Q & A with Aladdin Erik Hernandez
December 6, 2018
Interviewer Name: Diana Brang-Scott
December 12 Through January 13 at The Detroit Opera House
By- Diana Brang-Scott
On December 12th the Detroit Opera House will be transformed into ‘A Whole New World’ when the Broadway hit Aladdin hits the stage. This visually extraordinary production will captivate and enchant their audiences. Aladdin’s production has over 84 special effects, including pyrotechnics, flying scenery, and costumes that contain 8,644 Swarovski rhinestones! It contains an outstanding score featuring all five songs from the original Disney motion picture. The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards as Best Original Song.
Aladdin, was adapted from the Academy Award®-winning animated 1992 Disney film and the centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” it is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical. Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance. This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the film and more written especially for the stage.
The musical Aladdin closely follows the films plot, it just changes a few things to better fit the stage. The Disney movie was an instant box office hit, and became the highest-grossing film of the year in 1992. The creative team for this musical must own a magic lamp themselves, because they truly captured all of Disney’s magic and transforms it into one of the most gorgeous elaborate productions around. Aladdin is about a misunderstood poor street rat, who trys to win the heart of the beautiful princess Jasmine. This magical story of star-crossed lovers takes an interesting turn when Aladdin finds a genie who will grant him any three wishes of his choosing. All while the evil sorcerer Jafar plots against them. This enchanting musical will sweep you into an exotic world filled with adventure, romance, laughs and a flying carpet.
I recently spoke with Erik Hernandez a charming 24-year-old Detroit native who is on tour with the company and performing as the Shop owner and ensemble cast member. Erik grew up in Royal Oak and attended Shrine Catholic grade school, Academy and High school.
I asked Erik who he thought this musical is best suited for? He said, “I think this show is for everyone! Some people will hear Aladdin and think of the cute cartoon they watched, but this is so much more. It tells the universal story of love, of struggling and trying to do your best. Its about fighting for a better life and freeing your heart; now add all the magic, I think everyone can relate to this story no matter what your age.”
This show has some spectacular costumes there are over 2, ooo different fabrics and trims coming from over a dozen countries, and all 337 of them are handmade, I asked Erik which character had the best? “That’s a tough one, there are so many but I really love Princess Jasmine’s wedding costume, Aladdin’s white jacket and the gold tap men’s costumes, they are really amazing.”
Erik is excited to be coming home for five weeks and performing in his home town, I asked him what advise he may have for young people who may want to follow in his foots steps? “My advice is to work hard. I had a teacher, Mrs. Julie Malloy and she saw the potential in me, and said if theatre is something I really want to do then its time to get serious.” Reminiscing, Erik went on, “I will never forget her words, she said, ‘You have to train like an Olympic athlete’ and those words have never left me. From that moment that’s what I did. I filled every moment outside of school with dancing, singing and acting classes.” Erik spoke very highly of Julie Malloy she was and is the vocal instructor at Shrine Academy and Highschool in Royal Oak. He said, “She is my first mentor and the reason I am here is because of the direction she led me in.” I reached out to Mrs. Malloy and she said, “We at Shrine are so very proud of Erik and his hard work through undergrad and moving to New York. Erik and I have stayed in touch and I have enjoyed watching him grow as a performer and an incredible human. The entire Shrine community is excited to welcome him home with over 250 of us attending his opening night performance here in Detroit. That’s the Shrine way!”
Come out and see Erik and the entire cast of Aladdin at the Detroit Opera House starting December 12 and running through January 13. Tickets for Aladdin start at $25 (includes facility fee) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at or www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-982-2787. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the Fisher Theatre and Detroit Opera House box offices.
For more information, please visit www.BroadwayInDetroit.com.
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