By VICTORIA CALDERON
• Leader & Times
For this summer’s production, the Rainbow Players are doing something vastly different.
The musical they chose to perform is the Disney classic “Aladdin,” but with a twist: It will be performed partly in English and partly in Spanish.
The dual-language edition of “Aladdin” was first created and put together by the original writers of the show at Disney. It includes the Academy Award-winning musical score from the movie, but it differs in that some of the lyrics stayed in English while other lyrics were translated into Spanish.
“They have done a masterful job of interweaving the languages so that anyone who speaks only English will still follow along and fully enjoy the show and anyone who speaks only Spanish will also,” Director Gloria Goodwin said. “It is something that could only be accomplished by the creative genius of Disney.”
However, the dual language element will not be the only unique aspect of this production. The show requires a full orchestral Disney-produced track of music in place of a live pit orchestra, “because the language is so carefully constructed,” Goodwin said.
Normally, using pre-recorded tracks like this is unorthodox for musicals, but the way the Disney creators interweaved the two langauages together makes it necessary.
Aside from that, Goodwin said to “look for some fun surprises in the show. We have a tiger, a monkey and a parrot... That makes it interesting.”
They will also have to figure out how to fly a carpet, which is something the Players are still working on.
Although the dual language edition stays true to the original version, there are some adaptations that needed to be made to prepare it for the stage.
“Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ dual language edition features a revamped plot that creates dramatic necessity for the bilingual script,” Goodwin said. “Our story begins centuries ago, when the royalty of Agrabah spoke one language and the citizens another. Communication is impossible without translation - which is controlled by the evil vizier Jafar. When the rebellious princess, Jazmín, and a delinquent street rat, Aladdin, meet in the marketplace, they find something special in one another. Together they work to transcend the barriers between them, and with a little magic, help create a better future for themselves and for Agrabah.”
Goodwin has wanted to put on this production for a long time, when she spoke with one of the people originally involved with creating the dual language edition. However, that’s not her only motivation for bringing “Aladdin” to Liberal.
“Rainbow Players was looking for a show that would have broad appeal and would also include children. I thought Disney,” she said. “Also, as I said, I have been longing to do this show. That grew from my time as a director at Liberal High School. I always felt so sad that many of my students in shows could not fully share their wonderful work with other family members because they could not speak English. With this show, everyone is included.”
Although the cast has already been auditioned and selected by Goodwin, there are still ways members of the community can get involved to help make this project work. From sewing costumes to finding props, the Rainbow Players can always use an extra set of hands.
They also need backstage help, but there may be some difficulty fitting everyone backstage because of how many people are in the cast.
Most importantly, the Players can be helped through support. They are non-profit, so simply buying a ticket and attending the show will be beneficial to them. They also seek advertising to put in their programs to fund their shows.
“We only continue the work out of the generosity of our community,” Goodwin said.
The show dates are at 7:30 p.m. July 10-12 and 2 p.m. July 12-13. Saturday, July 12, will feature two performances, a matinee and an evening show.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under and senior citizens over the age of 65. Tickets may be purchased at www.rainbowplayers.com, at the door or from a cast or crew member. They will be available soon.
“Please come see this very special production. It is going to be big, colorful and exciting. I feel so lucky and honored to be a part of it all. This is an incredible cast and crew. It is going to be amazing,” Goodwin said.
ABU – Ashlyn Brady
ALADDIN – Dylan Holt
GENIE – Matt Teel
IAGO – Marley Amerin
JAFAR – Luis Munoz
JAZMÍN – Tania Sarabia
MAGIC CARPET – Aileen Espinoza
RAJAH – Brie King
RAZÚ – Joshua Hinton
ROYAL TRANSLATORS – Amira Coleman, Gabriel Hinton, Alondra Loza Perez, Yesenia Perez and Shelby Hay
SULTÁN – Omar Munoz
MATRON/ENSEMBLE – Teresa Childress
GUARDS/PRINCES – Joshua Hinton, Chris Ramirez and Gary Collins
ENSEMBLE/BREAK OUT SOLOS, CHARACTERS AND DANCE NUMBERS – Reagan Watt, Rylee Ott, Chance Martin, Ana Elisa Tovilla, Eryn Apsley, Adolfo Almaraz, Jr., Ren Watt and Monte Fosdick