Podcast features a special interview with Adam Jacobs and James Monroe Iglehart.  The full podcast is 50 minutes long so I'm still listening now but it's great so far!

Not to be left out, Courtney Reed talks Princess Jasmine with Better Show and her acting past from Abu to Mamma Mia and In The Heights, and flywheels.

Laurell Hamilton (James Monroe Iglehart's favourite author) recently went to see the show and meet the cast backstage and shared her thoughts on her blog.  Needless to say, she loved it!

And finally, my best (belated) birthday wishes to Bud Weber!  Happy birthday for yesterday!

That's it for tonight, more tomorrow!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Broadway News Round Up 16

Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann
Ok, after doing amateur shows and having internet problems I'm finally back with the first of three news round ups covering all of the Aladdin Broadway news from the last few weeks!  After a few slow news weeks it seems the flood gates have opened again so there's a lot to catch up on!  Ready?  Here we go!

ABC News recently went behind the scenes and have now posted their full Back Stage Pass special online with some amazing video footage from the show.  This is one not to be missed!

Disney Insider interviewed Aladdin himself, Adam Jacobs

I Believe has posted their 6 reasons why Aladdin on Broadway is unmissable

A host of Broadway stars, from Chicago, Mamma Mia!, The Rockettes and Aladdin's own Genie, James Monroe Iglehart, teamed up to help Meredith Vieira launch the new The Meredith Vieira Show;

Adam Jacobs took part in a fantastic interview with Paul Wontorek on Broadway.com's Show People.

For Broadway Week Aladdin offered one lucky couple a choice between 3 magical wishes;

This next video is just something awesome that the cast of Aladdin did for the daughter of cast member Andrew Cao;

Merwin Foard, who you may have seen in Broadway's Aladdin as Jafar or Sultan, has been adding another Disney credit to his resume.  Even if you haven't seen Merwin bring Jafar or Sultan to life on stage you will have certainly heard his voice if you're a Disney fan as he has lent his vocals to animated classics such as Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan and Aladdin and the King of Thieves as the singing voice of Aladdin's father, Cassim.  For this new project he's traded the arid heat of the Agrabah deserts for something a little more... Frozen.

Photo by Merwin Foard

Not strictly Aladdin related but it is exciting news from Disney Theatrical - the cast has been announced for The Hunchback of Notre Dame!!  I have wanted to see this show since hearing the Berlin cast album several years ago and there's been that much talk on and off over the years that I almost thought it would never happen, but it's finally coming to the stage at the La Jolla Playhouse (October 26th - December 14th 2014, extended from the initially announced December 7th) and the Papermill Playhouse (March 4th - April 5th 2015).  The show is directed by Scott Schwartz with a book by Peter Parnell and features music by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz who provided the beautiful soundtrack for the original animated classic.  The cast is headed up by Michael Arden as Quasimodo, Patrick Page as Frollo, Ciara Renee as Esmeralda, Andrew Samonsky as Phoebus and Erik Liberman as Clopin.  The full cast announcement can be seen at Broadway World.  Disney's D23 fan club is already offering their members an exclusive VIP Experience (similar to the ones they have previously offered for Aladdin) and have posted an interview with Patrick Page about his portrayal of Frollo and his previous work with Disney Theatrical.

And finally, make sure you cast your vote for the Broadway Cast Recording of Aladdin in Broadway World's 2014 Album Awards!

Ok, that's everything from September 1st through September 10th (when Aladdin celebrated 200 performances on Broadway!), on Tuesday I'll be posting the next news round up covering 11th-20th September before finally getting up to date on Wednesday!  It's good to be back!

I Dream of Genie Episode 7

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Here it is!  The penultimate episode of James Monroe Iglehart's Broadway.com vlog I Dream of Genie!

In this week's episode James tests how famous he really is and gives us another peak behind the curtain at a Saturday Night Dance Party.  At the Broadway Flee Market he bumps into fellow vlogger, If/Then's James Snyder and films a vlog crossover (you can see it in episode 19 of James' vlog Hey Kid around the 5:30 mark).  And of course, no episode of I Dream of Genie would be complete without an edition of "Ask a Genie".  He also answers the question he asked last week - favourite Disney movie and favourite Disney song.  The answers might surprise you.

And as a comic nerd I have to say I totally loved the Harley Quinn figure on JMI's shelf in this episode's intro :o)

So next week's the big finale!  I can't believe it's come around this fast.  If you have any questions left for James, this is your last chance, tweet him at @jamesmiglehart #askagenie and keep wishing for a second season!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

"Phenomenal cosmic power! Itty-bitty download rates!"

Just a quick post to say I'm really sorry about all the delays recently.  My amateur show finished last weekend but I've been having some pretty serious issues with my broadband connection (last night's line tests ranged from 0.01 to 0.39 Mbps when it was working at all) so I haven't been able to do the news round up post like I'd hoped.  Tonight's test was a slightly more respectable 3 Mbps, which meant I finally got to watch the latest episode of JMI's vlog, and a line engineer is due out tomorrow so hopefully everything should be fine for a big news round up this weekend!

I Dream of Genie Episode 6

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann
Last week saw the release of the sixth episode of James Monroe Iglehart's Broadway.com vlog I Dream of Genie (the 7th episode is just around the corner).

In this episode  JMI asks the cast and crew of Broadway's Aladdin two very important questions - what's your favourite Disney movie and what's your favourite Disney song?  My two favourites have to be Wardrobe Supervisor Rick Kelly's song choice (great sense of humour!) and Don Darryl Rivera's song choice as it's so romantic (yeah, I'm a big softy at heart!)

