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Review Roundup: National Tour of ALADDIN Launches; What Did the Critics Think?

Review Roundup: National Tour of ALADDIN Launches; What Did the Critics Think?

The National Tour of Aladdin recently launched at Proctor's in Schenectady, NY.

The National Tour of Aladdin recently launched at Proctor's in Schenectady, NY.

Aladdin, the hit musical based on the Academy Award®-winning animated film, 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 14 million people, and can be seen currently on Broadway, in Tokyo, the Netherlands, Mexico City and Stuttgart.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, 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 six-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).

Find out what the critics think below!

Proctor's Theatre - Schenectady, NY

J. Peter Bergman, The Berkshire Edge: Add into the mixture, that human yeast which makes the whole show rise into the perfect confection, Marcus M. Martin could easily steal any show he appears in, but his spectacularly talented Genie threatens to do so. Instead he is one of the chief ingredients in what comes across as the perfect wedding cake, a present to this great bride and groom. He is funny, graceful, a good singer and actor, and he moves into the picture and stays there where he obviously belongs. Martin is the perfect man for the job. I can almost guarantee you will fall under his spell for the entire two house and 30 minutes you are in the theater.

Bill Kellert, Nippertown: Young and old alike, this production offers something for everyone. Children will be mesmerized by the sets, swirling colors, and the songs which have become part of their musical lexicon. The audience at Saturday's performance was filled with many under the age of 14, who all sat with rapt attention throughout the nearly two-and-a-half-hour production. For the adults, we were treated to the addition of many jokes and gags that will certainly pass over the heads of many of the younger audience members.

Paul Lamar, The Daily Gazette: I don't think I will see "Aladdin" again after my maiden voyage into the Disney franchise, but I found much to enjoy about the production from a purely theatrical point of view while not investing much thought in the story (book by Chad Beguelin) or the music (by Alan Menken). (I will observe, however, that the values kids can take away from the dramatic events - friendship, self-discovery, honoring a promise, freedom, imagination, cooperation - are ones even curmudgeons still need to be reminded of.)

Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - Hartford, CT

Hartford Courant

Clowes Hall - Indianapolis, IN

The Marriage Matinee, BroadwayWorld: You can't be drawn into Aladdin without a top-tier Genie, and Marcus M. Martin did not disappoint. He grabbed the audience from his first syllable to his last, and it made the whole experience that much more engaging. It's hard to pinpoint the magical recipe that creates a performance that is comedically accomplished without being too over-the-top, but he churned out one delicious rendition of Genie. What personally drew me in most was his vocal resonance. It helped to create that all-powerful presence that Genie requires. He also owned every inch of the stage. There was never a sense that he was following some predetermined blocking but that he moved, talked, and tapped 100% as Genie, not an actor simply portraying a role.

Shea's Performing Arts Center - Buffalo, NY

Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising: I was hoping that this current production would be as thrilling, the Genie just as funny, and the big dance numbers just as "wow" as when a Broadway tour of Aladdin last came to Shea's in 2018. It was. Marcus M. Martin in his national tour debut as the Genie was a big and loveable as ever. And he loved the audience back with his huge smile and big voice.

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center - Appleton, WI

Daniel Higgins, Appleton Post-Crescent: The stage performance isn't a scene-for-scene recreation of the 1992 movie. Attempting such a thing would be a foolish disaster. However, the key elements remain. All of the movie's original songs get sung. Where the show differs, the writers did a good job of enhancing the storytelling. Updated jokes and pop culture references including a medley of Disney Renaissance-era (1989-1999) songs during "Friend Like Me" also freshen up the 30-year-old movie. Overall, the musical remains true to the spirit and themes of the animated film original that propelled it to be the top-grossing film the year it was released.

Kravis Center for the Performing Arts - West Palm Beach, FL

Palm Beach Daily News, Mary Damiano: Roy and Ahmady have terrific chemistry and both get a big solo in the first act that showcases their vocal prowess and explains their personal plight. Their best scene is their duet of "A Whole New World" performed while soaring above the stage on a magic carpet. The beloved ballad comes to life, with the staging illustrating the lyrics in an enchanting spectacle.

Adrienne Arsht Center - Miami, FL

Mary Jo Shore, Miami's Community News: The musical retains the family-friendly plot of the Disney film, sweeping audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. We couldn't help but sing along to our favorite songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and. enjoyed the additional songs written specifically for the stage.

To read more reviews, click here!

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The North American tour of Disney’s Aladdin launches on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:30pm at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, NY, where the hit Broadway musical comedy will play for two weeks through Sunday, October 23, 2022. Check out rehearsal photos and videos here!

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