I had very high hopes for Aladdin: The Musical and I’m pleased to report that—while it’s not quite a diamond in the rough—Aladdin is certainly a gem. Aladdin is packed full of humor and comedy, largely thanks to Marcus M. Martin who plays the role of Genie. There’s no doubt, this show is all about Genie and everyone else is just a supporting character. Anyone who has seen Disney’s original animated feature will know that it would be impossible for anyone to fill the tiny elf shoes of Robin Williams’s indelible Genie. Rather than risk certain disappointment, those familiar with Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will definitely recognize Tituss Burgess’s influence in this incarnation. The twist on what may be expected of Genie is a fantastic choice. The casting of Aladdin and Jasmine were also spot on. With their 1,000-watt smiles, Adi Roy and Senzel Ahmady played the perfect cartoon prince and princess.
The show features many fantastic songs from the movie and plenty of new songs written for the stage production (i.e., unnecessarily filler to extend the show’s length). “A Friend Like Me” was definitely the showstopper and has more pizzazz and fireworks than the Fourth of July. Aladdin is worth seeing for this number alone. I expected “A Whole New World” to also be a favorite, but it seemed to lack the substantial emotion to really take off. It was quiet, lacked power, and thus left me without the goosebumps I was longing for. What did take off, however, was the magic carpet that Aladdin and Princess Jasmine flew on during this piece. Disney dumped a Cave of Wonders-worth of money into making this scene truly awe-inspiring for the kiddos. It was so good that my husband couldn’t go to bed without scouring the internet to find out just how they did it. I won’t reveal the answer here, but it’s an impressive feat of Disney’s trademark Imagineering that evokes the same childlike wonder from crowds of all ages.
Aladdin is at The Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis through December 10, 2023. Tickets start at $39.
DEAL ALERT: Student/educator rush tickets will be available. 2 tickets per valid student or educator ID. $40 per ticket, cash only. Available at the Orpheum box office two hours prior to showtime. The line forms outside the theatre