MOSES LAKE — For the most part we all know the tale of Aladdin. Those catchy tunes and witty characters from the 1992 Disney film have a secure and fond place in the minds of children and adults alike. A different take on the classic tale came to Moses Lake on Saturday and entertained countless people in the same way that the film continues to entertain audiences of all ages.
“You know, it’s kinda funny because I came here thinking I knew exactly what was going to be happening in the play. But it was a million percent different than the movie. Really fun and just a great way for kids to interact with other kids. Really cool,” Kristina Stratus remarked after Saturday’s show.
Stratus was right; Saturday’s performances of “Aladdin” at Big Bend Community College were incredibly different from the classic Disney movie that we are all accustomed to. At last glance the animated version of “Aladdin” didn’t have a cast of characters that includes a horde of marching penguins, talking palm trees, Sinbad the Sailor and references to James Bond.
Nevertheless, the play version of “Aladdin” blends together several different famous Arabian stories into one grand performance. Sinbad and his crew of sailors are in the play version, as are Ali Baba and Scheherazade. The main story arc is the same, however: a poor street boy named Aladdin finds a magic lamp and a genie and sets out to win the favor of the princess.
“At first I was like, ‘wait, this is way different from the movie.’ But then as it went on I was actually laughing pretty hard because there was subtle adultish jokes and references that I can almost guarantee were written in specifically for older people,” Candace Taylor stated.
Saturday’s performances were brought to Moses Lake by Columbia Basin Allied Arts (CBAA) and the Missoula Children’s Theater (MCT). MCT provides two actor-directors for the production and local children have the opportunity to audition, rehearse their lines and perform, all in about a week’s time. "Aladdin" was a part of the CBAA “Green Turtle” series, which is specifically for younger audiences.
“This Missoula thing is such a great idea. Kids need stuff like this to be a part of. I really think it is important in their development to be pushed and challenged in new and exciting ways. Above and beyond all else, though, you can just tell that all of the kids have fun up there performing,” Stratus said.
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.