Sadly, this Disney inspired show is lighter and emptier than even Snow White’s mind. The concept is that Aladdin and Jasmine, planning the Genie’s retirement party, have forgotten to buy the supplies, requiring them to call on the audience to help them decide what to do and therefore influence the course of the entire play, which along the way meets several of the most loved and hated figures from childhood.
However, despite its integral nature to the title, it feels as though this ‘choose your own adventure’ element has absolutely no effect on the actions of the characters. We got options such as choosing what Rapunzel and her friends will have at the tea party and amusingly Belle suggested ‘the grey stuff – it’s delicious’ (a line from ‘Be Our Guest’: the song made famous by the singing candlestick). Yet we never saw the consequences of that choice, which makes the decision to ask the audience just seem like pandering to the title. This is a perfect example of how the production consistently put the emphasis on individual jokes rather than on the plot as a whole, meaning that we are left without any plot whatsoever. The lightness of the play was demonstrated by it ending a good 20 minutes early; perhaps that is another of its interactive charms.
Most strangely, for what is supposedly an interactive show, the actors’ responses feel incredibly scripted and the best moments come when they are forced to respond in character to some off-wall remark by an audience member. Then it becomes apparent that these young people do have some talent at holding a crowd and begin to fill out their slight characters.
Occasionally, there are even good ideas written into the show; getting the audience to hunt for Aladdin’s lamp at the start instantly engaged the children and even the adults started clambering all over the seats in some imitation of a primary teacher’s worst nightmare.
Considering, however, how an overwhelming amount of the western world has grown up watching Disney movies, singing Disney songs and wanting to be Disney princesses, you think you’d be able to get enough material to write something more than a show that does not even make it to a weak half hour.