Review: Aladdin musical is shining, shimmering and splendid

Seasoned theatre-goers may think they've seen it all, but they should think again.

Disney's Aladdin, the Musical really is a whole new world.

The hits the Auckland's Civic Theatre in 2019, two years deep into its production, but I got to see it early during its Australian leg.

The show features Academy Award-winning song numbers, colourful dancing and a Genie. And yes: there is a flying carpet, apparently with no wires (and Disney will never reveal how it works -- most of the cast members don't even know, nor will they ever).

Genie, played by Australian-born Gareth Jacobs, sets the tone with a sassy, campy and loveable nature. No one else could have played this role. To comprehend someone attempting it would be madness.

One would think Walt Disney was a fortune teller, because it feels like he wrote Genie's character with Jacobs in mind.

Kiwi Graeme Isaako, who is set to take over the titular role of Aladdin from Ainsley Melham, plays the character just the way you remember from the 1992 movie. He's vulnerable, passionate and relatable, with a voice to match.

And then there's Jasmine, now played by Shubshri Kandiah. When you see her perform, you'll understand what that star quality really is. There is no way to describe it - you'll just feel it when she enters the stage.

She is Jasmine.

And there are the other, characters too; the Sultan - although he's not as short and fat as I remember - Jaffa with a laugh that could kill, and even a cheeky Iago, whose voice is uncanny.

Spoiler alert, though: hardcore fans will be sad to find out there is no Rajah the tiger, and Apu monkey has been split into three best friends.

But alas, there is a little treat that may make up for it - a special Disney montage of fan favourite songs to warm the heart I didn't want it to end!

I have never experienced anything quite like the stage set-up - it was as if the film was playing out before my eyes. I was a child once again, not quite sure where to look, what to digest, or what to reminisce on.

And the costuming is impeccable. What's even more impressive are the outfit changes, which are instant and seamless. The production has a staggering 337 glittering costumes, which feature 1225 different fabrics, 712 different styles of beads and almost 500,000 Swarovski crystals.

Oh, and there are 280 pairs of harem pants.

It's not just a musical, Aladdin is truly magical - and I do mean magical! There are tricks that will keep your mind working, the comedy will keep you laughing, the dancing will get you up off your seat, and you'll be hoarse before the night is done.

It was everything I could have possibly wished for. Pure Genie-us.

Aziz travelled to Australia to see Aladdin courtesy of Disney.