Take a Magic Ride Inside Lakeview’s Production of Aladdin

Isabella Adkins, reporter

Lakeview’s drama club put on a spectacular performance last month that definitely lived up  to the hype, garnering a standing ovation from the high school audience. The rest of the performances of that weekend were no exception.

Of course, it took weeks of endless dedication from the cast and crew to make their take on Disney’s Aladdin such a huge success, as with all other productions.

Here is bit of a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of this past spring musical, Aladdin.

Junior Douglas Gurdak nearly stole the show with his eye-catching portrayal of the Genie, and with his skin painted blue, his performance was all the more enhanced.

Getting the perfect hue of blue wasn’t easy. It was a lot of trial and error because the first few times were very rough, the paint just wasn’t blending very well.

“He kind of looked a bit like a zebra to be honest,” said makeup artist, junior Kaileen Stevens, of  finding the perfect tint.

The Genie himself can confirm the struggle to find his perfect blue hue. “We tried a lot of different paints that failed a lot so I had to wash body paint off a lot,” said Gurdak of the process.

Fine tuning the production was more than just skin deep.

Senior Sean Galela, who starred as Aladdin, had to pull off quite a stunt in the moments proceeding the iconic magic carpet ride. In order to enact the part of the play in which Galela’s character jumps over the ledge of Princess Jasmine’s balcony, the actor needed to call on great body control.

“Of course, there was no hole for me to go into, so I had to immediately, once I jumped down [off of a bench], hit the floor. I had to land on my forearms and hit the ground as fast as possible so no one could see me.”

Of the experience he said, “I’m kind of used to physical comedy because I was always a physical comedy character for a long time.”

As for the magic carpet ride scene, cast and crew members concealed by a black cloth under the “carpet” maneuvered Galela’s Aladdin and Jasmine, played by freshman Molly Stein, around.

Of having to sing feet off the stage, Galala said, “it wasn’t that bad because it was a smooth ride, but we had to pretend that it was shaky because you have to make it seem like you’re thousands of feet in the air.”

The sets for the performance were phenomenal and greatly amplified the overall performance. Ken Young, husband of director Marty Young, is responsible for building much of the set. In fact, he started working on the set for Aladdin as early as November, particularly the remarkable set used for the cave of dreams.

If some of the set and props seem familiar, you’re not imagining things. Most of the set has been used in past performances and most recently had been revamped to suit the spring musical. You may recognize the marketplace set, which has been in re-circulation through a variety of productions for nearly thirty years.

The same goes for props. The swords had been used last year in the play Treasure Island. However, some of the props have been curated for Aladdin in particular by the properties manager, junior Lita Ramos.

The drama department certainly went above and beyond to make everything seem new and specific to the performance of Aladdin.

The cast and crew, along with theater director Marty Young and her husband Ken Young, put in great effort to make Aladdin the all-around memorable experience that it was when it premiered on the weekend of March 23.  From makeup and acting skills, to set and props, it takes a lot to make a production function and Lakeview’s drama department was clearly up to the task.