Children's Theater Takes 'Aladdin' in New Direction

Article excerpt

Young audiences who loved Disney's popular animated movie "Aladdin" will be taking a magic carpet ride in a different direction with the Johnny Appleseed Children's Theater production of the same name.

The stage show opening Tuesday at Apple Hill Playhouse in Delmont doesn't feature the voice of Robin Williams as the wacky genie or the popular romantic melody "A Whole New World" that helped make the cartoon feature a box-office hit.

Instead, the Apple Hill version contains new music and digs deeper into the relationship between Aladdin and his mother.

"Aladdin's mother is just very concerned about her son," says Maria Bruno, 18, of Apollo, who plays the maternal role that she says adds some comedic relief to the production. "Whenever the genie comes in, she falls to the floor and passes out."

Although the play has similarities to the Disney movie, Bruno says there are differences that make it unique.

"We don't have a Jafar character (the villain); we have a magician, instead. We have a Genie of the Lamp and a Genie of the Ring," she says. "It puts a different twist on 'Aladdin.' It's an all-around fun show."

There's another reason that Bruno is having fun performing in this Apple Hill production that opens the Johnny Appleseed Children's Theater's summer season. "Aladdin" is being directed by her sister, Alyssa Bruno, 20, a junior majoring in musical theater at Point Park University. …