New Castle News


March 4, 2010

ON STAGE: ‘Aladdin Jr.’ to make magic at Playhouse

By Dan Irwin — Audra Moesta is hoping to create some magic.

And she’ll be relying on more than just a genie to do it.

Moesta is directing the New Castle Playhouse Youth Theatre production of “Aladdin Jr.,” which opens tomorrow. And while it is the job of The Genie to amaze his fellow characters on stage, Moesta believes her entire 38-member cast has the ability to do the same for folks in the seats.

“They have worked really hard, they’re doing a fabulous job,” she said of her group, members of which range in age from 8 to 18 (with a couple of adults tossed in here and there). The music is not simple music, and they’ve really tackled that and conquered that. I’m so proud of them.

“It’s Disney,” she went on, “so obviously you’re going to have the color, the excitement and the familiarity to the public, and the musical score is really great. It’s going to be a fun time.”

And The Genie’s mystical moments?

“We can’t tell you that,” Moesta said of the production’s special effects. “You’ll have to come and see all of our stage secrets. I think we do well.

“It’s a youth production, not a Disney production. If we had that budget, we could do all kinds of things. But we do make him appear, we make Jafar disappear, so there are some things going on that you definitely get the illusion that that’s happening.”

The plot of the musical, Moesta said, is the same as Disney’s “Aladdin,” as is the message: “Be yourself.”

That works well for 15-year-old Nick Kerpsack, who plays Aladdin. He sees some similarities between himself and his character.

“I’m sly, I’m slick, so just go with the flow,” he said.

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