By Barry Reszel
Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway in Chicago did not merely announce Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical, will launch its North American tour in Chicago next year.
They shouted it to a full house at Cadillac Palace.
In front of a full orchestra, Aladdin‘s Director/Choreographer Casey Nicholaw and Broadway stars Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Courtney Reed (Princess Jasmine) and Major Attaway (Genie) took turns with emcee Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, to provide, hands down, the most entertaining press/sales event of the summer. And certainly the most slickly produced.
Performing four songs from the show and offering humor, insight and historical perspective, the summertime promo hoped to jumpstart group ticket sales for Aladdin‘s 12-week Chicago engagement set to begin performances at Broadway In Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601) on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
Aladdin features music by Tony Award® and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon). Scott Taylor is the Associate Director and John MacInnis is the Associate Choreographer.
“Aladdin will be the fourth new production we’ve launched in Chicago in 16 years. Chicago’s canny audiences, its theatrical infrastructure and its stunning theatres make it a peerless town for creating new productions,” Schumacher said. “We are thrilled to return with Aladdin.”
Lou Raizin, President of Broadway In Chicago, said, “We are excited Chicago will be the first North American city outside of New York to see Aladdin.”
Feeding off Broadway in Chicago’s Hamilton ticket frenzy along with the characters in Aladdin, BiC’s Vice President of Marketing, Eileen La Cario added her own suggestion to would-be group ticket buyers. “If you don’t book your group today,” she said, “you’re going to need a genie to get your tickets.”
With that in mind, reservations for groups of 15 or more are now being accepted by calling (312) 977-1710. Broadway In Chicago subscribers also have the opportunity to currently purchase tickets to the production. Single ticket on-sale for the general public will be announced at a later date.
Aladdin opened on Broadway to critical acclaim on March 20, 2014 and quickly established itself as the biggest new blockbuster in recent years, already welcoming well over one million people and finishing 2015 among the top three highest-grossing shows on Broadway. Aladdin‘s success continues internationally with productions in Tokyo and Hamburg and upcoming sit-down productions in London, Sydney and additional cities yet to be announced. NBC-TV raves “Aladdin is exactly what you wished for!” New York Magazine calls it “Musical comedy wish-fulfillment!” while The New York Times hails the show as “Fabulous… Extravagant! It defies expectations,” and the Daily News declares, “Seriously, it’s amazing!”
Aladdin, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.
The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, grossing over $500 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation) and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.
The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards as Best Original Song. The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, five-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.
The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.
Reservations for groups of 15 or more are now being accepted by calling (312) 977-1710. Broadway In Chicago subscribers also have the opportunity to currently purchase tickets to the production. Single ticket on-sale for the general public will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com
About Broadway in Chicago
Broadway In Chicago was created in July 2000 and over the past 16 years has grown to be one of the largest commercial touring homes in the country. A Nederlander Presentation, Broadway In Chicago lights up the Chicago Theater District entertaining well up to 1.7 million people annually in five theatres. Broadway In Chicago presents a full range of entertainment, including musicals and plays, on the stages of five of the finest theatres in Chicago’s Loop including its newly named The PrivateBank Theatre, the Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and just off the Magnificent Mile, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.
For more information, visit www.BroadwayInChicago.com.