Aladdin at the Fox, where better to see this Disney-fied stage incantation of that vaguely middle eastern cartoon turned musical than at the Fabulous Fox, what with its faux Siamese Byzantine architectural motif. Turn around and even the walls have the image of the villain Jafar staring back at you. Look out! Never has the combination of venue and performance been better matched. Faux décor meets fake Arabian Nights. Still, something magical occurred on stage. This is easily the best production in our going on three-year tenure at the Fox, rivaled only by that American history lesson, Hamilton.
Aladdin has everything. It has production values out the wazoo. It has so many dance numbers that the cast must have trained first at Broadway boot camp. I got worn out just watching them dance and dance and dance. Then there are the witty asides, but most of all there is the genie. Every musical needs such a genie.
The gallery above is of show posters for Aladdin. They appeared in display cases, in front of the theater. Reflections off of the glass had to be lived with.
The two big production numbers, at least for me, were a “Friend Like Me,” in which Aladdin is introduced to the genie. In the movie Robin Williams did his schtick. Here we have an equally inventive send up to American pop culture that features references to Oprah, Let’s Make a Deal and Chorus Line. just to name a few. Who could resist gold lamé dancers sprouting fezzes instead of top hats? This song closed out the first act and in my opinion was the high point of the show. The other song I loved was “A Whole New World”, especially with its magic carpet ride. I couldn’t see any mechanism, even with binoculars.
On the way out, we trailed a mother, with her small daughter. I asked the girl, which did she liked better, the movie or the musical. She was undecided. So, maybe I’m being too effusive in my praise of this show? I’m way sure that I’ve seen more musicals than she has. Yet, I’m sure she has seen the movie more often than I have. I’d go see the musical again. I’m not so sure about the movie.
On Friday, we attended the opening of the Saint Louis Art Museum’s big winter show. Anne taught a half-day in the morning, but her afternoon was free. The show is Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now. It features lots and lots of Lichtenstein. Who knew that the museum’s collection included so many of his works and this show is primarily drawn from the museum’s collection. I suspect that the largess of last summer’s big Egyptian show ordained this more modest exhibit. I hope the curators didn’t run their budgets underwater with that one. I noted that our mummies are all safely ensconced in their resting places.
Graphic Revolution opens to the general public on Sunday, but is open now to members, which we currently are. Anne was gifted with this membership last year, at the end of one of her long term substitute gigs. So, this is the first time that we have been able to partake of this privilege. Normally, we sneak in on free Fridays (Dedicated to Art and Free to All), the first one is next week.
Graphic Revolution explores the explosive mix of art and printmaking that began in the US in the 1960s. The experimentation embodied in this revolution transformed contemporary art. Shown are examples of how printmaking was used to push the boundaries of modern imagery by engaging with current issues and new technologies. In addition to Lichtenstein, many other iconic artists are featured in this exhibit. Warhol’s Campbell soup cans made the show. Due to the fragility of many of the works here, most have not been regularly displayed. The show also gives one an insight as to the depth of the museum’s collection.
Echoing Andy Warhol’s style, the above Rosa Lee Lovell work is set on Delmar Boulevard in Saint Louis. The bright colors and crisp outlines of its screen print are collaged with photographic imagery of the Loop. The Tivoli Theater is seen in the upper right. Lovell soon died after making this print.
We had breakfast with Dave and Ali. Ubered to the airport and then flew home. Joanie picked us up. Sorry for the confusion. Apparently the worse place to be on a Sunday evening in Saint Louis is the airport. The second worse, Schnucks, was my next stop. It was a good trip. We got to observe both of our boys in their natural habitats. Observations tempered by Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. I only regret that we couldn’t spend all day with David and fly home the next, but Tuesday’s election looms and Anne is working as an election official. She didn’t want to arrive home late Monday night, only to have to get up early on Tuesday.