What makes Arabian Nights an Effective opening number

Like any musical, there is always an opening number. The opening number can get you emotionally attached to the musical. They also have to make sense for the musical. Aladdin has one that is quite effective: Aladdin’s opening number, Arabian Nights, is quite effective. I will try to explain.

In Arabian Nights, it is sung by the Genie, one of the major characters. You get to know what Agrabah is. In so many ways, the opening number foreshadows different parts of the story. You are introduced the principal and supporting characters- even though you may not know their names yet- that is if you haven’t seen Aladdin.

Power Hungry Villains

There are various kinds of antagonists in musicals. There are the typical antagonists who are not evil- but good- so they do not fit the profile of villain. Then you eventually get to those antagonists who are defiantly villains- they are the ones who are evil, who have no redeeming quality about them. Some villains are power hungry. What power hungry villains can I think of? SPOILERS- sometimes you do not know they are power hungry or a villains until much later on. That is why it can be a spoiler.

  1. Jafar
  2. Scar
  3. Hans
  4. The Wizard
  5. Madame Morrible.

I can’t believe I can’t think of any more. I know there are more, but I just can’t think of you they are at the moment.

Can you think of any others?

A Magic Carpet Ride

Yesterday, I went to my second musical with Club Blume. One of the things I love is that before the show is that we get to enjoy a pre-show party. That musical would be Aladdin- the last musical and show of Blumenthal’s 2018-2019 season.

Cast:

Aladdin: Jonah Ho’Okano

Genie: Korie Lee Blossey

Jafar: Patrick R. Brown

Iago: Reggie De’Leon

Jasmine: Kaenaon Alani Kekoa

Babkak: Zach Bencal

Omar: Ben Chavez

Kassim: Colt Prattes

Review:

My mom and I had incredible seats- row B right near the center of the balcony. With Club Blume- all you can say is what section you want; not what seats you want.

Korie Lee Blossey as the Genie always knows how to make an incredible entrance. His “Friend Like Me” was incredible. He felt like the genie in my eyes. In Charlotte, this was his second day as the Genie.

Jonah Ho ‘Okano as Aladdin was amazing. Just like the Genie, his Aladdin journey began in Charlotte. During “Proud of Your Boy”, I got a little emotional. I began to feel chemistry between his Aladdin and Kaenaon Alani Kekoa’s Jasmine during the song he was singing between his Aladdin and his three friends. Even though there was no Abu, Aladdin’s friends were a wonderful substitute.

Kaeonaon’s Alanı Kekoa’s Jasmine was amazing from the moment I saw her. She especially started to shine during “These Palace Walls”. I loved when she started to have chemistry during Aladdin, which was in the middle of the song Aladdin sang with his friends. During their first duet, “A Million Miles Away”, the chemistry started to get stronger. It only started to get weaker when Prince Ali (who is Aladdin) arrived, which showed her reluctance towards marrying a prince. The question is why did she trust Prince Ali on the magic carpet during “A Whole New World”, which is Aladdin and Jasmine’s main love song.

It is hard to know what to think of Patrick R. Brown’s Jafar. However, I know what to think of Reggie De’Leon’s Iago, who is Jafar’s sidekick. Reggie was hilarious- in almost every time he even said anything, you couldn’t help but laugh along despite being the villain’s sidekick.

When it comes to Zach Bencal, Ben Chavez, Colt Prattes as Babkak, Omar, Kassim, I loved seeing the three of them. I do not know what it was about the three of them. I somehow knew I loved those three. I loved their relationship to Aladdin. They were an incredible substitute-Abu is in the two movies: so like I said, an incredible substitute.

Songs:

  • This is mainly about the added songs to the stage show. I loved the added songs. It gave the show more texture and complexity and emotional value to the characters and plot. Songs like “Proud of Your Boy”, “A Million Miles Away”, and “These Palaces Walls” are just some of the added songs I loved- like I said earlier I got a bit emotional during “Proud of Your Boy”.

Staging

Costumes:

  • I loved all the sparkly, glittery, and colorful costumes. I even loved the costumes that were not- like Aladdin’s costumes before he dressed like a prince. Each costume fit each character perfectly.

Set:

  • I was expecting to be loving The Cave of Wonders set, and I did love it. It was full of gold, and it was also the same place where “Friend Like Me” takes place and where the magic lamp is located. Every set is amazing- another set I love is the night sky- that is where “A Whole New World” takes place. Literally the magic carpet does fly in this stage show.

