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Disney is well-known for their musical theater adaptations of their popular movies, which have done extremely well on Broadway for decades. Their newest musical theater adaptation, Aladdin, has been catching the eye of critics in mainly positive ways, especially because of the show’s main shining aspect: James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the genie.
Many have called Iglehart’s main musical number in the show, “Friend Like Me,” a showstopper.
WABC reported that Iglehart received a standing ovation for his performance and his humbleness and humility got the best of him. He asked the audience to sit down, to which his director said, “If they want to stand, let them stand. Let them stand forever.”
Iglehart’s passion for his role as the genie was clear as well, when he said, “I would act & sing and dance and be completely silly for free, but they're actually allowing me to make a living doing this.”
Even Time stated in a review of the musical that although it was difficult to fill the shoes of Robin Williams, who played the genie in the original 1992 film, Iglehart stopped the show with his performance and really gave the show the “boost” it needed.
If one was questioning whether the new Disney musical would be successful, the reviews of Iglehart make it clear that he makes the show a worthwhile see.