Aladdin: In the Eyes of an Agrabah Outsider

I learned to not have high expectations when I’m about to do something for the first time. Aladdin is the first-ever musical (outside school requirements) that I have ever seen. But I did have high expectations on this one, unlike on the live-action film.

Those expectations were not met. They have been exceeded. Cliche, I know, but that’s just the truth. It was exceptional, to say the least. For a Disney film to be executed on a whole different medium, I was mind-blown — given that it’s my first time.

Arabian Nights in Agrabah – a Million Miles Away

Act 1. The way they introduced the setting did not disappoint. I’m not one to judge choreography and production and all, but they’ve established the extravagance of the whole musical at the very first scene, as led and told by the Genie (Gareth Jacobs). That’s why one week later I’m still LSS with Arabian Nights — true story! Also, I wish I lived in Agrabah – everybody has 0% body fat!

Another scene that stuck with me was Aladdin (Graeme Isaako) and Princess Jasmine’s (Shubshri Kandiah) A Million Miles Away. It sure did add a new flavour to the production — it kept the material from being too much of a children’s musical, unlike the movie.

(Rooftop) Graeme Isaako as Aladdin with Shubshri Kandiah as Jasmine - James Green.jpg

“When you choose to lose yourself who knows what you might find?”

A Friend Like Me

I would like to be a diamond in the rough and be stuck in the Cave of Wonders, please. The golden cave set was golden — literally and figuratively. Seriously, how did they do that?!

This might have been the most over-the-top production for me. Jacobs is such a performer! He just never ran out of breath. His energy definitely matched his backdrop and props. No doubt.

(Friend Like Me) Graeme Isaako as Aladdin with Gareth Jacobs as Genie - Deen Van Meer.jpg

A Whole New World

Act 2. Finally. Here comes Prince Ali of Ababwah. This was my favourite in the movie. I was LSS with Prince Ali for quite a while after we watched the film — ask my friends! It’s super catchy, right?

I can’t help but to compare though, the lavishness of the film to the musical’s. I know, I know, two completely different medium — of course there will be a whole lot of variety in execution. But Prince Ali’s parade was given justice still, despite the limited stage space. His cuteness was enough, anyway.

On another note, the Disney magic will never be complete without the flying magic carpet. My childhood dream to be with a prince on a flying carpet somehow came true that night — sorry, Princess Jasmine. Man, what is that mechanism though? My mom and I have been debating what it was until now. Serious props to the team for making it happen!

(Flying Carpet) Graeme Isaako as Aladdin with Shubshri Kandiah as Jasmine - James Green

My Two Cents

The very first thing I really notice when I watch something — be it a tv series, film, or whatever— is how the cast members are the most talented and perfect fit for their roles. Where was I when talent was being distributed? Fast asleep, perhaps.

In addition, the Creatives for this production intended to not be a straight-up adaptation of the 1992 classic. “Shakesperean” is how they called the way they created this play.

Anyway, Isaako and Kandiah did give justice to Al and Jasmine. You can literally feel their chemistry. I got killing, to be honest. I never noticed how tall and very prince-like Graeme was until the end. He IS Aladdin! And can I just say how does Shubshri have that waistline? It’s just not fair. LOL! But her performance as Princess Jasmine was remarkable. She has the grace of Princess Jasmine and I love how she made me feel the realness of the female empowerment of the role (if that makes sense). Seems like a hugot!

And finally, Jacobs as Genie. All of the Genies I’ve watched were different. Jacobs was your too energetic friend with an almost rifle-like mouth (only kids in Filipino household will get this LOL). To be honest? It seemed like he carried most of the production — acting-wise.

Gareth Jacobs as Genie

But then again, what do I really know about talent?

Love and light,

Shows run until September 1, 2019. Get your tickets here!

2 thoughts on “Aladdin: In the Eyes of an Agrabah Outsider

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