Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Aladdin

I got to see the Aladdin play in San Francisco, the week of Thanksgiving. It was fancy, especially the costumes.

Me, I'm kind of a rube when it comes to plays. I'm just as happy seeing the Broadway version as I am seeing the theme park version. (Do they still do the Aladdin play in California Adventure?) This one clearly has higher production values, and it's longer, but I found both to be humorous and enjoyable.

My favorite character was Aladdin, but the Genie was the crowd favorite. I think they played up the roles of Genie and Jasmine, because those characters are so popular. After all, thanks to the Disney Princess line, you still see Jasmine merchandise in stores today! I remember the first time Mary saw my DVD collection; she called it "the Princess Jasmine movie".

The play gives Aladdin three thief buddies, and it gives Jasmine three maids-in-waiting. So they tried to build up the characters, that way. Aladdin's buddies had three musical numbers, while Jasmine's friends had one. I liked "Somebody's Got Your Back" best of the new musical numbers. "Proud of Your Boy" fit the best with the other songs, probably because it was originally written for the movie.

I did not particularly like "High Adventure", which would have been more palatable if it was half the length. I think also think they stretched out "Friend Like Me" a bit too long, well over five minutes, with two different bridges. Once it hit the second bridge, it felt like they were interrupting the dance number with another dance number! But hey, it's just a Broadway standard to have the "right before intermission" song be super wild.

In general, all the songs are increased in length, by at least a third. They do this by adding dance breaks and new lyrics. One of the new lyrics was something like "it was quid pro quo / now it's quo pro quid". As someone who knows Latin, I had to facepalm at that line. The opposite of quid pro quo is quid pro quo. It means "something for something". It's the exact same word, both times! So lyrics literally translate to "it was something for something / now it's something for something". Switching the two "somethings" doesn't really change the meaning of the words, and it just comes across as silly.

Overall, it was a fun play, and I enjoyed seeing it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess they should have gone with 'it was tit for tat, now it's tat for tit'.

Though that might have made too many people giggle.