Welcome to New York/A Whole New World

So this past week was BU’s Spring “Break,” a term I use with great caution as a law student. I can’t say it was truly a “break,” as I still did a lot of homework, but it was definitely less stressful than a normal week!  Probably the single most exciting thing I did was take a day trip to New York to see Aladdin The Musical with two of my oldest friends: Sam, who I’ve known since I was 9, and Patrick, who we’ve jointly been friends with since around age 12.

A little backstory is probably necessary to really understand the import of this trip: I LOVE Aladdin. Like, a lot. Most likely more than anyone you’ve ever met. I’ve probably seen that movie several hundred times, and Aladdin shaped my childhood in a very distinct way. Patrick and I have joked since middle school that “A Whole New World” is our song; it’s his ringtone on my phone, and we sing it to each other at every possible opportunity. So, when I heard that they were making it into a musical a few years ago, I was naturally super excited to go with him.  But I had no idea at the time that I would actually be living in Boston, able to take a cheap bus to New York and see the show while it was still in its first season. When he decided to come visit for Spring Break, it was fate.

Yes, we did play this song OUT LOUD on repeat. I'm sure people thought we were native New Yorkers.

Yes, we did play this song OUT LOUD on repeat. I’m sure people thought we were native New Yorkers.

Sam also happens to love Disney. She’s more of a Lion King person and, since we saw that (SPECTACULAR) show in Boston last fall, it was her turn to accompany me on an excursion to see my favorite Disney movie turned into a musical.  So, off went the three of us to the Big Apple.  Our trip involved taking a 9 am bus from South Station, arriving in New York around 2 pm, wandering around the city for a few hours, dinner, seeing Aladdin, and then taking a midnight bus back to Boston (where we arrived at 4:30 am the next day). It was the kind of physically exhausting, mentally exhilarating trip that I already suspect I am too old for, but will definitely be too old for in the very near future.

To put it succinctly, we had a TON of fun. I have only been to New York a few times and always for very limited time periods of time, so my knowledge of NYC is pretty sparse. Luckily, Sam has much better navigational skills than me.  Using her as a guide, we had enough time to take selfies in Central Park (which I had never seen before) and walk around Rockefeller Center. We also ate those notoriously delicious, overpriced burgers at Hard Rock Cafe like the true tourists we were.

Aforementioned selfies in Central Park

Aforementioned selfies in Central Park

Guys, sleep deprivation is REAL.

Guys, the dangers of sleep deprivation are REAL.

I should also mention the weather was GORGEOUS. It was like 60 degrees and sunny, which is by far the warmest temperature I’ve felt since November.  Following a shameless pseudo-tanning session in Central Park and a delicious dinner, it was time… FOR ALADDIN.

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To be completely forthcoming, the actors could have sat motionless on stage for 2 hours while the Aladdin soundtrack played in the background and I probably would have been enthralled. Luckily for everyone else in the theater who was not an Aladdin-obsessed maniac, they did much more than that. The show was FANTASTIC.  In addition to singing every single song from the movie, they added four or five new ones, which I really loved. The guy playing the Genie was super engaging and energetic; Iago was laugh-out-loud funny throughout the show; and, finally, the man playing Jafar actually voiced Jafar in the original movie.  (My heart may have stopped beating for a few minutes when I realized this.)

Yeah, I took a lot of dorky photos.

Yeah, I took a lot of dorky photos.(Note the authentic New York garbage!)

The visual effects in the show were also breath-taking.  Between the magic carpet ride, a few absolutely mystifying trap door appearances and disappearances, and an on-stage, instantaneous wardrobe change that I have yet to figure out, I could not look away from the show. It far exceeded my expectations, and I would see it again in a heartbeat. So, if you’re going to be in NYC this spring or summer, you have my completely unsolicited, rave review for Aladdin. Go see it!  (Though maybe don’t take an overnight bus if you can help it.)

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