The show must go on: Quincy Music Theatre presents Aladdin Jr.

Last weekend, Quincy Music Theatre presented Aladdin Jr.

This performance consisted of several young, local actors led by experienced crew members into the creation of a shorter and concise performance over a smaller length of time. Many youths eager to participate in the thespian world gave knock-out performances.

The plot concerned itself with the comeuppance of Aladdin (James Gaethers Jr.) and the perils faced by the Princess Jasmine (Madison Clay) as she seeks to escape the heavy hand of her father the Sultan (Zach Cagle).
In a concurrent plot, the nemesis Jafar (Hatch Liebenhaut), whose position is in peril should the Princess Jasmine be betrothed, schemes with his compatriot Iago (Hadessa Routt) and to maintain a hold on his claim to the throne by way of a special item. This item is none other than the famed magic lamp, holding the Genie (Teren Roberts) of legend who enables most of the wishes and desires of its many owners across the two hour-long show.

Aladdin Jr. began with a foreword: an impassioned plea by Quincy Music Theatre’s executive director Olga Connolly, regarding a recent veto of $32 million dollars in grant funding by Governor Ron DeSantis. This recent veto on June 12 occurred misfortunately on Connolly’s birthday, and has come as a shock for planning and logistics for all of Gadsden – and all of Florida’s – many arts and culture organizations.

“This complete removal of funds has created a financial issue for all of the arts programs in the state of Florida, including several in the Quincy,” said Connolly to theatregoers in the auditorium. “This includes local programs such as Quincy Main Street, who are key organizers of the entirety of events in Quincy, and the Gadsden County Art Center Museum – both of which are not but a two-minute walk nearby in the Quincy Square. The tickets you are holding’s valuation has doubled in the last week, not only because of its more esteemed value but because of your reciprocal investment in our community.”

As said by Connolly, any ardent or even casual theatergoer further allows the children’s educational wing at Quincy Music Theatre to flourish and give the possibility to power the presentation of marvelous and constant theatrical performances, including such as Aladdin Jr.

Despite these extremely recent encumbrances, this particular intensive entry in Quincy Music Theatre’s repertoire of plays was a smash hit in what can only be imagined to be another summer of classics. Included especially were several exquisite performances from the cast of youths, especially Teren Roberts, who stood out ingeniously as the Genie, and Hatch Liebenhaut whose emulation of a menacing cackle gave truth to the sinister, undercutting morals of Jafar.

The theatrical chemistry between James Gaethers Jr. as Aladdin and Madison Clay as Jasmine should be noted as an all-timer and as should Zach Cagle, who stood out with an especially strong performance as the Sultan.

The Production team in Aladdin Jr. should also be celebrated, as they brought rightfully a setting to the story; adverts for the show described the set as having Egyptian, Moorish, and Arabic influences – meaning to give credence and pay homage the original story of One Thousand and One Nights which inspired both the film and the play which were an influence on this adaptation. The decorations and marginalia of the show were often neatly adapted, in line with the story line, and imaginatively executed in mise-en-scène; again. The lighting and sound effects were also greatly developed and steeped Quincy navigants in the spectacle of the performance.

All of the cast and crew should be commended for their efforts in bringing this adaptation to life, and praise given to their exactness in achieving it. It was a great success.

Quincy Music Theatre’s next play – Disney’s Descendants: The Musical – is set for August 2-4.

Ruben Dario Uribe – Gadsden County News Service


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