"Disney's Aladdin," Tuacahn Amphitheatre, through Oct. 19, 435-652-3300 or visit www.tuacahn.org
ST. GEORGE — In this new stage musical adaptation of "Disney's Aladdin," viewers are transported to the Arabian desert on a magic carpet ride of special effects, musical numbers and a twist of ancient and contemporary humor.
The young street-dwelling orphan who's captivated us for 20 years in Disney's film version of "Aladdin" uses his three wishes from an omnipotent Genie to seek the hand of a beautiful, young princess. Only this time he has the help of three friends, Babkak, Omar and Kassim. These friends set the scene for the production and guide the viewer through a fast-paced, quick-witted adventure complete with 3D special effects, a flying carpet and humor that will keep you rocking in your seat.
The magical journey to Agrabah begins with the orchestra's strains of the well-known classic, "Arabian Nights," during which time live camels are led across the stage and into a new scene of the marketplace complete with other live exotic animals and a set that puts the "Arab" in Arabia.
An entire section of 3D visual effects leading through the "Cave of Wonders" up until after Genie's hilarious rendition of the song "Friend Like Me" provides a unique perspective to Aladdin's journey across the stage. Although the effects aren't entirely realistic, the use of 3D is a unique advantage to the play's staging, enabling the storyline to flow through scene transitions.
A knockout cast completes the show with well-executed song and dance numbers including all of our favorite classics and a few new numbers.
The two leads, Dan Domenech as Aladdin and Haley Carlucci as Jasmine, take the audience on a classic journey of falling in love, convincingly executed with splendid vocal numbers. Carlucci's portrayal of Jasmine shines as she rebels against her father's wish for her marriage, while Domenech's voice shares a pleasant similarity to that of Scott Weinger, the voice of Disney's film version of "Aladdin."
Genie, played by Edward Juvier, gives an ostentatious and witty performance with spot-on impressions of modern celebrities, including Cher and Elmo, and jokes that twist modern and ancient humor. His rendition of "Friend Like Me" presents a showy atmosphere packed with special effects true to the upbeat musical style. Juvier brings the show to life with witty lines that will keep you laughing, but the real piÈce de rÉsistance to his performance are the pyrotechnics reserved for his entrances and exits.
Babkak, played by Paul C. Vogt; Kassim, played by Todd Dubail; and Omar, played by Randy Aaron, provide their own comic relief and interesting twists to the storyline of this beloved classic. While their presence may initially surprise you, the characters' playful demeanor grows on you as they provide vital illumination of the script.
While the musical deviates marginally from the film, the overall ideas stay true to the original tale and take the viewer on a magic carpet-style adventure through Agrabah. With great direction, impressive special effects and playful humor, audiences of all ages will perceive "Disney's Aladdin" as an enjoyable classic worth viewing again.