Aladdin and His Winter Wish

Wit and the magic of a well-designed spectacle combine in the beguiling, interactive adaptation Aladdin and His Winter Wish, embellished with comic characters, polished performances and colorful tech and costumes. Directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, Kris Lythgoe's engaging script preserves the basic story of a penniless youth (Jordan Fisher) who garners wealth and the hand of a beautiful princess (Ashley Argota) via a dusty old lamp and a genie (Ben Vereen). It elaborates on this with zany subplots involving the boy's humongous, man-crazed mom (Bruce Vilanch); his clueless, clownish brother, Wishee Washee (Ben Giroux); and his narcissistic evil nemesis (Josh Adamson), whose dastardly stratagems provoke the audience simultaneously to boos and laughter. When his luck runs low, Aladdin turns to the Slave of the Ring, a captivating siren portrayed by dancer Vanessa Nichole. If this sounds like appropriate fare for the kiddies but perhaps not for you, a mature adult, be assured: This is family entertainment in the best sense. In fact, a few of the jokes may sail over the youngsters' heads. Designer Chris Wilcox's dazzling lighting augments a storybook set nearly as vivid as any Disney cartoon. An on-the-mark company of dancers, including children, execute Spencer Liff's snazzy dance steps. One caveat: The vocals are fine, but the inclusion of popular songs from other sources (e.g., "You Don't Know Me," sung by Fisher's Aladdin) struck an odd note; I would have preferred something more original.
Wed., Dec. 11, 7 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 3 & 7 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 24, 3 p.m. Starts: Dec. 11. Continues through Dec. 29, 2013

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Pasadena Playhouse

39 S. El Molino Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101

626-356-7529

www.pasadenaplayhouse.org


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