It is February, and that means it is time to start talking about romance. “A Whole New World” is my favorite song from Aladdin. There is something about Disney love songs that is quite different from others. I have been attached to the song since I was a kid.
It is the love song found between Aladdin and Jasmine. They are singing the song on a magic carpet. There is this nature of innocence, magic, and trust. Trust as in- not falling off the carpet. It is truly a lovely song to witness- both on screen and on stage. I love how it is staged- I saw Aladdin a year ago on 9/11.
It seems as if just about every single couple I have found in musicals are young couples. They also seem to be in love for the first time- the young couples.
(SPOILERS): From the Aladdin movie, there is Abu, Aladdin’s monkey. However, in the stage show, Abu is missing. So does Aladdin have any friends in the stage show? Yes, in the stage show, there is Omar, Babkak, and Kassim. There are people who do wish Abu was not kicked out, but for me, I love Omar, Babkak, and Kassim. I think they are a wonderful substitute. Why exactly?
I have only been around those three friends for about a week. It creates these two wonderful songs- “High Adventure” and “Omar, Babkak, Aladdin, Kassim”. In some ways, I believe it develops Aladdin a bit further. With the stage show, those three friends create these incredible sword fights. I love Abu in the movie, but for the stage show= Omar, Babak, and Kassim work better. There are more energetic songs because of those three characters.
I still am quite new to Omar, Babkak, and Kassim- after all, I only met them on 9/11 when I saw the stage show. I loved seeing them-they are three of my favorite characters in musical theatre. In Aladdin (as in the stage show), the characters I do love are Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim.
Like any musical, there is always an opening number. The opening number can get you emotionally attached to the musical. They also have to make sense for the musical. Aladdin has one that is quite effective: Aladdin’s opening number, Arabian Nights, is quite effective. I will try to explain.
In Arabian Nights, it is sung by the Genie, one of the major characters. You get to know what Agrabah is. In so many ways, the opening number foreshadows different parts of the story. You are introduced the principal and supporting characters- even though you may not know their names yet- that is if you haven’t seen Aladdin.
Yesterday, I went to my second musical with Club Blume. One of the things I love is that before the show is that we get to enjoy a pre-show party. That musical would be Aladdin- the last musical and show of Blumenthal’s 2018-2019 season.
Aladdin: Jonah Ho’Okano
Genie: Korie Lee Blossey
Jafar: Patrick R. Brown
Iago: Reggie De’Leon
Jasmine: Kaenaon Alani Kekoa
Babkak: Zach Bencal
Omar: Ben Chavez
Kassim: Colt Prattes
My mom and I had incredible seats- row B right near the center of the balcony. With Club Blume- all you can say is what section you want; not what seats you want.
Korie Lee Blossey as the Genie always knows how to make an incredible entrance. His “Friend Like Me” was incredible. He felt like the genie in my eyes. In Charlotte, this was his second day as the Genie.
Jonah Ho ‘Okano as Aladdin was amazing. Just like the Genie, his Aladdin journey began in Charlotte. During “Proud of Your Boy”, I got a little emotional. I began to feel chemistry between his Aladdin and Kaenaon Alani Kekoa’s Jasmine during the song he was singing between his Aladdin and his three friends. Even though there was no Abu, Aladdin’s friends were a wonderful substitute.
Kaeonaon’s Alanı Kekoa’s Jasmine was amazing from the moment I saw her. She especially started to shine during “These Palace Walls”. I loved when she started to have chemistry during Aladdin, which was in the middle of the song Aladdin sang with his friends. During their first duet, “A Million Miles Away”, the chemistry started to get stronger. It only started to get weaker when Prince Ali (who is Aladdin) arrived, which showed her reluctance towards marrying a prince. The question is why did she trust Prince Ali on the magic carpet during “A Whole New World”, which is Aladdin and Jasmine’s main love song.
It is hard to know what to think of Patrick R. Brown’s Jafar. However, I know what to think of Reggie De’Leon’s Iago, who is Jafar’s sidekick. Reggie was hilarious- in almost every time he even said anything, you couldn’t help but laugh along despite being the villain’s sidekick.
When it comes to Zach Bencal, Ben Chavez, Colt Prattes as Babkak, Omar, Kassim, I loved seeing the three of them. I do not know what it was about the three of them. I somehow knew I loved those three. I loved their relationship to Aladdin. They were an incredible substitute-Abu is in the two movies: so like I said, an incredible substitute.
This is mainly about the added songs to the stage show. I loved the added songs. It gave the show more texture and complexity and emotional value to the characters and plot. Songs like “Proud of Your Boy”, “A Million Miles Away”, and “These Palaces Walls” are just some of the added songs I loved- like I said earlier I got a bit emotional during “Proud of Your Boy”.
I loved all the sparkly, glittery, and colorful costumes. I even loved the costumes that were not- like Aladdin’s costumes before he dressed like a prince. Each costume fit each character perfectly.
I was expecting to be loving The Cave of Wonders set, and I did love it. It was full of gold, and it was also the same place where “Friend Like Me” takes place and where the magic lamp is located. Every set is amazing- another set I love is the night sky- that is where “A Whole New World” takes place. Literally the magic carpet does fly in this stage show.
From fight scenes to dancing to flying on a magic carpet to lights going around the entire theatre to fireworks, etc. I loved the sight of it all. Aladdin is a stunning show to just look at