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Aladdin Reviews

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Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:37pm
Pretty negative from Toronto's top reviewer (Toronto Star)


Aladdin's Carpet Ride Lacking Some Magic
Updated On: 11/21/13 at 11:37 PM
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Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
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ucjrdude902
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/07
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:44pm
Ouch and ouch. So basically they need to fire Courtney Reed, restage some numbers and start passing our script rewrites STAT.
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Jeffrey Karasarides
Broadway Star
joined:11/27/11
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:48pm
Now one has got to wonder what the creative team must be going through right now...
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ucjrdude902
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/07
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:50pm
Let's discuss that Jeffrey. Does Aladdin have the balls to get rid of Reed (if more reviews role in). Do they pull a Spiderman, take a break and regroup?
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sabrelady
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:53pm
I posted in the preview section. Maybe a B.


aladin
Words that confuse censors:Fecund,penal,taint, titmouse, cockatoo,coccyx, ballcock, cockeye, prickly,kumquat, titter,cunning linguist, insertion, gobble, guzzle, swallow, manhole, rimshot,ramrod,come, fallacious, lugubrious,rectify,Uranus, angina, paradiddle,spotted dick,dictum, frock,cunctation, engorge,turgid,stiff, bush, uvula, crapulence, masticate, Dick Butkus, gherkin and of course the always bewildering lickety split. As you can see, context is every thing. Chuck Lorre Addendum: 555 382 5968 "Sexarama, Hexarama, Queeriosis, Feariosis!" Alec Baldwin "Happiness is up to you. You just have to understand what it is before you get it." -Elaine Stritch
Updated On: 11/21/13 at 11:53 PM
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RW3
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/13
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:55pm
This is what I was afraid of.
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disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/10/13
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:56pm
Uh oh....
Broadway Shows: Phantom of the Opera (January 2011), Mary Poppins (January 2011), Anything Goes (August 2011, W/ Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes), The Lion King (August 2011), Godspell (June 2012, W/ Corbin Bleu), Matilda the Musical (Original Broadway Cast, May 2013), Newsies (May 2013), Cinderella (W/ Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher, May 2014), and Aladdin (OBC, May 2014). Pre-Broadway: If/Then (November 2013/World Premiere, W/ Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp). National Tours: Wicked (October 2012), Beauty & the Beast (January 2013), & Jersey Boys (November 2013)

Met Idina Menzel & Sierra Boggess (November 2013)
beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:56pm
This could turn out to be 'The Little Mermaid' all over again.
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Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/21/13 at 11:58pm
Or Tarzan.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
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disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/10/13
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 12:14am
But, hey: It's mostly the book that is getting attacked. They just need to work on it and the show should be better
Broadway Shows: Phantom of the Opera (January 2011), Mary Poppins (January 2011), Anything Goes (August 2011, W/ Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes), The Lion King (August 2011), Godspell (June 2012, W/ Corbin Bleu), Matilda the Musical (Original Broadway Cast, May 2013), Newsies (May 2013), Cinderella (W/ Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher, May 2014), and Aladdin (OBC, May 2014). Pre-Broadway: If/Then (November 2013/World Premiere, W/ Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp). National Tours: Wicked (October 2012), Beauty & the Beast (January 2013), & Jersey Boys (November 2013)

Met Idina Menzel & Sierra Boggess (November 2013)
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 12:31am
This sounds like Disney is maintaining their track record with putting washed up glitzy theme park quality shows on Broadway.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
lambchop2
Understudy
joined:8/18/12
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 12:37am
I loved the show, but it did have two main problems: the climax and too much focus on ensemble dance numbers and not enough on the leads.

I think the show could benefit from chopping down the dance numbers (Arabian Nights, Prince Ali, and the finale all had verrrry extended dance numbers that, while lovely, quickly wore out their welcome) and added in more character scenes. I actually didn't mind Courtney Reed, but Jasmine is not really given a lot to do. I'm not sure why that one reviewer thought Jasmine had been changed into a 'feminist cliche,' when almost all of the dialogue regarding her being forced into marriage and being treated like a prize to be won were staright from the film. I actually liked that they fleshed out her character a little bit with lines regarding her lack of experience--something like "how can I ever be a good queen to my people, when I don't even know my people?" This could be expanded to give her more to do.

