Sunday, 20 March 2016

Disney's Aladdin Celebrates 2 Years on Broadway!

Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Photo by Deen Van Meer

Today Disney's Aladdin celebrates 2 magical years on Broadway!

I just want to wish all the cast, crew and creative team of this wonderful show a fantastic anniversary!  You've made all my wishes and more come true these last two years and I wish the same for you.

Have a truly magical performance today and I wish you all the best for many magical years to come!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Aladdin Musical News 2016 (3)

Welcome to the third news round up post of 2016!

Plenty is happening in the magical world of Agrabah at the moment with Aladdin's original Broadway cast celebrating 2 years on Broadway tomorrow and the new London cast due to start rehearsing in less than a month!

So let's get started and make some magic!!

Aladdin Broadway - Show News

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

Firstly, this should come as no surprise as we're past the end of the previous contracts but it's nice to have it officially confirmed - Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Courtney Reed (Jasmine), James Monroe Iglehart (Genie), Jonathan Freeman (Jafar), Don Darryl Rivera (Iago), Brian Gonzales (Babkak) and Clifton Davis (Sultan) have all extended their contacts for another year!  These seven stars, who have all been with the show since it opened on Broadway, will now be in the show until at least February 19th 2017!

"We're privileged to be in the rare position of having seven of our original stars continue in Aladdin.  Adam, Jonathan, James, Courtney, Brian and Don Darryl have been an integral part of Aladdin since its journey to stage began, and I am thrilled that they, along with Clifton Davis who joined us in Toronto, will continue delighting audiences at The New Amsterdam Theatre for another year."
Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions

Steel Burkhardt (Kassim) and James Moye (Stand By Jafar/Sultan) have also extended their contracts for another year, with Brad Weinstock (Omar) and Major Attaway (Stand By Genie/Babkak/Sultan) joining the cast last month.

I am so happy that the original cast are continuing for another year!  They are absolutely amazing and simply embody these characters now.  I can't wait to see them again later this year!  Keep making magic everyone!!

James Monroe Iglehart and Al Rocker in Aladdin, Photo by Shay Frey

As Aladdin prepares to celebrate it's second anniversary on Broadway The Today Show hosts Al Rocker and Natalie Morales paid an extra special visit to the show earlier this month, appearing on stage with James Monroe Iglehart, Adam Jacobs and the cast during Friend Like Me!

This extra special rendition of Aladdin's show stopping production number should air on The Today Show on March 20th as part of Aladdin's anniversary celebration!

As part of the show's second anniversary celebrations has posted an incredible behind the scenes look at just what goes on behind the curtain to get Aladdin ready to go every night!  This is a fantastic video, it perfectly captures the energy and excitement that you feel before the curtain rises and the show begins so make sure you check it out!

Also this month, Aladdin held a special autism friendly performance with the Theatre Development Fund.  This is a special annual event aimed at making shows more accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum along with their families.

It's been a while since I've found a new review of the show but I just had to share this review from The National.  I just love that final paragraph - "a great storyteller is someone who puts in a touch of magic, passion and a whole load of hard work to bring a story to life"

Aladdin Broadway - Cast News

Ok, this is huge and I probably should have given it it's own post but...


Sorry, got carried away!

Yes, James (along with a whole host of other Broadway stars, including Newsies' Jeremy Jordan) will be lending his voice to the series due to premiere on Disney Channel next year!  In the series set after the film (but before the short Tangled Ever After) James will be voicing Eugene's friend Lance Strongbow!

The show will be featuring new songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater (so if Galavant doesn't get that third season we can still look forward to weekly Menken/Slater songs!) so keep your fingers crossed that James will get to show off his incredible vocals on TV!

I really can't wait for this!!  But I do want to know how Rapunzel got her hair back...

You can read more at D23 and the Oh My Disney blog.

James also took part in Speechless at Joe's Pub last month and I wish I could have been there or at least find some video to share with you as it sounds like a hilarious evening!

Adam Jacobs took part in a concert of The Nutty Professor at the Birdland and has shared some great photos from the event on Instagram.  And that's not all!  Broadway World have posted a highlights video from the event which you can check out right here!

Ok, we all know Adam is an amazing singer but did you know he's an awesome artist as well?  Check out this incredible piece he did for #DoodleForHunger!

