Everything you need to know about 'Aladdin' on Broadway
Learn all about the grand Disney musical before entering into a whole new world there.
Spend an Arabian night at Aladdin, the hit Disney musical that's been bringing magic to the New Amsterdam Theatre since 2014. Nearly 20 years after Disney released the Oscar and Grammy Award-winning film of the same name, the film's original composer and lyricists collaborated once more to bring the story of Aladdin to the stage. The musical had its world premiere in Seattle in 2011 before coming to Broadway, and Aladdin has since won multiple awards and gone on to productions all across the globe.
You don't need a magic carpet to travel to the whole new world Aladdin has to offer. Once you step off the sidewalk and into the theatre, you're whisked away to the magic-filled Agrabah, where a poor street-dweller wins the hand of a beautiful princess with a little help from a magical blue friend. If you want to know more about Aladdin on Broadway, we're one jump ahead of you. This guide has all the details you need to know about Aladdin's plot, characters, awards, and more. We've also included handy information about the theatre and running time to know before going to the show.
What is Aladdin about?
Aladdin takes place in the fictional city of Agrabah in the Middle East, where the titular character, an impoverished young man, lives in the streets. He steals food just so he can eat, but he wants to be more than a "street urchin." He soon has a chance encounter with Princess Jasmine, the daughter of the Sultan who rules Agrabah, and the two commiserate about how they both want more out of life — Jasmine is bored with royal life and wants to marry for love, but is required to marry a prince.
Meanwhile, the villainous sorcerer and royal vizier Jafar wants to steal the throne of Agrabah from the Sultan. He discovers a cave that holds untold power, but only a "diamond in the rough" can enter it — and that person is Aladdin, who has just been discovered with Jasmine. Jafar saves him from being put to death, so Aladdin agrees to go into the cave, where he finds the magic lamp containing the Genie. Aladdin gets three wishes from the Genie, the first of which he uses to become a prince so he can win over Jasmine. He then has to figure out how, within his remaining two wishes, to free the Genie from the lamp, defeat Jafar, and keep the love of Princess Jasmine even when his true, non-noble identity is revealed.
Where is Aladdin playing?
Aladdin is at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The theatre is located at 214 W 42nd St. between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. The New Amsterdam Theatre has been home to Disney Broadway shows since 1997, including The Lion King and Mary Poppins.
How long is Aladdin?
Aladdin runs 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission. This is a typical Broadway musical length, though musicals can run anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours. Intermissions are usually either 15 or 20 minutes long.
What days is Aladdin playing?
Aladdin plays eight performances a week at the New Amsterdam Theatre, with performances usually scheduled every day except Monday. For the complete performance schedule and show times, please visit the Aladdin page to learn more.
When did Aladdin premiere?
Aladdin had its world premiere at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle from July 7-31, 2011. The production took place just under 20 years after the Aladdin film was released. After an official pre-Broadway run Toronto from November 2013 to January 2014, Aladdin premiered on Broadway on February 26, 2014 and had its official opening night on March 20. The show has since gone on to premiere all over the world.
- 2010: First confirmation from composer Alan Menken that an Aladdin musical was in the works
- 2011: Aladdin makes its world premiere in Seattle
- 2013: Aladdin begins its pre-Broadway tryout in Toronto
- 2014: Aladdin opens on Broadway
- 2016: Aladdin opens in the West End
- 2017: Aladdin launches its first national tour across the U.S.
Who wrote Aladdin?
The Aladdin musical features a book by Chad Beguelin, who adapted the 1992 film's screenplay written by Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliott, and Terry Rossio. The lyrics for the film were written by Tim Rice and Howard Ashman, and Beguelin wrote the lyrics for the all-new songs added to the musical. The music for the Aladdin musical and film was all written by Alan Menken.
The Aladdin characters include various people in Agrabah, a fictional city in the Arabian region of the Middle East. They include characters from various classes in society, from the lowly Aladdin to the the ruler of Agrabah. Aladdin tells a rags-to-riches story, seeing Aladdin earn his place among the nobility — with a little magical help — to impress the Sultan, win the princess's love, and defeat the evil vizier Jafar. Below are the main characters of the Aladdin musical, some of whom were either changed slightly from the film or are brand-new additions to the Broadway show.
