‘Aladdin’ gets big changes for Broadway debut
By Gregory E. Miller
Genie’s not the only aspect of 1992’s “Aladdin” to earn a face-lift for the Great White Way. Here are six more changes…
Sorry, no pets allowed.
The stage version does not feature any animals, save for a couple of elaborate peacocks. That means fan-favorite movie sidekicks like Rajah the tiger and Abu the monkey sit this one out. (Keep your eyes peeled, though, for a shout-out to Aladdin’s little simian pal.) Filling the void is a set of three thieves (Brian Gonzales, Brandon O’Neill and Jonathan Schwartz) who serve as Aladdin’s closest friends.
Iago lost his wings.
Jafar’s evil, wise-cracking henchman made it to the stage, only as a man (played by Don Darryl Rivera) rather than a bird. The script includes a cheeky nod to the movie character, though, when Jafar shouts to the little guy, “Must you parrot everything I say?”
Bad guys just wanna have fun, too.
Jafar — played by Jonathan Freeman, who actually voiced the villainous character in the Disney movie — gets his own song this go-round, “Diamond in the Rough.”
There are even more songs.
Songwriters Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman wrote several songs for the film that didn’t make it in. Three of them (“Proud of Your Boy,” “Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim” and “High Adventure”) are used in the Broadway show.
No shirt, no shoes, no problem?
Aladdin (Adam Jacobs) does bare his abs in a jaunty vest — but unlike his animated counterpart, he gets to wear shoes.
The original version of the film included a controversial lyric in the song “Arabian Nights”: “Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face / It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home!” As in later releases of the film, that first line has been changed to “Where it’s flat and immense and the heat is intense.”