Casting has been set for the Seattle premiere of Disney’s Aladdin, a new stage adaptation of the hit musical featuring a score by Oscar winners Alan Menken, the late Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. The show will begin previews at the 5th Avenue Theatre on July 7 and open on July 21, directed by Casey Nicholaw. The limited engagement is scheduled to continue through July 31.
The show will feature Adam Jacobs (Simba on the national tour of The Lion King) as Aladdin, Courtney Reed (In the Heights) as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart (Memphis) as the Genie, and Seattle actor Seán G. Griffin as the Sultan. Broadway and Disney vet Jonathan Freeman (a Tony nominee for She Loves Me) takes the stage in the role he originally voiced for the film, the Royal Vizier Jafar, with Seattle actor Don Darryl Rivera as Iago. Aladdin restores a trio of characters originally conceived by the film’s creators: Omar, Babkak and Kassim, played by Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Mary Poppins), Brian Gonzales (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and Seattle regular Brandon O’Neill, respectively.
Rounding out the ensemble are Tia Altinay, Kristin Culp, Nick DeSantis, Ronald Duncan, C.J. Eldred, Daisy Hobbs, David Janett, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Nikki Long, Stanley Martin, Creighton Oliver, Shanna Marie Palmer, Bobby Pestka, Connor Russell, Manuel Santos, Allysa Shorte, Daniel J. Watts and Matt Wolfe.
With book by Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), Aladdin features hit songs including “Friend Like Me,” “Prince Ali” and the Oscar-winning “A Whole New World.” The stage adaptation will include never-before-heard Menken/Ashman songs restored from early drafts of the film. It marks a return to the authors' original vision of a loving homage to the Hope-Crosby road pictures, with a score invoking the jazz sound of stars like Cab Calloway and Fats Waller. “Our goal with this pilot production of Aladdin at the 5th Avenue is to launch this title for inclusion in our innovative professional and regional theater licensing catalog," Steve Fickinger, VP Creative Development and Licensing for Disney Theatrical Productions, said in a statement.
Nicholaw, a two-time 2011 Tony nominee for directing and choreographing The Book of Mormon, is returning to Seattle, where he got his start as a choreographer in 5th Avenue's 2001 production of The Prince and the Pauper.
Aladdin will feature set design byAnna Louizos, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Natasha Katz, dance arrangements by Glen Kelly and musical supervision by Michael Kosarin.