There are no dreams deferred for the producers of the Denzel Washington-led revival of A Raisin in the Sun. In its first full week since its April 3 opening, director Kenny Leon’s well-reviewed revival earned a remarkable $1.18 million, according to figures from the Broadway League covering ticket sales for the week ending April 13. That makes it the fifth highest-grossing show of the week and the only non-musical to cross the seven-figure threshold. And thanks to premium ticket prices as high as $348, Raisin actually exceeded the estimated gross potential of the Ethel Barrymore Theatre by 16 percent. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Aladdin (1-6 of 6)
'Aladdin': The original Jafar talks musicals, hanging with Ursula, and the 'brutal' scene you didn’t see
Last month, an incredible story hit the web about a young autistic child who was able to connect with his father because of a shared bond over Disney movies. The story went viral, but there was someone behind the scenes who is perhaps the reason it was ever written in the first place—Jonathan Freeman, a celebrated member of the Disney family who met the father and son after a performance in Broadway’s Mary Poppins.
While chatting with EW about his role in Disney’s latest Broadway outing Aladdin (in which he’ll reprise his original voice part as the villainous vizier Jafar), the story of Owen and Ron Suskind was just one delightful anecdote that Freeman offered when it comes to his Disney roots. And in fact, the veteran stage actor has kept his Mouse House relationship close to his heart.
Since voicing Jafar in 1992, Freeman has frequently returned to reprise the role whenever the villain pops up in the Disney realm (which is, surprisingly, fairly often). On stage, Freeman has appeared in three of Disney’s Broadway musical endeavors, but his fourth outing is particularly special as he takes up Jafar’s iconic turban once again in the big-budget live-action musical Aladdin, which opened on March 20 at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You said when you first were presented with the idea of reprising Jafar on stage, you were apprehensive. What was your initial hesitation?
JONATHAN FREEMAN: Except for Alan Menken, there wasn’t going to be anybody on the project from 23 years ago, and although that seemed like a great thing for the show and a challenge even for me, I wasn’t sure that I had anything new to bring to the table. And I think that was all it was. And then the first time we had a read-through with the company in Seattle three years ago, I heard all these new voices with all these new ideas. I heard things differently.
Disney can show you the world. Shining. Shimmering. Splendid. And given the mid-show standing ovation for “Friend Like Me” at every performance of Broadway’s Aladdin and the oohs and aahs of the young children who witness the literal magic carpet ride the show depicts, it’s safe to assume that Disney has its latest long-runner. (Now whether it can ever unseat The Lion King as the fourth longest-running show ever is another question.) In other news this week, Chris Pine and Lauren Ambrose will be taking on Sam Shepard’s lovers-in-squabble drama Fool for Love for three weeks in Williamstown, Mass. this summer, Daniel Radcliffe spoke to EW about his return to the NYC stage as the lead in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, Norm Lewis will become the first African-American to star as Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, beginning May 12 (opposite his Little Mermaid costar Sierra Boggess), and Tony winner Nina Arianda makes a long-awaited return to the stage (Off Broadway this time) in a new period play (click on the links below for reviews of this and other new productions of the week below). READ FULL STORY
Make way for Prince Ali: The cast of Disney's 'Aladdin' previews magic carpet ride of a Broadway musical
With the colorful world of Agrabah, an Academy Award-winning score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, and some of the most memorable lyrics of Disney’s golden age, it seems like Aladdin — the 1992 animated classic about a street rat and his magic lamp — was always destined for stage treatment. And next week, the flying carpet will soar at the New Amsterdam Theatre, when Aladdin begins previews ahead of its March 20 opening.
At a recent “meet the press” event, EW chatted with the show’s director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw, co-lyricist/book writer Chad Beguelin, and principal cast — including Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Courtney Reed (Jasmine), Jonathan Freeman (Jafar), and James Monroe Iglehart (Genie) — about bringing the musical to Broadway.
Darren Criss surprised fans recently with an impromptu performance at the NYC gay piano bar Marie’s Crisis. The Glee star played the piano while singing “A Whole New World” from Aladdin with Tony-winner Lea Salonga, who provided the singing voice of Jasmine in the original 1992 Disney film.
Criss made his Broadway debut last year in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. With the end of Glee near, may we suggest another musical he could step into? He already knows the words to at least one song!
Check out the video below:
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Several of the films in Disney’s beloved Renaissance period — that is, the golden era of animated films that includes classics like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King – have already been turned into big, beautiful Broadway musicals by the folks at Disney Theatrical. Now, there’s a new movie being prepped for the stage, and EW has your first look at the production!
The latest Disney tale to hit the proscenium is Aladdin, the 1992 musical fantasy about a street urchin who finds a magic lamp and releases a genie (iconically voiced by Robin Williams). The show is currently previewing at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, where it’ll run through January 5, 2014. Adam Jacobs stars as the titular pauper, with Courtney Reed as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie, and in an exciting casting coup, Jonathan Freeman will play Jafar, the role he created in the film.
The creative team for the show is downright magical: Tony winner Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs, with sets, costumes, and lighting by acclaimed designers Bob Crowley, Gregg Barnes, and Natasha Katz, respectively. With the help of bookwriter Chad Beguelin, Disney maestro Alan Menken has composed new songs for the full score, which includes the classics from the film (like “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me”) which Menken collaborated on with lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
Now that you’ve got all the info, check out EW’s exclusive sneak peek at the magical stage production going on in Toronto. The magic carpet will fly into Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre beginning February 26, 2014.
If you’re having trouble with the ‘Launch Photo Gallery’ button, click this link to see the Aladdin First Look photos.
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