Back in 1992, Walt Disney’s “Aladdin” became an Academy Award-winning animated movie that grossed more than $504 million worldwide.
“Aladdin,” which featured Scott Weigner as Aladdin and Robin Williams as Genie, went on to win two Oscars and 20 other awards, while being nominated for an additional 15 honors.
The Johnston Dance and Performing Arts group (J-DAPA) is hoping to do the show justice.
This weekend, Jimmy Rotondo will be in the starring role when the 52-member cast of J-DAPA presents its remake of “Aladdin” live inside the Johnston High School Auditorium.
The three-performance production, which has been produced by an army of volunteers, will open tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Additional shows are set for Saturday evening at 7 and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children under 12. To reserve or purchase tickets, call 944-4866.
When the curtain goes up tomorrow night, audience members will be treated to the tireless work of volunteers who have made this production a labor of love since June.
It will also mark the second such major theatrical performance J-DAPA has offered the town of Johnston and its residents in less than a year under the direction of Donna Tellier.
“We began auditions back in June,” explained Tellier. “Rehearsals began in July and we haven’t stopped working ever since then.”
The JHS auditorium has hosted countless rehearsals and planning sessions, where actors learned scripts and volunteers worked on sets until 10:30 on many nights.
“We are very proud of each and every person who has worked on ‘Aladdin.’ We’re obviously nervous, but we’re excited for this weekend,” Tellier said.
“Aladdin” tells the story of a homeless boy who enlists the help of a genie to make his dreams come true to win the heart of the princess, Jasmine. Jasmine does not want to be forced into marriage by her father, and rejects every suitor that comes to court her. The evil Jafar has his own plans, as he schemes to marry the princess to become the Sultan.
This weekend’s J-DAPA production will feature handmade props and sets that have been created by volunteers of all ages. Standing out on the stage will be a six-foot tall elephant.
Jimmy Rotondo, whose son will play Aladdin, built the wooden frame for that six-foot elephant, and students used paper Mache to cover it.
For volunteers like Terry Costa Jr., a self-employed construction company owner, working on the set was a way to give back to the community and spend time with his 7-year-old daughter Meadow, who helped him paint props.
“People will find the entire cast of characters very colorful,” added Alycia Bedrosian, a one-time J-DAPA performer turned advisor. “There will be unforgettable songs and a few surprises. ‘Aladdin’ is a show you don’t want to miss.”
As an added bonus, there will be a Meet and Greet with the characters an hour before each performance. People will be able to have a photo taken with their favorite character for a small fee, and then pick the photos up after the show.