Aladdin the New Stage Musical and our Vaudeville

Saturday, November 17, 2012 2 comments

       Last Wednesday, we watched the preview of the musical, Aladdin: The New Stage Musical in Meralco Theater. It actually started last night up until December 19 this year. 

You can buy your tickets at ticketworld

The Story
       Aladdin, known to be a street rat, promised to her already dead mother to never again steal something from the market, and so now he made a street band from Kassim, Babkak and Omar. But after their whole day's money got stolen, they opted to just steal again. On the other side of Agrabah is Jasmine whose day's goal is to get rid of all the royalty suitors her father wanted her to marry for her in coming birthday. Jasmine, couldn't anymore take the pressure, ran away. She met Al in the marketplace and connected with him and so did Al, but was abruptly disjointed after revealing that she is the princess. 

      Jafar wanted to be the most powerful person in Agrabah and so he casts a spell for a magic lamp, but the magic lamp could only be taken by Al. Al got the magic lamp and released the genie from within it, which makes him the master of the genie who can grant him three wishes. Jafar eventually got the lamp and made genie grant his wishes. Al tricked him to wish for him to be an all powerful genie and with that have to face the consequences which comes along with it. And it was a happy ending for Jasmine and Aladdin and Genie who was freed by Aladdin! 

Aladdin the New Stage Musical in Manila
Spoilers from here:

      It is not called The New Stage Musical for nothing, because there are actually new things to see in this musical (not that I have seen other Aladdin musical, just assuming that it was based on the animated movie and seeing from other musical clips from youtube), from new cast members to new music/songs. 

    The new members of the cast are the three narrators and musical gang mates of Aladdin, they are Babkak, Omar and Kassim, who are really fascinating to watch with their hips doing all that swaying. But also there are things that you would surely notice missing or different. I mean Aladdin without Abu? Really?  And Iago is not a parrot anymore (what do they have against animals?) but still an equally good sidekick - now in human flesh. The only animal I think were the camels, with disappointing wheels (please tell me that was just for the preview night). Aside from the familiar favorite songs from the movie there are also other songs added, some of them are Proud of Your Boy (which was actually written for the film but was not included), A Million Miles Away, Somebody's Got Your Back, and many Arabian Night reprises, which are great songs as well. There was also the so-called Split scene (where the stage is cut to half for two different places, as one side is at pause, the other plays), which was a really nice touch to the musical (that must have been very difficult).

    The A Whole New World carpet scene was really awing at least at the start, I've always wondered how every production would plan to do it. It was the same as that of the Aladdin: The Musical Spectacular (as I've seen in youtube) but a little less since the carpet just moved up down left right in the farther part of the stage, and it came really boring since the background did not change during the whole song, I mean they did travel in the different wonders of the world/Agrabah, didn't they? And that was the only scene of the carpet and it's solid, I'm a big fan of carpet, that bubbly thing! So that was a bit disappointing. 

    The Prince Ali scene was a bit disappointing as well, that was one of the most extravagant scene in Aladdin and I think they should have done  little more work to it. Though the costumes/props of the parade dancers were really commendable it still did not bring the Wow-ness to it and I think that was because of the one sided stage parade, the dancers come in and go out and come in again (the same people just with different costumes), the Boom moment didn't really build up, it was just flowing flat. 

(Aiza Seguerra, Tom Rodriguez, K-la Rivera and
Calvin Millado) from philstar
    Tom Rodriguez (from Pinoy Big Brother) playing Aladdin is really good! His voice is really good but he does have at times pitch issues (or just the nerves since it's actually his first time acting and singing in theater), I'm terrified at some point ready-and-waiting for him to squeak. But as Aladdin, he surely is suited for the role, the look, the personality, the sort-of childlike-high-pitched-not-that-manly voice/accent of Aladdin, he totally got it, especially the voice (sorry for describing it really bad), that really amazed me! K-la was also a good fit for the role of Jasmine, she's very talented, beautiful and her voice is really lovely. 

    No more blue-colored skin genie, but I definitely love genie, played by Calvin Millado (I thought it was Ceejay Javier, because the voice over genie mentioned his name but it turns out he's the musical director) I think genie would always be the most loved character in Aladdin (especially  in musicals) because he is very funny and interactive with the audience. He's really A-mazing and fun to watch, the jokes, the singing the dancing the rock star genie! He's a very charming genie, unlike those who really look scary. I'm also intrigued of how Aiza Seguerra would play the genie part. The villians, Jafar and Iago were fascinating too!

  Over-all, it was a pretty good production, very entertaining and funny, but I wouldn't go out saying that I really-really-super- loved it, that's my mom! She kept on mentioning how she loved this musical among all the musicals we have watched. Also the kids would really really love this one, since I could actually hear them laugh with their hearts out during the play. It was so cute! 

      With those mentioned, I'd like to say that maybe I just expected too much or differently from it (because of how I imagined possibilities for our own Aladdin presentation, years back) and those I've said are regardless of their budget and stage capability of the theater, and I'm not sure if it is all the performances that they really show during preview night (I suppose, they call the Meralco Night), or if there are any differences in whatever aspects (which may explain the flaws I've seen), I really haven't tried watching again for the real show, with the pasts musicals that we have seen in Meralco theater. Not that I didn't want to but I just can't afford the luxury too. If only I can, I'd be watching every single play there is. 

        Many of you might be wondering how we get tickets. I think that is exclusively for Meralco employees - and for free (and I don't know if I'm allowed to say this), lucky we are that we personally know someone and the free tickets are just one of the perks of it.  It's not on a regular basis though, just whenever our someone's lucky enough to get some, especially whenever the office mates would not be able to watch. I think it's our 5th time to watch there already, all during the preview shows, which includes Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, The Wedding Singer, Nutcracker and now, Aladdin!


      Aladdin, is really close to my heart since when in college, we had a presentation of Aladdin for our Nursing week's Vaudeville, an inter-batch competition where sections in the third year are grouped into two to present a play/musical, and that year the theme was Disney. We actually won, together with the sections who presented The Little Mermaid. 

       Well, I was not exactly part of the play itself. I was the head of the stage design/props and it was kind of a dream come true because I always wanted to be part of something big as a musical/play. But then it was really difficult because there wasn't that much time, not much people to do all the needed props and there was insufficient funds as well. I think there were still debts unpaid. 

     It didn't turned out exactly as we wanted to, and there were many that wasn't at all done, but still I'm very proud of the props we have done and we did amaze some audience as well. I'm really thankful to those who helped us from sections one and three and to my father who really helped us with the carpentry stuff- some of the castle towers at the background were really tall. 

Abu! Played by Afu (his nickname)
The marketplace
The guards
Our charming pair, Jas and Al, played by Joanna and Nikart.
The super funny genie, Joe! 
 Our very energetic carpet, played by my classmate, Dyan!
We super love her!
The coolest villian Jafar! Played by Axl. 

       It was a tiring yet fun and learning experience. I think my nerves at sometime got me that I tend to be irritable , and may have annoyed other as well. I'm really sorry, forgive me for that. See our presentation here. (Hats off to our director, Apple!) Thanks to frozoe18 for uploading them. This is the last part of the play, which is the funniest of all (yes it became sort of comedic, but still entertaining, because of Jafar and Genie), for me.  A lot of ad-libs and also a prop issue with the staff, and so the harry potter wand came in. 

Credit to Mike Chan Li Photography for our lovely Vaudeville pictures
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