OSS production of choreographed musical Aladdin sure to entertain all ages

By on March 6, 2018

Aladdin (John Pasquin) is pulled in different directions in this scene from Osoyoos Secondary School’s production of Disney’s Aladdin. The musical theatre performance, which features impressive costumes and choreography, opens this Thursday at the Osoyoos Community Theatre at OSS. (Richard McGuire photo)

They’ve been rehearsing since October, but students at Osoyoos Secondary School are now ready to stage their production of Aladdin, opening Thursday night.

The Disney junior version of the carefully choreographed musical production promises to be entertaining and a visual feast for all ages, based on a recent dress rehearsal Sunday afternoon.

The costumes are elaborate, but the sets are simple. A newly purchased cyclorama backdrop creates the moods with different coloured LED lighting, leaving it up to the actors and audience to use their imaginations.

The production includes students in grades 10 to 12 doing musical theatre credit courses as well as students in all grades who are part of the extracurricular drama club, said teacher Sarah Gilchrist.

She said she hopes and expects people from the community – including those not involved with OSS – will come out for the shows which run Thursday to Saturday at 7 p.m., as well as matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.

“It’s a show, it’s theatre in your own community that you can come and see,” she said. “It’s a musical. People are singing and dancing. It’s going to be so colourful and really vibrant and a really entertaining show.”

Little children and adults will all enjoy it, she said.

Last year’s OSS production of Beauty and the Beast was a sellout and many people were disappointed they couldn’t get tickets, Gilchrist said. There were three performances last year, so this year it’s been increased to five to meet demand.

The play is based on the 1992 Disney animated film, a romantic musical fantasy comedy.

“I remember seeing it in the theatre when I was little,” said Gilchrist. “A lot of people in my age group will probably recognize it and know all the words [to the songs].”

For those of other generations, the story is about a young man, Aladdin, who is considered a “street rat” in the fictional city of Agrabah in the Middle East.

He and Princess Jasmine meet in the market and fall in love, despite being of very different social classes. Jasmine’s father, the Sultan, has other ideas on a suitable husband for her.

A magical lamp and a genie play a role in the outcome.

“He (Aladdin) is a diamond in the rough,” said Gilchrist. “He’s pure of heart and he’s willing to do what’s right. The theme of the play is that what’s on the outside doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s on the inside.”

The two lead roles are performed by Jonathan (John) Pasquin as Aladdin and Mariah Dutra as Princess Jasmine.

Pasquin has previous acting experience, playing Gaston in last year’s Beauty and the Beast – a character that he said was very different from Aladdin.

“They are complete opposites in personality,” said Pasquin. “Gaston has an ego higher than the roof. Aladdin is kind of pathetic. He hasn’t done anything. He’s just trying to make something of himself.”

For Dutra, this is her first time in a dramatic production, though she has lots of experience in competitive dancing and musical theatre. She started dancing with Dance Oasis Studio in Osoyoos when she was around five, she said.

“I found it was fun because you get to put yourself in this other person’s shoes and really live through their character as you’re performing,” she said of her time rehearsing to be Jasmine.

She said at least five other students have dancing backgrounds with Dance Oasis and she worked with another of those students, Rheanna Harfman, to choreograph this production.

Other important roles include the Sultan, the villainous Jafar and his sidekick Iago.

Gilchrist said the cyclorama and lighting cost around $10,000 and were purchased with donations from community groups and businesses including the Osoyoos Credit Union, the Osoyoos Arts Council, the OSS Parent Advisory Council and the Rotary Club of Osoyoos.

There was additional funding for the production from the Dorcas Ladies of Osoyoos United Church and there have been several fundraisers, include ones held at McKia’s Restaurant and the Sage Pub.

Show times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 8 – 10 at 7 p.m. Matinees Saturday and Sunday March 10 and 11 at 3 p.m.

Tickets: $10 at Mills Office Pro on Main Street or the OSS office.

Location: Osoyoos Community Theatre at OSS.

Doors open one hour prior to curtain.


Osoyoos Times

John Pasquin as Aladdin and Mariah Dutra as Princess Jasmine pose for a photo before the dress rehearsal for Aladdin on Sunday. (Richard McGuire photo)

Ethan Kuzmak as the Genie and Caitlyn Toepfer as the Magic Carpet pose for a photo before the dress rehearsal of Aladdin. (Richard McGuire photo)

Among the cast of Aladdin is a two-humped camel. (Richard McGuire photo)

The cast of Aladdin poses for a group photo before the dress rehearsal on Sunday. (Richard McGuire photo)

Teacher Sarah Gilchrist applies makeup to the face of Ethan Kuzmak, who plays the Genie. (Richard McGuire photo)

Mariah Dutra, who plays Princess Jasmine, helps Jacob Subotin, who plays the Sultan, her father, fix his moustache before the dress rehearsal of Aladdin. (Richard McGuire photo)

The performance of Aladdin is filled with colourful costumes and lots of choreography. (Richard McGuire photo)

Actors perform a scene from Aladdin at the dress rehearsal on Sunday. (Richard McGuire photo)

Princess Jasmine (Mariah Dutra), second from right, is not impressed with the suitors her father the Sultan (Jacob Subotin), centre, has chosen for her. This one is the Prince formerly known as Artist. (Richard McGuire photo)

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One Comment

  1. Haley

    March 6, 2018 at 8:40 am

    There are people in grade 8&9 too

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