A caravan of wonders has found its way to Singapore.
Thirty majestic elephants come bearing treasures of untold values, followed by an entourage of magical dancers in sparkling costumes. At the heart of this awe-inspiring spectacle is a princess that has so much more to show than just her beauty and grandeur and a “street rat” with a character so colorful it outshines the lackluster poor-guy costume he’s clad in.
At the helm is a genie with a larger than life personality. He appears, and everything else fades into the background. Yes, even the grand spectacle that is the mystical city of Agrabah.
This, my friends, is the kind of scintillating extravaganza that has come to add colors to the already sparkling city-nation of Singapore.
I traveled all the way from the Philippines to behold the wonder. And it was worth it!
A Production of Epic Proportions
Thirty 40-foot containers – the equivalent of thirty elephants – traversed the seas to bring in 100 tonnes of equipment and props to recreate the fantasy city of Agrabah. You get to watch the otherworldly Cave of Wonders, the grand palace of the sultan, and the colorful Arabian marketplace come to life. You’ll be gawking at the Cave of Wonders, which was forged from 120 pieces of gold!
Prepare to be dazzled by 337 glittering costumes meticulously fashioned together using 1,225 different fabrics, 712 styles of beads, and half a million Swarovski crystals.
Renowned actors and creatives flew all the way from Australia, the US, New Zealand, and Canada to bring life and heart into the production.
Costume Fun Facts!
🧞 A single pair of men’s pants in the finale “Friend Like Me” has 1,428 Swarovski crystals
🧞 A total of 712 different styles of beads are used in the costumes
🧞 The show has 161 pairs of custom-made shoes
🧞 1,225 different fabrics are used in the costumes
🧞 There are a total of 337 costumes in the show, based on 136 individual designs
🧞 58 costume changes are done in less than 30 seconds
🧞 108 costume changes take place in less than 1 minute
A Familiar Cast
Are you one of the many Disney fans disappointed by how the 2019 live-action Aladdin characters veered too far away from the original 1992 animated film? This Broadway musical offers a welcome reprieve.
Disappointed by Will Smith’s subdued take on the Genie? You’ll love how Gareth Jacobs takes command of the stage with his flamboyant reprise of the role, using the same rapid-fire sense of humor Robin Williams breathed into the iconic role. And characteristic of the original Genie, he injects anachronistic twists into scenes. The audience had quite a laugh when the Merlion made a cameo appearance.
Didn’t like the younger, harmless-looking Jafar in the 2019 live action film? This musical’s Jafar looks as diabolical as he does in the original Aladdin film, with the veteran Broadway actor Patrick R. Brown bringing in his knack for playing the Disney villain we all love to hate. He’s the same actor who played Scar in the hit Broadway musical The Lion King!
And well, Aladdin is back with his trademark bare chest. We all know you missed that in the live action film. 😉
If you love the Disney Princesses you grew up with, you’d find it quite endearing that Subshri Kandiah looks a lot like the animated princess Jasmine. And you’d be delighted by how she belts out the high notes effortlessly. I’m sure Lea Salonga, who did the original 1992 singing voice, would give her the nod.
My favorite part of the show was when Aladdin sang “Proud of Your Boy”. Isaako put a lot of heart into the performance, and there’s a certain melancholy to the song that I find moving. The performance is unique to the show. Although originally written for the 1992 animated film, the song was not included in the final release. “Proud of Your Boy” was performed in the 2019 live action film, but only in bits and parcels.
The theatrical production of Aladdin also features new characters. The parrot Iago is replaced by a human lackey. Played so impressively by Doron Chester, the character retains birdlike qualities with its squeaky voice and fettered movements. The musical’s Iago is as mouthy, maniacal, and menacing as the 1992 original. And is definitely just as amusing.
Taking the place of Abu, the monkey sidekick, are Aladdin’s human friends and fellow thieves Babkak, Omar, and Kassim, played by actors Troy Sussman, Adam di Martino and Rob Mallet, respectively. It is quite fitting to have three different human versions of the rather neurotic character of Abu. Babkak is preoccupied by his love of food, Omar is positive and naive, and Kassim is abrasive yet righteous. All are conniving thieves, of course, and are deeply loyal to Aladdin. I don’t know about you, but I think these capture the qualities of the original Abu quite well. And they’re definitely an entertaining addition to the story.
Aladdin is a product of the tireless work of creatives who, collectively, have amassed a total of 52 major awards: 20 Grammy Awards, 19 Tony Awards, and 13 Academy Awards.
Disney Theatrical Productions first introduced the hit Broadway musical Aladdin at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 20th, 2014. It has since received critical acclaim, broke 14 New Amsterdam Theatre house records, welcomed close to 10 million people worldwide, and established itself as one of the biggest blockbusters in recent years.
The theatrical production opened in Sydney in 2016, and has made its way through Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland, and Adelaide before reaching the shores of Singapore.
Singapore will be its only stop in Asia, and it will be the final stop for the long-running tour. It will be your last chance to catch it!
Not Everything Is As It Seems
For all its pomp and glamor, Aladdin’s storyline remains to be my favorite.
I will always be enthralled by the idea of a diamond in the rough. People of real substance do not always appear to be society’s idea of a “good person”. A goodness that comes from within. No amount of pretentious niceties can measure up to that. Such is the charm of Aladdin. And the reason he deserved all the blessings that came his way.
And there’s Princess Jasmine who proves to be more than just a sheltered young woman basking in privileges she was born with. She knows her worth goes beyond just her material fortune and refuses to be a mere trophy for people to win over. She wants to be truly seen and heard. And she refuses to take just any suitor!
It’s a relief to see a character who is celebrated for her strong-willed and feisty ways, the attributes us women sometimes get vilified for. We are, after all, expected to be subdued ladies, submissive to the demands of society. Well, we are our own person, and should be free to act so.
Aladdin is one story you can proudly share with impressionable young kids.
It’s your last chance to experience the Hit Broadway Musical! The season ends on September 1, 2019. Catch it while you still can!
Singapore Season: July 21 to September 1, 2019
Venue: Sands Theatre at the Marina Bay Sands
Performance Times: Tuesday to Friday, 7:30 pm | Saturday, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm | Sunday, 1:00 pm & 6:30 pm
Ticket Price: Starts from $68 (excludes the booking fee of $4 SGD per ticket)
For Singapore Bookings:
By phone: +65 6688 8826
In-person: Marina Bay Sands Box Offices (Museum, Theater, SkyPark, Retail Mall, and Hotel Tower 1 Lobby)
For Philippines Bookings:
For Indonesia Bookings:
For Malaysia Bookings: