Thursday, 15 June 2017

Happy First Anniversary Aladdin London

Tonight was an extra special night at the Prince Edward Theatre as Aladdin celebrated one year in the West End!

Opening Night was simply magical and I will always treasure the memory of walking down that purple carpet and being in that audience.

Happy anniversary everyone! Enjoy tonight's celebration and here's to many more years of magic to come!

Trevor Dion Nicholas and the cast of London's Aladdin, Photo by Deen Van Meer

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

You've Never Had Friends Like These!

Don Darryl Rivera and Angelo Soriano

June 8th was National Best Friends Day and to celebrate Disney Theatrical posted a very special video of the cast of Broadway's Aladdin singing Friend Like Me with their BFFs, put together by Aladdin's own Angelo Soriano and Don Darryl Rivera!

Just wait until you see who Jonathan Freeman brought as his friend :oD

Great work everyone!!

Jacob Dickey Takes Over as Aladdin on Tour

Jacob Dickey as Aladdin, Photo by Matthew Murphy
The US National Tour of Aladdin has a new leading man as Jacob Dickey stepped into the title role last week (June 8th) following a month of bringing the character to life on Broadway.

Broadway in Chicago have stated that Jacob is temporarily taking over from Adam Jacobs who is "on a minor medical leave of absence until further notice".

I wish Adam a full and speedy recovery and hope to see him back in the show soon.  I also wish Jacob a fantastic run as Aladdin during his time in Chicago.

Aladdin is playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through to September 10th.

Telly Leung Sings Proud of Your Boy

Telly Leung as Aladdin, Photo by Matthew Murphy
Last night was Telly Leung's first night as Broadway's new Aladdin and to celebrate here's a video of him performing Aladdin's solo ballad (and my favourite Disney song ever) Proud of Your Boy at this year's Stars in the Alley concert!

After two trips in less than six months I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to go back to Broadway but I really hope I get chance to catch Telly's Aladdin, it looks like he's going to give a fantastic performance.  Hopefully Disney Theatrical will release some official clips soon as I'm dying to hear how he sounds singing A Whole New World with Courtney!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

London's Aladdin to Open West End Live

Last year Aladdin didn't have much of a presence at West End Live.  This was understandable though as the show had literally just opened earlier in the week.  The fact that we got Trevor Dion Nicholas giving a tease of Friend Like Me was more than enough.

What a difference a year makes.

This year the cast of Aladdin aren't just taking part in West End Live.  They're opening it!

Friend Like Me seems like a natural fit to open the event (especially after Trev's little tease last year) but I'm hoping we get Matthew Croke's rendition of Proud of Your Boy as well.  That's something I'm really looking forward to hearing.

West End Live 2017 will take place on 24th & 25th June with a jam packed schedule showcasing the very best the West End has to offer for free in London's Trafalgar Square.  Kicking off at 11:00 on Saturday (Gates open 10:30) and 12:00 on Sunday (Gates 11:30) make sure you get there early as this is a popular event and I speak from experience when I say the queues can be long (I watched Trev from the queue last year).

But the Aladdin cast's 15 minute opening segment on Saturday isn't the only time the stars of Agrabah will take to the stage next weekend.  On Sunday you can see Aladdin stars past and present in their own solo segments;

16:05 - Trevor Dion Nicolas & Neighbourhood Goliath (West End's incredible Genie & his band)
16:20 - Marisha Wallace (original Broadway cast, currently slaying it in Dreamgirls)
16:35 - Nathan Amzi (original London cast)

I definitely need to try and get back to London for this!

James Monroe Iglehart to Star in The Funkentine Rapture at 54 Below

It seems like 54 Below is the place to be for the Aladdin family right now.  We started the month with the Citizens of Agrabah cabaret, Courtney Reed makes her solo debut, Confessions of a Broadway Princess, this weekend and on Monday 19th the Genie is back in the house!

Yes, James Monroe Iglehart is returning once more to Broadway's favourite supper club, this time starring in The Funkentine Rapture as the Big Bad Man!

54 Below describes the show;

"On the eve of the Apollo Theatre's great Funkfest, The Big Bad Man is set to unleash his Disco Rainbows on the world'  The only thing that stands between disco ruination and True Funk is young funkmaster George Preston."

It sounds like a lot of fun.  I sure know I'd love to see James unleash "disco rainbows" on the world.  And, unlike Hamilton, you can actually get tickets to see him in this :oD

Tickets are available now at 54 Below for what is sure to be an incredible night of music.

Courtney Reed at 54 Below - Confessions of a Broadway Princess


You've seen her as Broadway's Princess Jasmine, you've seen her at 54 Below's Princess Parties.  Now catch Courtney Reed in her first ever solo concert at 54 Below!!

"Having spent the past five years creating the iconic role 'Princess Jasmine' in Seattle, Toronto, and on Broadway, Courtney is ready to share her own story in her first concert, Confessions of a Broadway Princess, with music director Benjamin Rauhala.  Audiences can expect songs and stories from throughout her theatrical career, as well as her favorite pop and theater songs as Courtney Reed steps off of the magic carpet to give you a glimpse of her life beyond the palace walls."

I really wish I could be there for this (I know I say that every time but it's true!)  Tickets are on sale now at 54 Below and I'm sure this will be a magical night for all involved.

Telly Leung Debuts as Broadway's New Aladdin!

Telly Leung as Aladdin, Photo by Matthew Murphy
It's finally time!  Tonight, Telly Leung will take his first bow as Broadway's new Aladdin!

