Disney's Aladdin, a Musical Based on the Animated Film, on the Navy Pier
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The last date listed for Disney's Aladdin was Sunday August 30, 2009 / 2:00pm.
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Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice
Book adapted and additional lyrics by Jim Luigs
Music adapted and arranged by Bryan Louiselle
Based on the screenplay by Ron Clements,John Musker, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio
Directed by Devanand Janki
Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) brings Disney’s Aladdin, an enchanting adaptation of the 1992 animated film, to the stage continuing CST’s tradition of bringing family-friendly theater to Navy Pier all summer long. The production features Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice’s awardwinning songs, including “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me.” Previously performing as Scar and Zazu in the national touring production of The Lion King, Larry Yando and Derek Hasenstab will reunite as the diabolical duo, Jafar and his sidekick Iago. Immediately following each performance, the actors join the audience in the Lobby for one-on-one conversations and photo opportunities.
Aladdin, a clever street urchin, is wrongly accused of kidnapping the beautiful Princess Jasmine and locked away in a dungeon, leading him to a cave of wonders and the discovery of a magical lamp. One rub of the lamp releases a larger-than-life, fun-loving Genie ready to grant Aladdin three wishes. Together, they make their way into the city of Agraba, where the devious, power-hungry Jafar and his parrot Iago are threatening to take over the kingdom. Aladdin and his newfound friends must now use their wits — and three wishes — to outsmart the villains and save the kingdom in this musical adventure full of unforgettable songs and lovable characters. A timeless message of friendship and the importance of staying true to oneself is at the heart of this entertaining family musical.
Casting both veteran CST actors and introducing Chicago audiences to some of the nation’s newest talent, Aladdin will feature CST audience favorite Larry Yando as Jafar and Derek Hasenstab as Iago. The pair recently starred in the national touring production of The Lion King, in which they brought two other memorable Disney characters (Scar and Zazu) to life on stage. Opposite the villainous veterans are the production’s heroes, played by CST newcomers Tony Clarno and Melissa Espinosa as Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively. They are joined by Bill Larkin as Genie and Joseph Anthony Foronda as the Sultan with an ensemble rounded out by Karissa Barney, Sean Blake, Alex Goodrich, Jillian Jocson and Erik Kaiko who will each take on several roles.
Making his directorial debut at CST is Devanand Janki, who recently choreographed the CST commissioned family musical, How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back? Among Mr. Janki’s credits are concerts for the Broadway stage including Hair (director), Funny Girl (choreographer) and _ Dreamgirls_ (associate choreographer). Off Broadway, he directed and choreographed Zanna, Don’t!, for which he received the Lucille Lortel, Callaway and GLAAD Media Awards, and choreographed Junie B. Jones, Henry & Mudge, Cupid & Psyche and Judy Speaks. Janki has also directed at Tokyo Disney among other regional credits.
“What I love about doing Disney’s Aladdin is that it’s not just for kids. The parents love it too,” says Janki. “I think that’s the thing that’s so sophisticated about doing a production like this. There’s something for everyone. And doing it in a space like the Courtyard Theater right here on Navy Pier makes for such a magical and memorable day for the entire family.”