A Whole New World Is Coming To Broadway! While Disney theatrical is currently running a pretty solid business on Broadway, a brand new production is preparing to fly in for the spring 2014 season. While Newsies runs solid at The Nederlander Theatre to young audiences, The Lion King is reigning as the king of Broadway ranking in the top three grossing productions week after week. When Mary Poppins flew off last spring, it wasn’t for no reason at all. A brand new production is flying into New York but first it’s making a pit stop in Toronto. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting names behind the cast of Disney’s new musical Aladdin!
Disney’s Aladdin is a new musical that features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by the late Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin. The Aladdin stage musical combines the story of the Disney film of the same title and centuries-old folktales into a brand new theatrical experience one can’t help but fall in love with. Aladdin makes his journey through the exotic world of Agrbah through adventure and comedy and falls in love along the way. However, falling in love with the princess is not as easy as it may seem. Through triumph and tragedy, Aladdin works his way not only into the heart of Jasmine but audiences as well in this new theatrical production. The stage production includes five songs from the Academy Award winning film and many new songs written only for the stage.
Disney’s Aladdin is set to premiere at Toronto’s Mirvish Theatre on November 1st, 2013. The show will officially open there November 21st and play through January 5th, 2014. The musical is then headed to New York where it will begin previews on Broadway February 26th, 2014 at The New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd street. The show will officially open March 20th, 2014. Disney has taken the 90 minute iconic film and turned it into a two act musical comedy. The production is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw.
Leading the casting as Aladdin is Broadway veteran Adam Jacobs. Jacobs (Pictured Right) starred as Marius in the 2006 revival of Les Miserable and is known for playing Simba in The Lion King both on Broadway and in the National Tour. Adam Jacobs starred as Aladdin in the world premiere production of Aladdin the Musical at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Playhouse. Starring opposite of him is the beautiful Courtney Reed as Jasmine. Reed is another Broadway veteran having appeared in Mamma Mia and is best known for her role in In The Heights. Reed starred as Jasmine opposite Jacobs in the world premiere production of Aladdin the Musical at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Playhouse.
Starring in the larger than life role of the Genie will be James Monroe Iglehart. Iglehart has appeared on Broadway before in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. However, he is best known for his work in the Tony Award winning production of Memphis. Iglehart appeared as the Genie in the Seattle production of the show as well. Playing one of the most vicious villains Disney has to offer will be Jonathan Freeman. Freeman (Pictured Left) voiced the character of Jafar in the Disney 1992 animated film Aladdin and appeared in the role on stage in the Seattle run as well. Freeman has appeared on Broadway many times in The Producers, 42nd Street and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying just to name a few. He has also appeared in multiple Disney Broadway productions such as Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid.
Rounding out the leading players for Aladdin include Brian Gonzales, Brandon O’Neill, Jonathan Schwartz will who star as Aladdin’s sidekicks Babkak, Kassim and Omar. Tony Award nominee Clifton Davis will star as the Sultan. Don Darryl Rivera will star as Iago. Merwin Foard and Michael James Scott are both standbys for several principals. The ensemble includes Tia Altinay, Mike Cannon, Andrew Cao, Lauryn Ciardullo, Joshua Dela Cruz, Yurel Echezarreta, Daisy Hobbs,Donald Jones, Jr., Adam Kaokept, Nikki Long,Stanley Martin, Brandt Martinez, Michael Mindlin, Rhea Patterson, Bobby Pestka, Khori Petinaud, Ariel Reid, Jennifer Rias, Trent Saunders, Jaz Sealey, Dennis Stowe, Marisha Wallace and Bud Weber. Courtney Reed, who is playing Jasmine, is pictured above.
Director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw expressed in a statement to the press how excited he was about the cast bringing to life this piece on stage.
“We have an extraordinarily diverse and quite beautiful company of actors and dancers and singers who also happen to be blessed with vaudeville chops. I think that will surprise people who expect they’re just going to see the film onstage.”
President and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher echoed Nicholaw’s excitement about the cast and production.
“Partnering with Casey to gather this remarkable cast of Aladdin has been exhilarating. The first day of rehearsal always represents the excitement of what’s to come and I’ve rarely felt that more than with this group. I fell in love with some of them when we worked on the show in Seattle; others are just joining us, but collectively they are the perfect company to bring our new musical comedy to life.”
The rest of the production team for Aladdin includes six-time Tony-winner Bob Crowley as scenic designer, three-time Tony-winner Natasha Katz as lighting designer, two-time Tony-winner Gregg Barnes as costume designer and Ken Travis as sound designer. The team also includes Jim Steinmeyer as illusion designer and Josh Marquette as hair designer. The musical team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who is also creating the vocal and incidental music arrangements. Assisting Kosarin on the vocal and music arrangements include orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.
I could NOT be more excited for Disney’s Aladdin to come to Broadway. Now I know I’m saying that for a lot of things we talk about on here but C’MON! HOW FANTASTIC DOES THIS ALL LOOK!? Disney’s is truly working out everything in this brand new stage production they are bringing to life. From a ridiculously talented cast to an incredible and notable production team, Disney is not messing around. This new production has received life already multiple times and has been reworked form my understanding multiple times as well. To get things right, you have to take the time to make it happen. Disney has been working on Aladdin for some time now and I look forward to this new production on stage in New York very soon.
Tickets for the Toronto run of Aladdin are now on sale! If you’re in Canada and want to check out Disney’s latest project, visit Agrabah in this brand new production for the stage! You don’t wanna miss this whole new world coming to life! For tickets to the Toronto run, visit Mirvish.com or call (416) 872-1212 or (800) 461-3333. For more information, visit Aladdin on Broadway’s Official Website. Visit Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!