Courtney Reed, Photo by Nessie Nankivell

Last weekend Courtney Reed took part in the Broadway Princess Party at 54 Below!  Judging by the pictures she posted on Instagram and the reactions on Twitter it was a pretty incredible night.  If you missed it then be sure to catch the next one on 20th June!  And you can see more photos from the event on Playbill, Theater Mania and Broadway World.

Massive congratulations to Clifton Davis who has been nominated for Best Actor at the International Christian Film Festival for his role in Prayer Never Fails.  Good luck for the awards next month!!

Aladdin's Yurel Echezarreta last month did a great interview with The Broadway Blog (and I'm now insanely jealous that anyone can achieve an Agrabah body without going to the gym!!)

At the start of March Donald Jones Jr. took a few nights off from chasing Aladdin and his friends to star in Carnegie Hall's production of West Side Story.

Aladdin's Kathryn Allison is starring in her first solo 54 Below show next week, Sirens, Songs, and MusesYou can get tickets for the performance right here so if you're in NYC make sure you go along!

If you want to get in Broadway shape then make sure check out Khori Petinaud's new website Fly Wheel Sports!  The cast of Aladdin is in crazy good shape and with her classes you can be too!

And make sure you check out Aladdin's Giuseppe Bausilio's YouTube covers of "Pour Some on Me", and "Twist and Shout".

You can also ask him your questions on AskFM!  There's some great ones on there, including some about Aladdin.  Plus if you missed it live you can now listen to WPKN's interview with Giuseppe right here.  Giuseppe is in the show until 27th March so catch him while you can!

Aladdin Broadway - Creative Team News

The World Premiere of Alan Menken and Glenn Slater's latest musical A Bronx Tale at the Paper Mill Playhouse was a great success (they even added an extra night!) and received some fantastic reviews.  Here's a small sampling of the reviews;

The Broadway Blog
NY Times

Disney have announced that Aladdin's book writer and lyricist, Chad Beguelin, is writing the stage adaptation of Frozen for Disney's California Adventure!  Frozen - Live at the Hyperion is due to open on May 27th, replacing Aladdin -  A Musical Spectacular (also by Beguelin) which end it's incredible 13 year run in January.

Saving the best for last!

Thomas Schumacher at the TDF Gala, Photo by Aurora Rose/Variety

Earlier this week a host of Disney Theatrical stars gathered for the Theatre Development Fund's gala in honour of Disney Theatrical's President and Producer Thomas Schumacher!  The stars included Broadway's original Aladdin, Adam Jacobs, Broadway's original Mary Poppins, Ashley Brown, and an international gathering of Genies as James Monroe Iglehart, Trevor Dion Nicholas, Michael James Scott and Major Attaway performed a special rendition of "Friend Like Me";

You can see more pictures and read more details at Theater Mania and Variety and check out a fantastic clip of the finale right here!

And you can read more on Thomas Schumacher's work with the TDF in this fantastic Playbill article.

Aladdin Broadway - Old Friends

Andrew Keenan-Bolger's new book, Jack & Louisa Act 2, has been released and you can check out a trailer for it right here!  And you can also check out Andrew and the rest of the cast's reaction to seeing Tuck Everlasting's marquee for the first time along with the first rehearsal footage from the show!

Marisha Wallace (currently starring in Something Rotten!) last month joined other Broadway performers for Shakespeare on the Sound's Gala evening to celebrate it's upcoming production of Hamlet.

Marisha also posted a Q&A on her Broadway Beat YouTube channel!  You can check out Part 1 and Part 2 right here!

Since leaving Aladdin Merwin Foard has been travelling the country with The Sound of Music.  You can check out a new review and some footage from the production right here and see all the latest tour dates on the show's website.

The Muny's Jasmine, Samantha Massell, recently took Playbill behind the scenes of a two show day at Fiddler on the Roof and you can check out the antics right here!

Aladdin International

Check out the marquee!!

Photo by Newman Displays

We're less than a month away from the official start of Aladdin's London rehearsals and I can literally feel the excitement building!  I say official start because the cast are already tweeting about tap rehearsals, costume fittings and more so get following them!

But if you can't wait a month (and I don't blame you!) then you can catch Aladdin himself, Dean John-Wilson, Miss Atomic Bomb at London's St. James Theatre!  The show officially opened this week and is playing through to 9th April so you've still plenty of time to catch Dean before he hops on that magic carpet to Agrabah!

