If you were thinking about taking the kids to see the Archbold Community Theatre childrens production of “Aladdin, Jr.,” go ahead.
Even if they’re too young to fully understand the story, the singing, dancing, and mere color on stage will probably be enough to keep their attention.
And don’t be surprised if you get a chuckle or two out of it yourself.
The writers thoughtfully inserted some gag lines for grownups.
Example: Aladdin and the Genie are going to sing. When part of the cast comes on stage, the Genie announces, “It’s a musical!”
When the rest of the cast enters, the Genie proclaims, “It’s a big musical!”
Several Archbold youngsters are featured in the show, including the two leads, William Nofziger as Aladdin and Erin Reichert as Princess Jasmine.
Nofziger is excellent, willing to inject personality and energy into the role.
Don’t worry about being able to hear him– in spite of his relatively small size, he knows how to project his voice.
Reichert isn’t quite as loud as Nofziger, but still does good work. She has moved from merely reciting lines to adding some life to Jasmine.
“Aladdin, Jr.” is based on the 1992 movie “Aladdin.” In the animated film, the late Robin Williams voiced the Genie, and Williams’ performance basically stole the show.
Milo McRobbie, Bryan, was given the task of playing the Genie. How do you follow an act like Williams? McRobbie acquitted himself well.
Deserving of special mention is Autumn Owens, Bryan, who donned a parrot suit to play Iago, the evil sidekick to the even more-evil Jafar. The role gives Owens a chance to put some energy into the character’s voice and actions, and she takes advantage of it.
She’s fun to watch.
Andrew Francis, Archbold, plays Razoul, the captain of the guard. While “Aladdin, Jr.” is his first time on stage, he acts like a veteran. Francis, too, is fun to watch.
Kudos to Duncan Spencer Comstock as Jafar. The Holgate youth’s Jafar is suitably evil.
On opening night, Kaitlyn Wiemken, Napoleon, a narrator, was recovering from a sprained ankle and was on crutches throughout the show.
In spite of the crutches, Wiemken makes her way on, off, and around the stage without distracting other actors.
Credit to her for being willing to continue with her injury, and to ACT for letting her do it.
She has since put her crutches aside.
All in all, the whole cast did a really excellent job.
There are some girls and boys in the group who should be encouraged to continue an acting career.
There are three more chances to see “Aladdin, Jr.” at Giffey Hall in the Ridgeville Corners Theatre District: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3-4, 7:30 pm, and Sunday, Oct. 5, 2:30 pm.–David Pugh