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> Aladdin - il musical
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messaggio 30/7/2014, 16:29
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http://jimhillmedia.com/editor_in_chief1/b...newest-hit.aspx

Huffington Post -- How Disney "Aladdin" went from being a diamond in the rough to Broadway's newest hit

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PoorPoorFairFairAverageAverageGoodGoodExcellentExcellent Jim Hill 25 Mar 2014 6:30 PM 1
When the reviews for Disney "Aladdin: The New Musical Comedy" finally came in last night, with the New York Times praising this production for its " ... relentless razzle-dazzle and its anything-for-a-laugh spirit," there was no one on this planet that was more pleased & relieved than Chad Beguelin.

After all, it was Beguelin who - 5 years ago - was among the first artists Disney Theatrical Productions reached out to when it was looking to turn "Aladdin" into a full-length stage production. More to the point, it was Chad's conversation with Alan Menken about how Disney's 1992 Academy Award-winning animated feature might possibly be adapted for the stage that suddenly turned this show into something more.


Courtney Reed as Jasmine and Adam Jacobs as Aladdin as they sing "A Million
Miles Away," a new song that Alan Menken & Chad Beguelin wrote for Disney
"Aladdin: The New Musical Comedy." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

"Back then, there was absolutely no talk of taking 'Aladdin' to Broadway. Disney Theatrical had asked me to work up a possible libretto for a stage version of this film only because all of these high school & college theater departments kept writing in, asking if there was an official script available for 'Aladdin' yet," Beguelin explained during a recent phone interview. "So the original goal here was to just put together a straightforward stage adaptation of Disney's 'Aladdin.' Something that faithfully followed the storyline of the original 1992 film which could then be licensed out to all of these high schools & colleges. Maybe even a regional production or two."

But when Chad showed his first draft to Alan so that "Aladdin" 's Oscar-winner composer script could then sign off this project, Menken saw something more. A diamond-in-the-rough, if you will.

"Alan must have liked what he saw in that script. Because the next thing I know, he's talking about how we could maybe fold some of the songs that he & Howard Ashman had originally written for the animated version of 'Aladdin' into this proposed stage show," Beguelin continued. "That's when Alan hands me this file folder which is just full of Howard's original story notes for 'Aladdin.' And then what was supposed to have been this simple, straightforward stage adaptation of the animated 'Aladdin' suddenly became this whole other thing."


James Monroe Inglehart in the role of the Genie in Disney "Aladdin: The new
Musical Comedy." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

And why was that exactly? Well, Howard's original 40-page treatment for "Aladdin" had had a far different take on this tale from "1001 Arabian Nights." Ashman originally envisioned this animated feature as kind of a riff on Bob Hope & Bing Cosby's old "Road" pictures. Which is why -- because Howard wanted this film to have far more of a 1940s feel -- his original inspirations for the Genie were Fats Waller & Cab Calloway.

Ashman also wanted this animated feature to be a real departure for Walt Disney Animation Studios, to be the wildest, craziest, funniest film that they had ever produced. Which is why he originally saddled Aladdin with three comic sidekicks -- Babkak, Omar & Kassim -- not to mention a constantly kvetching mother.

And back in late 1988 / early 1989, WDAS did actually put this version of "Aladdin" into production. Only to then shut production after a few months because they were just trying to cram too many songs, characters and gags into a single 90 minute-long animated feature. So Jeffery Katzenberg -- the then-head of Walt Disney Studios -- pulled Ashman & Menken off of "Aladdin" and then put them to work on the then-equally troubled "Beauty and the Beast." Which -- at that time -- wasn't even a musical but more of a dark romantic animated fantasy.


Alan Menken and Howard Ashmen at a recording session for Disney's "Beauty and
the Beast." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

But what no one knew at the time was that Howard was HIV positive. Which meant that -- by spending his remaining time on turning Disney's "Beast" into a musical -- Ashman then wouldn't get a chance to revisit "Aladdin." Find a way to make his "Road" picture-inspired take on this material work.

But now with Disney Theatrical considering a stage adaptation of this animated feature, here -- finally -- was a chance to revisit Howard's original vision for "Aladdin." So Alan handed off that folder to Chad and asked him to consider folding this material into the show.

"So I took that folder back to Disney Theatrical. And it was full of all of these great comic songs that were cut out of the animated film. This wealth of material that could then be used to turn the stage version of 'Aladdin' into a tribute to Howard Ashman's genuis," Beguelin explained. "But in order to fold all of this stuff into the show -- Aladdin's three sidekicks, all the restored songs -- that first meant making some pretty significant alterations to the story. And given that people were going to be walking into this musical with certain expectations in their head because they already had the film version of 'Aladdin' ... That meant that the stage version of 'Aladdin' was going to be this delicate balancing act. Where we found ways to preserve the parts of this movie that audiences loved, while -- at the same time -- carving out space for all these great new characters & songs."


