Aladdin Jr. Brings a Whole New World into Laxson Auditorium, By Amanda Lennon
Welcome to the City of Enchantment, where everyone’s favorite street rat finds himself in a whole new world of carpet rides and chaos. Aladdin, along with his friends, Princess Jasmine, Genie, Sultan, and evil Jafar are bringing music, magic, and mayhem to Laxson Auditorium this May.
Storyteller, formerly known as Playhouse Youth Theatre, has cast local children to bring the classic Disney fairytale, Aladdin, to life on the Laxson Auditorium stage. Showcasing 62 kids, ages 7-16, from around the North State, this musical will feature popular songs from the Disney production of Aladdin as well as songs from the hit Broadway production.
This shortened, “Jr.” version of the story features the fearless young street urchin, Aladdin, and his quest to marry the beautiful Princess Jasmine. But in order to marry her, he needs a little help from his friend, Genie, to turn him into a Prince fit for the Princess. Meanwhile, malicious Jafar and his conniving parrot, Iago, plan to expose Aladdin and force Jasmine to marry Jafar instead, in a scheme to inherit the rights and powers of the Sultan of Agrabah.
“I’m excited about the unique casting and special surprises in this performance,” said Lisa Schmidt, director of Aladdin Jr. and founder of Storyteller, Chico’s year-round children’s theatre.
This will be Schmidt’s tenth year directing children’s performances in conjunction with Chico Performances in Laxson Auditorium, but Schmidt has been directing children’s performances for 15 years.
Garrett Miller, Aladdin Jr.’s co-director, stated that the set, designed by Dave Beasly, showcases the mystical city of Agrabah like a “fantasy pop-up book.” This will be Miller’s first year co-directing with Lisa Schmidt.
Leading the adventure of mayhem and magic are a few returning students and a few new faces. Playing the part of Aladdin is 12 year old Spencer Gosselin from Chico Jr. High School. 10 year old Katherine LeRoux from Rosedale Elementary School will be playing the leading lady, Jasmine. Jasmine’s father, Sultan, will be played by 13 year old Isabel Rodriguez from Sherwood Montessori School. And we can’t forget about the manipulating evil Jafar, who is being played by 16 year old Nicholas Hoover from Inspire School of the Arts & Sciences.
Featured in this junior version are classic songs from the hit Broadway musical show: “Arabian Nights,” “A Whole New World,” and “Friend Like Me.”
Chico Performances is excited to host thousands of kids from surrounding schools during two morning student performances of Aladdin Jr. on May 7th as part of the Chico Performances Field Trip Series. The Field Trip series introduces kids to the world of live theatre every year by offering low cost tickets to teachers and students.
The evening performance of Aladdin Jr. will be held on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in Laxson Auditorium at CSU, Chico and is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online at www.chicoperformances.com or by calling 530-898-6333.