BWW Review: Board a Magic Carpet with the Kiddos for Orlando Shakes' ALADDIN AND THE MAGIC LAMP
The tale of Aladdin is one most of us know from the Disney telling of the story in the famous animated film of 1992. Growing up, Aladdin was my favorite Disney film, so, when I was given the opportunity to review ALADDIN AND THE MAGIC LAMP at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, I jumped at the chance!
I quickly realized however that the show is not based on the version from the film, but instead on the Middle Eastern folktale "The Arabian Nights" - which, was unexpected but a great surprise! The premise of the story is still the same, there are just a few slight variations (for example, there are two genies instead of one!). So, if you plan on seeing the show be prepared for some things to be a little different than what you remember.
The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre does an outstanding job throughout the year in their main stage and black box shows meant for older audiences, so it's no surprise that their summer children's series is excellent as well. With a smaller cast and a shorter run time (55 minutes), this show is fun and engaging for kids and is just long enough to keep their attention. Parts of it reminded me of a choose your adventure story - at times the cast breaks the fourth wall to ask the audience what path a character should take next. The plot is pretty basic, and the dialogue is nothing that you'll hear in a Tony-winning dialogue, but this show is FUN and the actors do a lovely job of acting with big movements and funny faces to bring laughs from both the children and adults.
Speaking of the actors, I'd be remised to not mention the double-duty work they pull with playing multiple characters. With a few costume additions (some of them fairly quick), and different voices, the cast does a great job of making each character unique. A particular favorite of mine was Henry Gibson who played a commoner, the Genie of the Ring, and the Sulton. His wonderful wit and his ability to make each character his own was something I truly enjoyed each time he took the stage.
If you're looking for a short show that will herald you back to your childhood while also giving the kiddos a few laughs, this show is for you! ALADDIN AND THE MAGIC LAMP runs now through July 23. If you go, be sure to bring a nonperishable food item for Orlando Shakes' Second Harvest food drive! All food items will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. For donating, you receive $2 off your ticket (and be granting the wish of hungry families all across Central Florida)! Visit orlandoshakes.com to learn more.
So, did you get all that you wished for in ALADDIN AND THE MAGIC LAMP? Let me know! Don't forget to follow BWW Orlando on Facebook and Twitter by clicking below. You can also connect with me about this show and all things theatre by following me on Twitter @libbychamps.