Search

Social Icons

Aladdin The Musical is Disney at its most magical

. Friday, 11 January 2019 .




I grew up knowing I could be a Disney princess because of Aladdin. Let me explain - as a 90's kid I was lucky enough to grow up in the golden era of Disney. The years of Cinderella, The Lion King and many other classics equated to the happiest years. One Disney film, though, was particularly special to me. In the animated Aladdin film, Princess Jasmine's singing voice is voiced by Lea Salonga (she is also Mulan's singing voice, by the way. Yeah she's that amazing). Throughout my childhood, I heard Lea Salonga's voice frequently. Mum worked with Lea when she was just starting out and often played her songs on tape. "A Whole New World" was often on rotation and to this day it is still my karaoke song (I don't do it justice at all, FYI). To see that Filipino girls can grow up to be Disney princesses was so inspiring for me as a kid and probably one of the reasons why I'm not afraid to dream the biggest of dreams. So thanks, Aladdin!




Princess Jasmine has always been a great example for many of us who grew up watching her. She's headstrong, not afraid to voice her opinions, and go after what she wants even if it means risking what's comfortable and safe. Shubshri Kandiah's Princess Jasmine is just as empowering and watching her on stage is such an experience. You just know that she was born for this role! Sometimes you watch a show and you see the actor playing the character, but Shubshri doesn't just play Jasmine. She becomes her in every sense of the word. The resemblance is uncanny and whoever casted her for this role needs to be applauded right now!






In fact, I'd say all the characters was perfectly cast. Graeme Isaako brings a certain charm and vulnerability to his Aladdin. He's cheeky and sings with so much expression and conviction that you just can't help but root for him, even if Aladdin is a thief and a bit of a liar. He shines in every musical number he's in, but I think one of the standout scenes for him is when he's at his most vulnerable. When he sings 'Proud of Your Boy' looking up to the sky singing to his mother, it's emotional and raw and deeply moving that I couldn't help but, well, be proud of your boy!




Then there's Genie. Oh, Genie. Where do I even begin? Gareth Jacobs absolutely shines as Genie! It's hard to step into a role that's so well-loved and iconic, with Robin Williams playing the original role no less, but Gareth Jacobs takes Genie and make it his own. Aladdin The Musical's Genie is your sassiest best friend. I love that he breaks the fourth wall quite a lot and interacts with the audience. His jokes are local and relatable, the comedy delivered so perfectly natural that by the end of the show, you just want him to be your BFF.



Of course none of this would be possible without the rest of the cast and the amazing ensemble. Adam Murphy brings Jafar to life in the most terrifying way. I got a little bit scared everytime he looked at me. That make-up was spot on, the evil laugh sinister and creepy. Adam brought to life Jafar exactly the way I think a Disney villain is. He was complimented perfectly by Doron Chester's Iago, Jafar's trusty sidekick. Those two were evil personified and they commanded the stage like they really were Jafar and Iago. The rest of the ensemble was just as much of a highlight as the principal leads. All those costume changes, musical numbers, and live singing. What an absolute dream of a job they have! The stamina they must have to perform like that night after night for months at a time is mind blowing.




We haven't even touched on the musical numbers, set design, and costumes yet. The set design is incredible. I couldn't believe the detail and thought they've put behind it - the cave of wonders is probably the most intricate set I've ever seen. The detail of the costumes were absolutely spectacular too. 34 cast members, 337 costumes, 1,225 different fabrics and 712 different styles of bead used... and they all changed costumes in record breaking time! The detail, time, and thought into bringing this show to life for us is not lost on me.





