After months of preparation, students in Dayton High School’s drama classes are nearly ready for two performances of the Broadway musical “Aladdin.” The shows are set for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7, in the DHS Performing Arts Center on the high school campus.
The lead roles are being performed by Taylor Garcia as Aladdin; Abcede Ivy and Saide Cerecedo as Princess Jasmine; Jacoby Hebert as Genie; Jade Laza as Jafar; Lily Herrera and Allen Hiar as Iago; Kendall Kelley and Samantha Mitchum as Babkak; Ellie Ellison as Omar; and Meacy Devereaux as Kassim. Some of the characters are shared roles with two actors taking turns with the same role in different shows.
The show is based on the Broadway musical, not the Disney classic, so some of the characters – particularly Babkak, Omar and Kassim – are unique to the Broadway musical. Some of the songs are different than those seen in the animated classic.
“This version is not like the movie. There are different songs. There also is no monkey and the bird, Iago, is played by a human,” said Diana Searcy, DHS drama teacher.
The musical has a cast of 37 students, not including those who operate the lighting, or manage the backstage, makeup, costumes or set design.
Aladdin is an ambitious undertaking for the students, particularly with singing roles, dance numbers and dozens of actors on the stage simultaneously.
“We started at the end of August with tryouts. Once the cast was decided, we began rehearsing about four days a week,” Searcy said. “They have been rehearsing the show since Labor Day.”
This is the second musical to be performed by drama students in the DHS Performing Arts Center and Searcy is looking to make it an annual event.
“We did ‘Annie’ at this time last year. That was fun and successful. For several years, we thought we would do a musical every other year. Last spring, my superintendent (Dr. Jessica Johnson) asked me several times what our musical could be the next year,” Searcy said. “I love musicals, so now it has become an annual tradition.”
The Performing Arts Center was opened just over two years ago, Searcy said.
“We want to make sure we are using this beautiful new facility,” she said. “I am very appreciative for the Performing Arts Center.”
The theater holds 840 people, and Searcy said the Annie productions had near-sellout shows.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Seating is general audience only, so persons who arrive early have the best chance at front row seating. Show time on Friday, Dec. 6, is 7 p.m. The show time for the Saturday, Dec. 7, show will be determined in the coming days.
To keep up with information on the Aladdin show or to follow the drama department’s future productions, go online to https://www.facebook.com/Daytondrama/