note: entire contents copyright 2010 by Janine de Souza
Long before Disney’s animated “Aladdin” hit the big screen in 1992, the original street-smart Aladdin was hitting the streets in the Middle Eastern folk tale “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp”. It’s a story taken from “A Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights).” Wheelock Family Theatre now debuts it’s version of this family favorite with ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP. So fire up your magic carpet because you’re about to enter a whole new world!
Staying true to the original “Aladdin” storyline, Wheelock shows that it’s still got some tricks up its sleeves. From floating wands to the sudden appearance of genies via hydraulic lift and trapeze swing, this production enthralls its young audience. There is a collective gasp of “oohs” and “aahs” as each little surprise is unveiled. Gorgeous costumes and makeup by Melissa Miller and Rachel Sumal make me yearn for my own turban, sequins, and another eyeliner pencil. Additionally, James P. Byrne, who not only directs, but doubles as set designer, transports us with his simple yet enterprising scenery. Billowing columns create interior palace walls and props by Marjorie Lusignan add the “fun” factor with her “mini-me” Aladdins flying through the aisles in classic Wheelock fashion. The whole cast shined throughout. Especially noteworthy is the gorgeous Genie of the Lamp (Kortney Adams), the strong-willed Princess Badroulbadour (Samantha Boucher), the hilariously eeeeevil magician (Larry Coen), as well as the delightful young Aladdin played by Sebastian Kim.
So, forget the “Magic Kingdom” this Easter vacation! Save yourself tons of money and the hassle of Logan Airport by taking your kids to Wheelock’s ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP. You’ll be glad you did.
ALADDIN AND THE WONDERFUL LAMP runs until May 15.