3 New Songs in Aladdin Musical

In an interview with Broadway World held composer and lyricist Chad Beguelin he revealed that pretty much all movie cut songs make their grant debut on Aladdin the musical. He mentioned Proud of Your Boy, Call Me a Princess, Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim and High Adventure. Plus a couple of new songs he co-wrote with Alan Menken they are A Million Miles Away, Somebody’s Got Your Back, and A Royal Wedding. We already knew Why Me is back edited in so I have to assume Count On Me and Humiliate The Boy aren’t in because they are similar to Proud Of Your Boy and the earlier mentioned Why Me.
How Quick They Forget might still be in, I mean if they put back Aladdin’s pals why not this song. I remember that Alan told that Howard’s heart broke when Aladdin’s mom was nicked back in the early nineties and so Proud of Your Boy got strike through as well. I love that has in memory of Howard this song makes it’s come back.

As for the new songs it’s everyone’s guess where they are placed and if they push the story forward. Here’s my 2 cents. A Million Miles Away could take place when Aladdin is fighting his back to Agrabah after he is send to the ends of the earth. I imagine there’s room to expand there give Al more obstacles to overcome before the reaches Carpet. Somebody’s Got Your Back could be a bonding song between Aladdin and Genie after A Friend Like Me and before Prince Ali. Or perhaps it’s further up in the show. It’s complex without knowing how the story is structured now. A Royal Wedding makes me believe the AWNW reprise is expanded to a full song near the end of the show although in the Disney film musical adoptions I’ve seen it’s common to reprise the main theme song of the show. And there’s the question if Jasmine has a decent song of her own other than that bitchy Call Me A Princess like the Disneyland California show To Be Free. That’s a nice song but I never really like it that much.
With 11 days before the premiere the excitement is getting bigger and bigger.

Courtney Reed sings “Call Me A Princess”

Actress Courtney Reed who will play Jasmine in Aladdin: The New Stage Musical preformed “Call Me A Princess” on New Day Northwest show. The song, as you may know, was written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken while the film was still in it’s early development. Intailly the creators visioned Jasmine as a bratty, obnoxious, spoiled, supervissail girl that only cared about herself and the wealth she lives in. I recall reading that someone, might be Jeffery Katzenberg, commented that it wouldn’t make sense that Aladdin, the boy with the golden heart, would fall for such a girl so her personallity was changed to the kind and loving Princess Jasmine we know and love. In the interview following the performance Courtney explains how the song is used in the musical, as means of scaring the suitors away though I have my doubts it would work. I mean Prince Achmed looks to me like the kind of guy that would like such a brat.
Also Jim Hil has something about Jonathan Freeman and how he ended up voicing Jafar.

Stage Writer Chad Beguelinon Aladdin: The New Stage Musical

Jim Hill talked with Chad Beguelin who was asked to adapt the hit animated movie to a stage musical. While he kept a bit vague on what the stage production exactly will look like when it opens in Seattle in July. He did reveal some details. The most important thing, for us the fans, they don’t mess with the romance between Aladdin and Jasmine. Which to us and most other people who like the movie is, along with the friendship between Aladdin and Genie, the heart of the movie.

That’s why we’re playing the romance of Aladdin & Jasmine straight and sincere,” Chad explained. “That’s an aspect of the movie that people really love. So we’re not messing with that. Likewise that moment when Aladdin gives up his one chance at happiness to win the Genie’s freedom. That’s a scene that audiences are really looking forward to seeing being played out on stage. So we’re preserving all of the heart and the emotion of that moment from the movie.”

Chad Beguelin and the production crew use some but not all of the deleted songs that didn’t make it to the final film.

Of course, there were some drawbacks with Chad’s plan. In order to properly accommodate this material, that meant bumping out the borders of this project quite a bit. Deliberately stepping away from the storyline of this much beloved movie and then doing things like giving Aladdin a trio of street-smart friends — Omar, Babkak and Kassim – to hang out with. Would audiences in Seattle be accepting of a stage version of Disney’s “Aladdin” that differed so significantly from the animated feature?

He also told Jim that it’s still uncertain on what songs will make it to production until the cast is casted. For example he can’t confirm if Jasmine’s solo “To Be Free” written by Alan and Tim Rice for the “Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular” is in it. Chad said to him

“It’s a pretty fluid situation right now.”

Personally I’m afraid this stage production will stray to for from the movie I fell in love with 20 years ago by forcing the story around Howard Ashman’s songs just to pay homage to him. A homage is fine, of course, he deserves it but not on the cost of everything. That they haven’t decided on what songs will make it to the production has me worried, as the premiere is just a few months away. Like wise with the casting being done is May.
This interview does reassure me that they plan to keep Genie as he is minus the pop references. I’m not really familiar with Cab Calloway or Fats Waller. I know Cab from Blues Brothers, a favorite film of mine, with his Minnie the Moocher. As for Fats Waller I probably heard his work in many movies but his name doesn’t ring a bell. So Genie could end up more different than I’ll expect which is ok as as long he keeps his serious tone and doesn’t become a clown.
Another good thing is that because Disney Theatrical is making this stage production for the regional theaters and the international market I see it coming to the small and medium theaters of Holland. Normally it’s Stage Entertainment that brings Disney musicals to Netherlands, they have brought TLK, Aida, BatB and MP here as a big production with a big ticket price in it’s own theater in The Hague. Like I went to see Mary Poppins on Wednesday. Got it as seat 1 row 1 on 1e rang which you can compare with Orchestra rang the New York production that cost me 89 euro plus 18 euro train ticket and a small amount for the tram in the Hague. Prices of the other Disney productions where simelair. When this Aladdin production comes here it’ll be a whole lot cheaper I imagine because it’s A) smaller, B) probably different production company, C) in smaller theaters.

Anyway let’s wait a few more months and see what they cooked up.

Rare Disney’s Aladdin Alternate Endings video

As you might know in an earlier script the peddler would reveal himself to be genie. A demo of Arabian Nights Reprise ended up on Music Behind the Magic, a four cd box with music and songs from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. This set included Proud of Your Boy and various other songs that didn’t make it to final film like Humiliate the Boy and Count on Me all three where on the special edition DVD. A missed opportunity was to include this song with storyboards.

The creators of Aladdin and the King of Thieves, the third and last Aladdin film in where Aladdin meets his long last father Cassim and finally marries Jasmine, liked the song so much they used at the end of the film. This and the marriage scene made me often feel a bit down when I thought that there would be no more Aladdin after this. Al and co made a few cameo appearances and Jasmine got her own little film but it’s not the same.