Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular…
Our Easter Sunday this week turned out to be awesome & just what I needed: We headed out to The Happiest Place on Earth….Disneyland! 😉 Whats really fun having a pass with Mike is that we have introduced one another to something new each visit thus far. I am no longer a virgin to The Grizzly Rafters or a Mint Julep, & Mike has at last tried a Main Street corn dog & seen Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. This trip? He was shocked & perplexed to discover I have never seen The Aladdin Musical Spectacular at The Hyperion Theatre in Hollywood Land at California Adventure, so, naturally, we made that a priority & it was absolutely awesome!
How I had never been in The Hyperion Theatre, is beyond me. This gorgeous 2,000 seat theatre boasting an orchestra, mezzanine & balcony brought to mind a true Hollywood Blvd theatre, think no further than The Pantages. With many stairs (102 to get to the balcony), I was relieved that they do offer an elevator, as well as plenty of cast members to assist should you need ADA access or are looking to find your party or switch where you would like to sit. The only things missing? A restroom & concessions inside the venue; its easy to understand why they’ve chosen to omit these amenities, as restrooms & countless eateries are outside the door, but, with such a feel of going out on the town to the theatre, I would love to have the option to buy a drink or popcorn.
The 45 minute live show focuses on all the favorite memories we have from the 1993 animated classic. If any of you happen to remember Beauty & the Beast’s live show back in the day at the outdoor theatre across from It’s A Small World in Disneyland (where they now are showing Mickey’s Magical Map), this is quite similar. We begin by meeting, much like in the film, a street rat named Aladdin, as well as the villainous Jafar. The young actor portraying Aladdin delivered all the vibrance & youth that made him an instant favorite over 20 years ago. When we’re introduced to Princess Jasmine, I was pleased at how much the actress playing her, also, had a great animated-like quality to her, truly bringing the character to life once again.
Of course, the big moment is when the Genie is let out of his lamp. I will admit, I felt a little bittersweet awaiting his arrival, as I associate Genie so much with the late, great Robin Williams. Luckily, these feelings vanished for me as soon as Genie hit the stage; I feel Williams himself would have approved of the actor portraying this legendary Disney role. He was off the charts, all over the place & I was thrilled to see that they incorporate so much of the current pop culture news into the Genie’s role; there were hilarious cracks about One Direction & that the member who has left is headed in “The Wrong Direction” as well as inside jokes about other Disney faves like Finding Nemo…apparently, Genie thinks he is quite fishy 😉
Another scene stealer was the Carpet! With no actual lines, this actor used their entire body to speak for their character. Some might not know that one of my most favorite Disney songs is A Whole New World, & the performance was gorgeous. The only quirk I felt to it was that it begins sans Aladdin & Jasmine, there were many objects & smoke moving about on the stage prior to the characters emerging, even though we were hearing them sing. Much like a child, I was going to myself, But where are Aladdin & Jasmine?! Other than that quirk, it was a magical number. As was You’ve Never Had A Friend Like Me, complete with multiple Genies (his “Twitter followers” he said) dancing on the stage.
While the Carpet & Iago are present in this spectacular, they do omit 2 favorites of mine; Abu, Aladdin’s kleptomaniac monkey & Jasmine’s beloved Rajah. While there are such elaborate moments with life-size elephants, it surprised me they wouldn’t have had either of these adorable sidekick, best friend roles.
Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular is such a great way to introduce young children to live theatre, & perfect for anyone who already loves theatre & Disney (like me). Click here for more info & show times to check out this wonderful production in Disney’s California Adventure! xo