Welcome to a whole new world, Aladdin! The hit Disney Broadway musical touched down in Columbus to share the fun and interesting story filled with audiences. The magical show was in Columbus from October 24th-November 4th. I had the chance to see the show on October 29th, and it exceeded all expectations.
From a person who has seen the animated movie a thousand times, and knows how Disney productions go, my expectations were high. Aladdin exceeded every expectation I had, and it was a stunning show to see. It features loved and known songs like Arabian Nights, One Jump Ahead, Friend Like Me, and A Whole New World that all have a special twist on it. Like any production, many songs were added. Proud Of Your Boy, These Palace Walls, and A Million Miles Away were added to the story and really helped make an immersive story.
A big part of the treasured movie is Aladdin’s sidekick monkey, Abu. Obviously, there cannot be a monkey running around a stage production, so there was a big change in the show. Originally, the movie was going to have some of Aladdin’s friends help him through everything, but having them in it would have made the movie too long and harder to follow, so they were cut. Luckily though, his friends were brought back for the Broadway musical! We are introduced to Babkak, Omar, and Kassim, Aladdin’s thieving friends who help Aladdin through his journey. I was expecting to dislike the added characters, but they were some of my favorite parts of the whole show. They added in songs like Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, and Kassim where they tried to make fair money in the marketplace to stop stealing, and High Adventure to try and save Aladdin from Jafar. While Abu not being there is a little sad, Aladdin’s friends made up for it with all the effortlessly funny jokes and learning deep lessons to help their friend. Thankfully, though, Jafar’s parrot Iago was able to get a human counterpart and was just as evil and crazy as Iago in the movie.
One character we cannot forget about is the Genie. He would break the fourth wall to involve the audience in the show and was a quickly loved character. I even had the chance to see the understudy for Genie, and I’m positive the understudy was just as good as the regular! With Friend Like Me, Genie was really brought to life as the scene resembled the movie, but had its own twist. Genie starts to sing Disney classics, making the crowd erupt and more Disney magic happening in the song. He also introduces the show with Arabian Nights and introducing everyone to Agrabah and the story of the ancient Genie in the lamp.
The show was over the top amazing. Smooth, romantic, and funniness added such an appeal to its audience, it’s no wonder the show is a hit! The jokes were slid in and if you weren’t paying attention, you would completely miss it. As well as how smooth Aladdin was towards Jasmine, before and after he found the lamp.
But of course, A Whole New World stole the show with the magic carpet flying above the stage with the classic song being performed. It looked like Aladdin and Jasmine really left the castle, flying above the stage and among the stars. Very hard to figure out how it is possible, but it’s more important to focus on the show and just give up in trying to find the logic, because that’s Disney magic for you.
While Aladdin is no longer in Columbus, they are still on tour and on Broadway! In December, they will be playing in Detroit, and if you can make the trip up to see the show, I highly suggest you do! It is entirely worth it, and the Disney musicals do not disappoint.