|Adam Jacobs, Courtney Reed and James Monroe Iglehart as Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie, Photo by Disney|
I've said it a few times this year but I just can't believe how quickly this year has gone! We're just 4 weeks away from Christmas (and only 3 weeks away from Star Wars!!) But anyway, back to Thanksgiving!
We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK but I've got friends and family in America, and this blog is celebrating an American show, so I decided I'd get in the spirit of the holiday and share what I'm thankful for in the world of Aladdin!
Let's start at the beginning - I'm thankful to Disney Theatrical and Thomas Schumacher, that they saw the potential in Aladdin and weren't content to just license it out for easy money, that they came back to it after 2011's initial pilot production and turned it from a diamond in the rough to the Broadway sensation that it is today. There's a beautiful feature on the show on the new Diamond Edition Blu-Ray of Aladdin where Thomas Schumacher says that the reason Aladdin is what it is today, the reason it works, "is because nobody quit. Nobody quit on it, and it was the sheer will of an enormous number of committed people that made the show happen." I'm thankful to each and everyone of them.
Moving away from Aladdin for a moment, I'm thankful of how supportive Disney Theatrical been to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, allowing the show to go back to the book to tell the story they wanted to tell. And then, when it became clear the show wasn't going to Broadway, getting the cast back together to produce a cast album so there will always be a record of that incredible production.
|Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Deen Van Meer|
|Backstage with Trevor Dion Nicholas|
Then it was back stage to see Don Darryl Rivera! And I just have to say here, I'm thankful for every member of this wonderful cast but I'm extra thankful for Don. He's treated me as a friend from the beginning and has been incredibly generous with both his time and support. When it was announced that Brandon was leaving, I'd asked Don if he could get one of the show posters signed for me before he left. I'd thought I'd ask the others to sign it whilst I was there but Don was one step (or one jump if you will!) ahead of me. He met us at stage door with a fully signed poster each!
And then he took us back stage and gave us an incredible guided tour, showing us everything from the props to the costumes to the orchestra pit (I have no idea how they move in there, I had no idea how small it was!!). We also got to meet his wife, Kate, who was just as generous and kind as Don. When she heard we were going to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame she offered to take us backstage there as well!! And I have to say, seeing that set that close up was simply amazing. The set was truly a work of art and the bells were magnificent!
|Yes, it's Jafar's staff! Yes, it's awesome!|
|Don showing off the hidden lamp in Omar's sword! Look for it in "High Adventure"!|
|Big thanks to Don for this picture with him in costume!|