Review: Take a ride on this magic carpet

Julianna Heron, Author

This year’s Palo Alto High School theater program took audiences soaring into a whole new world with a modernized stage version of the classic Disney movie “Aladdin.” The audience-grabbing play took place today and Sept. 29 in the Haymarket Theater.

The story revolves around Omar, played by sophomore Matt O’Reilly, and his evil ambitions to rule a Middle Eastern kingdom. Omar knows the only way to become ruler is to find a magic lamp with a genie to grant him his wish. On his quest, Omar and his helper, Geewiz, played by freshman Zoe Sego, come across Aladdin, played by freshman Peter Maroulis, and trick him into playing along with their malicious games.

Princess Ginger, portrayed by freshman Molly Kraus, and Aladdin meet, falling instantly in love, but their desire for each other is tested through the obstacles Omar puts them through. The humorous Genie, played by sophomore Adele Bloch, performs a vital role in helping Aladdin as well as entertaining the audience.

The play branches off from the Disney movie as it is filled with a lot of humor great for all ages. The cast uses many different props, such as beautiful silks, colorful chairs and pillows and great costumes to make the play more life-like and enjoyable. The audience flies through the air on a magic carpet, meets fish under sea and witnesses the struggle that Aladdin endures for Ginger.

Director Nancy Sauder as well as the entire cast does a great job bringing the well-loved Disney movie to life in a way that all age groups would enjoy. From walking into the theater to walking out, the ambiance of the entire room brought me back to my childhood. Overall, the play did not copy the familiar plotline of Aladdin, which let the audience become more involved in its twists and turns.

The 45-minute “Aladdin” keeps the audience with the story all the way through. As a teenager it was easy to relate to the modern adaptations the director brought on from the Elvis-like singer to “Dora the Persian Explorer.” I have not attended many Paly plays but this one opened me up to the great community in our theater.