Disney classic with a twist live at Hermann Park

June 8, 2009 3:19:48 PM PDT
There's magic in the air at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park.It's a production of Disney's Aladdin, but in a way never seen before.

"My tiger and Aladdin's monkey are the translators, so we're in love, but we still don't know how to communicate, yet we still manage to understand each other," Sandy Valles, the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre Academy (HSMT) student who plays the role of Jasmine, said.

It's the same classic story with a twist ? a dual language edition. In it, Aladdin speaks English, Jasmine speaks Spanish, and villain Jafar speaks both. The actors say it was a challenge at first, since only four people in the troupe speak Spanish in real life.

"Spanish is very difficult for me personally, though my opposite who plays Jasmine, Sandy, is from Mexico and she's been helping me a lot," Christian Warner, the HSMT student who plays the role of Aladdin, said.

Valles agreed with Warner's sentiments.

"Doing the lines with people that don't know Spanish was kind of hard, but now it's great," she said.

No doubt learning a script and music in a different language has been a challenge for these kids, but it's opening up a whole new world of audiences for them.

This production of Aladdin reaches out to a multicultural audience, according to the director, Rozie Curtis.

"I think Houston is the perfect place for it because we have so many people that speak Spanish and I'm also the director of community outreach and a lot of the schools we go to, the kids are fluent in Spanish and English," he said.

Just like the movie, Aladdin and Jasmine fall in love and live happily ever after. But, unlike the movie version, it's a performance English and Spanish speakers alike can enjoy at the same time.

Performances of Disney's Aladdin: Dual Language Edition start Tuesday, June 9 and go through Thursday, June 11. The show begins at 11 AM and lasts about an hour.

Admittance is free.

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