Adam Jacobs (Aladdin) and Anthony Murphy (Genie) (center) in Disney’s Aladdin North American Tour company at the Orpehum Theatre as part of the SHN season. Below: Jacobs and Isabelle McCalla as Jasmine prepare for a magic carpet ride. ©Disney.
There is no question in my mind, that of all Disney’s animated film to Broadway adaptations, Aladdin is the most thoroughly successful. For The Lion King stage adaptation, Julie Taymor offered eye-popping spectacle and stagecraft in service to a flimsy story and even flimsier characters. Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s first Broadway venture, was fun and dazzling but only a ride vehicle away from being a theme park attraction. The less said about the misguided Tarzan and missed opportunities of The Little Mermaid the better.
Aladdin is pure, old-fashioned musical comedy, and it works at all levels. On Broadway, the show was a delightful surprise, and happily, everything that made it so much fun is present and accounted for in the lavish national touring production now at the Orpheum Theatre as part of the SHN season.
I reviewed the show for TheaterMania.com. Here’s a sampling.
There’s a reason Aladdin is Disney’s best animation-to-stage effort, and that reason is Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw. His work on shows like The Book of Mormon and Spamalot have honed his ability to bring just the right balance of comedy, razzmatazz, and heart to Aladdin’s bag of tricks.
Nicholaw’s success with Aladdin, now in its fourth year on Broadway and with the national tour, which launched earlier this year, has everything to do with his light, energetic touch and his ability to find humor that can appeal to children and adults.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Disney’s Aladdin continues through Jan. 7 at the Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., San Francisco. Tickets are $45-$213 (subject to change). Call 888-746-1799 or visit www.shnsf.com.