Something magical happened when a group of young performers presented the highlights of “Disney’s Musical Aladdin Jr,” at the Vartcouver Marriott Hotel on Oct. 29.
Vancouver Marriott had instantly turned into a Disney fairy tale castle. Aladdin (Neil Hong) and Princess Jasmine (Victoria Kazantseva) and other actors walked red carpet Sunday afternoon with about 200 guests’ applause. These 54 outstanding actors were chosen from hundreds audition applications.
Neil, 13 years old, is pondering to be “Aladdin” in these two months. “Acting is fun and I enjoy every movement on the stage,” Neil said. 13-year-old Victoria was born in actress. I always love dancing and singing. It was an opportunity to exercise my musical talents,” She is looking forward to perform her best on January 7,2018 at Gateway Theater.
This “Disney’s Musical Aladdin Jr.” is organized by the internationally renowned children s musical director Emma Swords and the founder of Children’s Choir of Richmond Lily Yuan.
Originally from the UK, Emma Swords is a musical theatre teacher with a Master’s in Education (MA) who is extremely dedicated to children’s learning and the arts. Emma is the founder of ‘Swords Stage School’ and she is an experienced director of eight whole school musical theatre productions including ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘West Side Story’. Emma is a full-time musical theater teacher at Richmond private school Pythagoras Academy. She is invited by Liiy Yuan, director of Children’s Choir of Richmond to work over the weekend to bring Disney musical to Vancouver community.
The first Aladdin musical premiered in Seattle in 2011. It opened on Sroadway at the New Amsterdam theatre in March 2014, to mostly ward reviews and was nominated for five Tony Awards. Aladdin Jr. is a part of the Broadway Jr. Series by Music Theatre International (MTI). It adapts full length musical into approximately 70-minute production that is more manageable for middle school aged performers.
“This Disney Musical Aladdin Jr makes its first performance debut Vancouver and appreciated dozens of talented children show their dramatics and voices to interpret this lovely and elegant Aladdin story.” Emma said.
This Aladdin Jr not only keeps the honest-to-goodness Broadway version but also invites many local professional art masters involved in the production.
One of the biggest highlights of the musical is the stage backdrops. Aladdin Jr. Vancouver backdrops are designed with reference to Disney Adventure Park’s Aladdin Musical design and Broadway Aladdin Musical backdrops design. All original and amazing ideas converted into high-tech images and made into 3D renderings by the professional design team. There will be 11 backdrop changes during the show according to the plot needs, with the actor’s performance, showcasing a real dream stage scene for audience.
Lily Yuan, the producer of Vancouver Aladdin Jr. has passion about teaching children singing. She build the non-profit organization Children’s Choir of Richmond since 2015 and has provided young musicians with the opportunity to team the foundations of choral singing through popular traditional Chinese and English songs; furthermore, she donates her time and money in the production of Aladdin Jr this year. “Such a wonderful feast is not my one’s credit. All people in this party are the farmers to cultivate carefully the musical art seeds of children. Thanks all the sponsors and volunteers’ supports and enthusiasm,” Lily said.
The Show will be taking place at Gateway Theater in Richmond on Jan. 7th, 2017 at 6:30pm.