Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Aladdin, the North American tour, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin, starring: Adi Roy (Aladdin), Marcus M. Martin (Genie), Senzel Ahmady (Jasmine), Jake Letts (Babkak), Colt Prattes (Kassim), Ben Chavez (Omar), Anand Nagraj (Jafar), Aaron Choi (Iago) and Sorab Wadia (Sultan) directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw

Aladdin – Orpheum Theater – Minneapolis MN – December 5th 2023

Review by Tracy Hansen

Photos provided by Aladdin production team.

Before I get into this review, I have to preface that this is coming from someone who adored the Disney film as a child.  I can’t even tell you how many times I listened to the soundtrack cassette and how many times I watched it.  I saw it on opening day in the theater with my mom.  It’s a big part of my childhood.  Therefore, there’s going to be some bias.

Aladdin has been on Broadway since 2014, something I was unaware of until yesterday.  It’s been shown all over the world.  Getting a chance to see it at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota was a real treat.  I’m the type of person that simply adores the fairy tale style musicals.  So this was right up my alley.
Arriving at the theater, you knew you were in the presence of a ton of Disney fans.  Not everyone, but definitely quite a few.  For anyone who knows adults obsessed with Disney, you know what I mean.  There was a grown woman behind me that was full blown scream cheering throughout the show.  The energy was super high.  For a Tuesday night, there were also a tremendous amount of people there.  It was all ages from small children to adults of all ages.
I would say the first act certainly outperformed the second.  The choreography was incredible and the sets were beautiful.  If nothing else, the show was really something to look at.  The costumes and sets were so colorful.  I couldn’t help but be transported back to childhood with the musical numbers.
“Proud of Your Boy” is a musical number that was supposed to be used in the original film.  However, due to cuts, it wasn’t heard in the film, leading to it being used in the musical.  There were several renditions of it throughout.  The true star of the first act (and the musical overall) was “Friend Like Me”.  There is no way anything else could have compared with that segment.  The choreography, musical, color, and all was just so fun and upbeat.  The genie is really the star of the show.  I heard a lot of people saying he couldn’t match Robin Williams’ character, but who could?  There were a few moments of breaking the fourth wall, which were quite fun.
Then came the second act.  I’ll just be honest and say that it was nothing compared to the first.  A lot of it felt a little tacked on for time’s sake.  While at the same time, it felt like it wrapped up too fast.  I know, that seems odd, but you’d understand if you saw it.
One of the major issues I had with the musical was the lack of the animal characters.  That may be my inner child screaming, but I have heard other complaints about it.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Abu and Rajah are missing.  Iago is a person, who did very well, mind you.  With so many people in the audience being Disney fans though, that was a letdown.  I simply adored Abu as a child.  Jasmine was also one of my favorite characters growing up, so I just loved Rajah as well.  It’s not as if these characters were nothing in the film either.  Abu was such a big part.  I can’t even imagine what the musical would have been like had the completely omitted Iago.
All that being said, it was enjoyable enough.  When you have one act completely overshadow another, it’s hard to say you truly enjoyed the whole show.  But it was fun.  I would like to mention that it’s great for adults and children alike.
One last thing I’d like to mention – if you’re going to the theater, don’t talk during the show.  It’s rude.  Two women next to us were talking the whole time.  These were grown women.  There were little kids muttering here and there, but that can’t be helped at times.  People pay good money to see these shows and don’t pay it to listen to other audience members chat the whole time.