Real Journey into Fairytale World

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Real Journey into Fairytale World

 

Lasha Chkhartishvili

 

Theatre critic, blogger, member of International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT-IATC),

vice president of international union of theatre critics, General editor of theatrelife.ge, PhD dagree in Arts History

 

If you are lucky enough to visit New York, you should not miss another chance: you should definitely watch (even if you do not love theater) an exhilarating Broadway show "Aladdin" at the New Amsterdam Theater (text by Chad Beguelin, lyrics by: Haward Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beigellen). Indeed, this is a new and unusual interpretation of this well-known fairy tale, which is quite different from the Disney cartoon and the Guy Ritchie movie.

 

The staging of the New Amsterdam Theater has the advantage of live communication with the audience of fairy-tale characters (especially during the pandemic), and the production team offers no less stage effects to the audience than modern cinema allows.

 

And yet, what makes “Aladdin” of the New Amsterdam Theater so distinctive? Limitless imagination, original and organic music (Alan Menken) but authentic scenography (Bub Crowley), a high performing art directed by John Musker and produced by Ron Clements, a large team of ranking professionals and performers who are universal actors (there is no unfulfilled physical or creative task for them) and therefore, they are real stars whose appearance is met by the audience’s applause.

 

“Aladdin” at the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway is a fireworks display, an exhilarating   spectacle that captures and captivates the audience from the very first minute. The tempo-rhythm of the play and the creation of the mood depends on the actor Michael James Scott, who plays the role of Genie and successfully fulfills the mission of the narrator too, he brings humor and a positive mood to the audience. He expends incredible energy throughout the play, but his immense acting resource is revealed in the cave scene, in an episode of Aladdin and Genie meeting - Friend Like Me. The actor Michael James Scott possesses such components of acting as convincing transformation, fascinating vocal skill, and sophisticated plasticity. Obviously, the actor gets tired in the episode mentioned above and he uses an artistic trick (frequent breathing) skillfully to cover up fatigue. For Michael Maliakel, Aladdin's role is a successful Broadway debut. In addition to accurately expressing Aladdin's character, the actor reveals high professionalism, rich acting skills and positivity, which are so important for the actor to become a star. The role of Jasmine is played by Shoba Narayan. Being in good physical shape and looking charming, the actress also manages to convince the audience that there is a real Jasmine in front of them - a dignified, self-assured, kind, just Sultan's daughter. All these qualities are gradually revealed by the actress, just as the character of her heroine changes - at first she looks like a brave and cold young woman, and then she becomes a kind and loving person (and not the daughter of a corrupt sultan). Moreover, the actress sings pleasantly and her velvety voice spreads ointment all over the hall on a wounded and sad heart. In the spectator he stirs a spark of hope and fills the soul with love. Of course, a prominent figure in the play is Jonathan Freeman, an actor who plays Jafar's role, he is familiar to spectators from other Broadway productions, but if you do not have preliminary information about the actor who plays Jafar's role, it is difficult to identify him in such a different role. The professionalism of the actor lies in his artistic transformation and the moderate use of these transformation techniques. No less characteristic and typical character is the parrot Iago, played by Don Darryl Rivera. It is not easy for a person to embody the role of a bird without a mask, but his mask is an inner transformation of an actor who is so strong that the viewer believes that in front of him stands a familiar Iago. Despite the negative nature of his role, the actor brings humor and positivity to the play that kindly predisposes the viewer towards him.

 

"Aladdin" is a real journey into the magical world. The dynamics of the play does not slow down and is constantly evolving. While offering the audience excellent actors, the staging team also enchants the auditorium with a number of scenic effects, the scenery alternates quickly and cleanly, the artistic lighting, sound and other technology components work subtly and create a fabulous world as a whole. To me, the episode of Aladdin and Jasmine on the carpet - A Whole New World - is almost noval, when the characters sitting on the carpet are flying against the background of the starry sky and singing at the same time. This episode causes an indelible impression and admiration on the audience.

 

"Aladdin" on Broadway is a true victory of real art, which exhilarates the audience with intriguing storytelling, original music, rich and dynamic, constantly changing visuals and scenography, with colorful stage costumes and the actors’ unique and universal performance, with a variety of choreographic scores, and by means of using and mastering technical progress in theater.

 

The vast human resources provided by the production team, which were invested in the staging of "Aladdin," have not been in vain. The modern audience has accepted the staging of its era, which will compete unconditionally with all other entertaining cultural events and products. At the same time, this staging gives the audience the belief that kindness always triumphs over evil.

photos from: 

https://www.facebook.com/Aladdin/