Next month at the Riverfront Theater, 2 South Walnut Street in downtown Milford, the Second Street Players’ Kids Theatre will present The Magical Lamp of Aladdin. Show dates will be August 1, 2, and 3. Friday and Saturday Performances are at 7pm as the Sunday performance is at 1pm.
The actors of the Children’s Theatre will take audience members to the city of Shammar, which is the setting for The Magical Lamp Of Aladdin. The classic story of Aladdin, his monkey sidekick Alakazam, and the beautiful Princess Jasmine will entertain young audiences and their families. Evil magician Jammal, who might have some anger issues, tries to trick Aladdin in a malicious scheme to acquire a magical lamp containing a wish-granting genie. Aladdin tricks Jammal and claims the lamp for himself, using the power to win the princess and impress the Sultan but through another wicked ploy, Jammal regains possession of the lamp and kidnaps Jasmine. To set things right Aladdin must face Chop-Chop, the merciless executioner. At last, Aladdin and Jasmine, are reunited, and Jammal is transformed in to a new person. Audience members will also meet three genies, the whining Ali “Bubba”, the fire-breathing dragon, and the haughty Sultan’s wife.
This show is put on by kids for kids with the help of adult mentors. Director Libby Dissinger, 17, will be directing for her first time as she has assembled a cast of many talented local children. Dissinger has performed with Second Street players since 2002 as she proclaims that she “grew up in the theatre.” She has performed in children and main stage shows including The Princess and the Pea, Annie and The Diary of Anne Frank. Although she is a veteran on stage, Dissinger admits that directing for the first time has been challenging yet exciting.
“It is stressful but a lot of fun, a majority of the kids are new to this so I am teaching them from my experiences,” stated Dissinger. “It is cool to be on the other side while still knowing what it is to be acting on stage.”
“It is exciting to see what you envision come to life on stage.” Dissinger’s favorite part about taking on the director’s role is “watching each kid bring each character to life and watching those characters mesh together.” Dissinger is following in the footsteps of her father, Mark Dissinger, as he has directed Second Street Players performances for over 17 years.
The Second Street Players’ first true For Kids By Kids performance, actors of the Children’s Theatre not only direct and play the characters on stage but have also designed and constructed costumes and sets. Sydney Gross, 13, plays Jammal the evil magician as she continues her fifth year with the Second Street Players, playing roles in performances including Ever After and Beaty and the Beast. This will be Gross’ first male role and first performance as a villain. “It has been quite interesting trying to adopt male mannerisms like dropping my voice and ‘walking like a man’,” said Gross. “It is a lot of fun playing the villain, I feel that I can put a lot more into the character.”
Alex Waddly, 13, will be playing Princess Jasmine as she will be performing for the first time with Second Street Players on August 1. After watching Aladdin on Broadway, Waddly learned about the Second Street Players performance and wanted to get involved. “Aladdin has always been my favorite story,” she said. “I like playing Jasmine, she is very independent.”
Dawson Gehrke, 14, will be playing the lead role of Aladdin, drawing on his experience performing with Second Street Players in shows including Puss ‘n’ Boots, Briar Ross and Snow White. “It feels nice to be the lead role and a little bit of pressure,” said Gehrke. “I enjoy the atmosphere of the other actors around Aladdin throughout the show.”
The Magical Lamp of Aladdin will show at the Riverfront Theatre on August 1, 2, and 3. Friday and Saturday Performances are at 7pm and the Sunday performance is at 1pm.
Friday night is a special ‘pay what you can’ night as event goers are asked to make a donation to Second Street Players. Saturday and Sunday tickets are $5 for children 18 and under and $10 for adults. Tickets are general admission and can be purchased at the door. For more information individuals are invited to visit secondstreetplayers.com