Get ready to be transported to the mystical and magical world of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights when Scottsdale Desert Stages Children’s Theatre opens is new production of Disney’s animated classic Aladdin this Friday on its Main Stage. Aladdin and its magic carpet will weave their unquestionable enchantment from May 21 through June 20. The musical, most definitely for all ages, will play Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday at 1 PM and 3 PM.
The stage version has a book and additional lyrics by Jim Luigs. It has been adapted from the original screenplay by Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast) as rewritten by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Several characters and plot elements are also based on the 1940 film masterpiece The Thief of Bagdad. The Academy Award winning score is by Alan Menken (music), with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. The beloved songs have been adapted and arranged for the stage by Bryan Louiselle.
The stars of Scottsdale Desert Stages Children’s Theatre Aladdin Jr.
The original animated feature was a smashing success thanks, in no small part, to the involvement of Robin Williams as the delightfully, hilariously deranged Genie. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score and Best Music, Original Song for A Whole New World.
Aladdin (translated from the Arabic, meaning nobility of the faith), was suggested by Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp, one of the tales of found in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights) attributed to Scheherazade, Persian queen to Shahryar. In fact, the story of Aladdin was added to the collection of tales by French archaeologist Antoine Galland (1646 to 1715). His version of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights appeared in twelve volumes between 1704 and 1717 (posthumously) and became a huge influence on subsequent European literature and attitudes to the Islamic world.
Princess Jasmine and Aladdin in DST’s Children’s Theatre Aladdin Jr.
The film transferred the original setting from China to Agrabah, City of Enchantment, where every beggar has a story and every camel has a tale (uh,tail)! All of your favorite characters are here in this stage adaptation of the Disney hit, including Aladdin, Jasmine, and of course, the madcap Genie. Most of all, the tuneful, Academy award-winning score with songs including A Whole New World and Friend Like Me will certainly make this musical a favorite for many years to come! With two casts of 180 children hailing from throughout the entire metropolitan area, Aladdin is filled with magic, mayhem, and flying carpet rides. Audiences’ spirits will undoubtedly soar with joyous excitement.
THEATER TRIVIA: The Disney film was preceded by a TV and stage version by none other than Cole Porter, one of his last works for the theater. Aladdin by Porter (music and lyrics) and S. J. Perelman (book) was televised on February 21, 1958 on CBS as part of the DuPont Show of the Month. The TV musical starred Cyril Ritchard (Magician; Mary Martin’s Captain Hook in Peter Pan), Sal Mineo (Aladdin), Dennis King (Astrologer), Basil Rathbone (Emperor; famed as filmdom’s Sherlock Holmes) and Anna Maria Alberghetti (Princess).
The magic carpet ride in Disney’s original Aladdin
Porter’s Aladdin was first presented on the stage in London by British impresario Harold Fielding. The musical opened on December 17, 1959 at the Coliseum Theatre starring Bob Monkhouse (Aladdin) and Doretta Morrow (Princess; the original Tuptim in The King and I and daughter in the musical Kismet). Hardly a holiday season goes by without this musical being revived to the thrill of British young and old alike.
Graphic artwork and all stage production photos by Heather Butcher, courtesy of Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre.
Original cast album of Cole Porter’s Aladdin from Sony Broadway
For additional information regarding ticket availability and/or performance schedule for Aladdin, please contact the Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre Box Office either by phone (480) 483 1664 or ON LINE.
Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre 4720 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale 85251