Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

Act One

The Stage Manager enters. Striking a gong, he introduces the production – a fable from the book, Arabian Nights. Produced in the style of Chinese Theatre, this Aladdin takes place in Ancient China. With the aid of two assistants, the Stage Manager will tell the story, change scenery and even play a few parts! The tale begins....

In the great capital city of China, Aladdin lived with his father, a poor tailor. Aladdin had come of age, and his father wished for him to learn the family trade. Aladdin did not share his father's wishes nor did he heel to his authority. Due to grief over his son's independence and disobedience, Aladdin's father became very sick and subsequently passed. In spite of the loss, Aladdin only wanted to continue his own pursuits and fly his kite. With no one to take over, Aladdin's mother has had to sell the family tailor shop.

While out flying his kite one day, the wind carries it over the wall guarding the gardens of the palace. Not wanting to part with his companion, Aladdin finds a break in the great wall and climbs in to retrieve his kite. At the same time, Princess Mei-Ling and her attendant enter the garden. Neither expecting an encounter, they are both very startled. Aladdin quickly explains why he is there, but Mei-Ling informs him that her father has palace trespassers beheaded! Still, Mei-Ling is taken by Aladdin's bravery and reveals that she never gets to speak to anyone. Sensing her sadness, Aladdin volunteers to stay and talk.

Just as Aladdin and Mei-Ling begin a conversation about the lovely morning, the Emperor enters. Aladdin bolts behind a tree. When her father asks to whom she was speaking, Mei-Ling responds that she was only speaking to herself. She attempts to cover by saying that she was pretending that a handsome suitor had asked for her hand in marriage. Hearing this, the Emperor decides that it is time for his princess to marry! As he exits, he informs her that he will find the richest suitor in China to bring them the most precious gifts.

Aladdin returns to find a very sad Mei-Ling. She does not wish to marry any of these wealthy men – they are all old and unattractive. Aladdin asks the princess if she would marry him if he were rich and could provide her expensive gifts. When she says yes, he explains that he is poor and can only offer his precious kite. When Mei-Ling asks if she can keep it, Aladdin agrees and exits.

Certain that Mei-Ling will never see a poor man like himself again, Aladdin decides to give up his idle ways and pursue becoming the richest man in China. As Aladdin finds himself financially stooped, a magician from the far away land of Arabia enters. The magician is secretly on a mission to capture the power of the universe. He must find a boy to use in his plan, so the magician finds out Aladdin's name from the Stage Manager.

Pretending to be his uncle, Aladdin is fooled by the magician into thinking that he has come to visit his brother and only just now found out that he is dead. Aladdin brings his faux uncle to meet his mother and to see his brother's home. Bitterly, his mother explains to her "brother-in-law" that Aladdin does nothing to provide for the family in his father's absence. Aladdin then tells them both that, on this very day, he has decided to become the richest man in China! Happy to hear his youthful eagerness, the magician tells Aladdin that he will take him on a short journey the next day and promises that he will return a rich man!

The next day, Aladdin and his "uncle" journey far from the city. Walking through gardens, over bridges and up a very tall mountain, Aladdin finds himself in front of a rock, beyond which lies a cave filled with enchanted treasure. The magician informs Aladdin that this cave is forbidden and that the spirits would not find him worthy... but, nonetheless, Aladdin must follow directions and journey into the cave if he wants to become rich. For once in his life, Aladdin does as he is told!

Aladdin is warned not to touch any of the treasure until he reaches the end of the cave and claims the lamp that hangs there. Once he has retrieved the lamp, he may help himself to any of the treasure, for it is all his. Aladdin quickly retrieves the lamp and then fills both of his hands with all the treasure that he can hold! When he returns to the exit, Aladdin reaches out to his "uncle" to help him. Selfishly, the magician insists that he hand over the lamp first, but, with his hands full of treasure, Aladdin says he cannot reach it. Thinking that he is being tricked, the angered magician casts a spell that seals Aladdin inside the cave. The manipulative magician did not get his lamp but he is apathetic because he is the only one who knows of its powers. He is careless of the fact that Aladdin will starve and die in the cave.

The stunned Aladdin sits in captivity and wonders why his "uncle" wanted the lamp so bad. Aladdin begins to look at the treasure that he selfishly gathered and rubs the tarnished lamp to remove years of dust. Suddenly, a genie appears! Grateful that Aladdin has freed him after being trapped in a lamp for a thousand years, the Genie informs Aladdin that his wish is the Genie's command. Aladdin realizes that he now has all of the riches that he needs to marry Mei-Ling but lacks a gift for the Emperor. With no problem, the Genie presents Aladdin with Fatima the dancing doll. Thrilled, Aladdin now asks the Genie to free him from the cave and take him home. With a flourish of magic, the Genie escorts Aladdin and Fatima home.

Act Two

Aladdin returns home and showers his mother with riches. He tells her all about what happened. Although she cannot see the Genie and does not know what to make of everything, she is very proud of Aladdin. Together, Aladdin and his mother head to the palace, where he will ask for the Princess' hand in marriage. In order to do so, Aladdin first shows the Emperor proof of his great wealth and then presents Fatima. The Emperor is thrilled and insists that the marriage ceremony begin at once.

Aladdin asks the Genie to build a palace for him and his bride. The Genie does as he is commanded, and Aladdin presents the palace to the Princess. The Emperor gives Mei-Ling to her new husband and warns him that he must guard her. If anything should happen to her, it would mean Aladdin's life. The Genie also warns Aladdin that he should never lose the lamp. Aladdin has arranged for his mother to live with them and be his wife's guardian. Many moons go by, and they all live in the new palace very happily.

The magician now has a plan: one day, while Aladdin goes on a hunting trip, the magician comes to the palace with shiny new lamps. Because Aladdin's mother had never seen the Genie and is not sure that he exists, she partakes in the magician's offer to exchange a new lamp for the old one. Immediately, the magician summons the Genie and orders him to make the palace vanish and to take the Princess and Aladdin's mother to the cave.

As ordered, the Genie takes the three to the cave and wipes away the palace that he created. Aladdin returns from his hunting trip to find himself arrested and brought before the Emperor. The Emperor wishes to kill Aladdin for the mysterious disappearance, but Aladdin pleads with him and insists that he knows what happened. The Emperor gives him until sundown to find the Princess... or else he will be beheaded. Aladdin cannot figure out what to do, but then Fatima comes to him and gives him a ring, claiming that the ring contains a Genie, too. Aladdin summons this Genie – the twin brother of the Genie of the Lamp – and asks this genie to take him to the prisoners at once.

Just as the magician is returning, Aladdin finds the two women. Aladdin bids his Genie to destroy the magician. The Genie explains that, as long as the magician has possession of the lamp, he cannot destroy him – Aladdin must do it. Because the ring has a poison in it, he should have Mei-Ling make a drink for the Magician and then drop the ring into it. When the magician drinks it, he will die. She tries to do as she is told, but the magician is wise to her scheme. He tries to make her drink the poisoned tea instead, and she screams for Aladdin. He rushes in, knocks over the magician and steals the lamp, handing it to Mei-Ling. She beckons the Genie and wishes that he save Aladdin. The Genie does as he is told, and they are all free.

Aladdin now has his mother, Mei-Ling, his treasure, the lamp and the ring. There is no threat left from the magician, so Aladdin has the Genie set himself free and sent back to Arabia. They all return home and live happily ever after.