I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken this magic carpet ride to Agrabah before ~ about four years ago almost to the day, to be quite specific. This week, instead of taking the several hour journey to see the show in New York City, the magic of Agrabah came to us in Central Florida. Disney’s Aladdin: The Hit Broadway Musical is on tour and currently gracing the stage of the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando until February 9th. I have to confess, seeing it the other night felt just as magical as it did in 2016.
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Disney’s Aladdin: The Hit Broadway Musical Arrives in Orlando
The 2019-2020 season of the Orlando Broadway Series has been so exciting, but I’ve been particularly waiting for this production to arrive. Whether it’s the animated classic, the new live action film or the live production on stage, this story of magic, self discovery, trust and friendship has always had a special place in my life.
**To read WHY it has such a special place, click here!
This time, I had the pleasure of taking our youngest son with me to see the show. It was his first time attending a nighttime performance at the Dr. Phillips Center and his FIRST Broadway show! I specifically picked this one for him because it has many technical wonders throughout. See, our youngest is the “techy.” He’s the one who loves to know HOW things work. From a very young age (like before he could talk), he would literally perseverate on opening and closing cabinet doors for 45 minutes to an hour at a time. It wasn’t until years later that we came to realize he did that out of fascination and curiosity. He wanted to figure out how it all worked!
Now in high school, our son is heavily engaged with the theatre department. However, his interest in theatre is different than his brothers’. His two older brothers enjoy the stage and entertaining an audience. Our youngest, however, is more of the behind-the-scenes kid. He much prefers to work the intricate details that help to create the polished, finished production.
Why Disney’s Aladdin was a Perfect Show For Him
Out of all the Broadway productions I’ve had the pleasure of watching, Disney’s Aladdin is one of the shows that takes center stage when it comes to technical wonders. While other shows have been impressive, the magical details of Disney’s Aladdin are jaw-dropping and majestic. There are things that happen on that stage that require imagination and a tremendous appreciation for stage design.
Of course, the set is not the only captivating portion of the production. In fact, there are many reasons why this is a show every musical theater nerd should see. For the sake of time and attention, I’ll share my top five reasons you should see Disney’s Aladdin: The Hit Broadway Musical when it arrives on a stage near you ~ but know there are sooo many more!
Five Reasons To See Disney’s Aladdin: The Hit Broadway Musical on Tour
The script delivers one liners, crazy antics and more that keep the entire audience laughing from beginning to end. The puns (some of which help to connect the differences between stage and movie) are unmistakable and served with comedic ease. Reggie DeLeon portrayed Iago, the “parroting” sidekick to Jafar. His one-liners “flew” out of his mouth gracefully and sent the audience soaring into laughter.
Of course, no one impressed the audience more than Orlando native, Michael James Scott. Scott has stepped back into the crazy-toed shoes of the Genie for the Orlando performances and he has done so exquisitely and magnificently. He effortlessly granted the audience their heartfelt wish of a solid comedic performance dressed in witty improvisation, relatable one-liners and charismatic charm.
Honestly – he owned that stage!
The color scheme says so much about a production and bright colors bring life to the story AND the audience. Disney’s Aladdin has one of the most vibrantly colorful sets I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s not only the set that attracts, but the costumes and props, as well.
I was impressed back in 2016 and just as impressed this go round with two specific scenes ~ the first being when Aladdin and Genie are in the Cave of Wonders and the other when Prince Ali makes his grand entrance into Agrabah. Whether draped in “gold” or donning an electrifying hot pink hue, the costumes and set design pop and magnetically capture the audience’s attention.
From the moment the curtain opens, the energy is evident and contagious. So many songs kept our feet tapping and the audience singing along. The music and choreography were infectious and I know we were among the many who drove all the way home that night singing our favorites from the show.
I said it before and I’ll say it again. Michael James Scott captured our hearts from the very first scene when he walked out onto the stage and broke the fourth wall. There wasn’t a moment the audience didn’t feel included and I’d say it was impossible for anyone to drop their focus. It’s safe to say that, while this story has captured our hearts for decades on screen, watching it play out live is even more captivating.
