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Disney Theatrical Casts Broadway’s ‘Aladdin’

The 1992 animated pic's Jafar, Jonathan Freeman, will reprise his villainous role onstage

Jonathan Freeman, the actor who portrayed the villain Jafar in Disney’s 1992 animated pic “Aladdin,” will reprise his role onstage in the Broadway-bound legit adaptation of the tale, in which he’ll be part of a cast led by Adam Jacobs (“Les Miserables,” “The Lion King”) as the title character.

James Monroe Iglehart, whose Rialto credits include “Memphis” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” will take on the genie role played by Robin Williams in the film. Courtney Reed (“In the Heights,” “Mamma Mia!”) will play female lead Jasmine, the character that, since bowing in the film, has become a kiddie-merchandise staple as one of the Disney princesses.

Freeman has previously appeared in Broadway’s “The Little Mermaid” and “Mary Poppins,”  both produced by “Aladdin” backer Disney Theatrical Prods., as well “The Producers” and “She Loves Me” (which earned him a Tony nom). Also in the 34-actor ensemble of “Aladdin” are Brian Gonzales, Brandon O’Neill and Jonathan Schwartz as Aladdin’s sidekicks and Don Darryl Rivera as the parrot Iago, played by Gilbert Gottfried in the movie.

Staged by “The Book of Mormon” director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw, “Aladdin” has just started rehearsal for its pre-Broadway tryout in Toronto Nov. 1-Jan. 5, with an opening night set for Nov. 21. The Broadway run is set to begin previews Feb. 26 prior to a March 20 opening at the New Amsterdam Theater.

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