In recent years, the Walt Disney Company has successfully adapted many of their films for the Broadway stage (including The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins and more) and next year they will be bringing their animated version of Aladdin to the live-action musical theater stage. Disney’s Aladdin, as it is called, is already being performed in Toronto, Ontario ahead of its Broadway debut early next year and today we get to see a few photos from the show. Click below to get your first look at the live action versions of Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the magical Genie.
Several of the films in Disney’s beloved Renaissance period — that is, the golden era of animated films that includes classics like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King – have already been turned into big, beautiful Broadway musicals by the folks at Disney Theatrical. Now, there’s a new movie being prepped for the stage … The latest Disney tale to hit the proscenium is Aladdin, the 1992 musical fantasy about a street urchin who finds a magic lamp and releases a genie (iconically voiced by Robin Williams). The show is currently previewing at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, where it’ll run through January 5, 2014. Adam Jacobs stars as the titular pauper, with Courtney Reed as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie, and in an exciting casting coup, Jonathan Freeman will play Jafar, the role he created in the film. The creative team for the show is downright magical: Tony winner Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs, with sets, costumes, and lighting by acclaimed designers Bob Crowley, Gregg Barnes, and Natasha Katz, respectively. With the help of bookwriter Chad Beguelin, Disney maestro Alan Menken has composed new songs for the full score, which includes the classics from the film (like “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me”) which Menken collaborated on with lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
For the most part, Disney does an excellent job adapting their movies for the Broadway stage. The Lion King has enjoyed many, many years of success (with no signs of slowing down) and other musicals have managed to do fairly well. Aladdin is a great story, with great music … I have no doubt it’ll be a big hit when it opens next year. I recently saw the live-action version of Aladdin at Disney’s California Adventure here in SoCal and I was reminded by how much fun Aladdin truly is. I’m really hoping I can get to NYC next year to see this show. It looks fun, don’t it?