Disney's Aladdin Jr.
by Kroc Kids

Disney’s hit animated version of Aladdin hits the stage, and Kroc Kids tackled this junior version of the show at the Kroc Center with Director Siobhan Sullivan’s short-but-sweet production of Arabian Nights full of magic and romance and a flying carpet and a street rat who falls for a princess.

I caught the dress rehearsal/school-day show featuring the understudy cast full of young performers learning the trade and learning it well. They were led by Kian Liss as Aladdin and Hannah Pettersen as Princess Jasmine, both delivering their lines well as the two get to know each other in the marketplace. Kian has a good royal wave going on as “Prince Ali” parades into the city in a big Prince Ali number complete with large exotic animals strolling down the aisles, and he does a nice job when figuring out that it’s best to be yourself even if that means not always getting exactly what you want. Hannah has a nice singing voice and demeanor. Together they team up for a good A Whole New World (in a nice touch, Aladdin and Jasmine clones do an interpretive dance to the song as the carpet flies, a chorus around the perimeter joining in).

The colorful supporting cast includes Clelia Cabezas as the Genie that Aladdin discovers, leading Aladdin on his first magic carpet ride (and providing for a good, humorous airline stewardess) and is impressed with Aladdin’s bad side (cleverly getting himself an extra wish) and tries to guide him toward his good side when Aladdin’s plans for winning Jasmine’s hands aren’t doing too well. Sean Boyd and Haley Fletcher team up as the evil Jafar and his evil sidekick parrot Iago, with Sean’s Jafar coolly evil and Haley sporting some good humor and personality as she mumbles whatever’s on her mind or tries to mimic the evil laughter of her boss (which gets her stared down by her boss).

Elsewhere, Antonio Hays makes for a fun and charismatic Sultan. Chloe Campbell is great as a sassy little flying carpet who tells the Genie where to get off. Connor Boyd is a tough head of the royal guards, even when Jasmine is pushing him around. Jasmine’s princely suitors do well, as do their crazed female admirers who are especially nuts over Prince Baba of Ganoush played up well by Leo Azzazi wearing a muscle suit. And the Singing Narrators (Alexandra Van Cleef, Emily Ford, Jessica Merghart, Natali Monks, and Mary Oliverio) nicely lead us through the story as they lead the ensemble through the show, the young actors even doing well after a pause following the microphones going out, the group handling the problem professionally and jumping right back into the moment when the technical difficulties were all fixed up, with everything else going smoothly as the cast perform the many of the terrific songs from the film including Friend Like Me, Prince Ali, and the finale of A Whole New World.

Performs May 22 - 24, 2009

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Aladdin: Kian Liss
Jasmine: Hannah Pettersen
Genie: Clelia Cabezas
Jafar: Sean Boyd
Iago: Haley Fletcher
Dream Jasmine: Kelly Dang
Carpet: Chloe Campbell

Razoul and the Guards:
Parke Funderburke
Christian Hahn
AJ Parks
Connor Boyd

Royal Court:
Leano Azzazi Tristan Kent
Iris Morketter
Antonio Hays
Michael Van Cleef
Jacob Goldman-Needham
Ben Sichel
Luke Babbitt

Singing Narrators:
Alexandra Van Cleef
Emily Ford
Jessica Merghart
Natali Monks
Mary Oliverio

Sierra Nicole Rains
Alex Kelly
Olivia Chaffee
Lindsey Aiello
Katy Johnson
Audrey McPherron
Keilani Joy Spahn
Rhiannon Reed
Morgan Sigismonti
Megan Robertson
Kylie Greaves
Madalyn Rauh
Rylee Olson
Sophia Rogers
Grace Fields
Kira Farquar
Sabrina Guitierrez

Harem Girls:
Tabetha Constancio
Aminah Al-Jaber
Emma Jane Lam

Organ Grinder, Abu the Monkey & Onlookers:
Emily Arkin
Jamie Trevino
Allison Ogul
Christina Isaacson

Jr. Harem Girls:
Evelyn Salayandia
Kelly Dang
Molly Deutschman
Annie Buckley
Aliya Maestas
Yasmina Devos
Chloe Campbell
Monique LeBaron

Allison Walker
Carlee Sichel
Lindsey Aiello
Megan Weber
Kristetn Legerton
Leah Murphy
Isabella Wagner
Cassie Isaacson
Olivia Chaffee
Alexis Robles
Danielle Delgado
Kaitlin Hall

Director: Siobhan Sullivan
Co-Director/Musical Director: Rayme Sciaroni
Assistant Director: Sarah Durrand and Lauren Long
Choreographer: Spencer Powell
Stage Manager: Anna Ashmore
Costumer: Carol Qualin


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