The show featured not just songs I grew up with but new songs as well. And even though I've only heard it for the first time on Thursday night, they're the kind of Alan Menken magic that just has that certain familiarity. As if I had been singing these songs all my life! I still cannot pick a favourite musical number because each was spectacular in their own way. I liked the old songs just as much as the new ones, and find myself gravitating towards 'Proud of Your Boy' and 'These Palace Walls' in the Spotify playlist I've been listening to since from the Broadway musical's album. But "A Whole New World" will always have a special place in my heart and I actually mentally prepared myself for the tears. I just knew that the moment they got on that magic carpet I was going to be moved but even then I couldn't prepare myself enough to just how breathtaking it was seeing it fly in the flesh. Another amazing number for me was "Prince Ali". In the film it's one of the grandest, most ridiculous numbers and I was so curious to see how they would bring that grandiose on stage. But they did. Oh they really did. There was confetti (as you can tell from the first photo), multiple costume changes, and a pyro display. ON STAGE.




Aladdin opened to a standing ovation in Auckland and just the energy of standing there applauding with that sold out crowd was electrifying. And at curtain call when Graeme Isaako took a bow, holding back tears, so was I. Aladdin The Musical is Disney magic at its best and absolute most spectacular and we are so lucky to have it in Auckland. Thank you Aladdin for showing me that magic is real and for inspiring me to dream bigger dreams. We all need a little bit of magic in our lives and you've given us just that! Thank you so much for having us, 818. I have truly never seen anything like it. And thanks to my mum for taking me to all those musicals when I was growing up, for playing all the Disney movies on repeat and rewinding it before putting it on the VHS player. My childhood was so magical because of this and I'm inspired to create because of the influences I grew up with.



Aladdin The Musical is Disney magic in real life, happening right before your very eyes. I'm still not convinced it really happened in real life and that I didn't just dream it so I booked eight tickets to go see it again with my entire family. I absolutely cannot wait to see it again and to see my little brother's faces as they take it all in. I'm planning to see it as many times as I can because I really do believe if we want to keep hosting incredible shows like this in little ol' NZ, then we must absolutely support the arts. Besides, the show really is that good that you'll want to see it again and again!




Aladdin The Musical is playing now at The Civic and you can still get tickets here. The show closes early March though so hurry and book now! I promise it will take your breath away.




Images from the show supplied. Dress from H&M. Make-up by Larry from Giorgio Armani. 




I grew up knowing I could be a Disney princess because of Aladdin. Let me explain - as a 90's kid I was lucky enough to grow up in the golden era of Disney. The years of Cinderella, The Lion King and many other classics equated to the happiest years. One Disney film, though, was particularly special to me. In the animated Aladdin film, Princess Jasmine's singing voice is voiced by Lea Salonga (she is also Mulan's singing voice, by the way. Yeah she's that amazing). Throughout my childhood, I heard Lea Salonga's voice frequently. Mum worked with Lea when she was just starting out and often played her songs on tape. "A Whole New World" was often on rotation and to this day it is still my karaoke song (I don't do it justice at all, FYI). To see that Filipino girls can grow up to be Disney princesses was so inspiring for me as a kid and probably one of the reasons why I'm not afraid to dream the biggest of dreams. So thanks, Aladdin!




Princess Jasmine has always been a great example for many of us who grew up watching her. She's headstrong, not afraid to voice her opinions, and go after what she wants even if it means risking what's comfortable and safe. Shubshri Kandiah's Princess Jasmine is just as empowering and watching her on stage is such an experience. You just know that she was born for this role! Sometimes you watch a show and you see the actor playing the character, but Shubshri doesn't just play Jasmine. She becomes her in every sense of the word. The resemblance is uncanny and whoever casted her for this role needs to be applauded right now!






In fact, I'd say all the characters was perfectly cast. Graeme Isaako brings a certain charm and vulnerability to his Aladdin. He's cheeky and sings with so much expression and conviction that you just can't help but root for him, even if Aladdin is a thief and a bit of a liar. He shines in every musical number he's in, but I think one of the standout scenes for him is when he's at his most vulnerable. When he sings 'Proud of Your Boy' looking up to the sky singing to his mother, it's emotional and raw and deeply moving that I couldn't help but, well, be proud of your boy!




