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Tech goes on a magic carpet ride

January 30, 2014

 

The cast of “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” performed by Tech students and children from the community, dance on the stage of Howard Auditorium designed as the streets of Baghdad. – Submitted photo

The cast of “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” performed by Tech students and children from the community, dance on the stage of Howard Auditorium designed as the streets of Baghdad. – Submitted photo

Allison East
News Editor

 

The Louisiana Tech theater department brought a whole new world to the stage of Howard Auditorium in its play “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp.” The play tells a different story than the well-known movie, but still focuses on Aladdin’s love for the princess and a genie from a magic lamp.

 

The set, props and costumes take the audience on a magic carpet ride into Baghdad. As someone with previous theater experience, however, I saw some things I would have done differently.

 

Thomas Comb as Aladdin shone through as the cast’s biggest star. He was animated and excited, helping pull me into the play. Trey Clark as the Sultan did the same.

 

I laughed at nearly everything he did and said, and he was, by far, my favorite character.

 

As entertaining as Comb and Clark were, however, some of their costars failed to captivate me in the same way.

 

The princess, played by Hannah Miglicco, fell flat in comparison. Her character seemed fairly static, but Miglicco does not appear to add many dimensions. The princess serves her purpose, but I did not see many little Aladdins in the audience dying to save her.

 

Carolyn Smith as Zarita, Aladdin’s mother, added comedic relief to the play, but there were times when her heavy New Jersey-style accent seemed out of place in Baghdad.

 

Magrahbi, played by Orlando Shelly, adds to the play through his entrances into the audience, making a speech from the balcony and turning the play into an all-around experience.

 

The play cast children from the local community as background characters, and they were precious. They marched on stage and danced with the older cast members, adding to the feel-good nature of the play. Acting as minor characters, the children and the princess’ court added a lot to the play.

 

The princess’ court, played by Courtney VanEaton, Madison Gilcrease and Emily Lancon, provided more comedic relief and helped the flow of the play. VanEaton and Gilcrease looked extremely comfortable on stage, with VanEaton making the audience laugh over and over. The group’s dances were well-rehearsed and entertained the audience as much as the princess and her court.

 

The genie, played by Meihan Gou, was a little creepy. It may have been the nature of the character and not Gou’s acting, but the way she eagerly and sporadically popped out was weird. Gou was not the friendly genie we have come to love from Disney’s “Aladdin.”

 

The play’s plot is mildly entertaining. It is a classic love story with an extra unrequited love involved. Magrabi wants to steal the princess’ love and will go to any extreme, even stealing a kingdom, to do so.

 

The special performance Sunday with added audience components will hopefully up the tempo and make “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” the awesome performance it has the potential to be.

 

Email comments to ace007@latech.edu.

 

 

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