“Aladdin” Musical Review Essay
“Aladdin” is a perfect example of Disney animation adapted by Broadway musical. It seems impossible to render the atmosphere of magic, warm shades, dance and music from the animation into reality, but not for Broadway. It was not at all a problem to turn the fantasy along with its imaginary characters into reality.
Aladdin musical is based on the story, which appeared for the first time in 1992 as a movie. The action takes place in Agrabah, not far from the Jordan River. The young boy, Aladdin, wad raised on the streets without parents. The only one, whom he has is his friend – monkey Abu. Every day they come up with ideas on how to survive and not die from starvation. Jasmine, sultan’s daughter, has another story. The father takes care of her daughter and would not stand if she were unhappy. However, when it comes to marriage, he does not want to see as her husband anybody, but a courting prince. Jasmine, on the contrary, is sure that the marriage should be born out of love and not wealth.
The musical manages to enchant the spectators and make them immerse themselves in the story just as a Disney animation does. Adam Jacobs, a Broadway actor, takes the role of Aladdin and shows a brilliant performance. He amazingly gets into the character of Aladdin as well as Isabelle McCalla as Jasmine. Two characters finally meet each other on the streets and from the very first sight fall in love. However, both understand that their social condition does not allow them to be together. The situation changes, when Jafar, grand vizier of Sultan, decides to find a magical lamp with the help of Aladdin. Something goes wrong, and Aladdin turns out to be a winner with the lamp. Having rubbed it, he sets free a mighty genie, who promises to accomplish three wishes. Aladdin treats it as a chance to defeat Jafar and steal away into the heart of Jasmine. And of course, here is the moral of Disney, which always teaches to be yourself and never pretend.
When it comes to soundtracks, it would be a sin not to mention the most memorable ones, such as Arabian Nights, Legend of the Lamp, Friend Like Me, Prince Ali, Street Urchins and many other. Apart from already familiar soundtracks from the animation, there are some special songs like Proud of Your Boy, A Million Miles Away. All these songs are very pleasant to listen to, especially from the Broadway stage. And of course, one cannot mention the soundtrack “ A Whole New World.”
What is more, special mention should be made of visual effects. The spectator admired how slick have the actors manage to recreate a flying carpet. A Broadway does wonder by turning the whole stage and concert whole into the black sky with a moon and stars. The actors are dressed in gorgeous perfectly designed costumes. It is difficult not to notice, that the actors, themselves enjoy their play, expressing delight, joy and share their positive energy with the audience. Michael James Scott excellently copes with the role of Genie. He manages to be the same Genie as in Disney animation. The spectators watch the scene A Friend Like Me with admiration and curiosity. Every time, Scott disappears from the stage, the audience is looking for him, wishing that he return and stay on the stage a little longer.
Aladdin, as a movie itself, already crawls with soundtracks, perfect music, play, and dance, in this sense it faces no difficulties to become a musical. However, a true fan and an Aladdin lover would definitely find some differences between the musical and movie. Even though all the decorations, every small detail, costumes, and even the appearance of characters seem to coincide with the original, the music lacks the spirit of magic and fairytale. The excitement and lightness that are present in the animation, unfortunately, seem to be lost in the musical. It goes without saying, that there are some moments which are just impossible to create on the stage, so some additions and substitutions are to be made. Even those additions, will not restrain you from a desire to fall asleep or just skip forward the play. Aladdin the musical is definitely worth watching, but still, I prefer much more watching Disney animation, which fully absorbs you from the very beginning till the end.
In conclusion, in spite of my preference of animation to the musical, it is necessary to admit the musical has its advantages, which attracts spectators. First of all, you become a part of the show and action, because there would be no show without the audience, which gives you a sense of joy and interaction with actors. Another thing, it has a friendly atmosphere and opens an opportunity to spent the day with family watching Aladdin the musical. Your child will definitely be grateful and thankful for being involved in such kind of entertainment. The humor, mood of the story, vibrant decorations and costumes, catchy music, entertaining performances, and the most important live play will allow nobody to stay indifferent. I definitely recommend this musical to all the music lovers and fans, who want to enjoy the brilliant play and fill up with pleasant feelings and emotions.