Four stars for Disney's new West End musical Aladdin in London

Four stars for Disney's new West End musical Aladdin in London

Posted On: Jun 16, 2016
By Nicki McIntyre
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    Aladdin, Disney's brand new West End musical, opened last night at the Prince Edward Theatre in London.

    Aladdin received four star reviews from The Guardian, The Stage, The Times and the Evening Standard.

    Michael Billington of the Guardian gave Aladdin four stars, calling the Disney musical "a magic carpet ride to panto land. Impressive stage magic, a gold-dripping design and a party-loving genie make this energetic adaptation of the animated movie a wicked treat."

    He praised Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie, who "treats the audience as if we were guests at his private party, cartwheels his huge frame across the stage and is the pivot of the show’s biggest number, Friend Like Me... Special credit should also go to Jim Steinmeyer for what is called “illusion design” that creates a magic carpet that floats through the air."

    Cast members "Dean John-Wilson is a likable, rough-hewn Aladdin; Jade Ewen lends her Jasmine a touch of fire, [and] Don Gallagher as the scheming vizier is camp of the highest order."

    With four stars, The Stage's Mark Shenton called Aladdin, a "family musical of class, wit and invention - a sure-fire West End hit."

    He called the performance of Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie "hilarious and lovable. There's also some enjoyable colouring from Don Gallagher and Peter Howe as the baddies Jafar and Iago, while Nathan Amzi, Stephen-Rahman Hughes and Richard Sabitri are good fun as Aladdin's friends and sidekicks."

    Shenton also said "Bob Crowley's astonishing designs gleam, glitter and sparkle like nothing else in the West End," and "Alan Menken's irresistibly tuneful score, with lyrics by the late Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, is beautifully rendered under the musical direction of Alan Williams, and director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw takes it all home with a staging that nails every number with brilliant showmanship."

    Henry Hitchings of the Evening Standard called Aladdin "sheer Genie-ous... a show with a well-judged air of mischief and spectacle."

    "The main reason to see this glitzy Aladdin can be summed up in three words - Trevor Dion Nicholas. As the Genie he is show-stealingly brilliant in this lavish Disney adaptation of the beloved early Nineties film. Dusted with glitter, he is charismatic, warm and very funny — never more so than during the infectiously energetic song Friend Like Me."

    He also praised the creative team; "Bob Crowley’s sets are awash with bling and there are some dazzling special effects... Chad Beguelin’s book is puckish and the same goes for the lyrics — partly his work and partly that of Howard Ashman and Tim Rice — while Alan Menken's score is varied and zestful."

    Aladdin is now playing at London's Prince Edward Theatre.

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