Take it from me: the Buell Theatre showing of Disney’s Aladdin was magical. The musical takes the original story, puts in music, and some modern-day comedy, and went above and beyond. Genie (Michael James Scott) brought most of the comedy, but Jasmine (Isabelle McCalla) had her fair share with her funny comment to Aladdin about getting off on the ‘wrong foot,’ and Iago (Jay Paranada) who plays Jafar’s sidekick also had some great one-liners.
The story is mostly based off Disney’s animated film Aladdin (1992): a ‘street rat’ named Aladdin (Clinton Greenspan) is found to be the ‘diamond in he rough,’ Jafar (Jonathan Weir) forces Aladdin into a cave to fetch a lamp, but after being stuck in the cave via rockslide, Aladdin rubs the lamp and, just like magic, Genie appears. The cave scene is probably the best when it comes to comedy, but it was not only the best because of comedy. It was the scene that introduced Genie, as well as having brilliant lighting, and the greatest set design.
I would recommend this musical to anyone. It makes reference to Beauty and the Best (1991, 2017), The Little Mermaid (1989), and even Black Panther (2018), and of course Genie’s imitation of Oprah, saying “And you get a wish. And you get a wish. And you get a car.” The comedy is ageless.
And the cast? One of the most diverse ones I’ve seen. Not only that, but the first musical number is called “Arabian Nights,” and, just like the title promises, has to do entirely with Arabic culture and includes Arabic costumes and dance.
Throughout the whole musical, it’s obvious why Aladdin has played on the international stage, showing everywhere from Broadway to Tokyo. The musical looks and sounds like the movie, with more of what modern watchers enjoy.
The musical is beyond my expectations, and is the perfect family comedy that’ll have you wishing for more, and you’d use wish number uno, dos, and three.
The only complaint I have about the production is that strobe lights are used in a few of the scenes.This means that anyone with epilepsy or other sensitivities to strobes should be careful when watching. Unfortunately, I am part of that minority of people which was a bummer while watching. Aside from that, I would highly recommend this production to anyone.