Kaena Kekoa, Reggie De Leon, and More Join the ALADDIN North American Tour
As it approaches its 2nd anniversary, the North American tour of Disney's Aladdin has announced that five new principal cast members will join the company starting on April 25 in Salt Lake City, where the hit Broadway musical will play a limited three-week engagement at The Eccles Theatre through May 12.
Kaena Kekoa, a native of Hawaii who was discovered at a Disney on Broadway open casting call in Honolulu, will make her professional theater debut in the iconic role of Jasmine. Original tour cast member Reggie De Leon returns to the role of Iago. And as part of the show's trio of Aladdin's sidekicks, Ben Chavez will assume the role of Omar and Colt Prattes will step into the role of Kassim. And Frank Viveros will stand by for the roles of Genie and Babkak.
Lissa deGuzman (Jasmine), Jay Paranada (Iago), Philippe Arroyo (Omar), Jed Feder (Kassim) and Ellis C. Dawson III (Standby Genie and Babkak), will play their final performances in San Jose on April 21.
The touring production also features Clinton Greenspan (Aladdin), Major Attaway (Genie), Jonathan Weir (Jafar), Jerald Vincent (Sultan), Zach Bencal (Babkak), Korie Lee Blossey (Standby Genie & Sultan) and Adam Stevenson (Standby Jafar & Sultan).
Rounding out the cast are Michael Bullard, Michael Callahan, Cornelius Davis, Bobby Daye, Mathew deGuzman, Olivia Donalson, Max B. Ehrlich, Samantha Farrow, Erik Hernandez, Orianna Hilliard, Cameron Hobbs, Cameron Mitchell Jackson, Albert Jennings, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Jason Scott MacDonald, Angelina Mullins, Celina Nightengale, Cassidy Stoner, Liv Symone, Alec Varcas, Annie Wallace, Michelle West and Zach Williams.
Kaena Kekoa (Jasmine) is thrilled to join the Agrabah ohana! Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai i, she grew up singing in church and in her local musical theatre community. She is a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University where she was involved in the concert choir and theatre department. This is her first national tour.
Reggie De Leon (Iago) Broadway: Aladdin (Iago). Other Disney: Frozen - Live at the Hyperion (Duke of Weselton). TV/Film: Recurring on MOM (Paul), "Superior Donuts" (Zale), Young & Hungry (Danny), Melissa & Joey (Wyatt), and Shep in the Pup Star films on Netflix.
Ben Chavez (Omar) Tour debut! Off-Broadway: Marry Harry. Regional: Asolo Rep, The Rep/St. Louis, Cape Playhouse, Sacramento Music Circus. Award-winning composer of The Cobalteans (NYMF). Proud graduate of the NYU Tisch New Studio on Broadway and member of the Broadway Inspirational Voices.
Colt Prattes (Kassim) plays Ryan on the Sundance series This Close, and played Johnny Castle in ABC's Dirty Dancing. He also danced with P!NK in the duet from her acclaimed music video Try. Broadway/Tours include West Side Story, A Chorus Line, Rock of Ages, High School Musical and more.
Frank Viveros (Standby Genie/Babkak) is ecstatic returning to the road after originating Piangi on The Phantom of the Opera tour. Favorites: Once on this Island (Agwe), Sweeney Todd (Pirelli), Ain't Misbehavin (Ken), Finding Nemo:The Musical (Bloat) and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (Lord Pinkelton).
The North American tour of Disney's Aladdin celebrates its 2nd anniversary on April 19 in San Jose, where the critically-acclaimed tour will welcome its two millionth guest during a two-week engagement at The San Jose Center for the Performing Arts (April 10 - 21, 2019).
Since launching in Chicago at The Cadillac Palace Theatre on April 19, 2017, the tour has played to capacity houses in 24 cities during 813 performances. Future stops for the tour include Baltimore, Charlotte, Dallas, Durham, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Kansas City, Memphis, Orlando, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and Washington, D.C.
Aladdin opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre to critical acclaim on March 20, 2014 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years, breaking 14 New Amsterdam Theatre house records; worldwide it has welcomed more than 10 million people and grossed over $1 billion. Its global footprint has expanded to include productions in Tokyo, Hamburg, London and Australia, in addition to the two U.S. productions.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, the show features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
Aladdin, adapted from the Academy Award -winning animated Disney film and centuries-old folktales including One Thousand and One Nights, is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin's journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.
The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.
The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song A Whole New World, which won the second of the film's two Academy Awards as Best Original Song. The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.
The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.
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