Fans of the film Aladdin have a whole new world waiting for them in New York or Chicago, as staged musical productions of the Disney classic have been enchanting audiences since it first hit Broadway in 2014. The show follows the same plot as the movie: A poor young street urchin named Aladdin befriends a Genie in a bottle, giving him the ability to make magical wishes in his quest to marry the princess Jasmine—all while fending off the villainous Jafar. There are some differences between the film and the play; Jafar’s parrot Iago, for example, is played by a man in the stage show. All the songs you know and love, however, remain in place: “Proud of Your Boy,” “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World” simply must be experienced live.
After runs in Seattle and Toronto, Aladdin debuted at New York City’s New Amsterdam Theatre in March of 2014. The play was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Courtney Reed (Mamma Mia!, In The Heights) took home the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Female) for her role as Jasmine, which she continues to play today. Joining her in the cast of the NYC production are Telly Leung (Rent) as Aladdin and Major Attaway, making his Broadway debut as Genie. The Chicago production opened at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in April 2017 and will run through September before packing up for a North American tour. “Of all the shows that have made the transition from celluloid acetate to stage…[Aladdin] might just be the one that most closely matches the furious speed, crazy energy and zany exaggeration of the animated version,” wrote reviewer Hedy Weiss in the Chicago Sun-Times.