Everyone knows and loves the story of Aladdin, the young thief who found a magic lamp and powerful Genie, who grants him three wishes, enabling him to woo the beautiful princess Jasmine on a magic carpet ride.
NOW Productions of Disney’s Aladdin Jr. was an energetic colourful version of this ancient legend. The cast of about 40 teens and preteens was ably directed by Kane Mobbs and Connor Russell.
Of course, there were more children in the audience than adults, and they all loved the singing and dancing and action, clapping enthusiastically after each song.
On the evening performance I attended, the microphones were not always working properly and at times the orchestra was louder than the singers’ voices, which only slightly detracted from the sound, as most of the audience knew the words to the songs.
Minimalist stage design by Joe Collis, Rob Young, Joe Russell, Jo Wilson, Donna Carpenter and Paul Carpenter left much to our imaginations and cleverly reminded us with lightning and pillars of the scene settings of castle or market or treasure cave. The rainbow ‘chala’ light window and “magic carpet” special effects were very cleverly done. The props were extensive and well suited; I especially loved Jafar’s snake-headed staff. Robert Young’s musical direction and orchestra were excellent. Maisy Jo Russell’s choreography was very good too.
There was so much talent that most of the main characters were played in different shows by two different people. For example, in the performance I saw, Aladdin was performed by Kyle Mobbs and Omar by Riley Mobbs. And in other performances they swapped roles!
Kyle was very entertaining and enthusiastic as Aladdin. Phoebe Clark was a strong and rebellious Princess Jasmine. And I loved their duet ‘A whole new world” on the “flying” magic carpet. Khushi Choudhari actively took over the stage as our brightly coloured turquoise and purple Genie every time she appeared!
The evil laughter of Bryce Young made him a very convincing villainous Jafar, with his stunning red and black costume, which was cunningly covered by beautiful velvet patchwork cloak when he was “in disguise”. All Kylie Mobbs and Linda Cook’s costumes were stunningly colourful and I’m sure the actors and actresses loved dressing up in them.
Although it was only a short two day, four session program, it was a very well organised, successful and spectacular performance, so congratulations to all involved.