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Music, magic come to Malibu Playhouse: ‘Aladdin’ to open Friday, March 17

Lauren Coughlin, Editor
11:44 am PDT March 15, 2017

If live theater is what one wished for, that wish will soon be granted by Malibu Playhouse.

At 6 p.m. Friday, March 17, Once Upon A Time Children’s Theater will present its opening show of “Aladdin,” featuring local children in fourth through eighth grade. Shows will also be at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, March 18; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19; 6 p.m. Friday, March 24; 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25; and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 26. The playhouse is located at 29243 PCH.

The 33-person cast has been practicing since mid-January under the guidance of Director DeeDee Porter.

“The parents really pulled together and made this possible,” said Porter, who credited the board as well as Choreographer Patrick Stayer, Musical Director Ben Ginsberg and Producer Kim Stefanko for their assistance in bringing the show to fruition.

Among the stars of the show are Malibu Middle School eighth-grader Kira Smit, 14, and Viewpoint School student Michelle Myers, 12, who will play the show’s loud and lovable genie in four shows apiece.

While many conjure up a vision of Robin Williams when they picture the genie, the girls are up to the challenge.

Smit said she aimed to “find a balance between the humor that Robin Williams brought to the part and then also kind of the girly side, like ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’” To get it just right, Smit, who has been with the Playhouse since sixth grade, said she has been practicing her lines every night and reviewing her songs and dances weekly.  

“Aladdin” is Myers’ tenth show with Once Upon A Time Children’s Theater. Myers noted that she has been taking acting classes as well as voice lessons with Ginsberg to prepare for the role.

“I like playing the genie because she is a fun, smart, kooky, bubbly girl who sings a great song (‘You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me’) and she can grant three wishes,” Myers noted in an email to the Surfside.

Princess Jasmine will be portrayed by Bridget Cooper and Alli Cunningham, and Reyn Smith and Derrick Leroy portray Aladdin.

Porter said roughly two-thirds of the show’s stars are returning actors, and the cast is a dedicated bunch.

“We work really hard and it’s always great when we have an audience there cheering us on,” Smit said. “It makes all the rehearsals and all the craziness better [and] worth it when we have an audience there supporting us.”

Tickets can be purchased at www.BuyTickets.at/OnceUponATimeTheater, or at the door.