Though Wheelock Family Theatre’s “Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp” falls short early and often, the kids in the audience seem to love it. And let’s face it, they’re the target audience.
While adults may find the script lacking in sizzle and filled with inexcusably dull moments, the pre-teen set is dazzled by the spark-ling costumes, fancy turbans and magic lamp. They don’t seem to care that the plot never fully develops nor that Wheelock has once again resorted to traipsing repeatedly up and down the aisles while the ample stage remains lifeless.
Though the younger members of the audience (and probably most of their parents) have never seen director James P. Byrne’s outlandish work with Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans, there are squeals of delight when Aladdin takes a very Landry-esque magic carpet ride.
The same crowd roars with approval (and rightly so) for the stellar performance of Orphan mainstay Larry Coen. Though his Magician is supposed to be the dastardly man representing the dark side in the story’s fight between good and evil, Coen smartly imbues him with a clownish essence that keeps things light and appropriately entertaining.
Sebastian Kim is delightful as the young, love-struck Aladdin and Samantha Boucher is sheer perfection as the object of his affection (and the envy of every young girl in the room), Princess Badroulbadour.
Kortney Adams and John Davin prove to be crowd favorites as the genies, complete with magical entrances and mysterious voices.