That’s right! Disney is creating another big stage version of one of it’s many classic animated movie musicals, following in the footsteps (except the Broadway bit for now) of Beauty and Beast and Lion King. Today, the casting was announced for the new stage adaptation of the hit musical featuring a score by Oscar winners Alan Menken, the late Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. The show will be seeing it’s premiere at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, beginning previews on July 7 and opening on July 21. The show will be directed by Casey Nicholaw, who is currently nominated for his directorial and choreo work in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon.
The show will star Adam Jacobs (Simba on the national tour of The Lion King) as Aladdin, Courtney Reed (In the Heights) as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart (Memphis) as the Genie, and Seattle actor Seán G. Griffin as the Sultan. Broadway vet Jonathan Freeman will bringing to life on stage the role he originally voiced for the film, Jafar, with Don Darryl Rivera as Iago.
This production of Aladdin restores a trio of characters originally conceived by the film’s creators: Omar, Babkak and Kassim, played by Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Mary Poppins), Brian Gonzales (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and Seattle regular Brandon O’Neill, respectively.
Rounding out the ensemble are Tia Altinay, Kristin Culp, Nick DeSantis, Ronald Duncan, C.J. Eldred, Daisy Hobbs, David Janett, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Nikki Long, Stanley Martin, Creighton Oliver, Shanna Marie Palmer, Bobby Pestka, Connor Russell, Manuel Santos, Allysa Shorte, Daniel J. Watts and Matt Wolfe.
While Aladdin features hit songs from the movie, including “Friend Like Me,” “Prince Ali” and the Oscar-winning “A Whole New World”, this new version will revive the original vision of the creators – an homage of sorts to the Hope-Crosby “Road to…” films. “Our goal with this pilot production of Aladdin at the 5th Avenue is to launch this title for inclusion in our innovative professional and regional theater licensing catalog,” Steve Fickinger, VP Creative Development and Licensing for Disney Theatrical Productions, said in a statement.