"Arabian Nights" | Credit: Deen Van Meer
In the lobby of Seattle's Paramount Theatre, 15 minutes before show time of "Disney's Aladdin," you’ll already feel like you’re in Agrabah. The Paramount’s ornate interior is akin to the inside of the Genie’s lamp, and little Jasmines (and dads in fez hats) speckle the crowd. On the night we attended, the crowd buzzed with anticipation. Once everyone found their (booster) seats, a hush fell over the audience and the music swelled.
This traveling Broadway production of "Aladdin" is a spectacle from start to finish. With bright costumes, intricate sets and sandy backdrops, it’s a sight to behold. Big dance numbers are interspersed with sword fights and magic tricks. But it’s the actors who truly captivate. Aladdin (played by Adam Jacobs, who starred in the title role for the Broadway premiere as well as Simba in Broadway’s "The Lion King") is likeable and funny. The Genie (Anthony Murphy) is the definition of charisma. And Jasmine (Isabelle McCalla) is the perfect role model for young girls. She sticks to her guns — even when all the males around her try to dictate her future. She’s unimpressed by pomp, and expects to be an equal in her relationship (and says so outright).
Of course, most dazzling of all is the magic carpet. Watching Aladdin and Jasmine soar 17 feet above the stage will leave parents and children breathless. "Aladdin" is a must-see show for families.
What parents should know
"Aladdin" is a kid-friendly show, where the familiar characters and plotline come to life in a well-paced, colorful performance. But it's not just fun for kids: Adults will chuckle at the subtle humor while the kiddos giggle at physical gags.
Easily-frightened little ones might find a few scenes scary. Loud thunderclaps and sudden strobe lights made me jump in my seat. However, the startling moments are brief.
The romance is tame and sweet. Expect a kiss at the end — this is a love story, after all.
If you go…
When: Through Sunday, Oct. 29, various show times. The run time of this show is two to two and a half hours, including one intermission. Evening shows will make for a late night but matinees are offered many days.
Where: The Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, Seattle.
Cost: Tickets start at $29 and top out at well over $100; buy online.
Parking: There’s a large, reasonably priced garage on Eighth Avene that many theatergoers use. Smaller lots and street parking are also available nearby.
Tips: Get there early! Not only will you need time to find your seats and take a last minute bathroom trip, musically inclined kids will love looking down into orchestra pit at the base of the stage. Be prepared for traffic once you leave the show; if you do park in the garage, steel yourself for what can be a very, very slow trip out.
Overheard favorites after the show:
Need lunch or dinner downtown? Check our guide to kid-friendly eateries in downtown Seattle.