The climax, like The Little Mermaid's new climax for the stage, is what really falls flat. The climax starts at the wedding. Aladdin enters and is about to reveal his secret to everyone, when Jafar enters with Genie and a captive Jasmine. From there it went downhill.

Jafar isn't that much of a threat at all here. His first wish was to make Jasmine his prisoner (instead of being an all powerful sorcerer--and considering that he had a spell book but did not do any magic in the show, maybe this should have been his wish!) but nobody seems to really... care? The Sultan doesn't actively try to rescue his daughter, the guards--who appear with Babkak/Omar/Kassim moments later--aren't rushing to save their princess, which begs the question--do the guards listen to Jafar? Or the Sultan? And why would Jafar need to use his wish to make Jasmine his prisoner, when he seems perfectly capable of slapping some chains on her wrists on his own?

The Prince Ali reprise, where he reveals that Ali was Aladdin, was wonderfully sung but in context it didn't make sense. Jafar literally just takes off Aladdin's hat for the "big" reveal as Aladdin. It was silly.

Jafar's second wish is to be the Sultan. Admittedly, the quick costume changes here (and for his final wish) were simple but visually great. But here, too, Jafar is woefully under utilized as a villain and threat. He just made himself the Sultan. This should bring some kind of change! But the wedding guests hardly seem to react, the Sultan is nonplussed, and it's just moments later when Aladdin gives out the tricky "You're not the most powerful, Genie is!" line, which leads to the Genie wish and Jafar's newfound home inside a lamp.

Why not extend this sequence to make Jafar's wishes actually threatening? Threaten to keep Jasmine in a dungeon for the rest of her life or say you're leaving Agrabah with your new prisoner. Have the guards obey Sultan Jafar and arrest the former Sultan or make everyone in the wedding party bow down to him or something other than saying you'll get rid of Aladdin. Just... something.


Updated On: 11/22/13 at 12:37 AM
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rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 01:30am
Disney won't learn from this, no one has the balls to stand up and say its crap. They will turn a blind eye to the reviews, and open the same show on Broadway in Feb.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 01:33am
^ Exactly.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 03:07am
I'm not sure this was the best director for the project. He doesn't really do "big, flashy" musicals very well. And sounds like he's put all his focus into the dance numbers. The actors are bland? Welcome to 21-century musical theater. That's why we cling to people like jesse Muller who actually ACT in a show. They aren't going to fire her. She's just a place holder for the other girls that will come in and play the role and being bland and forgettable.
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JohnyBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/12
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 03:27am
God bless. They need Howard Ashman mounting this puppy.
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Scarlet Leigh
Chorus Member
joined:4/18/13
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 04:33am
lambchop2: Oh my god... THAT is the climax of the musical!? When is Disney going to learn to not attempt to fix something that wasn't broken from their films? Tarzan AND Mermaid both suffered this EXACT same problem with their climatic moments. And they are going to do it again? Just reading about it gives me a headache.

I want this show to succeed so much but it's not going to if they don't take a step back and realize it's not working. Then acknowledge this and actually fix it.
lambchop2
Understudy
joined:8/18/12
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 05:20am
Scarlet Leigh:

Yes, that's the climax.

I can see why they would want the climax to take place in one setting but if they're going to take the movie's climax--which spanned three locations and featured evil sorcery, a huge evil snake Jafar, and a giant hourglass--and whittle it down to a scene at a wedding, the stakes have to be stepped up.

I can even see why they might shy away from Jafar's wish being "I want to be an all powerful sorcerer," because that means more elaborate effects. But here, too, if they want to play things down by making his wish more practical for the stage... raise the stakes.

