Eastern Wake News

A whole new world: EWHS to perform musical “Aladdin, Jr.”

Choral Director for the East Wake School of Arts, Education, and Global Studies Amy Parker, center, demonstrates some acting advice for her students playing townspeople during a rehearsal for Aladdin, Jr. The play comes out March 13 and 14, 2015.
Choral Director for the East Wake School of Arts, Education, and Global Studies Amy Parker, center, demonstrates some acting advice for her students playing townspeople during a rehearsal for Aladdin, Jr. The play comes out March 13 and 14, 2015. kbettis@newsobserver.com

East Wake High School is entering a whole new world, donning Arabian shoes to perform a Disney spin-off of “Aladdin, Jr.”

Placed in Agrabah, the City of Enchantment, the Sultan parades princes for his daughter, Princess Jasmine, to choose a husband. But she escapes from the ceremony and meets Aladdin, a street urchin, and rescues him from being arrested.

Jafar, the evil official to the Sultan, connives his way into a decree that says Princess Jasmine must marry him if she can’t choose a husband within a day. In the meantime, Aladdin discovers a Genie in a lamp who will grant him three wishes – and the adventure continues as Aladdin tries to win Jasmine’s love.

The cast of nearly 25 students and a half dozen in the technical crew is full of energy and musical talent for the performances.

Compared to last spring’s “Little Shop of Horrors,” the Arabian love story is a change that will be geared toward all ages.

Amy Parker, Choral Director for the East Wake School of Arts, Education, and Global Studies said that she chose the play last summer because of the contrast to last year. When Robin Williams – the voice actor for the Genie in the Disney movie – died, she said, the choice was solidified.

“I also had a lot of characters that would fit with the roles really well,” she said.

One particular challenge of the play is the special effects. Not only does the technical crew have to figure out a magic carpet, but a Genie appears out of the lamp and Aladdin transforms into a prince.

Senior Aaron Saunders plays Aladdin, and he said this musical is his first full-length play.

“Aladdin is my favorite of all the Disney movies,” he said. “If Disney was real life, I would be Aladdin. He carries himself humbly, smoothly and he’s really charismatic.”

Lane Adams, a senior who plays the boisterous and bright-blue Genie, is also being initiated into theater through the play.

“They cast me as the Genie because they know I wouldn’t follow the script,” he said. “About 80 to 90 percent of my lines are changed...I didn’t expect to have so much fun.”

The play runs March 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. in the East Wake High School auditorium. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

Bettis: 919-829-4826;

Twitter: @easternwakenews

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