Disney’s Aladdin: A Review

Disney’s Aladdin: A Review

Thomas Sigler, Contributor

Last week, the National Tour of Disney’s Tony-winning Broadway musical, Aladdin, came to Huntsville for 8 shows. I had the privilege of seeing the Sunday night performance and (as a self-proclaimed theater nerd) I’ll now leave my review:

I’ll admit, initially, when I walked into the Mark C. Smith concert hall at the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville, I was disappointed to see the notice that understudies would be filling in for two of the male leads: The Genie and Aladdin. In hindsight, however, this didn’t detract from the performance in any way. Understudy Dwelvan David played the Genie masterfully as well as Daniel Brackett’s Aladdin. Additional performers that stood out to me were Anand Nagraj as Jafar and Colt Prattes as Kassim.

I sat in the lower balcony (tickets costing about $70 each) and I had no issues seeing the performance, but I will say the audio could have been better at times, and there were a few instances when I couldn’t understand lines or the audio wasn’t crisp. This is understandable with touring Broadway productions as the technical staff has to adjust to new acoustics and every space they go to, and this minor downside of the show didn’t overshadow how amazing it was.

The whole performance was truly a spectacle, with a seemingly endless supply of gorgeous set pieces, backdrops, projections, and special effects, with two aspects of the show really standing out to me. Firstly, the use of the magic carpet in “A Whole New World” stood out to me. It was amazing how they could make a carpet that could fly in all directions without the use of a traditional flying rig. I’m still not quite sure how they pulled it off. Secondly, the use of costuming throughout the entire 2.5-hour production was stunning. There were constantly new costumes on stage and it’s easy to understand how they went through over 300 by the time the final curtain fell. Particularly, the dazzling crystal studded suits the ensemble wore during the tap section of “Friend Like Me” were most impressive. Broadway productions usually have a particular technical element that is a “wow factor” and in this show, it was definitely costuming.

They also had an extensive merchandise collection, including Shirts, Sweatshirts, blankets, and other official gear, but I chose to get the replica Genie lamp, which was a bit pricey $70 (but similar to the price of the ticket to the show itself, what you received was worth every penny of th price) and it was of very high quality and had an incredibly realistic look and weight. The VBC also had special drinks at the concession stand for the occasion. I got the “Purple Genie” mocktail drink at intermission which was a mix of grape juice, pineapple juice, and sprite.

If you missed this show in Huntsville, I’d highly recommend seeing it in Nashville at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) May 2-7. I have seen Broadway shows at this facility and have had good experiences every time and I’m sure this will be no exception. You can learn more by clicking HERE.