YST’s ALADDIN Jr on Stage at Fremont Centre Theatre Live and Streaming

PHOTO: Jack Bennett | South Pasadena News | The cast of YST's Aladdin Jr. on stage at Fremont Centre Theatre

YST isn’t slowing down in 2022!  YST’s Adult Membership company just completed a successful one weekend run of Agatha Christie’s Mystery One Act “The Patient”, and now the youth actors bring “Aladdin Jr” to the stage on February 25.

Still loosely based on the Robin Williams’ animated film, the current musical contains many of the same favorite characters and songs (“You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me”, “A Whole New World”) while adding three sidekicks for Aladdin: Babkak, Omar and Kassim.  The companions add plenty of comic relief, and a few new songs add to the classic tale of the street urchin who knows he can be more than how he is perceived.

PHOTO: Jack Bennett | South Pasadena News | Harrison Farley as Aladdin on stage at Fremont Centre Theatre.

“We still aren’t out of the woods, but things are definitely looking up,” says Jack Bennett, YST co-founder and director, referring to the challenges of maintaining a live theatre space in the midst of a pandemic.  “Audiences seem more willing to come to the theatre than they have in two years, and adding a robust streaming component has really helped us maintain.”  Over the last year, YST has built up its streaming setup to include four 4k cameras (for four different angles of the stage), multiple mics for sound right over the stage, and live switching for an at-home experience that comes close to being in the live audience.

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Jack has even detailed his livestreaming experience with a book “Livestreaming for Small Theatres and Venues: Five Questions You HAVE to Answer”, available now exclusively on Kindle.  “One of the adult actors suggested to me that I start taking notes about what I was learning about livestreaming live theatre. I did, and before I knew it, I had a book! I think it covers the unique challenges of streaming theatre pretty well.”

PHOTO: Jack Bennett | South Pasadena News | The cast of YST’s Aladdin Jr. on stage at Fremont Centre Theatre.

“Aladdin Jr” features two casts, where the same actors are in all the casts, but play different roles in different shows.  “We love having the ability to give our actors these challenges, and they seem to love the challenge,” says Gloria Bennett. The role of Aladdin will be played by Harrison Farley in all shows, while Augie Matsuura and Gwyneth Daley share the role of Jasmine. Maddie Cooper plays the Genie, Jafar is shared by YST newcomer Awen-Rose Miller and Annie Sawran, and Iago is shared by Ella Dan and Riley Barone.

PHOTO: courtesy of YST | South Pasadena News | The cast of YST’s Aladdin Jr. in rehearsal at Fremont Centre Theatre.

YST is following “Aladdin Jr” with an adult/youth production of “The Music Man” in April, where Jack will be playing the role of Harold Hill.

Current Covid guidelines will be in place. As mentioned above, a four-camera HD livestreaming option is also available for those unable to or uncomfortable with coming in person.

Tickets both live and streaming, are on their website www.YoungStarsTheatre.org while available.