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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Disney's Aladdin - Broadway Cast Recording

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,
Riffraff, street rat.  I don't buy that.
If only they'd look closer
Would they see a poor boy?  No siree
They'd find out there's so much more to me.

This year, Disney debuted their new Broadway stage show based on Aladdin.  I feel like it kind of quietly came out since I haven't really heard anything about it!  They had a fun performance on the Tony Awards though which led me to picking up the cast recording and I wanted to talk a bit about the differences between the movie soundtrack and the show's cast recording.  Because there are many differences!

The different orchestration strikes me at first.  "Prince Ali" has a really strong jazzy influence, that makes it almost cartoonish sounding (haha, interesting that the animated version wasn't as cartoonish) and with "A Whole New World" - oh no.  It's pared down, takes a while to build, and begins with Aladdin sort of talk-singing.  It really felt underwhelming somehow.  Granted I am VERY much a fan of the film version.  But according to most reviews, that flying carpet scene in the show is amazing, so maybe it fits better somehow with the scene.

The show begins with a very info-dump-ish version of "Arabian Nights" which is a little long to listen to and the number is led by the Genie I believe.  Fortunately everything with the Genie afterwards sounds amazing! "Friend Like Me" is the crowdpleasing number, and they did something really interesting in this show by having the Genie do a pastiche on other Disney songs including "Beauty and the Beast", "Part of Your World" and "Colors of the Wind".  The Genie, of course, needs to steal the show as often as possible and he does it completely in this number.  It  must be so much fun to watch.  I do think the Tony Awards performance was a little bland somehow, but I hope it was just that performance.

Jasmine has one song which was not very memorable to me - the same goes for Jafar and Iago's song and everything that Aladdin's friends sing (a new subplot to the story).  But I do want to mention how cool it is that the original actor to voice Jafar in the film is playing Jafar in the stage show!

There are a few songs that were originally written for the movie that are now included in the show, but the best one really is "Proud of Your Boy."  I just love this one!  And it lets the actor Adam Jacobs really show off what a beautiful voice he has.  This song gave me chills the first time I listened to it - there's so much emotion behind the lyrics.

I think the highlights of this cast recording are "Proud of Your Boy", "Friend Like Me" and the two bonus tracks where we get to hear Adam Jacobs practice "Proud of Your Boy", and James Monroe Iglehart tries a medley of Disney songs including "Go the Distance", "Kiss the Girl", and "Gaston".  If you are curious about this recording but not ready to buy the whole thing - definitely try the first two songs I mentioned at least!  Of course if I ever get the chance to see this show live, I'm taking it!  Even if I was unimpressed with some of the recording, it's Aladdin.  I have to see it!

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18 comments:

  1. This sounds marvellous, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for it! I hadn't heard of it before this, so I'm wondering whether it has just been really quiet, like you said- still, very excited to hear about this show! I would love to see it one day, and hope to listen to the album in the future!

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  2. Quinn's Book NookJuly 9, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    I am actually going to see this in August. I'm so excited. I have been listening to the soundtrack for a bit. I love the movie soundtrack, so it did take me a bit to warm up to this version, but I really like it now. I definitely don't love A Whole New World as much, but I do still like it. And I wonder if I will feel different when I actually see it in person.


    I love Proud of Your Boy, too. And the Bonus Tracks are AWESOME!

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  3. Ahhh so awesome! LUCKY! I want to see it is SO bad!

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  4. I hope you'll get to see it! I'm sure with these Disney musicals they eventually go everywhere so there will be an opportunity. It's probably much more fun to watch than just listen to!

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  5. OOH that's fantastic! I hope you post about the show, as I'm curious to know what is different! I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, so I can say that I warmed up to the song High Adventure though it still seems a bit silly to me. :) Usually for me though, I really like songs after I've seen them performed, so I might really love the whole soundtrack after I see the show!


    It's great that they included these bonus tracks with the recording - they should make that a common thing with cast recordings!

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  6. YAY LITTLE MERMAID!! I forgot you were going to see it last year! I'm glad they rescheduled it - I can't wait to know your thoughts on the show! Email me! :) I really hope they will be touring near me soon, I would love to see it again.

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  7. I think being an actress must be so fun! I'm glad you stopped by my post, so now I know of someone else who loves musical theatre! :) I'm definitely checking out your blog!

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  8. This sounds incredible! I had no idea this was on Broadway so thanks for putting it on my radar. I've been trying to get my boyfriend to take me to a Broadway show, and this one sounds perfect, though it might take some convincing. Oddly enough, I'm not usually a fan of the Broadway soundtracks until I've actually seen the musical. I guess because then I can imagine it more, having seen it for myself. But after reading your review, I'm tempted to listen to some of these songs! And I love that the same actor is playing Jafar! Now, I want to go and rewatch Aladdin! :P Great post!

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  9. I had no idea they were making a Broadway show for Aladdin! The magic carpet scene would be really interesting to see done in real life! That and the Prince Ali parade, just because it was so lavish

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  10. We are going tomorrow! I will tell you all about it!

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  11. I love the Disney soundtrack, so I will have to check out the Broadway version. This is one of my favorite Disney soundtracks to belt out in my car!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  12. I am the same as you actually! It's difficult for me to like a Broadway soundtrack unless I am familiar with the story and can put the songs into perspective! So I am thinking that if I see this show live I might like the cast recording as a whole much more.


    I hope you get to see this - it's just like seeing the movie live - your boyfriend has to like it! :)

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  13. I am interested in the Prince Ali parade too! I forgot to mention in this post how catchy I thought the changes to the song Prince Ali was on the recording - the timing of it is different but I like it!

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  14. The songs in Aladdin are fun to sing out loud! I was singing along to the songs when I was listening to the Broadway recording too - which only highlighted how different they are to the original for me! :) I hope you will enjoy this version!

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  15. huh... I haven't heard about this broadway show either. Beauty and the Beast is traveling through my city so I am going to go and see that in October. I love Broadway so I bet this a good one!

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  16. Yes, it's strange that talk about it has been so quiet! Oh so great that you are going to see Beauty and the Beast! Have you seen it live before?

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  17. I am so glad to see this post! :) I'm an actress, so it's absolutely awesome to see people within the blogosphere who share my passion for books and music / theatre. Thanks so much for sharing Charlene! <3


    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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  18. Ahhh I want to see this SO bad! We are going on friday to see the Little Mermaid finally..it was cancelled last fall to my disappointment! I need to get a hold of this soundtrack..Aidan will be thrilled at the chance to see this one on stage as it is one of his all time favorite Disney movies!

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