- Aladdin: a young, poor "street urchin" in Agrabah, Arabia who falls in love with Princess Jasmine and befriends the Genie.
- Jasmine: the princess of Agrabah, who's bored with royal life and resents that she can't marry for love. She falls in love with Aladdin.
- The Genie: a wish-granting being who lives in a magic lamp. He's trapped there, and he has Aladdin promise that he'll use a wish to free the Genie for good.
- Jafar: a royal vizier and sorcerer; he is the villain of the story. He schemes to become the Sultan of Agrabah by marrying Jasmine, but Aladdin tries to stop him.
- The Sultan: Jasmine's father and the ruler of Agrabah. He requires her to marry a prince, rather than marrying for love, so he will have an heir to the throne.
- Babkak, Omar, and Kassim: Aladdin's friends and sidekicks. They replace Aladdin's monkey sidekick, Abu, from the film.
- Iago: Jafar's sidekick and assistant. He is a parrot in the film, but human in the musical.
The Aladdin musical includes all the songs featured in the Disney film, including the major hits "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me." There are also four songs that were ultimately cut from the movie, but added back in for the musical: "Proud of Your Boy," "Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim," and "High Adventure." And in addition to all the songs written for the film, four brand-new songs were added to the Aladdin musical: "These Palace Walls," "A Million Miles Away," "Diamond in the Rough," and "Somebody's Got Your Back." Here are all the songs you'll hear in Aladdin on Broadway.
- "Arabian Nights" – Genie, Company
- "One Jump Ahead" – Aladdin, Ensemble
- "One Jump Ahead (Reprise)" – Aladdin
- "Proud of Your Boy" – Aladdin
- "These Palace Walls" – Jasmine, Attendants
- "Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim" – Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim, Ensemble
- "A Million Miles Away" – Aladdin, Jasmine
- "Diamond in the Rough" – Jafar, Iago, Aladdin
- "Friend Like Me" – Genie, Aladdin, Ensemble
- Act One Finale (Friend Like Me (Reprise)/Proud of Your Boy (Reprise I)) – Genie, Aladdin
- "Prince Ali" – Genie, Babkak, Omar, Kassim, Ensemble
- "A Whole New World" – Aladdin, Jasmine
- "High Adventure" – Babkak, Omar, Kassim, Ensemble
- "Somebody's Got Your Back" – Aladdin, Genie, Babkak, Omar, Kassim
- "Proud of Your Boy (Reprise II)" – Aladdin
- "Prince Ali (Sultan Reprise)" – Sultan, Ensemble
- "Prince Ali (Jafar Reprise)" – Jafar
- Finale Ultimo ("Arabian Nights (Reprise)"/ "A Whole New World (Reprise)") – Genie, Aladdin, Jasmine, Company
- Bows ("Friend Like Me (Reprise II)") – Company
What awards has Aladdin won?
Aladdin received positive critical reviews, with multiple critics especially praising James Monroe Iglehart's performance as the Genie — a verdict that would translate to awards-night success for Iglehart. The four-star New York Theatre Guide review of Aladdin calls the "Friend Like Me" number "musical theatre heaven" and goes on to say of the show, "The costumes and sets are wonderfully bright and make the production the most vibrantly colourful of all Disney Theatrical's offerings to date." Those costumes would be met with accolades, too, when Aladdin was produced abroad.
Aladdin received five Tony Award nominations and seven Drama Desk Award nominations in 2014, and an Olivier Award nomination for the London production's set design. Here are the awards Aladdin has won across the globe.
- 2014: Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (James Monroe Iglehart)
- 2014: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (James Monroe Iglehart)
- 2017: Helpmann Awards for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Michael James Scott) and Best Costume Design (Gregg Barnes) in Australia
Major productions of Aladdin
Aladdin had its world premiere at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre and played a tryout run in Toronto before opening on Broadway. Since its Broadway debut, the musical has gone on to play on four continents: North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe, including a three-year run in London's West End. Productions have opened in countries including Germany, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, and more. Below are some of the major productions of Aladdin, one of which will soon be available to stream on Disney+.