Choreography/Spectacle:

  • From fight scenes to dancing to flying on a magic carpet to lights going around the entire theatre to fireworks, etc. I loved the sight of it all. Aladdin is a stunning show to just look at

A Whole New World- Review

One of the 2019 movies I wanted to see the most was the live action movie of Aladdin. I didn’t want a carbon copy of the cartoon- I wanted to be original. Like Beauty and the Beast, I had to relearn Aladdin in so many ways, but in so many ways I still knew Aladdin. The “Whole New World” is the song that I looked forward to the most.

Aladdin was worth it, and grabbed in you quickly. If a movie grabs you in fast, that does say something.

Songs:

Still has all the songs I know- One Jump Ahead, Friend Like Me, A Whole New World (favorite Aladdin song), Arabian Nights, Prince Ali.

The new song, Speechless, made me love Jasmine more. It was a lovely addition to her character. It made her stronger. I loved that this song was included.

Plot- Spoilers (little or possible spoilers):

This story is basically a story being told- on a ship. There is a slight difference about when Aladdin and Jasmine meet. “One Jump Ahead” usually happens before those characters meet. At the beginning of the story, after “Arabian Nights”- Aladdin and Jasmine meet. So “One Jump Ahead” occurs right after the two of them met. As expected-Aladdin and Jasmine get together.

I don’t remember this at all- but something happened in Aladdin. The Genie and Dalia do fall in love. I saw it happen. I only think of Aladdin and Jasmine- its all because of “A Whole New World”.

I am not going to say the entire plot- still basically the same plot, but a few changes.

Characters:

Aladdin: Mena Massoud

  • How can you not love Aladdin? Yes, street thief, but does he do it for selfish or selfless reasons? He has to survive somehow. There is more to him than being the street rat everyones him to be. It is just him and Abu, his funny and curious monkey. He is clever and does have his flaws. He is loyal when it comes to Abu. You can see that all in Mena’s Aladdin, and he does have an incredible voice as well.

Abu:

  • You can easily fall in love with Abu. It is Aladdin’s monkey pet. Abu is funny and curious, which can get Aladdin in trouble at times. There is no way to dislike him- it is impossible.

Genie: Will Smith

  • Will Smith is defiantly not a terrible Genie. He is an incredible Genie. The Genie is one of the characters I love in Aladdin. I love the magic and charm of the Genie and Will showed that. He was an incredible singer, which I first noticed during “Friend Like Me”.

Jasmine: Naomi Scott

  • Aladdin and Jasmine are one of my favorite Disney couples. Now, I love the two of them even more. I don’t know what it was- did it have something to do with Naomi and Mena or was it because it was live action?”. I don’t know know why. Part of why I loved Naomi as Jasmine had to do with “Speechless”. That song added a strength and complexity to Jasmine I never knew was in her- making her a better princess. In addition, she was able to stand up to Jafar- showing that strength and complexity even further.

Jafar: Marwan Kenzari

  • As expected, don’t like Jafar. Don’t like Iago either- they are connected after all. I don’t know if Marwan seemed like a villain or not- even though he was supposed to- but in some ways it worked. That means, Marwan was hiding the truth to others.

Magic Carpet:

  • Why did I even put Magic Carpet here? Yes, both the cartoon and the live action have the Magic Carpet. In this version, the Magic Carpet actually acted as a character in this version. I loved that was more of a character- I love the use of it. I love it the most during “A Whole New World”, the love song. Still, seeing it play off as character made it have more personality.

Costumes/Set:

Set

  • Together, I loved seeing it. They perfectly created Agrabah in my opinion- from the palace to where Aladdin lived to the market. Even where Jafar banished Aladdin to. The Cave of Wonders- what when you walk in, there is no treasure- so you are wondering what is so “wonder” about that cave? You walk further down, and then you see only see one thing- just one. At the very end- that is where the most treasure is- combo of the gray you just saw and all the treasure- I was expected a lot of golden- and none of the gray I just saw. Does make those though- it is a cave after all, but at the same time full of wonder.

Costumes

  • Beautiful especially Princess Jasmine’s
  • Love Aladdin’s- both of them, but love the Aladdin look the best
  • Beautiful for Genie
  • All of Agrabah
  • It is hard to dislike costumes in their home

After watching this movie, I want to see the stage show more than ever. I still don’t know if I am seeing Aladdin at Belk Theatre in September, but want to. Aladdin is one of my favorite musicals.