AP NEWS

St. John’s brings ‘Aladdin’ to Baraboo

May 17, 2019

St. John’s Lutheran School performers got their wish without having to rub a magic lamp.

For years, students at the Baraboo parochial school have asked director Sarah Durkee to choose “Aladdin” for the annual spring musical. Entranced by a rewritten version of “Aladdin Jr.” based on the Broadway musical, she agreed to bring to the Al. Ringling Theatre stage the well-known story about a street kid (played by Isaiah Feine) who is united with a princess (Madison Strampe) with help from the genie in the lamp (Isaiah Durkee).

“It is so much fun,” she said.

The cast will present free shows Friday and Saturday evenings.

“’Aladdin’ has always held a special place in my heart,” Durkee said, noting that her high school presented the musical her junior year. “My love for ‘Aladdin’ has grown again.”

“Aladdin Jr.” features many of the characters popularized by the Disney film. The genie and Aladdin’s buddies help the hero try to get the girl, but he faces resistance from the power-hungry villain Jafar (Ben Burgess).

But there are some new faces and other tweaks. Durkee said one of the cast’s favorites is “High Adventure,” a song featuring Aladdin’s sidekicks Babkak, Omar and Kassim (Martin Lindholm, Zach Burgess and Frankie Walter).

“I think the audiences are going to love the familiar characters they have come to know but I think they will enjoy the new songs and new characters, as well,” Durkee said. “It’s the plot that you knew, with a good twist or two, but the changes we made were slight.”