REVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Disney’s Aladdin First National Tour

Book by Chad Beguelin.

Music by Alan Menken.

Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice & Chad Beguelin.

Directed & Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw.

Produced by Broadway In Chicago.

At the Palace Theatre, Chicago.

Glitz and glamor ignite Disney’s Aladdin.

After acclaim on Broadway from its 2014 opening, Disney’s  Aladdin arrives for a five-month engagement at the Palace Theatre here in Chicago. Based on the 1992 animated Disney film, Aladdin, the Broadway musical is an old fashion glitzy and glamorous musical filled with eye-popping sets and costumes. With several lovable characters, popular heroes and a delicious villain together with several manic show-stopping musical numbers. Aladdin presents as a classical Golden-Age musical.

For those who have never seen the Disney film, like me:  “When street rat Aladdin (Adam Jacobs) frees a genie (Anthony Murphy) from a lamp, he finds his wishes granted. However, he soon finds that the evil, Jafar (Jonathan Weir) has other plans for the lamp — and for Princess Jasmine (Isabelle McCalla). But can Aladdin save Princess Jasmine and his love for her after she sees that he isn’t quite what he appears to be? See this musical to experience the adventure.

Told with a manic staging and tuneful fun dance numbers including the extravaganza show-stopper number “Friends Like Me,” we are impressed, invigorated and entertained. This show is pure glitz with modern pop cultural comic references presented by a cute genie, a charismatic Aladdin and a host of determined supporting players. This is a fluff piece designed to appeal to fans of the animated film yet also designed more for lovers of Broadway musicals. At 2 hours, 30 minutes, Aladdin may not be for all children?

But the energy, pace, and sweet presentation together with the lovable Aladdin, his three friends and the mensch genie make for wholesome folks to cheer for. Princess  Jasmine presents a strong woman determined to live and love on her own terms. We do see good prevail over evil and sacrifice for good as winning virtues in this family-friendly musical.

This is a fresh new musical that is a welcome addition to this spring and summer theatrical offerings in Chicago. Aladdin is worth seeing,  so take the kids and those who grew up on this 1992 Disney film.  to the Palace Theatre.


Tom Williams.

At the Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL, call 800-775-2000,, tickets $44 – $153,  running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes with intermission, through September 10, 2017.