Also in this episode James answers more of your questions in "Ask a Genie" and gives us an exclusive look at what goes on behind the curtain in the casts' Saturday Night Dance Party!

Two more episodes to go and I'm already praying for a second series!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Broadway Flee Market and Auction

So tomorrow is the annual Broadway Flee Market and Grand Auction in aid of Broadway Cares and yes, Aladdin has a table and members of the cast will be there.

But there's also some auctions going on RIGHT NOW that any Aladdin fan would wish for!  First up is a poster signed by the entire original cast;

But wait, there's more! You and a friend can also bid on the chance to see the show from VIP seating, then go backstage, meet the cast and even rub the Genie's lamp!  It's a true once in a lifetime opportunity!

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Bidding ends at 11am EDT and then the items move to tomorrow evening's live auction where today's higher bidder will have the opportunity to place an absentee bid (more details in the above links).

Happy bidding everyone!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

I Dream of Genie Episode 5

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

After a week hiatus the fifth episode of James Monroe Iglehart's blog I Dream of Genie hit Broadway.com last week!

In this episode James takes us back stage at Seth Rudetsky's Not Since High School benefit concert (which JMI featured in) as he meets the press, performs and then hangs out with the other "Broadway nerds".  And, of course, answers more fan questions in another edition of "Ask a Genie" with backing music once again provided by Jaz Sealey.

On a personal note, I'm very sorry for how late I am in posting this and for the lack of updates recently.  For the last 3 weeks I've been involved with an amateur production of Oliver so between working 9-5 and rehearsals I've let the blog slip much more than I intended.  Things will get back to a more normal schedule this weekend.

I was actually reflecting a little back stage last night as I realised that this Tuesday marked the 1 year anniversary of Aladdin's Broadway cast announcement.  I remember that it had been rumoured to be coming that day and phone signal is terrible back stage at the venue Jane and I do amateur productions with, so I was running outside at every opportunity to get signal to see if the announcement had been posted.  When it finally did hit, and confirmed that the majority of the Seattle principals were to return, I was overjoyed!  I spent the next half hour going in and out between scenes so I could tweet congratulations to the cast and then getting their replies when I got home.  It was a magical day.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Aladdin Celebrates 200 Magical Performances on Broadway!

The Cast of Aladdin, Photo by Deen Van Meer

Tonight is a very special night for the cast and crew of Aladdin as they celebrate their 200th performance on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre!

I just want to wish everyone involved in tonight's performance a truly magical night.  Keep up the great work everyone, here's to the next 100!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Happy Birthday Tia Altinay

Tia Altinay with Khori Petinaud and Rhea Patterson, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

It must be birthday week at the New Amsterdam Theatre!  Today is the birthday of Aladdin's Tia Altinay.

Happy birthday Tia, I hope you have an incredible day.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Happy Birthday James Monroe Iglehart!

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann
After winning a Tony Award in June, Aladdin's Genie celebrates another personal milestone today as he celebrates his 40th birthday!

Happy birthday James, I hope you have a magical day!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Broadway Sessions presents "A Night in Agrabah"

It never fails, you have a small news round up then there's a rub of the lamp!  This Thursday Ben Cameron's Broadway Sessions is presenting a one off special event - A Night in Agrabah!

Taking place at The Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd Street, Broadway Sessions is a "fun and zany musical theatre variety show" where you can "get up close and personal with Broadway's brightest as the stars bare their souls, interact with the crowd and celebrate all things BROADWAY."

Tickets can be bought on the door ($5 cover, $15 f/b minimum) and Thursday night's A Night in Agrabah will feature the talents of Aladdin's Courtney Reed (Princess Jasmine), Don Darryl Rivera (Iago), Marisha Wallace, Dennis Stowe, Bud Weber, Khori Michelle Petinaud,Stanley Martin, Yurel Echezeretta and Jennifer Rias.

The show starts at 11pm (with open mic at 10pm for anyone brave enough to try it!) so if you're in NYC why not see Aladdin first then head on over to catch some of the incredibly talented cast members in a more intimate setting.

I wish I could be there and I hope everyone taking part has a fun night.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Broadway News Round Up 15

Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

I hope you all enjoyed the interview with Adam Jacobs last week!  I have to say I was so happy to be able to do that again and once again a massive thank you to Adam and to Disney Theatrical for making it happen.

Ok, on with this week's news round up!

First up this week is a new video from Disney on Broadway's official YouTube channel.  This one is a little different to their previous Aladdin offerings, a fun little lyric video for "Prince Ali";

Now be honest, how many of you were thinking "so that's what the words are!" :-)

Last week also marked the one year anniversary of Courtney Reed officially signing on to play Princess Jasmine on Broadway and she posted a #TBT picture on Instagram to celebrate.  Like I said last week, time really has flown this year!

Bit of a short round up this week so I figured I'd end on a new review posted by a Disney fan who had mixed feelings about seeing the show and ended up "having more appreciation and love for the street rat's story than I ever had during my childhood!"

I Dream of Genie Episode 4

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Here it is!  The fourth episode of James Monroe Iglehart's vlog I Dream of Genie!

In this episode James introduces us to the back stage crew and the front of house staff at the New Amsterdam Theatre to meet the people responsible for bringing Aladdin to life on Broadway.  Then, with backing music once again provided by the multi-talented Jaz Sealey, JMI answers more of your questions about tap dancing, Theatre Works, and finally answers the burning question - who would win in a battle between the Genie and Harry Potter!

I can't believe this fantastic series has already reached its halfway point!  Getting a small glimpse behind the curtain with James is a weekly treat that I just don't want to end.