|Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Deen Van Meer|
Before I start the news round up this week I just want to say a massive congratulations to Courtney Reed and the entire Team Broadway Strong who took part in Cycle for Survival earlier today and raised a fantastic $40,784 for rare cancer research! An amazing job everyone! You can see a picture Courtney posted of the team here.
James Monroe Iglehart recently did a great little interview with Cal State;
I missed this when it went on sale but today is the first ever autism friendly performance of Broadway's Aladdin. Presented by The Theatre Development Fund's Autism Theatre Initiative the autism-friendly performance of Aladdin sold out within 5 hours of tickets going on sale! This performance of Aladdin completes the Autism Theatre Initiative's 4th season (other shows this year included The Lion King, Matilda and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time). For these special performances The Theatre Development Fund purchases every ticket in the theatre to sell at discounted prices to families who have members on the autism spectrum. During the production itself jarring sounds and strobe lighting are reduced and staffed quiet areas are provided in the theatre lobby. For more information on this great initiative and for information on upcoming autism friendly performances check out their website.
Tomorrow night (Monday 9th March) Aladdin's Trent Saunders (who understudies for Aladdin) will be taking part in Musicals Tonight!'s latest At This Performance... at The Lion Theatre on 42nd Street. At This Performance... is a showcase of the talents of Broadway's Standbys, Alternates and Understudies, the unsung heroes of every Broadway musical. More information can be found at Broadway World. And speaking of Trent Saunders, Theater Mania has posted a piece about Trent and his equally talented siblings which is well worth a read.
If you missed him in Carousel you can catch Aladdin's original Kassim, Brandon O'Neill, in ACT's production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof running 17th April through 17th May. More information about the production (part of ACT's 50th Anniversary season) can be found at Broadway World and ticket's can be purchased from ACT's website.
Show Tickets posted an interesting piece recently, looking back at Aladdin's road to Broadway and the changes that the show went through along the way. Whilst there's nothing really new it's a nice reminder of the journey Aladdin took from Seattle to New York and it does have some interesting observations on Disney Theatrical's ongoing efforts to keep Aladdin in the public eye that make it well worth a read.
In fact those observations made me think of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Take Away, it's a popular Saturday night show here in the UK and it's currently running a competition to win a trip to New York that includes tickets to Aladdin! So if you live in the UK here's your chance to win an amazing holiday and tickets to the most magical show on Broadway!
Broadway World is reporting that Disney Theatrical's Thomas Schumacher is to serve on the judging panel of the Tony Awards' first education award, the Excellence in Theatre Education Award. Congratulations Thomas! More information about the new award can be found here.
And finally, Disney Blog The Tiara Talk Show has posted their review of Aladdin.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame began previews this week at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse and, despite an unfortunate snow day, there's already some fantastic word of mouth coming out about the show.
Before I get the latest news, Hunchback's Samantha Massell retweet a FANTASTIC competition for any Disney or musical theatre fan! A chance to win tickets for two to the official Opening Night of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Paper Mill Playhouse on 15th March. But that's not all, the prize also includes entrance to the after show party and a meeting with the legendary Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz!! Click here to enter! And if you win after seeing this then make sure to say thanks to Samantha whilst you're there!
Ok, now you've entered the competition of a lifetime here's the rest of the week's news :o)
Theater Mania has a short video interview with the cast and creative team.
Broadway World has posted an interview with Patrick Page about his career of villainy and bringing Frollo greater depth in this new telling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The Soul of the American Actor has posted an interview with Erik Liberman (Clopin). It's not strictly about Hunchback but it's very informative about Erik himself and his approach to his craft.