National Tour of Aladdin is not what Dallas expected
Over the years, Disney has found a way for turning animated features into heartwarming musicals. Their success over the years has made the expectation levels for anything they do incredibly high. When it comes to Disney originals turned musical, you have to look at the success of The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid to get a sense of the high standard that has already been set.
It is no surprise while fans seem a bit disappointed with what the national tour of Aladdin is offering. Overall, there is still a sense of awe that you will expect from the production such as the flying carpet, but such magical moments are few.
First, there is the idea that when you stretch the source material too much, you lose its substance and heart, and that’s what the musical did. Turning a 90 minute animated film on which the musical takes bearing from, into a 150 minutes musical takes things a bit too far. The addition of new characters and songs deviates from the source material, and as such the musical loses its heart.
There are still some areas where the musical truly shines. One of such area is the costume department. It is safe to say that Gregg Barnes didn’t hold back in this area.
For what it’s worth, there are some great parts with the musical. The costume department was top notch, offering the perfect blend between style and class. From the Agrabah to the cast of lithe dancers, there is so much color and liveliness. It has to be said that the dance done by choreographer Casey Nicholaw’s was great as well, with notable mentions to hits such as “Prince Ali” and “Friend Like Me.”
The Genie as portrayed by Major Attaway was incredible in the show. From sassy one-liners to a rich charisma, he showed great energy and passion while on stage.
The role of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine was played by Clinton Greenspan and Kaenaonalani Kekoa respectively. Both seem to be swallowed by the happenings around them, and they didn’t own their scenes as you would expect. Even the animal sidekicks of Abu the monkey, Iago the parrot, and Rajah the tiger didn’t deliver as expected.
Apart from lacking much soul, the musical felt like a fan service with too much tongue-in-cheek references which doesn’t do it any justice.
From poorly constructed sets to weak characterization and a whole lot of other misgivings, no wonder fans are left cheated on with what they’ve seen. However, you should still give the show a chance, and see it for yourself, maybe, just maybe you will love it.