(L to R) Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Brandon O'Neill as Kassim and Brian
Gonzales as Babkak with the ensemble of Disney "Aladdin: The New
Musical Comedy" as they perform "Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim."
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Thus began the period Chad now somewhat jokingly calls the "1001 Rewrites." As Beguelin began trying to find just the right balance between old & new. It took a pilot production of the show in 2012 at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle -- not to mention a non-Disney produced regional production of "Aladdin" at the Muny in St. Louis last summer -- to really get a handle on what needed to stay & go. But even as a radically revamped version of "Aladdin" began its out-of-town try-out in Toronto in December, Chad & this show's creative team were still making changes to its libretto, were still moving around the placement of those Ashmen / Menken songs that had been cut out of the movie.

"That's why it was so great that we had Casey Nicholaw as the director & choreographer of the stage version of 'Aladdin.' Because Casey's completely ruthless when it comes to his own work," Chad said. "Take -- for example -- the number we used to open the show with, 'Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim.' Casey's original idea was to have Aladdin & his three sidekicks open the show performing circus-style tricks while they stood in front of the curtain singing these really funny Howard Ashman lyrics. But when that didn't wow the audience, Casey said 'Okay. We're going to move the 'Babkak' number to later in the show, restage it with the entire cast so it then has lots more energy. In the meantime, let's restage the opening so that we now have the Genie start off the show by singing 'Arabian Nights.' " So that's what we did. We moved some songs around as well as writing a new number for Jasmine. And by the time previews began in New York City, the Genie was now opening the show by leading 'Arabian Nights,' our new scene-setting opening number for 'Aladdin' ."

Truth be told, Beguelin wrote four new songs with Menken for the stage version of "Aladdin," "These Palace Walls," "A Million Miles Away," "Diamond in the Rough" and "Somebody's Got Your Back." All with an eye toward making sure that these tunes matched the style & the tone set not only by the six songs that Alan wrote for the film with Howard but also by "One Jump Ahead" & "A Whole New World." Which Menken actually wrote with Tim Rice for "Aladdin" after Ashman passed away in March of 1991.


(L to R) Chad Beguelin, Casey Nicholaw and Alan Menken onstage at the New
Amsterdam Theatre for the opening night of Disney "Aladdin: The New
Musical Comedy. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

And in the end, that five years of hard work paid off this past Thursday night. With critics like Charles Isherwood at the New York Times praising "Aladdin" for its " ... extravagant musical numbers" which " ... pay energetic tribute to everything from the Cotton Club and Las Vegas to vintage Hollywood and current Bollywood."

And all of this happened because -- when Alan Menken looked at Chad Beguelin's script for a stage version of Disney's "Aladdin" -- he saw a diamond in the-rough.


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Scissorhands
messaggio 30/7/2014, 16:30
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http://www.cartoonbrew.com/theater/disneys...film-97881.html

Disney’s ‘Aladdin’: The Broadway Musical vs. The Animated Film
BY C. EDWARDS ON SUNDAY MARCH 30, 2014 6:00 PM
Comments 15


After three years of tryouts and short runs in a total of four different cities, Disney Theatrical’s version of Aladdin finally opened on Broadway March 20th at the New Amsterdam Theatre. It is the fifth Disney animated movie to be adapted for the Broadway stage (Beauty and The Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan and The Little Mermaid precede it) and with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland and Frozen in various phases of development, it certainly won’t be the last.

So now that it’s here, how does it compare to the animated Aladdin we all know and love? After seeing the musical a few days ago, here are my observations. (Spoilers ahead.)


STORY & SONGS

The story is a mash-up of the movie version and an earlier version that songwriters Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman wrote after working on The Little Mermaid. In their version, Aladdin, much to the chagrin of his mother, is a busker who spends the days singing on street corners with his three layabout buddies Babkak, Omar and Kassim. In the Broadway version, Aladdin and his friends are thieves who are trying to go legit by becoming street performers. While the addition of these characters leaves no room for Abu the monkey, Aladdin’s three friends are one of the most entertaining elements in the musical.



