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ALADDIN

The Musical

Aladdin the musical is based off the popular Disney film and features music by Alan Menken and lyrics
by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin. The musical premiered in Seattle, Washington at the
5th Avenue Theatre in July 2011. Aladdin had a tryout at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, Ontario in
November 2013 to see if it would sell if they took it to Broadway and after it's booming success
previewed on Broadway on February 26th 2014 and opened shortly after on March 20th 2014 at the New
Amsterdam Theatre. The show ended up being nominated for five Tony Awards and won one for Best
Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for James Monroe Iglehart who plays Genie.
The storyline for the musical is pretty much the exact same as the book. Aladdin is a street urchin who
lives in a large and busy city of Agrabah with his faithful monkey friend Abu. Aladdin expresses his
dreams of showing the world he's more than just a homeless young man and mentions his guilt in
thievery, having promised to never steal again after the death of his mother. Meanwhile, the Sultan's
Grand Vizier, Jafar, who wishes to rule the kingdom of Agrabah try to find a way to enter the 'Cave of
Wonders', a mysterious cave deep in the desert that holds powerful items. The voice of the cave tell
Jafar that only one who is worthy may enter the cave and reveals that person to be Aladdin. When the
princess of Agrabah, Princess Jasmine gets tired of being forced to remain in the palace that overlooks
the city, she sneaks out to the marketplace, where she accidentally meets Aladdin. Aladdin has no idea
she's a princess but is immediately smitten with her. Aladdin and Jasmine connect over the unhappiness
in both their lives. Jasmine is shortly discovered by the authorities and escorted back to the castle.
Aladdin in ordered to be killed, but is saved by Jafar, who take Aladdin the Cave of Wonders so that he
may enter the cave. Once inside, Jafar instructs Aladdin to bring him a golden oil lamp and touch nothing
else. Overwhelmed by the vast amount of treasures once in the cave Aladdin attempts to take some
gold coins along with the lamp. The cave seals itself, trapping Aladdin inside. Aladdin rubs the lamp,
which unleashes a magical Genie that can grant him three wishes. Aladdin initially doesn't believe the
Genie's claims, but the Genie convinces him. Aladdin tricks the Genie into freeing them from the cave
without specifically using a wish. After they escape, Genie says he would wish for freedom, since he is a
prisoner of the lamp. Aladdin promises to use his last wish to set Genie free and uses his first wish to
become a Prince so that he can legally marry Princess Jasmine.
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Aladdin (disguised as Prince Ali) sneaks up to Princess Jasmine's quarters and takes her on a 'Magic
Carpet Ride' after which, she recognizes him from the streets. Aladdin lies and says that he was just
pretending to be a homeless man so that he could escape the pressures of royalty life, which is what
Jasmine was doing. Jasmine decides he's not just another shallow prince and gives him a kiss goodnight.
The Sultan greets Ali shortly after and gives him his blessing to marry Jasmine, meaning that Aladdin will
become the new Sultan. Seeing this as a huge responsibility and getting scared, Aladdin tells Genie that
he wants to save his last wish for a day he may need it rather than use it to set Genie free as he
promised. Genie returns to his lamp and refuses to speak to Aladdin. Jafar manages to steal the lamp
due to Aladdin's carelessness. As the Sultan tells the city that of Jasmine's new fiance, Jafar swoops in
and reveals him as a street rat. Genie then enters with Jasmine in chains and declares that Jafar is now
his new master and his wish was to have Jasmine as his prisoner. Jafas uses his second wish to make
himself Sultan. Aladdin sees an opportunity and tricks Jafar into using his third wish to make himself a
Genie so that his power will be unmatched and Jafar is sucked into a lamp of his own, bound to it for
eternity until someone rubs it. Aladdin uses his wish to set Genie free and admits and tells Jasmine that
although he loves her he can't pretend to be someone he's not. The Sultan is touched by Aladdin's
honestly, decrees that the Princess can henceforth marry whoever she wants. Aladdin and Jasmine get
married and Genie goes on a long awaited vacation.
The tap number, "Never Had A Friend Like Me', is a Broadway style tap number that features time steps
and typical turns and arms that are characteristic signs of Broadway or Musical Tap that's featured in
shows such as Anything Goes, My One And Only and 42nd Street. The number also incorporated the use
of canes which add to the classic aesthetic of the piece. The tap number is so memorable in the show
since Aladdin is not typically a tap musical. The choreographer and director used the tap to create the
ultimate climax in the piece "Never Had A Friend Like Me". Tap dancing is a part of the Genie's magic
that he's using to convince Aladdin that he has special powers and can grant him wishes and is the last
thing that Aladdin needs to be completely swayed by the Genie. Using tap as a dramatic convention was
a very clever choice by the choreographer as it raises the stakes for the audience and lets them know
that it's the pinnacle of the number.

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REFERENCES:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aladdin_(2011_musical)
http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/learn-the-styles-and-aesthetics-of-tap-dance
http://www.broadwayworld.com/shows/Aladdin-330623.html
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/video-tonys-aladdins-genie-performs-710175
https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/James-Monroe-Iglehart-Adam-Jacobs-The-Original-Broadway-Castof-Aladdin/Friend-Like-Me

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