I’ll admit. I’m a stickler for original casts and love the fact that we had the chance to see James Monroe Iglehart play the Genie back in 2016. However, this cast did not disappoint! While there was one character I could not “love,” the rest of the cast played their parts well and entertained us non-stop. Every role on that stage has a vital part in entertaining the audience. Each individual character has a specific emotion to evoke. From Jafar’s jealousy and sinister plans to the comic relief of Aladdin’s three amigos, Guests are taken on an emotional magic carpet ride that carries us to “far away lands” and, dare I say, into a “whole new world.”
I don’t want to give anything away in case you haven’t seen it and plan to do so. However, I can’t NOT share the fact that this production has some seriously magical elements in it. I mean, we’re talking about a story that includes a genie, a magic lamp and a magic carpet, right? There’s no way you can incorporate those specifics without creating some jaw-dropping moments.
When it comes to the technical “magic,” this is the part I anticipated my son to watch without blinking and with unwavering attention. Sure enough, he did! Whether it’s the Genie’s grand entrance in the Cave of Wonders, how he disappears in the palace, or how Aladdin and Jasmine actually “fly” during “A Whole New World” ~ the technical aspect of this show is a spectacular wonder unto itself and will make you smile and your jaw drop.
My only critique (yes, there has to be one…)
I remember feeling this way in New York City, so I wasn’t as surprised when the memory came flooding back to me. One thing about this production that has always kept it from hitting a flawless home run with me (in New York City and Orlando) is the fact that it always feels rushed. Everybody talks fast. Every choreographed number seems sped up.
In fact, there were times when I was watching this show that I could not understand the dialogue because of how quickly everybody was running through their lines.
Not only was the speech on fast forward during this performance, but there were certain scenes that just felt tremendously rushed ~ as if the production was running out of time and had to cut a few things out. In particular, the end scene where Jafar is being granted his wishes. It just – felt – anti-climactic, out of place, especially if you are so accustomed to how well it was portrayed in either the animated classic or the live action version.
That’s it, though. My one and only critique.
Tickets for Disney’s Aladdin are Still Available
The musical production of Disney’s Aladdin is here in Orlando until February 9, 2020, and tickets are still available!! If you’re interested in seeing this production while you AND the show are in town, there are several ways to secure tickets. You can:
- check out drphillipscenter.org
- call 844-513-2014
- visit the Bill and Mary Darden Box Office in person at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
The best seats (at time of publishing) remain for the following performances:
- Wednesday, Jan 29th at 8pm
- Thursday, Jan 30th at 8pm
- Friday, Jan 31st at 8pm
- Saturday, Feb 1 at 8pm
- Tuesday, Feb 4th at 8pm
- Wednesday, Feb 5th at 8pm
- Thursday, Feb 6th at 8pm
- Friday, Feb 7th at 8pm
- Saturday, Feb 8th at 2 and 8pm
- Sunday, Feb 9th at 1pm
Walt Disney Theater – 445 S. Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
Watching the production on tour is truly a magical way to spend an evening out with a loved one, a friend, a group of friends or even by yourself. If you have an evening free and want to experience the wonder of Disney, hop on your own magic carpet and head over to the Dr. Phillips Center to see Disney’s Aladdin: The Hit Broadway Musical ~ here through February 9th!
Not in Orlando? Well, the magic carpet may be flying by your area in the near future! Check out the tour’s schedule by clicking here: Disney’s Aladdin on Tour
For more information about what’s coming to the Dr. Phillips Center, check out their website: Dr. Phillips Center Schedule of Events
Enjoyed this review? Check out other theatrical reviews!!
- Orlando Broadway Series continues with Hello, Dolly!
- Balancing Life like a Fiddler on the Roof ~ #OrlandoBroadwaySeries
- Review: Anastasia, The Musical, on the Dr. Phillips Center Stage
- Come From Away: The Story The World Needed To Hear (#OrlandoBroadwaySeries)
- An Escape to Margaritaville: Worth The Trip?
- What’s So Right About The Play That Goes Wrong?
- “Dear Evan Hansen…You Are Not Alone:” A Theatre Review
- Review: Les Misérables Graces the Dr. Phillips Center Stage in Orlando
- Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway: A Review from the Savanna
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