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Thursday, July 30, 2015

A night of theater -- Disney's "Aladdin"

So Friday night we found ourselves on a train headed into Manhattan, arriving at Penn Station at rush hour.

Rush hour.  On a Friday night.  In July.  No, I do not miss commuting.

And I felt like a salmon swimming upstream as we walked uptown towards the Theater District.

A quick stop at the theater to pick up our tickets, then we headed over to Guy Fieri's restaurant for dinner (review to follow) before heading to the show.

My daughters were little when Disney had its second golden age.  The age of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King.  The age of Aladdin.

You may recall that Aladdin was the last collaboration of Alan Menkin and Howard Ashman, and when Ashman died, Menkin paired up with Tim Rice to finish the project.  For the Broadway musical, some Ashman songs that were cut from the movie have been restored,  And Chad Beguelin was brought in to write additional material.

There are some plot changes -- nothing that effects the final outcome.  Iago become a person, and both Jasmine and Aladdin acquire friends in lieu of pets.  The confrontation with Jafar is a bit shortchanged.

The best part was the Genie.   James Monroe Iglehart...when you step into an iconic role, one created by Robin Williams, you have a difficult job.  He doesn't try to be Williams, he makes the role his own, that Tony was well deserved.

The best numbers, of course, are "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali".  Singing, dancing, sparkly costumes.  A wonderful evening of live theater.

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