Audiences did not need a magic carpet to visit Agrabah from March 24-26. The magical world came to St. John the Evangelist during the school’s production of “Aladdin Jr.”
Twenty-six kids made up the main cast. The show also featured numerous kids in the genie ensemble, several genie dancers and a group of Agrabahns.
Alexa LaChapelle played Jasmine, the free-spirited and independent daughter of the sultan.
“What I love about drama club is how close you get with everyone,” she said. “By tech week, we are all one big family having so much fun putting on a show. This year was exactly like that.”
Alexa credited the cast and crew for putting in “so much effort” to make the show a success. One of those actresses was Casey Boyle, who portrayed Genie with plenty of charisma.
“It’s unbelievable that just a few months ago, we were dancing on the gym floor, and now we danced in front of an auditorium,” Casey said. “I had so much fun dancing and singing with my friends. It was a great way to spend my last year at St. John.”
Nicolas Linares was charming as Aladdin, the “street rat” turned prince. Cara White’s playful banter with Rowman Layman, as Iago and Jafar, respectfully, caused the crowd to erupt in laughter several times.
Following the Sunday show, St. John the Evangelist School Principal Casey Buckstaff noted that the current crop of middle-school actors started as admirers watching a school production of “Annie” years ago. Now they hope to inspire the next group of St. John performers.
The director of the show, Cindi White, was especially proud of the middle-schoolers because “Aladdin Jr.” was a student-led production.
“Our lighting, sound, microphones, acting — every piece of the show was designed and implemented by students, and this gave them an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride,” White said. “As they produced their musical production of Disney’s ‘Aladdin Jr.’ for the younger St. John students, they were able to be both entertainers and role models. The joy, accomplishment and pride on their faces was worth every minute of the hours we put into this production.”