Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Broadway News Round Up 18

Brandon O'Neill, Jonathan Schwartz and Brian Gonzales as Kassim, Omar and Babkak, Photo by Adam Jacobs

Your third wish is granted!  Today's news update will finally bring this blog back up to date with all the latest Aladdin Broadway news from 21st September right through to today!

First up is another interview with Aladdin himself, Adam Jacobs, as he takes Business Insider through a typical day for a Broadway star.

If you've been reading this blog long enough or watch his vlog then you know that James Monroe Iglehart is a self confessed comic nerd.  Well, one of his wishes is coming true as next week James is off to the New York Comic Con as part of the Celebrity Karaoke event!  On October 6th come along and watch James and other Broadway stars (including Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Ramin Karimloo, Les Miserables) show everyone how it's done!  Tickets are available here.

And if you're a JMI fan (and I assume that's most people reading this) then you may also be rewarded to consider this - you probably saw Freestyle Love Supreme in the first episode of I Dream of Genie, now you can see them in person at Joe's Pub on 13th October.  Tickets are available here for the 7:30pm show, JMI has tweeted that there's a 9:30pm as well but I can't find it on Joe's Pub website.  He says it's gonna be awesome, I believe him!  Make sure you check it out if you're in NYC.

The Burlington County Times reported a great story last Friday about a life long Aladdin fan whose wish came true when he got to see the show on Broadway and, thanks to an amazing security guard, even got to go back stage.  It's a great piece and I'll admit it reminds me a lot of me (but I don't think I ever managed to watch the film 15 times in a day!).

Aladdin's amazing Michael James Scott (who is Stand By for both Genie and Babkak) recently did a great Q&A with The Ensemblist covering everything from his first Broadway show to his obsession with trash TV and what it takes to make it on Broadway.  He also takes part in their latest podcast, "I'm.In.Tech.", and discusses the tech phase of Aladdin.  Check it out!

Broadway World rounds up the latest #SIP photos, including one from Courtney Reed showcasing some of the incredible fan art that she receives.

I know it's only October but Christmas is just around the corner and the Aladdin cast are taking part in this year's Carols for a Cure (Vol. 16).  They're joined by the casts of Beautiful, The Lion King, Motown: The Musical, If/Then, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera and Cabaret with more still to come!  The CDs are being done in aid of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and will be available to purchase online from and can also be purchased at participating Broadway and Off-Broadway shows during the "Gypsy of the Year" fundraising period from 24th October to 7th December and at select venues throughout the USA.  More details can be found at Broadway World and on the Broadway Cares website, both linked above.

Broadway World is reporting that Aladdin's director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw is now casting a New York development lab for Something Rotten! Like with Aladdin, Casey has once again taken on the role of both director and choreographer and, again like Aladdin, the show made it's world premiere earlier this year at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre.  Sounds like Casey could have another Broadway bound hit on his hands.

And speaking of shows that are hopefully Broadway bound, in Sunday's news round up I mentioned that Disney Theatrical had finally announced the cast for the long awaited US debut of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  What I didn't realise then was that the ensemble includes a former Princess Jasmine!  Samantha Massell, who brought Jasmine to life in The Muny's 2012 production of Aladdin in a performance that saw the St Louis' River Front Times vote her "Best Theater Discovery 2012", is part of the ensemble for the US premiere production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse later this month.  Hopefully she'll stay with the show when it moves to the Papermill Playhouse next year and then (fingers crossed) to Broadway!

Samantha Massell as Jasmine with ensemble, Photo by The Muny
Soul legend Aretha Franklin visited the cast backstage last week and was on hand to take photos (and the cast have posted plenty more on their personal Twitter and Instagram accounts).

And finally, congratulations to Adara Bryan who won Playbill's #MyDreamDuet and will be singing with James Monroe Iglehart on 6th October!!  This performance will be part of the New York Comic Con Celebrity Karaoke event (tickets available here).  I can't wait to see it!

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