Disney announces dream cast for Aladdin

Disney Aladdin Australian CastDisney Theatrical Productions have announced an exceptional group of Australia and New Zealand’s most outstanding musical theatre performers and exciting fresh faces for its new musical comedy, Aladdin. They will be joined by Broadway performer Michael James Scott in the role of the Genie.

Based on the classic Academy Award-winning animated film, Aladdin will open in Sydney at the Capitol Theatre in August 2016. The dream cast for Aladdin has been achieved after intense and competitive auditions throughout Australia. It will be one of the most diverse multi-cultural casts to appear on the Australian stage.

American performer Michael James Scott will play the pivotal role of the Genie. Michael has performed in many Broadway shows including the original company of The Book of Mormon, the 2010 Broadway and London revival of Hair, as well as playing in the original ensemble in the Broadway cast of Aladdin. He was most recently seen in Casey Nicholaw’s third current Broadway hit, Something Rotten.

Joining him will be the exciting new discovery Ainsley Melham making his mainstage debut in the title role of Aladdin. Ainsley is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). The principal cast features international musical theatre star Adam Jon Fiorentino (Saturday Night Fever, Mary Poppins) as Kassim, stage & television performer Adam Murphy as Jafar and Robert Tripolino in the role of Omar.

Filling out the principal ranks is one of Australia’s most accomplished character actors and musical theatre stars Troy Sussman as Babkak and stage and television actor Aljin Abella as Iago. The distinguished New Zealand actor George Henare will play the Sultan. The search for the coveted role of Jasmine continues and casting will be announced at a later date.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the show features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act, Little Shop of Horrors), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer). With a book by Beguelin, Aladdin is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Something Rotten).

Adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including One Thousand and One Nights – Aladdin is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance.

This new production features a magnificent score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack, and additional music and songs written especially for the stage. Aladdin opened on Broadway to critical acclaim in March 2014, quickly establishing itself as the biggest blockbuster in recent years – welcoming more than 1.2 million people and breaking house records at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, grossing over $500 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation) and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. 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.

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, five-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.

For more information, and to join the waitlist for tickets (on sale 8 March 2016), visit: www.aladdinthemusical.com.au for details.

Image: Michael James Scott, Ainsley Melham, Adam Murphy, Aljin Abella, George Henare, Adam Jon Fiorentino, Troy Sussman, Robert Tripolino will star in Disney’s Australian production of Aladdin