I bought Groupons to watch Aladdin (musical version) with some friends at the Mariott Theatre – $7 for a $15 ticket. Call me a kid, but it was totally worth it.
Everyone should know the basic plot of Aladdin, unless you’re under 3 years old or have been living in a well for your entire life. Most people know the Disney version, which is an adaptation from the book, A Thousand and One Nights. The musical is an adaptation of the Disney one, and has been shortened to cater to a child’s shorter attention span. Although a few things were sorely missed (e.g. how the carpet was its own person, how Aladdin got the lamp in the first place, Abu), it was overall a good semi-abridged version of the movie.
Jameson Cooper played Aladdin, with Christine Bunuan by his side as Princess Jasmine. Both had good singing voices, although Bunuan was a little hard to hear at times. But I know everyone fell in love with Bernie Yvon, who played the genie. At the end of the show, they did a Q&A session with the kids, and one child asked whether he was really that funny in real life and he replied, “No, not really. I had to learn to do what was asked of me.” I thought he was joking, though I don’t think the kids knew. Ha. I also admired him (and Dieterich Gray who played Jafar) for being able to perform under all the padding he had to wear for his costume; you could see the sweat coming off his face at the end of the show that was threatening to cause his makeup to run.
During the Q&A session, I was tempted to put up my hand and ask Bunuan whether she felt embarrassed at having to wear such a risqué costume. Seriously. I wonder how it ever got past Disney’s censors in the first place. I even saw a kid in her Princess Jasmine costume; the entire thing is almost completely see-through. I suppose producers thought “Hmm Middle-east = hot = need for light clothing = let’s make Jasmine wear sheer clothing!” Great logic, except it’s not quite true.
Ah well. It’s a kids’ show so I sometimes have to remember to accept things as they are more readily, especially family shows. I did enjoy myself, so thank you to everyone from the cast of Aladdin! Loved feeling like a kid again.