IMO, if they they want to keep his first wish "I wish Jasmine was my prisoner," then they need to do something major with it. As it is, it's just an awkward way for Jafar to make his entrance into the wedding, but there's never a moment where you feel like "oh my god, Jasmine is in trouble!" In the movie, she's drowning in sand. In the stage version, she's... linked to Genie by some cuffs and a chain? And that's about it.

Have someone (The Sultan! Guards! Aladdin!) rush towards her and make it an "ah, ah, ah! I wouldn't do that if I were you!" moment. Maybe have someone try to free her, only for the chains to burn or spark because Jafar's wish can't be broken. Or have Jafar use her as leverage and demand that the Sultan arrange for their marriage, or threaten to take her away where no one will find her. Something to give the wedding guests, guards, and Sultan a reason to just stand there for just about the entire climax while Jasmine is captive.

Unfortunately, while there were a lot of improvements from Seattle to Toronto, I'm not too confident that the climax will be fixed. I really hope it will be. I loved the cast, I loved what they did with the additional material, when the show was good it was magically, amazingly good, and I would hate to see Aladdin fail.

Just. Fix that climax, at least.
AlfredColo
Swing
joined:11/22/13
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 06:14am
Jungle Book????
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disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Legend
joined:2/10/13
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 08:18am
Ouch, does the climax need work or what!
Broadway Shows: Phantom of the Opera (January 2011), Mary Poppins (January 2011), Anything Goes (August 2011, W/ Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes), The Lion King (August 2011), Godspell (June 2012, W/ Corbin Bleu), Matilda the Musical (Original Broadway Cast, May 2013), Newsies (May 2013), Cinderella (W/ Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher, May 2014), and Aladdin (OBC, May 2014). Pre-Broadway: If/Then (November 2013/World Premiere, W/ Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp). National Tours: Wicked (October 2012), Beauty & the Beast (January 2013), & Jersey Boys (November 2013)

Met Idina Menzel & Sierra Boggess (November 2013)
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Brian07663NJ
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 09:07am
Maybe Disney couldn't afford a more expensive special effects type finale?
Up next: Apr 01 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Apr 05 Charo at RamsHead OnStage; Apr 07 Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom; Apr 13 Amaluna next to Citi Field; Apr 18 Disney Junior at MSG Theatre; May 06 Aladdin; May 13 Artpop Ball Lady Gaga at MSG; Jun 07 Varekai in Bridgeport, CT Jul 12 1:30pm Side Show; Jul 12 8:30pm Fantasia w/National Symphony Orchestra; Aug 16 The Visit: Williamstown Festival
RumTumJM
Swing
joined:9/16/13
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 09:42am
This is all very depressing, especially the stuff about the climax. Being a child of Disney's Renaissance, who considers Aladdin one of his all-time favorite Disney movies, this eliminates a LOT of the magic.

Jafar's fleeting moment of glory & defeat was certainly one of those "I can't wait to see how they'll pull it off! This should be GREAT!" moments. Now it seems they just copped out.
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tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 10:01am
Street Boy Band narrators = Spiderman's Geek Chorus

The first reviewer definitely gave a constructive assessment. He didn't pan it or use overly clever, but pointless, witticisms to show how smart he is (Hi new York Times!).

He gave some really good advice and praised the parts that are working. I think the creative team should welcome that notice. That's why you do out of town tryouts, a practice that is all too rare with the mechanical requirements of most shows these days.

I took away that this is absolutely fixable.
....but the world goes 'round
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 10:09am
I think the creative team should welcome that notice. That's why you do out of town tryouts, a practice that is all too rare with the mechanical requirements of most shows these days.

I took away that this is absolutely fixable.


I totally agree with that. Now the question remains, will they fix it? Or with they just tighten a few sentences in the book and swap adjectives in the lyrics and call it an "overhaul?"
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
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ACL2006
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/06
Aladdin Reviews
Posted: 11/22/13 at 10:23am
"Street Boy Band narrators = Spiderman's Geek Chorus "

what's sad is that Jonathan Schwartz was one of the Geek Chorus in Spiderman. It would be a shame if the same fate happen again.

A Chorus Line played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013.
Updated On: 11/22/13 at 10:23 AM

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