MANILA, Philippines – Kapamilya singer-actress Aiza Seguerra is set to portray the role of Genie in the local staging of the musical "Disney's Aladdin."
Local theater production company Atlantis Productions announced Friday that the "Pagdating ng Panahon" hit-maker will alternate with balladeer Calvin Millado in the role of Genie in its staging of "Aladdin."
The Philippine staging of "Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular" will be the first in Asia, according to Atlantis Productions.
With music by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, "Aladdin" is the latest full-length musical of Disney Theatricals, which is based on the animated film classic of the same name.
Portraying the titular character is Kapamilya actor and "Pinoy Big Brother" alumnus Tom Rodriguez, whose role as the magic carpet-riding hero will mark his professional musical theater debut.
"It's like a dream come true. I grew up watching Aladdin," said Rodriguez, whose post-"PBB" showbiz career saw him appear in a number of films and TV series, including "Here Comes the Bride," "Petrang Kabayo", "Angelito: Batang Ama", and most recently, the top-rating "Be Careful With My Heart".
Recording artist and "Star Power" alumnus K-La Rivera, meanwhile, will play Princess Jasmine. "Being chosen to play Princess Jasmine is such a dream come true for me. Growing up, being a princess was a dream of mine," she said of the role.
On the possibility of being compared to world-class Filipina performer Lea Salonga, who recorded the princess' singing parts in the original film, Rivera said:
"There will never be another Lea Salonga. I don't think there will ever be a more perfect version of A Whole New World. It's a song I grew up singing on karaoke. I'll do my best to make her proud."
"We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Disney Theatricals with their new musical which only recently opened premiered in the United States," Atlantis Productions head Bobby Garcia said.
"We are honored that Disney has handpicked us to to premiere the musical in Asia. It will definitely be the musical event for families in 2012," he added.
"Aladdin" will open in November at the Meralco Theater.