Aladdin on Broadway: A Must-Watch Spectacle for Every NYC Visitor
There is a world of dazzling magic and color waiting for every visitor to New York City – a world that can only be found in the Broadway musical Aladdin. Like a gem hidden within a mysterious cave, Aladdin is a treasure that beautifully unfolds on stage, full of enchantment, romance, and adventure. Based on the beloved 1992 Disney film, the Broadway stage version brings to life the familiar story of a street urchin who discovers a magic lamp and a genie who grants him three wishes. With an impressive ensemble, breathtaking stage design, and memorable musical numbers, Aladdin is a must-watch performance for every NYC visitor this season.
The Broadway version of Aladdin, which opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre in 2014, is an extravagant visual feast that incorporates the best elements of the animated film while adding its own unique theatrical flair. The show is an artistic collaboration of high caliber, including a book by Chad Beguelin (The Prom), music by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast ), and lyrics by Howard Ashman (Little Shop of Horrors), Tim Rice (The Lion King, Aida), and Chad Beguelin. Whether you’re a devoted fan of the original film or new to the tale, Aladdin on Broadway is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you just can’t afford to miss.
Background of Aladdin
The Disney film Aladdin, released in 1992, was an instant success that captured the hearts of millions. The animated film, with its fantastical story, endearing characters, and a soundtrack filled with iconic songs, was a commercial and critical success, earning two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “A Whole New World.” Its popularity paved the way for its transformation into a Broadway spectacle, allowing a new generation to experience the magic of Aladdin in a different medium.
The transition of Aladdin from animation to Broadway was a meticulous process. The aim was to preserve the charm of the original while enhancing it with the spectacle and grandeur that only live theatre can offer. The result is a breathtaking production that combines the best of both worlds, offering audiences a thoroughly modern Aladdin that still retains the heart and soul of the Disney classic.
The Magic of Aladdin on Broadway
Aladdin on Broadway is brought to life with stunning set designs and special effects that transport audiences straight to the heart of the mystical city of Agrabah. Designed by renowned scenic designer Bob Crowley, the sets showcase a dazzling Middle Eastern cityscape with intricate details and shifting elements that create the illusion of an ever-changing, colorful world. The magic carpet ride scene, a highlight of the show, is a marvel of theatrical technology, creating a breathtaking illusion of flight that leaves audiences spellbound.
Complementing the mesmerizing sets, the costumes in Aladdin are a riot of color and detail. Designed by Gregg Barnes, these intricate designs offer a visual feast that mirrors the beauty of Agrabah, with each costume telling its own story. From Aladdin’s street urchin attire to Jasmine’s royal gowns and Genie’s flamboyant ensembles, the costumes are a pivotal element in bringing the world of Aladdin to life on stage.
Aladdin also boasts lavish, intricately executed ensemble numbers—each show requires a total of 337 costumes for the cast and ensemble and 150 cues, about one every 16 seconds. Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, these sequences make the most of the talented cast with energetic dances, powerful vocals, and seamless coordination. Numbers like “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali” are grand-scale performances that fill the stage with movement, color, and sound, showcasing the very best of Broadway. This showis a wealthy feast for the senses, promising an unforgettable experience for all.
The Characters and Performances
Aladdin, portrayed by Indian-American actor Michael Maliakel (Bull), is an endearing blend of charm and mischief, capturing the spirit of the street-smart “diamond in the rough” that audiences love. Sonya Balsara (Boarding School) as Princess Jasmine is a vision of strength and grace, giving a powerful debut performance on Broadway that adds depth to the character. The show-stealer, however, is undoubtedly Michael James Scott as the Genie. With his high-energy performance and comedic timing, he brings the house down, infusing the role with charisma and vibrancy.
Aladdin’s Impact on Broadway and NYC
Since its debut, Aladdin has been a commercial and critical success, consistently playing to packed houses and receiving rave reviews. The show has garnered multiple TonyⓇ nominations, including Best Musical, and won a TonyⓇ for James Monroe Iglehart’s unforgettable performance as the original Genie. Its enduring popularity is evidence of its universal appeal and its ability to captivate audiences time and again.
Furthermore, Aladdin’s impact extends beyond the theatre district. The show has become a major draw for NYC tourism, enticing visitors from around the globe to experience the magic of Aladdin in the city that never sleeps. Its appeal lies in its ability to offer something for everyone – a timeless story, stunning production, committed performances, and a heartwarming message of love and friendship. For many visitors, a trip to NYC is not complete without a visit to Agrabah, courtesy of Aladdin on Broadway.
Experiencing Aladdin: Practical Information for Visitors
Aladdin on Broadway is performed at the New Amsterdam Theatre, located at 214 West 42nd Street, only a short walk from New York City’s iconic Times Square. The show runs for approximately two and a half hours, including one 15-minute intermission, with performances typically scheduled for evenings from Tuesday to Sunday and matinees on the weekend. However, it’s always recommended to check the Broadway Inbound website for the most up-to-date schedule.
To make the most of yourBroadway experience, plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the show starts to find your seat and enjoy the ambiance of the historic theatre. Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir program for a keepsake of your journey. And, of course, no trip to NYC would be complete without exploring the city’s other iconic attractions. Combine your visit to Aladdin with a stroll through Times Square, a visit to the nearby Rockefeller Center, or a trip to the top of the Empire State Building for a whole NYC experience. With Aladdin as a highlight, your trip to the Big Apple will surely be a memorable one.