Classic Disney animated movies tend to make good stage adaptations because iconic songs and a solid story are already baked right in.
The latest show to make the jump is “Aladdin,” now playing at the Fox Theatre through Dec. 17.
The 1992 film was a retelling of the folk tale from “1001 Arabian Nights” about a poor boy finding a magic lamp containing a genie who grants wishes.
The movie featured Robin Williams as the voice of the genie and whose manic energy and pop-culture references color the movie with a unique vibe when compared with other Disney films of that era.
That freewheeling essence gets translated to the stage as we meet Aladdin (Adi Roy) on the streets of the fictional city of Agrabah where he participates in some minor thievery with his buddies Babkak (Jake Letts), Omar (Nathan Levy) and Kassim (Colt Prattes) (stand-ins for Aladdin’s monkey Abu from the movie).
Aladdin is approached by the Sultan’s evil advisor Jafar (Anand Nagraj who has a grand time effectively chewing the scenery) who wants the boy to enter a magical cave to retrieve the lamp.
It is in the cave where Aladdin meets the Genie (Marcus M. Martin) who makes his wishes, which primarily revolve around wooing the Sultan’s daughter, Princess Jasmine (Senzel Ahmady), come true
Martin does an excellent job of putting his own twist on the Genie’s rapid-fire persona while throwing in some updated references to things like Tik Toc and “The Mandalorian” for the kids to recognize.
The show naturally revolves around famous songs like “Friend Like Me,” “Prince Ali” and “A Whole New World” but what makes the show zip is the high-energy choreography that fills the spaces in between along with some not-terrible new songs (Babkak, Omar and Kassim’s number “High Adventure” being the highlight) and some impressive stagecraft (the magic carpet ride is especially well done).
“Aladdin” is as reliably entertaining as musical theater gets and a great way to introduce younger kids to the wonders of a live show as there is always something exciting happening on the stage.
Disney’s Broadway streak remains intact as “Aladdin” is a magical time at the theater for the entire family.
“Aladdin” is now playing at the Fox Theatre through Dec. 17. For tickets call 314-534-1111 or go to metrotix.com.