The Genie from Aladdin - The Musical; he's on billboards and trams all over Melbourne, and for a very good reason.
Genie - Michael James Scott, image c/o Deen van Meer
My 8yo and I went to see Aladdin - The Musical last night, and wow, what an incredible experience for both of us. I'll put my hand on my heart and say, Aladdin - The Musical is quite possibly the best musical I've ever seen.
The onstage story replicates Disney's animated Arabian adventure of Aladdin, which follows the journey of an orphaned street boy, who falls in love with a princess. Aladdin 'the chosen one' is matched with a magic lamp, and releases the Genie within it, who grants him three wishes. Aladdin uses his wishes to win the heart of his beloved princess, but of course, things take an unexpected turn.
No expense is spared on this elaborate musical rendition of Disney's timeless tale; I don't think I've ever seen a show so glitzy, nor outfits so sparkly.
Each set wows the previous, but it is the Cave of Wonders, where this musical takes things to the next level, with a set so unbelievably lavish, complete with on-stage fireworks and gold streamers flying out into the audience, matched with a polished toe-tapping "Friend Like Me" performance to suit.
'Friend Like Me' Aladdin - The Musical image c/o Seen van Meer
The next headline song "A Whole New World", complete with a flying magic carpet, is a beautiful scene with a twinkling night sky backdrop. As difficult as it might be, to replicate a magic carpet scene on stage without being too cheesy, Aladdin - The Musical nailed it.
Onto the actors, who rock this musical from beginning to end. Michael James Scott, the only American performer in the show, who plays the Genie in Aladdin - The Musical, is an outstanding performer; so funny and charismatic. His presence on stage is captivating. It is completely understandable, why he the 'face' of this stunning musical, it would be hard to imagine anyone else playing his role.
Ainsley Melham, who plays Aladdin, has come a long way since his Hi-5 days. Playing the lead part in a big name musical, is by no means an easy task, yet Ainsley does a remarkable job, slotting into his role as the cheeky but kind-hearted Aladdin.
Ainsley Melham as Aladdin, image c/o Deen van Meer
Princess Jasmine is played by Hiba Elchikhe, who is new to Melbourne's rendition of Aladdin - The Musical. She does a stirling job in bringing the original Disney princess to life, and has an incredible voice to match.
Much has to be said for the comical villains, Jafar played by Adam Murphy, and his pint-sized sidekick, lago, played by Aljin Abella. Despite being the two 'evils' of the show, my 8yo giggled so much when these two characters hit the stage, because they lightened the otherwise dark nature of their endeavours with a cheeky humour.
In Disney's animated tale of Aladdin, the young street boy has a pet monkey, Abu. This one monkey becomes three people in the on-stage version of Aladdin; Kassim, Babkak and Omar. All three characters, together with Aladdin, make an excellent team, offering moments of fun filled hilarity throughout the show.
The costumes, sets, lighting, acting, dancing and the music performed by a live orchestra, has everything you could want from a big Broadway Musical show. Aladdin - The Musical is lavish, yes, but everything else within it, is at the top of its game, too.
And the humour! Who'd have thought Aladdin - The Musical could be so funny? There are puns-a-plenty, plus a few Australiana quips thrown in for good measure.
Do yourselves a favour, and book tickets to see Aladdin - The Musical ASAP, this is show you must see. Your kids will love it, and so will you.