By Arts Editor Doreen Jung. Abbotsford Children’s Theatre is bringing Aladdin to Abbotsford. With the magic of a lamp and the adventures of a young man, this beloved tale from the Arabian Nights come to life on stage. Aladdin and his friends, including the dancing monkey, Toodle-de-Toos, must outwit a mysterious stranger from the East who wants Aladdin’s magic lamp.
Photo: (L-R) Aladdin’s Mother played by Mhairi McKay, Aladdin played by Evan Rachwalski, Princess Amber played by Madison North, The Sultan played by Joshua Bilson & Lamp Genie played by Hallie Moorthy
Evan Rachwalski is one of the actors performing the role of Aladdin. He falls in love with a princess, and finds exciting adventures as he encounters magic and battles evil wizards. A Grade 9 student at Abbotsford Christian School, Rachwalski is having a lot of fun in this role. He says, “Everything is very exaggerated and Aladdin is really naïve.” It all makes for a great experience for Rachwalski who recently joined Abbotsford Children’s Theatre. There are spells, potions, and reversals of fortune as Aladdin discovers the magic of the lamp and his love for a princess.
Mhairi McKay is one of the actors playing Aladdin’s mother. A Grade 9 student from ASIA Sumas, she is bursting with enthusiasm for the show. “It has been really exciting getting to do this famous show,” remarks McKay. “It’s very magical and so much fun! The costumes are amazing and the set is so exciting.” McKay loves getting the experience of being a mother. “I get to play all these different emotions that I’ve never played before. I feel like Aladdin is my son. I love him and he’s my family. I care for him like a real mother.” This is McKay’s 8th show with Abbotsford Children’s Theatre. She is passionate about acting.
Eleven year old Hallie Moorthy is a grade 5 student at Mountain Elementary. In this show, she plays two roles: the Lamp Genie as well as Allspice, a sorceress’ assistant. She makes her appearance when Aladdin rubs his lamp to clean it for selling. She grants his wish for nice clothes when he weds Princess Amber. Unfortunately the Princess trades the old lamp for a new one from a peddler who turns out to be an evil wizard. Forced to do the wizard’s bidding, the genie uses magic to create havoc and mayhem. “I love it,” enthused Moorthy. “I am really excited to be a genie who can cast spells and make wishes come true.”
Some roles allow you to become very different from who you really are. That is one of the reasons Madison North loves the role of Princess Amber. “Princess Amber is very flirtatious,” says North, a Grade 8 student from Clayburn Middle School. “It is interesting to play that role and fun to be someone completely different; a very bold character.” North feels that “Abbotsford Children’s Theatre puts on such good plays.” She loves being part of the production. “Everyone knows each other and it is fun to be around them all.”
A sultan living in a great palace is a cushy role. And that is only partly due to his being overweight. Nevertheless Joshua Bilson has a lot of fun playing this part. “The Sultan really likes big celebrations,” describes Bilson. “The wedding feast will last 3 days. He likes to eat a lot of food.” Bilson is a Grade 9 student at MEI and feels that “it is great to be part of this cast which is a really good group of talented actors. The team of directors is also really good. They are putting on a great show.”
The young actors in this production all have a passion for theatre and that is part of the magic of Aladdin on stage.
Presented by Abbotsford Children’s Theatre
Matsqui Centennial Auditorium
Friday, April 25 @ 7 pm and Saturday, April 26 @ 1 pm
Tickets available at The Reach Gallery Museum, Tourism Abbotsford,
Jazz-Ma-Tazz and online at abbotsfordchldrenstheatre.org