There's nothing quite like a Disney love story to bring a smile to the faces of everyone in an audience. From the sparkling costumes, to the beautiful scenery and dazzling music. There is a beauty in the simple pleasures of a classic Disney musical, as demonstrated by Delsea Regional High School's production of Aladdin Jr.
Aladdin, first released as a popular animated movie by Disney in 1992, was quickly transformed into a musical and premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle in 2011. The Broadway production opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 20th, 2014 and has been produced globally since. The story, set in the fictional city of Agrabah, follows a poor young boy who is granted three wishes by a genie, which he uses to woo a princess and to fight an evil sultan.
The lead role of Aladdin was brought to life by Vincent Crocilla, who brought to the show a positive and mischievous attitude. The lead female role of Jasmine was portrayed by Leila Parker, who brought out a sassy charm. The hilarious role of Genie was portrayed by Christopher Otto, and the evil sultan Jafar done by Andi Dennis alongside his companion Iago, Lamar Bronson. I would have loved to see a deeper emotional connection between Aladdin and Jasmine, accompanied by more physical contact to demonstrate their heartfelt romance.
Aladdin's troupe, consisting of Maya Cope as Babkak, Alex Baldosaro as Omar, and Madison Blithe as Kassim, had lots of comedic lines. At times the delivery bordered on cheesy, but it was very funny nonetheless. The variety of ensembles brought many enjoyable dance numbers, such as "Friend Like Me," featuring sparkling gold dancers, and "Prince Ali," with a grand entrance for Aladdin that had everyone clapping. The ensemble was extremely resilient despite technical difficulties in the opening number of "Arabian Nights," and demonstrated professionalism by continuing without a backing track. A few characters could have brought more facial expressions to the stage, specifically during scenes such as the riot at the palace.
The most beautiful part of the performance was the set and costumes. Student costumers include Madison Blithe, Samantha Davis, Gabrielle Kalup, and Addison Trimble. Jasmine's dress, having hand sewn details, was one of the most beautiful costume pieces I've ever seen. Jafar's intricate staff, featuring black and red sparkles and a snake with ruby red eyes wrapping the length, was my favorite prop. The stage and art crew did a great job with spatial awareness, as the stage and set was constructed in a way that wasn't overwhelming, but had just the right amount of beautiful imagery. My favorite part was during "Proud of Your Boy," where Aladdin sat atop a building and overlooked the city from above. Along the floor of the state were miniature city-scape silhouettes that stood against a purple sunset backdrop. The simplicity yet beauty of the sunset and city was outstanding.
Overall, Delsea's production of Aladdin was an enjoyable, classic Disney performance. The attention to details in the set and costumes wrapped the show together in a bright array of colorful fabrics and sparkly designs