Traveling Children's Theatre presents free performance

AladdinThe classic tale of "A most amazing lad" is brought to life by the York College Children's Theatre under the direction of Dr. John I. Baker III. Serving as assistant director is Brittany Ellis.  The 2008 production of Aladdin, an adaptation by William Glennon, is the eleventh for the theater company.

What's so special about a lamp? Just ask the audience of any of the 20 stops on the Children's Theatre tour. They are all very familiar with the tale of young Aladdin, two genies and a princess. The appearance of the Genie of the Ring (Nick Floyd) and the Genie of the Lamp (Nick Parsons) have been greeted with much excitement as wishes are granted and the evil plan of villain Zorah (Aaron Rhodebeck) is foiled.

Many members of the cast of Aladdin are first time participants in the Children's Theatre. Aladdin (Andrew Miller) is a newcomer, along with his monkey Tootle-Di-Toots (Renee Willard). Bulmar (Mitchell Roush, a veteran of Children's Theatre), Serena (Meagan Simpson) and Kayla Lawrence portray several characters including Aladdin's friends. Aladdin's mother (Sara Firm) and the old woman Darkana (Martha Kinyon) are also appearing in their first production. The sultan (Stephen Detlefs) and his daughter the princess (Natasha Hackett, herself a newbie), along with Wazier (Matthew Carlson) round out the cast.

As the story unfolds questions are answered: Would Aladdin choose to posses 50 elephants? Or would he rather have "something nifty to wear" when he met the princess? Could the love in Aladdin's heart win over the princess? And if it did, would the sultan agree to a marriage? Then what about the villainous Zorah? And the lamp. Should it be traded for a shiny new example which would actually make light? The fun begins as the plot of the familiar children's tale thickens.

Each year cast members enjoy greeting their audience both before and after the show. After all, how often do children have the chance to meet a princess or a sultan and more especially a genie up close and personal?

The Traveling Children's Theatre will present a free performance of Aladdin, Friday, April 18 at 7:00 pm, in Gurganus Hall. No reservations are needed. The doors will open about 20 minutes before performance.

excerpts by Marcia Schlegelmilch

York News-Times

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