ALADDIN - the musical
This is a short excerpt from the media call. Enjoy!
A Review by Hawk Liu
Sands Theater, MBS, Singapore
The media call (video above) on the day prior to the actual performance didn't hint enough at the intense razzle dazzle we were to witness at the show. The irrestible charm in the music of Alan Menken was already a gem. 'Arabian Nights' was haunting and sticks in my mind long after the show was over, along with the many beauties (all shapely) and be-muscled men (often topless) that danced and sang. The choreography was amazing from start to finish with 24 cast members out of the total of 27 (I counted at curtain call) actively dancing most of the choreography, including Aladdin and Jasmine. Hats off! The big numbers were all treated with the highest order of variety and razzmatazz - just the way I love musicals! The cast were busy making multiple costume changes for each of the numbers, not to mention quite a few onstage instant changes - impressive! I love how the choreography in many of the numbers move the story along, as it should.
The main cast carried off their roles wonderfully. Except for a few gaps in punch lines by Jaafar and Iago, the general pacing of the show didn't let off.
Handsome Graeme Isaako (Aladdin) - amazing dancing, and beautiful Shubshari Kandiah (Jasmine) sang beautifully (phew) and they really looked their parts. Both adorable, they deserve each other. The star of the show has to be Gareth Jacobs as the Genie. OMG! From the moment he entered the stage, he never stopped giving out infectious energies. He teased the audience, he joked, he worked the stage and showed off his big, big personality. That guy can dance and sing your socks off anytime. The melodic interpolations in some of the numbers were unexpected and amazing. I hadn't seen the show before this and didn't think a live person can do so much on stage!
The stage action was tight and the costumes were definitely a highlight. At the backstage tour the day before, we saw how much material was put into most of the costumes. There were tanning booths too to make sure the actors all had their amazing, brown skin tones on stage.
This is one musical I want to come back to Singapore again and again. Considering that this would be the only stop in Asia, better to catch up while you can!