What if you could escape into a Whole New World, even if it was for two-and-a-half hours? What if this new world was a Whole New World of real freedom? You now have that opportunity with Disney’s Aladdin.
The Broadway Touring Company is performing at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis until November 25.
From the orchestra’s first note of the overture and the curtain drops, you are mesmerized. You immediately are carted off into a magical land of possibilities; a land where honesty is held in honor and integrity is rewarded.
Michael James Scott introduces us to the middle-eastern town of Agrabah, where Princess Jasmine meets the charming Aladdin. MJ Scott is genie-us as the Genie. From the opening number, “Arabian Nights,” he builds the anticipation for that magical carpet ride.
I had the unique opportunity of meeting MJ Scott when he starred in "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway during its opening season. I knew he was a mega-talent, I now know he is a magical mega-talent.
Humor compliments the artistry throughout the show, from references of 0% body fat to the punning pyramid schemes to Princess Jasmine asking, “What’s wrong with a woman running a Kingdom?” And the response, “Talk about a fairy tale.”
So many life lessons are woven into the show. You learn the value of being a diamond in the rough, the power of honesty, why you rely on a true friend, and the courage to make three wishes, saving one for someone who needs it more than you.
Lissa deGuzman is brilliant as the beautiful Princess Jasmine. Her sincerity and pure heart parallel her confidence and determination.
In this performance, Pierre Marais played the role of Aladdin. His performance was flawless and easily worth top billing at any show. The chemistry between Aladdin and Genie, Aladdin and Jasmine, and Aladdin and his sidekicks of Babkak, Omar, and Kassim are spot-on. This is by far one of the most complete company of actors I have seen.
The show stopper is at the end of Act I with “Friend Like Me.” The choreography is incredible and the ensemble one of the tightest and most complete. And, when Act II begins with “Prince Ali,” the energy keeps building. There are so many quick costume changes I lost count.
When Aladdin and Jasmine shared that magic carpet ride with “A Whole New World,” you could hear a pin drop in the theatre. When the number ended, a group of ladies sitting behind me commented, “that is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen.”
And, I agree with that sentiment in my assessment of “Aladdin.” It is truly a beautiful performance. Treat yourself to “A Whole New World.” Go to https://www.aladdinthemusical.com/tour/ to see when the Genie and company is in your neighborhood.