Then there's Genie. Oh, Genie. Where do I even begin? Gareth Jacobs absolutely shines as Genie! It's hard to step into a role that's so well-loved and iconic, with Robin Williams playing the original role no less, but Gareth Jacobs takes Genie and make it his own. Aladdin The Musical's Genie is your sassiest best friend. I love that he breaks the fourth wall quite a lot and interacts with the audience. His jokes are local and relatable, the comedy delivered so perfectly natural that by the end of the show, you just want him to be your BFF.



Of course none of this would be possible without the rest of the cast and the amazing ensemble. Adam Murphy brings Jafar to life in the most terrifying way. I got a little bit scared everytime he looked at me. That make-up was spot on, the evil laugh sinister and creepy. Adam brought to life Jafar exactly the way I think a Disney villain is. He was complimented perfectly by Doron Chester's Iago, Jafar's trusty sidekick. Those two were evil personified and they commanded the stage like they really were Jafar and Iago. The rest of the ensemble was just as much of a highlight as the principal leads. All those costume changes, musical numbers, and live singing. What an absolute dream of a job they have! The stamina they must have to perform like that night after night for months at a time is mind blowing.




We haven't even touched on the musical numbers, set design, and costumes yet. The set design is incredible. I couldn't believe the detail and thought they've put behind it - the cave of wonders is probably the most intricate set I've ever seen. The detail of the costumes were absolutely spectacular too. 34 cast members, 337 costumes, 1,225 different fabrics and 712 different styles of bead used... and they all changed costumes in record breaking time! The detail, time, and thought into bringing this show to life for us is not lost on me.





The show featured not just songs I grew up with but new songs as well. And even though I've only heard it for the first time on Thursday night, they're the kind of Alan Menken magic that just has that certain familiarity. As if I had been singing these songs all my life! I still cannot pick a favourite musical number because each was spectacular in their own way. I liked the old songs just as much as the new ones, and find myself gravitating towards 'Proud of Your Boy' and 'These Palace Walls' in the Spotify playlist I've been listening to since from the Broadway musical's album. But "A Whole New World" will always have a special place in my heart and I actually mentally prepared myself for the tears. I just knew that the moment they got on that magic carpet I was going to be moved but even then I couldn't prepare myself enough to just how breathtaking it was seeing it fly in the flesh. Another amazing number for me was "Prince Ali". In the film it's one of the grandest, most ridiculous numbers and I was so curious to see how they would bring that grandiose on stage. But they did. Oh they really did. There was confetti (as you can tell from the first photo), multiple costume changes, and a pyro display. ON STAGE.




Aladdin opened to a standing ovation in Auckland and just the energy of standing there applauding with that sold out crowd was electrifying. And at curtain call when Graeme Isaako took a bow, holding back tears, so was I. Aladdin The Musical is Disney magic at its best and absolute most spectacular and we are so lucky to have it in Auckland. Thank you Aladdin for showing me that magic is real and for inspiring me to dream bigger dreams. We all need a little bit of magic in our lives and you've given us just that! Thank you so much for having us, 818. I have truly never seen anything like it. And thanks to my mum for taking me to all those musicals when I was growing up, for playing all the Disney movies on repeat and rewinding it before putting it on the VHS player. My childhood was so magical because of this and I'm inspired to create because of the influences I grew up with.



Aladdin The Musical is Disney magic in real life, happening right before your very eyes. I'm still not convinced it really happened in real life and that I didn't just dream it so I booked eight tickets to go see it again with my entire family. I absolutely cannot wait to see it again and to see my little brother's faces as they take it all in. I'm planning to see it as many times as I can because I really do believe if we want to keep hosting incredible shows like this in little ol' NZ, then we must absolutely support the arts. Besides, the show really is that good that you'll want to see it again and again!




Aladdin The Musical is playing now at The Civic and you can still get tickets here. The show closes early March though so hurry and book now! I promise it will take your breath away.




Images from the show supplied. Dress from H&M. Make-up by Larry from Giorgio Armani. 

No comments

Post a Comment

older Home