The fantasy city Agrabah including the legendary Cave of Wonders and the Sultan’s Palace, the colossal structure which serves as the major setting in Aladdin, will be recreated at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in July.
Base Entertainment Asia brings the grand production of the Broadway sensation to The Lion City ending its three-year international tour. Singapore is its final stop and its only destination in Asia.
The production, which promises an amazing and colorful rendition of the “Arabian Nights,” is not just spectacular, it’s massive in every sense of the word. Imagine, more than 30 sea containers will be transported from Australia to Singapore to fill the Sands Theatre stage with 40 tons of exotic flying scenery and 60 tons of automation for the set.
Moreover, the production boasts a cast of 34 and a staggering 337 glittering costumes, each was made using 1,225 different fabrics, 712 different styles of beads, and almost half-a-million Swarovski crystals.
“I’ve done this for 20 years, and this is by far the biggest show I’ve worked on. The scale of the production is something you’ve never seen before,” production company manager Matthew Henderson told the regional press at a media call held at Marina Bay Sands.
“It’s big, it’s glitzy, it’s glamorous and there’s a huge wow factor. Everything you know from the movie is on the stage. I feel like some of the moments like the carpet has just been amplified and what the audience gets to see and experience at the moment,” Henderson added.
Aladdin, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including One Thousand and One Nights, is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Its journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy, and a timeless romance.
This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.
The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards as Best Original Song. The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The lead cast
The talented principal cast features Gareth Jacobs in the role of the Genie, Graeme Isaako as Aladdin, and Shubshri Kandiah as Jasmine.
Jacobs trained in musical theater. He honed his skills on the high seas as the lead vocalist and vocal captain for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises. He was a Top 24 contestant on The X Factor and played the role of Jimmy Early in Stage Art’s Dreamgirls. He has been understudying Genie, Sultan, and Babkak since the Australian premiere of Disney’sAladdin in August 2016.
“I was lucky enough to go to New York just before I took on the role and met the actor who played the character on Broadway. I kind of got to talk to him about how he created the role,” Jacobs said.
Playing the musical’s male protagonist, Isaako enjoys bringing the iconic character to life. He even mentioned that it’s a huge honor for him to play the part and that he also shares some similar traits with the iconic character.
“I’m quite a busy, on the go, big-hearted person, and to play the role of Aladdin feels right for me. I connect with him quite easily. Then, of course, there’s his cheeky side. I can be quite a cheeky, playful character,” said the Kiwi actor, dancer, and singer.
Isaako grew up in Panmure, Auckland, although the Maori/Samoan performer has spent the past 21 years in Australia where he found fame as an 11-year-old contestant in So You Think You Can Dance, which kicked off his career.
Meanwhile, Kandiah who plays Aladdin’s love interest is relatively new on the theater scene. As a child, she took ballet, classical Indian dance, and violin classes. It wasn’t until her high school years that she fell in love with the world of musical theatre, and decided to pursue further studies in the field.
“It is such an honor to play such a feisty, strong, intelligent and independent woman of color on stage. Jasmine is such a role model for me. I love that she is never afraid to voice her opinion and stand up for what she believes in. I love stepping into her shoes every night,” the actress from Perth said.
The musical is set to open July 21. The shows will be running Tuesday to Friday at 7:30 p.m., every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and every Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Ticket prices range from SGD68 to SGD208 and can be bought online. If you’re a hardcore fan and want to go in a group of four or less, you can also book the box seats that cost between SGD592 to SGD832. Booking fee is excluded.
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