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Meet the New South Asian Lead Actors in Aladdin on Broadway

  Aladdin, the hit musical based on the Academy Award®-winning animated film, is back on Broadway. New to the company are South Asian actors Michael Maliakel and Shoba Narayan as Aladdin and Jasmine.
Michael Maliakel (Aladdin) made his Broadway debut, having recently toured the country in the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera. His stage credits include the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera (Raoul u/s), Anything Can Happen: The Songs of Maury Yeston in New York, Other World at the Bucks County Playhouse; Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding at Berkeley Rep; She Loves Me at PlayMakers Rep; and Bernstein's MASS at the Ravinia Festival. He also appeared on "Bull" (CBS) and "FBI" (CBS).
Shoba Narayan (Jasmine) made her Broadway debut in 2016 opposite Josh Groban in the 12-time Tony-nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, notably becoming the first South Asian female in a principal role since Bombay Dreams, which Playbill called "a personal milestone and a key moment on Broadway." Among her numerous stage credits, she starred as Eliza Hamilton in the national tour of the world phenomenon and Broadway smash hit Hamilton from Lin-Manuel Miranda; and most recently appeared on Broadway in 2020 as Nessarose in Wicked. Film and television credits include the award-winning independent feature film Growing Up Smith directed by Frank Lotito, "Quantico" (Mark Gordon / ABC), "Halal In The Family" with Aasif Mandvi, "Gossip Girl" (The CW), Coin Heist (Netflix) and Mistress America directed by Noah Baumbach. Shoba is a Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical) dancer and teacher, and has performed extensively throughout the US and India, including major prizes at several international dance competitions.
The returning cast of Aladdin features four original company members in principal roles: Michael James Scott as Genie, Tony Award® nominee Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, bringing to the stage the role he indelibly created in the animated film, Don Darryl Rivera as Iago, and Dennis Stowe as the Jafar/Sultan standby.
Aladdin opened on Broadway to critical acclaim at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 20, 2014 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years, breaking 14 New Amsterdam Theatre house records. Worldwide it has welcomed more than 10 million people and grossed over $1 billion. By the end of 2021, it will be playing in Holland, Germany and Mexico, in addition to Broadway.
Aladdin, adapted from the animated Disney film and centuries-old folktales including "One Thousand and One Nights," is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin's journey sweeps audiences into an exciting world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.
The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song "A Whole New World," which won the second of the film's two Academy Awards as Best Original Song. The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
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