Review | Stepping into a Whole New World
Clinton Greenspan (Aladdin). Aladdin North American Tour. Photo by Deen van Meer. © Disney
By Emma Presnell
duPont Manual High School, Class of 2021
From the big screen to the big stage, Disney’s musical adaptation of the 1992 animated feature “Aladdin” captures the light heartedness of the classic tale while introducing new elements that make the show enjoyable for most ages.
I say most because this adaptation throws in jokes and on-screen interactions that appeal to the younger audiences, such as corny puns and fairly exaggerated facial expressions. But there’s so much more that any audience member may find exciting to watch, such including the magic carpet ride taken by Jasmine (Lisa deGuzman) and Aladdin (Clinton Greenspan).
Speaking of exciting, the ensemble bring so much life and color to the numbers that I found myself missing them during solos like “Proud of Your Boy,” performed by Greenspan. Casey Nicholaw’s choreography mixed with Gregg Barnes’ costumes made the numbers with the ensemble more exciting.
This adaptation also has new songs written by Alan Menken and Chad Beguelin, and uses songs written by Howard Ashman for the movie that had been cut. The song “Proud of Your Boy,” written by Ashman, furthers Aladdin’s motives by revealing his wish to make his long-deceased mother proud. “High Adventure,” performed by Aladdin’s friends Babkak (Zach Bencal), Omar (Philippe Arroyo), Kassim (Jed Feder) and the ensemble, adds a fun number despite hardly furthering the plot.
Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie perform phenomenally to sweep viewers into this new world.
The three main characters the musical focuses on — Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie —perform phenomenally to sweep viewers into this new world. Michael James Scott as Genie is charming and hilarious from beginning to end. Clinton Greenspan introduces Aladdin as a lost boy persona, which creates empathy, despite all the questionable actions Aladdin makes. While Lissa deGuzman does well as Jasmine, her voice is notably higher than Jasmine’s in the movie, which can take away from her mature and independent personality at times.
Overall, #Aladdin is a musical you could be talking about for weeks after the curtain closes.