Sunday, 21 December 2014

Broadway News Round Up 26

James Monroe Iglehart as Genie, Original Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Well here we are, the final news round up before Christmas!

Firstly, sorry for not posting a round up last weekend.  I was working on something Aladdin related though and I hope to be able to share it with you all very soon.  Oh, and make sure you go and vote for James Monroe Iglehart as Broadway.com's Star of the Year!

Now that's out of the way, let's get in the festive mood with some more Christmas carols with an Agrabah twist from the one and only James Monroe Iglehart!  You can see the video's on Aladdin's official Facebook page here and here!  And speaking of festive, James also took part in the 7th annual Joe Iconis Christmas Spectacular at 54 Below last Friday.  I wish I could have seen that!

Staying with the festivities for a moment, Theater Pizzazz has a positive review for Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol which featured Don Darryl Rivera as the Ghost of Christmas Past.  Another one I wish I could have seen!  But at least Broadway.com has a few photos.

If you want to help make someone's wish come true this Christmas then take a moment to look at San Mateo High School's Dancers IndieGoGo page where they are trying to raise money to take the students to New York to see 3 shows and learn from Broadway stars (including Aladdin with an after show talkback and a private dance class) and at this GoFundMe page to help Andrew go on his school trip to see the show.

In the last news round up I told you that Adam Jacobs and James Monroe Iglehart were going to be featured on The View, well now that special medley can be viewed online!  Make sure you check it out right here!

And speaking of Adam Jacobs, you can see an exclusive video interview with him at the CYT blog!

Last weekend was a big one for Disney Theatrical with ABC's presentation of Backstage with Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 Years.  To get in the mood Disney posted a special performance by VoicePlay on their YouTube channel and on all their musical's Facebook pages;



Awesome performance and I love that they even included some of the cut Arabian Nights lyrics at the end!

There was plenty to love during the special but the highlight for any Aladdin fan had to be a special backstage look at the show stopping Friend Like MeGlee's Darren Criss has never made any secret of his love for Disney and during the show he finally got to sing for them (and make his mother proud) as he sang his interpretation of Proud of Your Boy;



Normally I wouldn't post a link to the full show, but this was tweeted by Lebo M so I guess it's ok to share!  So if you couldn't see it the first time or just want to watch it again, enjoy 20 Years of Disney on Broadway!

Broadway World have photos from James Monroe Iglehart's appearance earlier this month at 54 Below's Don't Quit Your Night Job.

On Monday 8th December Aladdin's Brian Gonzales and his wife took part in Dallas' 4th annual Sugar Cookie Gala to raise money for Gideon's Feet, a non-profit organisation that supports artists in need, founded in memory of their first son.  A silent auction at the gala featured paper snowflakes created by Brian's cast mate, Don Darryl Rivera, and signed stars such as James Monroe Iglehart, Idina Menzel and the legendary Disney composer Richard Sherman.

Aladdin's Daisy Hobbs will be making her NYC solo concert debut next month in Here, An Evening of Song on Sunday 11th January at Stage 72 at The Triad (158 West 72nd Street).  Daisy has been with Aladdin since the original Pilot Production in Seattle and her concert will feature everything from Sondheim to pop music and even have some original material as well.  And if that's not enough you even get Aladdin's Jaz Sealey on guitar (you all remember his wonderful backing music to JMI's I Dream of Genie vlog right?).  Tickets are $20 (plus 2 drink minimum) and are available now from Brown Paper Tickets.  You can find out more about Daisy at her website.


This month Aladdin's Broadway home, the New Amsterdam Theatre, played host to the annual Gypsy of the Year event and Broadway World has the photos including James Monroe Iglehart on stage with Seth Rudetsky and a picture of the Aladdin cast's performance.

Ok, it's that time of year when everyone starts to look back at the year that was and Aladdin on Broadway has made a few of the lists!  Aladdin has flown a magic carpet right to the top of Broadway.com's "Best 5 Shows of 2014" (and also makes their "Top 5 Shows Kids Will Go Wild For") whilst The Associated Press has Aladdin in their "Top 10 Theater of 2014" and USA Today calls James Monroe Iglehart "Mr. Genie-ality" in their "The Best of Broadway in 2014"!

As well as looking back, it's also a time to look forward.  Have you made your New Year's Wish yet?



Finally, these last two pieces aren't really about Aladdin or even Disney but it's been announced that Aladdin's Director/Choreographer Casey Nicholaw's newest musical Something Rotten! will be skipping it's 5th Avenue debut and going straight to Broadway and that composer Alan Menken is working on a musical adaptation of 1994 film Corrina, Corrina for the stage.  Congratulations Casey!  And it's always good to hear about a new Menken musical!!

And speaking of new Menken musicals...


Well, I guess this is the final The Hunchback of Notre Dame update I'll be doing until the show begins its run at the Papermill Playhouse in March.  It sounds like it's been a rousing success with both critics and audiences so I can't wait to see it for myself next year!  Until then, here's a final round up of all the news from the La Jolla Playhouse's US Premiere Production.

Up Magazine listed Hunchback as one of the "5 Things We Love This December".

Blouin Artinfo looks at the show in a piece looking at the "freak shows" this season, calling Hunchback "an audience pleaser" that "has the potential to be a hit".

Buzz Feed gives the perfect review to end this run of the show on, saying that "those who attend the Hunchback musical hoping to see the Disney film onstage will be sorely disappointed" but "this is Hunchback as it was meant to be experienced."

And a bit of Aladdin related news, during the show's final week Samantha Massell (who played Jasmine in The Muny's production of Aladdin) went on as Esmeralda and from the fan reactions on Twitter she totally nailed it.  Well done Sam!  And remember, before returning to Notre Dame for the Papermill's run, Samantha will be in A Very Broadway Holiday at 54 Below on 30th December, so get your tickets now!

And that's it for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Next stop the Papermill Playhouse!




Merry Christmas everyone, may all your Christmas wishes come true.

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