Theater Jul 27, 2011 at 4:00 am

Making a Musical out of a Movie

A touching story about what happens when a boy rubs his lamp. Mark Kitaoka


Seattle audiences will give a standing ovation to anything that moves.
DC audiences stand for everything too. I basically refuse to succumb to the standing ovations that come at the end of every performance. And I'm an opera singer.
Good review: my one qualm. This show wasn't on Broadway, so why us it trying to rise to Broadway standards exactly? Also, how was the costume? The set? The band?
My review:
I saw Aladdin last week and I loved it. I thought that what this show has that some Broadway musicals seem to be lacking is heart and trust. Instead of pulling out all the "big stops" and telling a story through special effects, set, and lighting tricks, the actors used movement and their voices. It was really refreshing. I thought all the actors pulled their own weight and no one seemed to be lacking. I liked the genie's choice of playing up pop culture references instead of copying Robin Williams. Three of Aladdin's buddies functioned as narrators to move the plot along and make jokes about food. I usually looked forward to their appearances, but didn't always like them breaking the fourth wall.
I really loved hearing fleshed out live versions of the old Aladdin songs from the movie and found myself lipsynching along. I was always a little disappointed when cast members would sing songs that weren't from the movie and that I didn't know. Some new songs were great, like Call Me A Princess, and others, like the song Aladdin sang about his mother, were less so.
Although I loved seeing this bare bones production, the flying carpet needs to actually fly. Right now, it's on a pole that you can see and doesn't really move. That is the time to pull out the big stops and wow the audience. It would be super cool if it could go over the audience some how.
The last critique that I have is that the director might want to think about how his show depicts Arab culture. It feels a bit hokey.
i always thought shows at the 5th avenue should be considered as good as broadway.... is this incorrect? also- whats so wrong with audiences giving standing os?
Wasn't Hairspray always a musical?

The "problem" with generic standing o's is that they're supposed to be reserved for the most-special of all performances, a way for an audience to "go to 11" with its appreciation.

Everyone just stands up for everything, though, because they like standing up. It's just something they know how to do, so they do it.

Though it's supposed to reward the show, it's actually a form of narcissism. It's the audience telling themselves they're awesome, since they've had the good sense to have seen a masterpiece.

It's like cheering for the animated hydroplanes at the Mariners games, really.

And, like with that Simpsons workshop they just reviewed, this is just another recycled piece of garbage. It might as well be the Battleship movie.

5. LORT audiences in Seattle give standing ovations at the end of damn near every mainstage show. It illustrates that our theatre community's cultural elite are a bunch of rubes that acts like every mainstage show, no matter how good or bad it actually was, is the greatest thing they've ever seen.
"I think 'Seattle,' in Duwamish, means 'white people applauding'." -Sherman Alexie (I fear the proper punctuation of this has eluded me this morning. Working my evening shift 3 nights in a row on top of my regular job is taking its toll this week). In any case, this was Alexie's comment at the NPR Town Hall event that KUOW just re-aired this morning. Found it apropos of the above comments.

It is pretty ridiculous that Seattle audiences almost always give standing ovations. It means that it loses its meaning/specialness. Ah well. (I'm more annoyed at the folks who start running for the exits before the curtain's not a movie theatre, folks. Those are real people, and they can SEE YOU!!
I agree with most of your critique. The show needs a bit of work before (if) it goes to Broadway.

The chase scenes were a bit clunky, and the timing was just a bit off so you'd have actors pausing in their chase to wait for the scenery to catch up with them. Also, some of the effects need to be tweaked with a view for the whole house. I had pretty bad seats way up in the balcony, so when Aladdin "jumps" over the edge of the Princess's balcony, everyone in my section saw him just crouching on the carpet. Several of the other effects were ruined because the Director or Set Designed didn't consider that many people in the audience will be looking down onto the stage.

The genie was enjoyable, even the pop culture bits, but there were frequently times when he got going too quickly for himself and tripped over the lines or turned them to mush.

I actually enjoyed the trio of narrators, it felt vaudevillian, and helped distinguish the show from the movie, as did the use of shadow puppets and lighting effects on the curtain.

The one scene that was a true disappointment when the end with Jafar possessing the genie... how each of his wishes were simply answered "Jafar, you are now..." and maybe a light cue. I get that they were trying to show that the genie had no desire to do what he was doing, but it didn't feel right, and no one on stage reacted properly to the scene... all in all, that bit just didn't work.

Please wait...

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