Aladdin on Broadway celebrates its 8th anniversary; theater guest wins a Disney Cruise Line vacation giveaway prize

by PDM STAFF

Genie (Michael James Scott) and Aladdin (Michael Maliakel) | Photo by Matthew Murphy

NEW YORK – Disney Cruise Line introduced its newest ship, the Disney Wish, during Aladdin’s 8th anniversary on Broadway on March 20 at the New Amsterdam Theater. To celebrate the occasion that afternoon, Michael James Scott, who plays Genie on stage, surprised a lucky 888th ticketholder guest with a vacation giveaway prize aboard the new ship.

The Disney Wish | Photo via Disney Cruise Line

The Disney Wish sets sail for the first time this summer. New enchantment can be found as treasured stories and characters come to life before the audience’s eyes in unexpected ways. According to Disney, the Disney Wish is part of the cruise line’s Triton Class. On April 8, 2021, Captain Minnie was announced as the centerpiece of the Disney Wish’s bow.

Aladdin is a hit musical based on the Academy Award®-winning animated film, released by Disney in 1992. It was a critical and box office smash, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.

In its 2,681 performances comprising Aladdin’s run thus far, audiences have been treated to a staggering number of special effects:

  • Aladdin and Jasmine have flown over 88 miles on the magic carpet while singing the Oscar-winning A Whole New World
  • The Genie has set off nearly 100,000 pyrotechnics in the showstopping Friend Like Me
  • In the Act Two opener Prince Ali, the cast and wardrobe team have made over 185,000 lightning-fast costume quick changes

Aladdin, adapted from the animated Disney film and centuries-old folktales including One Thousand and One Nights, is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exciting world of daring adventure, classic comedy, and a timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.

Hailed by The New York Times as “fabulous and extravagant!” Aladdin opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre to critical acclaim on March 20, 2014, and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years. The Broadway production has broken 14 New Amsterdam Theatre house records and spawned eight productions on four continents, with a new North American tour launching in October. It can be seen currently on Broadway, in Japan, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Germany.

Michael Maliakel (Aladdin) and Shoba Narayan (Jasmine) | Photo by Matthew Murphy
Michael James Scott as Genie | Photo by Deen Van Meer
Arabian Nights | Photo by Deen Van Meer

The current cast of Aladdin stars Michael Maliakel making his Broadway debut in the title role, Michael James Scott as Genie, Shoba Narayan as Jasmine, and Dennis Stowe as Jafar. The show also features Milo Alosi, Zach Bencal, and Brad Weinstock as Aladdin’s sidekicks Kassim, Babkak, and Omar, JC Montgomery as Sultan, and Don Darryl Rivera as Iago. Juwan Crawley, Mark DiConzo, Frank Viveros, and Jonathan Weir stand by for several principals.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, Aladdin features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and six-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).

The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards as Best Original Song. The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes, and sound designer Ken Travis.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette, and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.

Anne Quart serves as co-producer.

–With Jay Domingo/PDM

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