BWW Review: ALADDIN at the Eccles Theater is Filled with Glitz and Showmanship
The national tour of Disney's ALADDIN has arrived in Salt Lake City in all its splendor with an ode to old-school Broadway.
ALADDIN (music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Chad Beguelin; book by Chad Beguelin), based on the 1992 animated film, was originally developed at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and at Tuacahn in Utah before arriving on Broadway in 2014. The Tony-nominated musical follows the journey of an orphan named Aladdin who receives three wishes after finding a genie in a magic lamp.
The production's presentational style of comedy and dance pays tribute to musical comedies of the past, and while it sometimes feels short on substance, it fills the void with glitz and showmanship.
The endless parade of costumes (there are more than 100 costume changes in just one minute of "Prince Ali" alone) designed by Gregg Barnes is breathtaking in its sheer quantity, let alone the exquisite workmanship. The makeup design by Milagros Medina-Cerdeira is a worthy companion.
The scenic design by Bob Crowley is also expansive and contains some memorable visuals. Most impressive is the golden interior of the Cave of Wonders, which is simply awe-inspiring in its beauty and magnificence.
The non-stop Tony-nominated choreography by director Casey Nicholaw is intricate and showstopping, and it is performed with great skill and a seemingly endless supply of energy by the impressive ensemble (surely one of the hardest working on the boards).
Clinton Greenspan, who plays the title character, is reminiscent of both Scott Weinger, the original voice of Aladdin, and Adam Jacobs, who originated the role on Broadway. He is a leading man who is easy to root for.
Major Attaway, who was the first replacement for the Genie on Broadway, commands the stage with a larger-than-life presence that fills the room with warmth, vigor and laughter.
Brand new Jasmine Kaenaonalani Kekoa is still finding her footing in the role, but she is vivacious with a lovely singing voice.
Disney's ALADDIN plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, May 12, 2019. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.artsaltlake.org.
Photo Credit: Cast of ALADDIN.