Peninsula Youth Theatre (PYT) presents Disney’s Aladdin Jr., running July 25 – 28, which takes on a new life at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. This shorter adaptation of a beloved story brings expanded characters, new songs and exciting flying carpet moments that open up “a whole new world.”
Disney’s Aladdin Jr. is based on the 1992 Academy Award-winning film and the 2014 hit Broadway show about the “diamond in the rough” street rat who learns that his true worth lies deep within. In this adaptation, Aladdin and his three friends, Babkak, Omar and Kassim, are down on their luck until Aladdin discovers a magic lamp and a Genie who has the power to grant three wishes. Wanting to earn the respect of Princess Jasmine, Aladdin embarks on an adventure that will test his resolve and his moral character — and he learns that sometimes the best way to make a dream come true is to be yourself.
“The animated movie, Aladdin, has always been one of my favorite Disney films,” said Karen Simpson, the show’s Director and Set Designer at PYT. “I like the goofiness of the story and all of the anachronistic jokes and gags, most of which were inspired by Robin Williams, which really set the tone. This is completely my sense of humor, so it’s fun to bring some of this into the production.
“Working with these young actors has been amazing,” continued Simpson. “I feel like we are having so much fun in rehearsal learning magic and building characters. The actors were assigned the task of filling out character sheets, and reading them has been fantastic. I love how creative and willing this cast is to try new things. Working with this group makes me happy every single day.”
In addition to the talented young actors who have been cast in Aladdin Jr., PYT is piloting a new program this year called The Young Performers Ensemble, which is open to actors ages 5 to 7 years old. The Young Performers Ensemble will be featured three times during Aladdin Jr. They rehearse only on Saturday mornings, and are able to participate in the show without having to audition for a role like the older youth actors.
“This is the first time we are performing a show with the Young Performers Ensemble, so this will be their first time on Center Stage. Many of them have older brothers and sisters who they have seen on stage, and they have just been waiting for their chance to join them,” added Simpson. “This is a great opportunity for us to expand our program and offer younger performers exposure to a larger production.”
PYT’s Aladdin Jr. Flying Carpet Cast features some familiar faces from Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, including Lucas Li as the Sultan as well as Louise Kim, Kalea Acosta, Aliana Acosta, Annabel Gardiner and Danielle Dor to name a few.
Aladdin Jr. opens on Thursday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m. with the Flying Carpet Cast, and Friday, July 26 mat 6:30 p.m. with the Magic Lamp Cast. The show runs through Sunday, June 28. All performances will take place at The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts at 500 Castro St., Mountain View. Content is appropriate for children of all ages.
Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $13 for groups of 10 or more, and $12 for children 5 and under. Tickets are available online at http://pytnet.org/boxoffice/aladdin-jr/#tickets or through the box office at (650) 903-6000.
Coming later this season at PYT: Au Cabaret, Sept. 14.