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‘Aladdin Jr.’ a magically hilarious hit from CCCMT
by Corey Baumgartner, Reporter
Aug 31, 2015 | 7645 views | 1 1 comments | 442 442 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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CEDAR CITY – “Ah, salaam and good evening to you worthy friends.” So begins the Cedar City Children’s Music Theater’s (CCCMT) performance of “Aladdin Jr.” The famous Disney hit is the story of a hungry “street rat” and a lonely princess, both feeling tormented and trapped, who find a whole new world of magic, adventure and love together.

Thankfully, Iron County residents don’t have to travel to Agrabah by camel or magic carpet to watch the performance. Tickets were sold out opening night Aug. 27 as the Heritage Theater was transformed into a cave of wonders for a memorable magic carpet ride. One final encore performance will take place Aug. 31.

Practice began months ago with choreographers and singing teachers assisting the many CCCMT young actors. Rylie Horton, who plays the magic carpet, spoke about the camaraderie among the actors.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to meet new people and make some great friends,” he said.

With over 240 kids involved in the play, there were many friendships to be gained. There were also many opportunities to learn from each other. Chelly Espinoza, who played the Genie and entertained the audience with her comedic voices and talents, expressed, “It’s great working with the younger kids because you get to help them learn how to act.”

“It was challenging, but I love doing it,” added Kyler Krause, who played Aladdin. His royal love interest Princess Jasmine, played by Camry Gover, also enjoyed the challenges. “We have a lot of fun on and off the stage trying to stay in character,” she said, noting there is a certain celebrity status that comes with the part of playing Princess Jasmine among the younger actors.

There are challenges inherent with organizing such an undertaking with a young and sometimes inexperienced cast, but having a dedicated and talented director makes an oasis in a desert of difference. Director Jewly Krause saw the potential in each of the actors and helped make “Aladdin Jr.” a truly magical adventure.

While many of the young cast members are just starting out, so-called diamonds in the rough, their smiles and personalities sparkled all the same and brought a magical element to this timeless tale.

“This year, we’ve had our largest cast ever – with over 240 characters in the show,” Jewly Krause said. “We’ve worked really hard to bring this wonderful story to life for you. The talent and enthusiasm of the cast never ceases to amaze me, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with these remarkable kids.”

After their opening night standing ovation from the audience, Jewly Krause and the other volunteers were emotional and proud.

“They did a really good job and I’m very proud of them,” added Jewly Krause.

The printed program also included a special note in memory of CCCMT family member Raquel Wilson, who performed brilliantly to the very end before Glioblastoma stole her stage, but never her smile.

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Kevin Krause
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September 02, 2015
These kids were amazing! Thanks to all those that came out and supported this performance!
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