Aladdin at the Eccles – We didn’t miss the monkey.

On discovering our destination, Lyft driver Andres broke into song on our way to Disney’s Aladdin – The Musical, “I can show you the world…” We joined in, stumbling and laughing through the lyrics with him. Last Friday evening, April 26, 2019, the Eccles Theatre was bustling with many happy folks and families, children carrying into the theatre prop-up cushions for their seats, while others took selfies in front of an Aladdin event sign. Before entering, we broke down to purchase a small and pricey bag of gummy bears—they were delicious. Inside the theatre, the curtain itself was mind-blowing. It resembled a great Persian rug, gleaming with richly colored stripes of red, gold and green.

Aladdin – The Musical is running now until May 12, 2019. Be sure to reserve your tickets for upcoming Broadway hits at the Eccles: School of Rock, RENT and the Book of Mormon coming soon.

Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Aladdin, the US tour, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin, photographed: Clinton Greenspan (Aladdin), Lissa deGuzman (Jasmine), Zach Bencal (Babkak), Jef Feder (Kassim), Philippe Arroyo (Omar), Jonathan Weir (Jafar), Jay Paranada (Iago) directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw

You all know the story so we won’t go into that, Genie, of course, is the narrator and in a booming voice leads “Arabian Nights” which opens up the stage to the city of mystery and enchantment—Agrabah. The musical version sticks to the plot of the animated one, although Aladdin’s sidekick monkey “Abu” was replaced by three male characters, his best friends and fellow-street rats, who second only to the genie stole the show. We appreciated the fact that they replaced the animated animal characters with humans because it would have been less (and still was a stretch) believable than if they had added, say a stuffed tiger, or someone in a monkey suit.

We also appreciated that many men were shirtless, ripped and dancing around with swords—and that the genie wasn’t. While six of the songs were from the original animated movie, several original scores were added. Aladdin’s solo, “Proud of Your Boy” was about proving to his dead mother that she could be, um proud, and was a bit, odd. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like Aladdin should be proving things to himself! But I’m a mom.

The dramatic set changes, magic carpet night backdrop sky and costume changes were flawless. Big highlights: the cave of wonders disco scene and the “High Adventure” sketch with Aladdin’s three amigos making an attempt to rescue him.

For more upcoming theatre events and reviews, you don’t need a ticket, just go here.

Jen Hill
Jen Hill
Former Salt Lake Magazine Associate Editor Jen Hill is a SLC transplant from Bloomington, Ind. As a blogger and feature writer, Jen follows the pulse of the community with interests in urban agriculture, business, fitness & beauty and anything that allows her to get out of the office and into the mountains.

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