Aladdin: About the Creators
Like its predecessors The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, Aladdin is a Broadway Musical based on the Disney animated film of the same name. Released in 1992, the movie is part of the classic Disney Renaissance, and is much beloved by children and adults alike. The musical features music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Tim Rice, Howard Ashman, and Chad Beguelin. Beguelin also wrote the book. There are a number of songs that were cut from the original film, as well as a number of brand new songs as well. It tells the tale of a young, homeless man who always hoped for something more out of his life than scraping by on the streets of his city. And when he discovers a magical lamp -- and the genie that lives inside -- he uses his wishes to woo the princess that he loves.
Aladdin first premiered in Seattle in 2011 at the 5th Avenue Theatre, and opened on Broadway after a few international tryouts on March 20, 2014. The show was very warmly received and was in turn nominated for Five Tony Awards.
The creators of the show have all storied careers, both on and off the stage. Alan Menken is responsible for the scores of many beloved Disney favorites, including Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Newsies, Hercules, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Enchanted, and Pocahontas. He has received 8 Academy Awards, 11 Grammys, Seven Golden Globes, and a Tony, Drama Desk, and Olivier Award, among numerous other accolades.
Lyricist Howard Ashman is best known for his work on The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast -- the latter of which is dedicated to him. He passed away in 1991 from complications due to AIDS, but his legend lives on in the beautiful words he wrote.
Tim Rice is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber -- and, indeed, Tim Rice was also knighted. He worked on such shows as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita. He also wrote Chess with Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, and Aida and The Lion King with Elton John.
Fun Fact: Jonathan Freeman, who plays Jafar in the Broadway Musical, also voiced the original character of Jafar in the 1992 Disney Classic Animated Film.