Should You Go See Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ On Broadway?
If you're a fan of Disney's Aladdin: The Movie, there's a strong chance you'll like Disney's Aladdin: The Broadway Musical. I saw the show this weekend and it keeps the spirit of the popular animated film, while updating it in different ways.
It's a well-choreographed, well-staged and technically impressive show. There is a ton of effects work, some flashy and some subtle, that really helps the show feel immersive. The Genie, like in the movie, is the clear standout, getting many of the show's funniest lines and being at the center of its best musical number, "Friend Like Me." Iago and Jafar are also highlights, and Jafar is actually played by Jonathan Freeman, who provided his voice for the character in the movie, which adds some authenticity to the role.
There are changes the show makes to the story out of necessity. If you're looking for Aladdin's monkey pal, Abu, he is nowhere to be seen. Instead, Aladdin has three buddies who hang around with him and sing backup on his songs. Same goes for Jasmine and her tiger, who is also replaced by three buddies. Every time they get rid of an animal, they replace them with three buddies. The Buddies get their own subplot, which is fine, but doesn't add much to the show, and feels like it's taking time away from the show's strongest elements.
But I would recommend Aladdin. It's a fun production with a couple of inspired numbers and a powerhouse character in The Genie. I don't know if it will have the staying power of other Disney Broadway productions like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, but it's been playing for a couple of years now and I think it will be around for a while longer.