It's been an interesting road to Agrabah for Aladdin's newest star.  First reported by Playbill back in January, Telly's casting wasn't officially confirmed by Disney Theatrical until May 5th.  Since original Aladdin, Adam Jacobs, departed to headline the national tour the title role has been played by both Joshua Dela Cruz and Jacob Dickey, and now it's Telly Leung's turn to make a wish, say a prayer and make the title role his own.

Speaking with ET Online on Friday, Telly showed that he already has a great grasp on the character and his emotional journey in the show saying "Aladdin has to learn that his own worth is not something that's material, it's not something that's outside of him, it's something that's inside of him ... Your worth is not the clothes you wear, your worth is not the big house you live in, or how much money you have in the bank.  It's something deeper than that"

I just want to wish Telly a fantastic opening night and a magical run in this incredible show.  Have fun and make some magic!

Monday, 5 June 2017

A New Dawn at London's Aladdin

Matthew Croke as Aladdin, Photo by Disney
On Saturday the original cast of London's Aladdin brought audiences to their feet one last time and even Abu the monkey got to make his West End debut as departing star Dean John-Wilson threw Aladdin's little buddy into the crowd of cheering fans before making his final bow.

Today its a whole new world at the Prince Edward theatre as a new cast begins granting wishes in the West End.

Speaking of wishes - leading the company will be Matthew Croke in the iconic title role of Aladdin and this really is a wish come true for our newest star!

Matthew Croke (Aladdin) with Trevor Dion Nicholas (Genie) in rehearsals, Photo by Johan Perrson

And did someone say promotion?  Leon Craig (original Standby Genie/Babkak), Miles Barrow and Daniel de Bourg (original ensemble) will be taking on the roles of Aladdin's trio of pals full time as Babkak, Omar and Kassim respectively.  I love to see hard work, dedication and talent rewarded so I'm really happy for these guys and excited to see what they bring to the trio next time I see the show.

Matthew Croke (Aladdin), Daniel de Bourg (Kassim), Leon Craig (Babkak) and Miles Barrow (Omar) in rehearsals, Photo by Johan Perrson

Completing new principal cast members is Nick Cavaliere, who will be taking over the role of Jafar's scheming henchman Iago.

Jade Ewen (Jasmine) with Don Gallagher (Jafar) and Nick Cavaliere (Iago) in rehearsals, Photo by Johan Perrson

And joining what is arguably the hardest working ensemble in the West End is Chanelle Anthony, Danny Becker, Cindy Belliot, Filippo Coffano, Nolan Edwards, Sinead Kenny, Travis Kerry, Dann Kharsa, Tarisha Rommick, Joshua Steel, Monica Swayne, Niko Wirachman and Damien Winchester.

Cindy Belliot in rehearsals, Photo by Johan Perrson
Sinead Kenny in rehearsals, Photo by Johan Perrson
Original ensemble member Oliver Lidert will now take on the Standby role for Genie, Babkak and Sultan.

I just want to say a massive congratulations to all the new and promoted cast members and to wish everyone, new cast and original cast alike, the very best for tonight's show.  I know it's going to be absolutely magical and I can't wait to get back to London and see you all on that stage!  Makes some magic!!

Matthew Croke and Jade Ewen as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Disney

Friday, 2 June 2017

Salaam Worthy Friends! 15 Original Cast Take Final Bows at London's Aladdin

The cast of London's Aladdin, Photo by Johan Perrson
All good things must end and tomorrow night fifteen members of Aladdin's original London cast will be taking their final bow at the Prince Edward Theatre, including Aladdin himself, Dean John-Wilson.

Also departing are Aladdin's fantastic trio, Nathan Amzi, Stephen Rahman-Hughes and Rachid Sabitri, Peter Howe's villainous Iago and the insanely talented ensemble members Ivan de Freitas (Razoul), Seng Henk Goh, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell (Attendant/Fortune Teller), Ethan Le Phong, Thierry Picaut, Alex Pinder, Briony Scarlett, Katie Singh, Dawnita Smith and Marsha Songcome.

I just want to wish everyone all the best for tomorrow's final shows and whatever the future has in store.  I can't wait to see you all making magic one last time tomorrow afternoon.  Thanks for all the high adventures!

54 Below Celebrates the Citizens of Agrabah

Ok this is awesome!!!!

Tomorrow night cast members of Broadway's Aladdin will take part in an evening of cabaret at 54 Below with Brian Gonzales (Babkak) as Master of Ceremonies!

Featuring all your favourite sidekicks - Don Darryl Rivera (Iago), Steel Burkhardt (Kassim), Brad Weinstock (Omar) and Brian Gonzales - Aladdin's new Genie, Major Attaway, and Aladdin's incredible ensemble - Kathryn Terza, Alicia Charles, Tia Altinay, Daisy Hobbs, Lauryn Ciardullo, Kathryn Allison, Angelo Soriano, Jacob Dickey (currently starring as Aladdin), Damian Chambers, Trent Saunders, Deonte L. Warren, Nathan Lucrezio, Joshua Dela Cruz, Travis Ward-Osborne, David Gilleo, Stanley Martin, Tiffany Evariste and Amber Owens.

Every time I post about a 54 Below event I say I wish I could be there and boy do I ever mean that right now!  What a show this is going to be!!

I hope everyone taking part and everyone going has a great time!  Tickets are available now at 54 Below!

54 Below normally posts videos on YouTube a few weeks after the show so I can't wait to see all the performances from this one!!