All of the songs from the movie are featured, alongside four new ones written for the stage by Chad Beguelin, and three of the songs cut from the original treatment, “Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim” (performed above at the 2011 Seattle tryout), “High Adventure,” and “Proud of Your Boy,” a ballad that Aladdin sings to his mother. You may remember the latter as the song from a segment in the deleted scenes of the Waking Sleeping Beauty DVD, where storyman Ed Gombert breaks into tears trying to explain why no one wanted to see it cut from the film. It’s nice to see Aladdin (played by Adam Jacobs) finally get to sing the song to his mother. Unfortunately, he sings it to her in absentia, because she is dead—poor lady just can’t seem to catch a break.


A GENIAL GENIE

The Genie opens the show with the song “Arabian Nights,” but doesn’t return until towards the end of Act One where he kicks, flips, and riffs his way through a show-stopping version of “Friend Like Me.”

In lieu of a shapeshifting cartoon character with the voice of Robin Williams, they put everything into the rapid-fire sass of James Monroe Iglehart, who, with the help of some pyrotechnics, lighting tricks, and sleight of hand, manages to inject much needed energy into the show. Iglehart replaces the celebrity impersonations of the original Genie with pop culture references, self-aware commentary, and other fourth-wall breaking shenanigans. He even joyfully transitions “Friend Like Me” into a medley of popular songs from Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Pocahontas in a soulful style reminiscent of James Brown.


PRINCESS JASMINE

In David Koenig’s book Mouse Under Glass, he recounts that the film’s writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio wrote Princess Jasmine in such a heroic and purposeful way that it all had to be cut out because she was overshadowing the lead. This new version of Jasmine (Courtney Reed) could have benefitted from some purpose, since they’ve removed so many elements from her arc—her father being hypnotized, an overprotective tiger, vamping it for Jafar to help Aladdin—that she’s just a stubborn princess who runs away from home. Her most interesting moment is when, during the heat of her frustration with having being forced to marry, she threatens her father with the idea that she can rule Agrabah alone, without a husband.

When you compare the musical’s grand production numbers with Bollywood-influenced choreography and numerous quick changes, even Jasmine’s songs are unimaginative. During “A Whole New World,” Aladdin and Jasmine are hoisted onto a carpet—a non-sentient one—and they float around in front of a humdrum bed of stars and a giant full moon for what feels like ten whole minutes. At one point, the moon turns into the Earth and you’re left to wonder, “Are they… in outer space?”


BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW…

They really could not have gotten a better actor to impersonate the villainous vizier Jafar, because the actor who plays the role, Jonathan Freeman, also voiced the character in the original film twenty-two years ago. Andreas Deja, Jafar’s supervising animator, reportedly designed the look of the original character based on the actor/singer’s bellowing voice before ever meeting him in person. It’s too bad that the voice is all that Jafar has going for him; his scenes do not expand upon his motivations and are often stolen by the scenery-chewing Iago (a human, not a parrot, played by Don Darryl Rivera). Apparently, a version of the Menken/Ashman/Tim Rice song “Why Me?” was originally in the show at some point (below), but it didn’t make it to Broadway. Instead, once Jafar gets a hold of the lamp, he squanders his wishes (“I wish to make Jasmine my slave!”), spits out a reprise to “Prince Ali,” and experiences a comeuppance that is wholly anti-climactic.


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veu
messaggio 5/10/2015, 23:04
Messaggio #75


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Una delle canzoni più belle del musical è sicuramente A Million Miles Away...
sentitela...

Aladdin e Jasmine possono godere di duetti fantastici, tra i migliori di sempre in Disney e nei musical in generale...


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CostanzaM
messaggio 7/10/2015, 18:26
Messaggio #76


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La canzone "Prince Ali" (una delle mie preferite in assoluto) perde tremendamente di potenza, in questa versione. Non si sente il Medio Oriente, non spacca. Nuovo arrangiamento: BOCCIATO!
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Arancina22
messaggio 25/1/2016, 16:36
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Aladdin, se non è già stato scritto, a quanto pare approderà a Londra quest'anno. Sono passata al teatro dove hanno dato il revival di Miss Saigon e già v'erano le pubblicità e i manifestini dello spettacolo.
Niente male, considerando che c'è ancora Il Re Leone che va alla grande nella capitale britannica. smile.gif Vedremo che sarà.


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messaggio 25/1/2016, 19:13
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CITAZIONE (Arancina22 @ 25/1/2016, 15:36) *
Aladdin, se non è già stato scritto, a quanto pare approderà a Londra quest'anno. Sono passata al teatro dove hanno dato il revival di Miss Saigon e già v'erano le pubblicità e i manifestini dello spettacolo.
Niente male, considerando che c'è ancora Il Re Leone che va alla grande nella capitale britannica. smile.gif Vedremo che sarà.

Che bello *__* spero di riuscire a vederlo, anche se un salto a Londra quest'anno è un po' difficile riuscire a farlo. :/


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