- July 2011: World-premiere production in Seattle featuring most of the would-be Broadway cast, including Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Courtney Reed as Jasmine, Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, and James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie.
- February 2014: Broadway premiere of Aladdin. In 2019, the production became the 11th highest-grossing Broadway production of all time.
- June 2016: West End premiere of Aladdin in London. The show ran for 1,361 performances, closing after just over three years in June 2019, and a performance was professionally filmed. The recording will be released on Disney+ in the near future.
- April 2017: First national tour of Aladdin kicks off and runs through 2020.
Celebrities who have performed in Aladdin
Perhaps the celebrity most closely associated with Aladdin is Robin Williams, whose voice performance as the Genie quickly became one of the most iconic parts of the film. The Aladdin franchise also made celebrities out of some of its leading performers, such as Jonathan Freeman, who remains known for his performance as Jafar in all the Aladdin films and in the Broadway musical. Theatre stars such as Telly Leung, a Broadway veteran also known for his role on Glee, and James Monroe Iglehart, who earned multiple awards for his performance as the Genie on Broadway, have also earned some of their fame from performing in Aladdin. These are some of the stage and screen celebrities that have starred in Aladdin on stage and screen.
- Robin Williams as the voice of the Genie, 1992 film
- Will Smith as the Genie, 2019 film
- Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, 1992 film and 2014-2022 on Broadway
- Telly Leung as Aladdin, 2017-2019 on Broadway
- James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie, 2014-2017 on Broadway
- Lea Salonga as the singing voice of Jasmine, 1992 film
Onscreen adaptations of Aladdin
Rather than the Aladdin musical being the basis for a film, it's the other way around in this case. The musical was adapted from the hit Disney movie, which won two Academy Awards and a Grammy Award upon its release. The movie has two sequels, The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves, though material from these is not part of the musical. Here are the Aladdin films that share their plot with the Disney musical adaptation.
- Aladdin (1992), an animated Disney film, starring Robin Williams as the voice of the Genie. Broadway actors Brad Kane and Lea Salonga provided the singing voices of Aladdin and Jasmine.
- Aladdin (2019), a live-action Disney film based on the 1992 original, starring Will Smith as the Genie.
Fun facts about Aladdin
- Jonathan Freeman, who voiced the role of Jafar in the 1992 Disney film, originated the same role on Broadway.
- Aladdin began as a Middle Eastern folktale told by the Syrian storyteller Hanna Diyab. The story was included in the first European translation of One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales, and is now one of the most famous stories associated with that book.
- A total of 337 costumes appear in the Aladdin musical, and they're all custom-made by hand. One particularly extravagant costume piece, the Genie's pants, is bedazzled with 1,428 Swarovski crystals!
- The famous magic carpet began as a "mattress on a stick" for Aladdin's pre-Broadway production in Seattle, as director Casey Nicholaw described it. But in the much more lavish, full-fledged production for Broadway, it's one of the biggest props in the show, with plenty of unseen technological "magic" behind it.
- Both Aladdin and the previous show at the New Amsterdam, Mary Poppins, employed the same illusion designer, Jim Steinmeyer, to make the flying magic happen. For Aladdin, Steinmeyer employed a company that has worked with musicians like Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Metallica, Justin Timberlake, and Elton John to engineer aerial portions of their concerts.
How to get Aladdin tickets
Aladdin is a quintessential rags-to-riches romance. It's a great show for families looking for some kid-friendly entertainment, but Aladdin is also perfect for adults with nostalgia for the film they grew up on, or couples seeking a romantic show for date night. The color and energy of the movie has been multiplied tenfold for the Broadway musical, bringing Arabia to life in a way that the screen does not. You really will feel like you're in a whole new world at Aladdin, where magic is real for just a few hours. If you're looking for a little joy in the theatre, Aladdin on Broadway will grant your wish.