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Houston Ballet's ALADDIN Comes to Chicago's Auditorium Theatre This Weekend

Houston Ballet's ALADDIN Comes to Chicago's Auditorium Theatre This Weekend

Making their Auditorium Theatre debut, Houston Ballet brings their enchanted production of celebrated choreographer David Bintley's "Aladdin" to the landmark stage, this weekend, March 22 - 23, 2014.

A tale of love, trickery and triumph, "Aladdin" tells the story of a young marketplace boy who becomes part of a whirlwind adventure with romance, unbelievable riches, love at first sight, treachery, and a magic lamp. Originally created for the New National Ballet of Japan in Tokyo, the production continues to take audiences on a thrilling ride, and will transform the Auditorium Theatre into an astonishing spectacle of hidden treasure and adventure that is perfect for the entire family. "Aladdin" is a co-production between Birmingham Royal Ballet and Houston Ballet Foundation and is co-presented with the Ravinia Festival.

Tickets ($32 - $92) are on sale now and available online at ticketmaster.com/auditorium, by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E Congress Pkwy).

"At the Auditorium, we are pleased when we can present new full length ballets that are based on popular stories," said Auditorium Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson. "It is such a joy to offer this innovative, beautiful ballet that is perfect for the entire family. Houston Ballet is an important American dance company and it is a pleasure to have them present this spectacular production of 'Aladdin,' while making their Auditorium Theatre debut."

Created for the New National Ballet of Japan in Tokyo in 2008 and premiering in London in 2013 "Aladdin" has been heralded as "Elaborate and splendid" ("Asahi Shimbun" - Japanese national press). London's "The Telegraph" stated "'Aladdin' is a full-blown piece of three-act splendor and looks absolutely astonishing....it is a delightful family show, and an ideal first outing to the ballet." Based on the collection of stories, "One Thousand and One Nights" or "Arabian Nights," "Aladdin" is the tale of a young, naive boy who is tricked into retrieving a magic lamp from a hidden cave. Having found the lamp, Aladdin soon realizes it is enchanted as the magical Djinni (genie) appears granting Aladdin all of the wealth he could imagine. Returning to his home as a rich man, Aladdin falls in love with the Emperor's daughter, Princess Badr al-Budar but is doomed when the Emperor's Grand Vizier realizes that Aladdin is the poor boy from the marketplace who is now in possession of the magic lamp. BAFTA Award-winner Carl Davis's original composition, played live by the Chicago Philharmonic, takes Aladdin and the rest of the characters on a fast-paced, enchanting journey-including a magic carpet ride-full of twists, turns and excitement.

"One of the most pleasurable experiences of my choreographic life was the creation of 'Aladdin' for the dancers of the New National Theater Tokyo," said Choreographer David Bintley. "It has been fascinating to see the growth of the ballet as it travels throughout the world-from Tokyo to London to Houston and now Chicago. It is such a joy to watch audiences embrace this new iteration of a beloved tale and to have such a unique experience while watching this enchanted story come to life."

Bintley's magical adventure comes to life as celebrated Set Designer Dick Bird's design transforms the Auditorium stage into a marketplace, a royal palace, a hidden cave and more, while Laurence Olivier Award nominee Sue Blane's costumes create a spectacle of magic and mystery and Mark Jonathan's lighting design transports the audience to an Arabian night. The production is staged by both Bintley and Denis Bonner.

Saturday, March 22 | 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 23 | 2:00 pm

Tickets are $32 - $92 and are available online at ticketmaster.com/auditorium, by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or in-person at the Auditorium's Box Office (50 E Congress Pkwy). Discounted tickets available to groups of 10 or more are available by calling (312) 341-2357.

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by Barnett Serchuk