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Disney's Aladdin unleashes a genie on Broadway

Published on Mar 22, 2014 6:18 AM
Actors Courtney Reed and Adam Jacobs attend the Aladdin On Broadway opening night after party at Gotham Hall on March 20 in New York City. Jacobs (The Lion King) plays Aladdin in the show directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (Elf) while Reed (Mama Mia) is the rebellious Princess Jasmine. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - It has a flying carpet, a cave full of treasures and show-stopping songs, but critics said on Friday the Broadway debut of Disney's Aladdin lacks the magic of the original Oscar-winning animated film.

The tale of the street urchin Aladdin, who wins the heart of Princess Jasmine, unleashes the Genie from the lamp and battles the evil Jafar, was the top-grossing film of 1992, and picked up Academy Awards for best original score and song for A Whole New World. The musical that opened on Thursday night is the latest Disney film to be adapted for the stage, following the long-running and hugely successful Lion King, Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid and others.

Although Aladdin includes new songs, elaborate costumes and sets, dance numbers and a magical carpet that mysteriously floats, it left some critics wishing for more.

"This super-costly extravaganza doesn't do justice to the movie, or to the spirit of the late Howard Ashman," trade magazine Variety said, referring to the lyricist who had the original inspiration for the film.

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