[Review] Aladdin The Musical

Last night I had the privilege to watch the premiere night of Aladdin The Musical at the Meralco Theater. This musical first premiered in Seattle this October, and is now being staged by Atlantis Productions in the Philippines. As the title says, it is a musical adaptation of the Disney film Aladdin, one of the few films that feature a princess but is centered around a male character. It is also one of the first Disney films where the princess takes an active role in shaping her fate–she’s not just some princess lying somewhere and waiting to be saved. It was one of my favorite Disney films as a child, and I knew I had to see it.

The musical approximately took around two and a half hours (since it expanded upon the original film with more songs), which was a tad bit too long in my opinion. There were some parts that made me sleepy, and I don’t fall asleep in musicals. 

On a more positive note, it was funny and stayed true to the Disney story. It was also pretty meta, where the characters were breaking the fourth wall often.

The production of A Whole New World was simply magical and romantic and Never Had A Friend Like Me was my favorite production number of the night. It was the best–it was fun, great to look at, and it had the crowd going.

(photo taken from Upstagers Manila blog)

The Philippine production of Aladdin the Musical stars Tom Rodriguez as Aladdin, K-La Rivera as Princess Jasmine, Raul Montesa as Jafar, Jimmy Marquez as (a human) Iago, Jun Ofrasio as the Sultan of Agrabah, Calvin Millado and Aiza Seguerra alternating for the role of the Genie. And while Abu, Rajah and Prince Ali’s elephant will be sorely missed, they were ‘replaced’ by Bibo Reyes, Johann Dela Fuente and Jamie Wilson who play Babkak, Omar and Kassim whose scenes were definitely fun to watch.

Aiza Seguerra, once again, stole the show in her portrayal as the Genie.

The venue was either too big for the set & cast, or the other way around. Personally, given the state of Philippine stage plays and musicals and Filipinos dedication to watching them, I’d peg it on the venue being too big for this production. Nevertheless, the set was exquisite, the costumes in Act 2 beautiful. So you know what you should do, right? Go and buy some tickets to see the show! It’s Christmas season, and I’m sure the kids and the kids at heart will love watching this.

Catch Aladdin The Musical on 8 December 2012, 8:00PM, hosted by the Upstagers Manila. You can contact me for tickets or go to them directly here.

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