Surrounded by the blindingly bright lights of Times Square, we entered the line for the final hurrah of our long day in New York. Adults and children alike filled the space with excited chatter, some even singing verses from the classic Disney movie, in anticipation. Overhead hung a banner that read, “It’s genie-us,” a punny reminder of what was in store for us that night.
The slow moving cluster of people walked on eachother’s heels, not allowing an opportunity for any sly line cutters to strategically push past them in an act of entitlement. And, believe me, people did try.
Tourist had certainly been sipping the “fast paced, immediate gratification, New Yorker attitude” Kool-Aid that evening. Too bad theaters didn’t have pre-assigned seats or anything
Once we got to our seats, it wasn’t too long before we were greeted by the orchestra and colorful lights that brought new life to the patterned design of the closed curtains. The last few people ran to their seats as the magic and wonder began.
Fast-forward to the end of the show
The faces in the audience held smiles going from ear to ear and thunderous applause filled the theater.
The music, singing, and dancing were fantastic! All the actors were well suited to their roles. And the costumes were gorgeous, with plenty of vibrant colors and sparkling fabrics that caught the light splendidly.
And just guess which character practically stole the show…
You got it! Genie; played by Donald Jones Jr.
His antics were hilarious and his personality was charismatic and fun-loving. You could tell that he was genuinely having a good time on stage too.
I don’t doubt that he would have made Robin Williams proud (assuming that Williams’ didn’t get to see his performance). He was in no way trying to be a clone of Williams’ Genie character, but he most definitely emulated the enthusiasm and quick-witted, joking nature that we all loved about the performance in the movie.
I also appreciated seeing some updated pop culture reference by Genie, especially during the song, “Friend Like Me.”
Another aspect of the show that I absolutely loved was the effects. I won’t go into too much detail here and ruin the fun but, let’s just say, their trap door and hidden wire game was ON POINT!
So, if you’re ever in New York, I would HIGHLY suggest going to see Aladdin on Broadway, especially if the classic Disney movie warmed your heart as a child (I’m looking at you fellow 90’s babies). They obviously went through great lengths to keep that same magic alive.
New Amsterdam Theater, NYC
Center Mezzanine AA (no big heads in the way and an elevated view of stage)
*Note: The Genie shown in this video is James Monroe Iglehart