Calera High students present ‘Aladdin’

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

CALERA — Calera High School’s theatre and choir students joined forces Thursday and Friday, April 15 and 16, for an on-stage performance of Disney’s “Aladdin.”

For those who were able to catch the show, there were a few noticeable changes to the “junior” version of Disney’s classic, as Theatre and Choir Director Marjorie Eubanks explains:

“In this version, instead of a monkey, Aladdin has three best friends and they are hilarious little characters and they sing songs with Aladdin,” Eubanks said. “Instead of a tiger, Jasmine has three girlfriends and they all sing quartets. It’s got some beautiful music in it. It also has a great message with being comfortable with who you are, and I think that’s a message that students need to hear right now.”

Twenty-nine students acted in the production, which features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin. The school’s step team were featured as dancers in the show.

Senior Collin Ferguson played the role of Aladdin, and Eubanks praised his singing voice in the part.

“Playing Aladdin has allowed me to experience moments I thought I wouldn’t have this year,” Ferguson said. “It has taught me to work as a collective and not as an individual and to strive for a new greatness. I hope by being in this role, it will better the future of this great program at Calera.”

Another main role, that of Genie, went to fellow senior Reagan Parrott, who said the production meant a great deal to the participants, especially considering its initial delay.

“We’ve been trying to put on this production for two years now because of COVID, and that’s literally half of my high school experience,” Parrott said.

For some students it was their first venture into theatre. Lexi Scarpelli, who served as the stage manager and assistant director, indicated that “Aladdin” was a major confidence-booster for her.

“Aladdin has taught me to love myself in the way others do. It has taught me my worth is more than what I make of myself,” she said.

Freshman Allie Lowery, who played Manal and served as understudy to the lead role, was also spreading the good vibes:

“I have a chance to be that little ray of sunshine on stage. It makes me so happy to get this opportunity,” Lowery said.

For everyone who played a part, as well as those in attendance, the production with all of its color, music and emotion seemed to serve as a signal that with the return of performance art, things are that much closer to getting back to normal.

“We’re just excited to be able to bring theatre and music back after this time of COVID,” said Eubanks. “I think all the directors are incredibly excited to be bringing art back to the community.”