Jones Auditorium was filled with many bright-faced children, eager to see Texas A&M University Kingsville’s (TAMUK) unique and heartwarming rendition of Aladdin on Feb 2.
This was the first play performed by the theatre program for the semester and stage manager Mario Orlando Flores was beyond excited to see everyone’s hard work pay off on their performance Sunday afternoon.
The play began with the Genie of the Lamp, played by Desiree Putnam, offering up an exciting hello to the members of the audience followed by the introduction of the characters. Aladdin was played by Nickolas “Nicko” Villarreal and his counterpart, Princess, was performed by Isabel Perez. The production is part of the Annual Children’s show produced by the Art, Communications and Theatre Department. More than 6,000 elementary school students attend the production each year. Aladdin’s pet and partner in crime, Abba the dancing monkey was played by Jessica Cochran and the villain, Zorah, was played by Charles “CJ” Lillie.
As Aladdin and Abba are trying to earn money by dancing in the street, Zorah comes and demands to be shown the cave where Aladdin has unknowingly left a special lamp. Once the cave collapses, Zorah makes a run for it while Aladdin and his monkey are stuck trying to figure out how they are going to escape.
After rubbing the lamp, the Genie emerges and is able to free the two. Along the way, Aladdin and Abba become acquainted with the Princess just as she is making every effort to avoid the Sultan’s henchmen. Almost immediately, the Princess is liberated and gloriously happy by how Aladdin treats her like a normal person.
Just as the Princess chooses Aladdin as her suitor, Zorah- clad in clever disguise- returns and takes hold of the lamp, thus making the Genie his servant and demands to rule over everything.
Although things seem bleak, Aladdin recovers and saves the day. In
order to further celebrate the moment, Aladdin and Princess, noticing the Genie’s life as a servant, dedicate the third and final wish to the freedom of the Genie. All is well, and the entire cast then went down to the audience and enjoyed a victory dance with adult and child alike at the end of the production.