November 26, 2014 · 0 Comments
A cast of 45 youngsters between the ages of five and 16 will fill the stage at Westside Secondary School this weekend for four performances of Aladdin produced by Orangeville Music Theatre (OMT). The formidable job of putting this show together was gladly assumed by Lucinda Silva, taking on the part of director of this production. Rehearsals began in September.
The Disney production comes in a complete package with specifications and all the music on track. Ms. Silva told us, “This has always been one of my [Disney movie] favourites, one of the first to go mainstream with Robin Williams. Disney sends the package – that’s makes it easier. We don’t have to adapt anything.”
This is the famous story, of course, of a street boy, that is, a poor boy, Aladdin, finding a magic lamp in which a Genie lives. Offered his three wishes, the boy naturally goes for the top, creating his own image of being a Prince in order to meet the beautiful, if somewhat self-willed, Princess Jasmine.
However, villainy and the lust for power (sounds just like real life, doesn’t it?) get in the way of a quick happy ending until all the wiles of the story with the terrible villain, Jafar, the foolish Parrot, the soft headed King and so many other characters, not to mention the lies and the truths, combine to spin this well loved tale, with an ultimately Disney style joyful finale.
Of such a large crowd of young people, Ms. Silva said, “I’m really proud of this production myself, getting all these kids to do what they needed to. And they are having a blast doing it. Almost all of them are local, just two are from Brampton. My Aladdin is Mason Somanlall from Brampton.”
Keeping the rehearsals in order with this large a group and a wide divergence to ages has been less difficult than one might think with a cast of youngsters, many of whom have been in other productions with OMT and all of whom are excited and happy to be participating in the show.
“They really want to be in the show and they all work hard to make it the best ever that we have done,” Ms. Silva commented.
“We double cast the role of Princess Jasmine,” she said. “We have two such great girls for the role, Jasalie Zumbach and Jessica Anderson.”
Although the cast is entirely children and teenagers, the adult contribution in addition to Ms. Silva as director has, naturally, been essential.
With Elizabeth Hagyard as choreographer, Heather Holmes as Music Director and Mark Gomes doing the very considerable role of Stage Manager, this is also the first time OMT has produced Aladdin.
It will be fascinating to see how the production team has handled all the scenery aspects of the show from the market place to the castle to the sinister cave of treasure that are part of the tale.
They have had to keep it simple as their move in is only later on Friday afternoon just hours before the first show.
“The theatre at the school is also a classroom,” Ms Silva explained. “So we could only move in after classes. Westside Secondary School has been very accommodating for us.
“The sets show everything really clearly,” she said. “They’re really great.”
Wonderful how theatre adapts; it is all part of the magic.
There are four performances this weekend of Aladdin at the school, 300 Alder St.: Friday evening at 7:30, Saturday at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
For tickets go on line to orangevillemusictheatre .com.