You can check out some production photos and behind the scenes videos right here at the show's website and here's a sample of what the critics are saying;

The Spy in the Stalls
What's On Stage
What's On Stage - Opening Night Interviews
West End Frame
Live Theatre UK
The Stage - Opening Night Interviews
Broadway World West End

West End Frame also caught up with Dean after the press launch to talk about Miss Atomic Bomb and Aladdin.  Just reading Dean's reaction to getting the role is incredible, I really can't wait to see him in it and see what he does with it.

What's a Genie to do in a new city?  Join Trevor Dion Nicholas on a quick trip around London!

And London was just the start of Trevor's recent travels!  Between Broadway and London he's even found time to visit a fellow Genie in Japan!

West End Meets Tokyo! Photo by Trevor Dion Nicholas

Marsha Songcome is no stranger to the Prince Edward Theatre having just completed her run as Gigi in Miss Saigon.  If you missed her there then make sure you catch her in this rendition of "Take  Me or Leave Me" from the Miss Saigon at the Hippodrome concert event!

Aladdin's Mitch Leow has just launched his new website so make sure you check it out right here!  Those aerial photos are incredible!

And finally - it's been confirmed that Aladdin will be offering a daily ticket lottery once the show has officially opened (so from 16th June).  Tickets will be £25 and the draw will be held two hours before each performance, winners will be able to purchase up to two tickets each in cash.  So if the show you want is sold out then make a wish, say a prayer and join the lottery for your chance to grab some amazing last minute seats to this incredible show!

Other Disney Stuff!

Everything is awesome!  Especially these new Disney Lego Mini Figures due out later this year!!

I'm such a big kid!  I seriously can't wait for these!

The original Aladdin, Scott Weinger, is returning to our screens in Netflix's Fuller House, reprising the role that made him famous in the original Full House.

The Orange County Register recently caught up with some of the original cast of Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular to talk about their memories of the show and what made it truly magical for the cast as well as the fans.

Also looking back at Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular, Mouse Planet shares their memories of the show.  Frozen - Live at the Hyperion has some big shoes to fill but it also has a fantastic writer, I can't wait to see what Chad Beguelin comes up with.  Hopefully I'll get chance to see this one live one day!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Courtney Reed and the Disney Princesses Take Over 54 Below!

Courtney Reed, Photo by Brian Nichols/People
The Broadway Princess Party is returning to 54 Below!!!

Yes, tomorrow night, Courtney Reed (Aladdin), Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid), Samantha Massell (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and more will be joining Laura Osnes at 54 Below for another Princess Party!

After two sold out shows last year the princesses are back for more nights of musical magic!

Tickets are on sale now for tomorrow night's event and for Monday 20th June!

And if you can't wait to meet the princesses then People has you covered as they interview the stars and ask that all important question - just what would a modern day Disney princess wear?

Last year's concerts looked amazing so I really wish I could make it to one of these!  If you can, be sure to check it out!  It'll be a fantastic evening of music and Disney magic!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Casting Announced for Australia's Aladdin!

There's no stopping Disney's Broadway mega-hit Aladdin!  After welcoming two new faces to the recording breaking Broadway show, Disney Theatrical last week announced the cast for the upcoming Australian production of Aladdin!

Starring in the title role is newcomer Ainsley Melham as Aladdin!

And joining him from the original Broadway cast is Michael James Scott as the Genie!!  Michael was the original Stand By Genie and Babkak for the Broadway production of Aladdin and after a short time away (during which he starred in Casey Nicholaw's Something Rotten!) he's returning to Agrabah to star as Genie!

Michael James Scott as Genie in the Broadway production of Aladdin
Starring as the villainous Jafar will be Adam Murphy, whose evil deeds (and laughter) will be assisted by Aljin Abella as Iago.

Completing the principal cast are Adam Jon Fiorentino, Robert Tripolino and Troy Sussman as Aladdin's friends Kassim, Omar and Babkak, with George Henare as the Sultan.

The coveted role of Princess Jasmine has not yet been cast and will be announced at a later date (presumably along with cast of the ensemble).

Tickets for the Australian production of Aladdin will go on sale Tuesday 8th March and the show will open at Sydney's Capitol Theatre in August.  You can sign up for ticket alerts right now at the show's official website.