Sunday, 15 February 2015

Broadway News Round Up 29

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

Here we go again!  Welcome to the latest news round up for Disney's Aladdin on Broadway! (with a little bit of The Hunchback of Notre Dame thrown in for good measure, but more on that later!)

Firstly, the biggest Aladdin news for this update comes not from Disney Theatrical but from Disney Home Entertainment as they finally announced the American release of Aladdin on Diamond Edition blu-ray on 6th October!

Now I know I live in the UK so shouldn't get too excited over this (we were lucky enough to get the blu-ray of Aladdin way back in April 2013) but I'm just thinking about the special features this new edition could have.  The UK edition carried over most of the old Platinum Edition's special features (meaning it's still got some of the best special features of any Disney blu-ray) but since then Aladdin has opened on Broadway.  When The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning was released on DVD it included a short special feature taking you behind the scenes of the Broadway show, so I'm just crossing my fingers and wishing for something similar for Aladdin.  Maybe something even bigger, looking at how the film went from Howard Ashman's concept to the film version then returned to some of Howard's ideas for stage.  Disney aren't exactly known for their amazing special features these days but I'm going to keep on wishing!

Oh, and "A whole new world in a whole new way"?  I've definitely heard that somewhere before... Looks like Home Entertainment have been stealing some of Theatrical's taglines!

Back on the stage, Aladdin had a very special edition to its ensemble earlier this month as Jimmy Kimmel Live's Guillermo joined the cast for one night only!

Aladdin's incredible director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw was honoured at the end of last month by the Broadway Dreams Foundation and the ArtsBridge Foundation with a special musical journey through his career so far at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre as they celebrated his contribution to American Musical Theatre.  Broadway World was on hand to photograph the event.  Congratulations Casey!!

I'm sorry to announce that later this month Aladdin will be losing three more original cast members.  Director/Choreographer Casey Nicholaw is stealing his own cast as Michael James Scott, Marisha Wallace and Bud Weber are all departing Agrabah to join his new show Something Rotten!  Rehearsals for the new show started last Monday so all three are currently doing double duty (Something Rotten! rehearsals in the day, Aladdin performances at night) in preparation for their new show's opening next month.  I'll do a full post nearer the time but for now I just want to say a massive thank you to all three for their time in Aladdin and congratulations and good luck for their new show.

And you can catch Marisha Wallace on the latest episode of 5 Minute Call with Cessalee Stovall talking about her road to Broadway and doing three shows with Casey Nicholaw (including Aladdin naturally!)

Something Rotten! isn't Casey's only new production this season.  Tuck Everlasting is currently running at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and Playbill has your first look at the show, including Aladdin's original Omar, Andrew Keenan-Bolger.

And speaking of original cast members, Broadway's original Kassim, Brandon O'Neill has made a triumphant return home to Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre where he is starring as Billy Bigelow in Roger and Hammerstein's Carousel (running now through March 1st).  Below you can see him talk about his time in Aladdin and what it's like coming home to The 5th as well as the newly released sizzlereel for the show;

It's great to see Brandon back on stage again and you can read reviews of the show here and here.  Welcome home Brandon.

Here's a new video from Disney Theatrical's YouTube channel which shows Alan Menken, James Monroe Iglehart and Adam Jacobs recording the fantastic Genie Medley from Aladdin's Broadway Cast Recording.

Michael James Scott took part in #SoBlessed Live at 54 Below last weekend.  More information about the performance can be found at Broadway World.

And last but certainly not least, Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed did a fun little video with Pop Sugar for Valentine's Day telling you how to achieve a fairy tale love just like Aladdin and Jasmine's.  It's a lot of fun :o)

After an incredibly successful run at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse Hunchback's creative team wisely decided not to mess with success so when the cast was announced for the upcoming production at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse it was virtually identical to last year's acclaimed production.

Michael Arden, Ciara Renee, Patrick Page, Andrew Samonsky and Erik Liberman once again lead the cast as Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Frollo, Phoebus and Clopin respectively.  And returning in the ensemble are Julian Decker, Mary Joe Duggan, Ian Patrick Gibb, Beth Kirkpatrick, Samantha Massell, Neal Mayer, Nora Menken, William Michals, Anise Ritchie, Vincent Rodriguez III and Richard Ruiz.  Joining them for this new production are Joseph J. Simeone, Jeremy Stolle and Dashaun Young and the Continuo Arts Symphonic Choir.
Before starting rehearsals at the Paper Mill several cast members stopped by Broadway Sessions earlier this month.
Congratulations are in order as La Jolla's production of Hunchback took home 3 Craig Noel Awards last week as Alexander Dodge and Howell Binkley picked up the awards for Outstanding Scenic Design and Outstanding Lighting Design respectively whilst Patrick Page took home the award for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical for his portrayal of Frollo.  Congratulations everyone!

And not to be outdone by Aladdin and Jasmine, the Belles of Notre Dame put together a little something for Valentine's Day;

Tickets for the Paper Mill production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame are on sale now, and don't forget if you're a member of Disney's D23 you can have the VIP Experience on 15th March!

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