Disney’s musical ‘Aladdin’ will launch first national tour in Chicago

By Katina Beniaris

The Disney Broadway musical hit “Aladdin” is going on a magic carpet ride through North America and its first stop is in Chicago.

Based on the 1992 Disney movie of the same name, the musical’s tour will open at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., on April 17, 2017 with a projected closing date of July 2, 2017.

Telling the story of a poor street urchin who wins a princess’ heart with the help of a comedic genie, “Aladdin” includes hit songs like “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me.” The late Robin Williams voiced the genie character in the movie.

“Aladdin” opened at New York’s New Amsterdam Theatre in 2014 and received five Tony award nominations. With music by Disney composer Alan Menken, the long-running show was also directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw from “The Book of Mormon.”

“We have had the great privilege of entertaining more than one million people in New York City with Casey Nicholaw’s glorious production,” said Thomas Schumacher, the president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions.

Disney musicals, from “Mary Poppins” to “Newsies,” have made Chicago a regular tour stop in past years. Most recently, “The Lion King,” which closed on Jan. 17 after a 47-day run at the Cadillac Palace, broke a local box office record. It had the highest-grossing week in Chicago theatrical history, earning $2.3 million during the week ending Sunday, Jan. 3 this year, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Broadway In Chicago has more family-friendly shows coming up in the remainder of its 2015-2016 season, including “Matilda the Musical,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and the pre-Broadway world premiere of Nickelodeon’s “The SpongeBob Musical.”

“Aladdin” will be the fourth new production in Chicago from Disney Theatrical Productions in 16 years, according to Schumacher, who cited the city’s “canny audiences, its theatrical infrastructure and its stunning theatres [that] make it a peerless town for creating new productions.”

A date for single ticket sales for Chicago performances of “Aladdin” will be announced later. Tickets for groups of 15 or more are now available. Information at broadwayinchicago.com/tickets/groups or (312) 977-1710.

Photo at top: The playbill from an “Aladdin” showing in New York City (Katina Beniaris/MEDILL)