First came The Lion King on Broadway. Since then, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Newsies, and even Tarzan have headed from big screen to stage. And coming in just 6 DAYS, Aladdin will join their ranks.
It’s not easy taking one of Disney’s highest grossing films and adapting it for the stage, especially since the film in question includes a monkey, anthropomorphic carpet, and shape-shifting Genie.
So, what can theater goers expect from Aladdin the Musical? For one, a distinct absence of two furry companions. That’s right: no Abu or Raja. (Cue the collective “Awww darn”) Their characters are supplemented by three new characters – Babkak, Kassim, and Omar – who were originally in the film script, but got scrapped during production.
Third, familiar faces abound in the cast. Adam Jacobs, who stars as the titular thief-turned-prince, recently played Simba in The Lion King.
Most exciting is this: the ACTUAL VOICE OF JAFAR (Jonathan Freeman) IS PLAYING HIM IN THE MUSICAL. Just let that sink in, because that rarely ever happens.
This adaptation will include songs like “Proud of Your Boy” (covered by Clay Aiken for an Aladdin anniversary edition) that never made it to the final cut of the film, plus brand new music composed by Alan Menken. (Who else is even worthy?)
Here’s a clip of Adam singing “Proud of Your Boy” from the Seattle workshops:
Judging by the clips, photographs, and general secrecy surrounding the musical, this is one adaptation you won’t want to miss.
Aladdin hits previews next week.