Aladdin The New Stage Musical was staged here by Atlantis Productions. They did the Little Mermaid last year which I was able to watch and I wrote a review about it.
The Philippine production of Aladdin The New Stage Musical stars Tom Rodriguez as Aladdin, K-La Rivera as Princess Jasmine, Raul Montesa as Jafar, Jimmy Marquez asIago, Jun Ofrasio as the Sultan of Agrabah, Calvin Millado and Aiza Seguerra alternating for the role of the Genie. Abu and Rajah were replaced by Babkak, Omar and Kassim played by Bibo Reyes, Johann Dela Fuente and Jamie Wilson respectively.
Now I must say that Aladdin is one of my favorite movies EVER. Growing up, I had a VHS tape of that movie and I would watch it over and over again. There was something so magical about the story so when I found out that they were going to stage Aladdin here, I knew that I had to watch it.
So without further ado, here is my review of the show.
Set design, Props and Costumes
Upon entering the theater, the first thing you'll see would be this big arc full of stuff made to look like gems and precious stones. It actually looked really nice from where we were sitting. Through most of the show, a projector was utilized for the background. That and a mix of lights. It's not a bad thing. The only time I noticed the projected image being obstructed by something was during the 'A Friend Like Me' number.
The props, I must say, were good. Although, they should have ditched the wheels on the camels. In the 'cave' scene where Aladdin was looking for the lamp, it would have been better if there were more treasure thingy's in it.
Costumes were well made and they were as close as they could get to their movie-counterparts. One thing though, I don't get the pink costume Jasmine wore through most of the first act. Jasmine is known for wearing the blue ensemble. It just seemed 'off brand' for me. And why wasn't the Genie painted blue?
Songs and Acting
When I first saw the cast list, I was a bit hesitant. But then I saw Calvin Millado (who played King Triton in the Little Mermaid) on the list. I was good to go after that. They sang every song that was in the movie. The musical also featured several new songs and an extended version of 'Arabian Nights'. I was happy that they included 'Proud Of Your Boy' which was a song from the earlier draft of the movie but was cut in the final script.
Tom Rodriguez. I've never heard him sing. I only know him from his PBB and Here comes The Bride stint. Boy was I surprised when he started singing. Man got pipes for the role. He was really good. I did not expect him to sing that well. When it came to his acting, it wasn't spectacular but it wasn't bad. He was pretty good but in some parts, it bordered on 'over-acting' for me. But it's theatre and as I was taught before in one of our workshops, it is better to be asked to take it down a notch rather than pump it up. To be fair, he was dreamy as Aladdin.
K-La Rivera. To be honest, I've never heard of her so I didn't know what to expect. When it came to singing, she was a bit too 'Pop' and 'RnB' for my taste. But the girl could sing and she was actually pretty good as Princess Jasmine.
Calvin Millado. Singing, superb. Acting, superb. 'Nuff said.
Bibo Reyes, Johann Dela Fuente and Jamie Wilson. These guys played Babkak, Omar and Kasim and they stole the fucking show. They received the biggest applause during the curtain call. From Arabian Nights to the Finale song, these guys delivered like dominoes!
The show ran for about 2 and a half hours because of its expanded story and the addition of new songs. This was too long in my opinion. If they removed some unnecessary scenes, they could have probably gotten it down to just under two hours.
This is the second production by Atlantis that I've watched and I'm as delighted as I was the last time. Despite the show running a bit long, I truly enjoyed it.
Note to self: if it is staged by Atlantis Productions, it's worth watching.
My favorite scene: When they did 'A Whole New World'. The carpet suspended in mid-air was the cherry on top of the icing.
My least favorite scene: When Aladdin touched the forbidden treasure and got stuck in the cave of wonders.
Funniest scene: When Jafar turns to a genie and is sucked into the lamp. Genie throws the lamp and it probably hit something because the lamp bounced back on stage. It was a fail. Funny as hell though.
So last year, Atlantis Productions staged the Little Mermaid and this year they did Aladdin I'm suddenly wondering, could they possibly do The Lion King next year?
I'm hoping that they do :D