Children fly into Agrabah to meet cast of ‘Aladdin’

Children fly into Agrabah to meet cast of 'Aladdin'

The leads in “Aladdin,” sophomore Brady Fritz and junior Lindsey McCumber (from left to right), pose for a picture with children during the Magic Carpet Tea. The tea gave children an opportunity to talk with the cast, take pictures, and request autographs.

Brianna Glase, Online Chief

Kids hopped on a magic carpet and took a ride to a whole new world to meet the cast of the spring musical “Aladdin” at the Magic Carpet Tea on March 2.

Similar to the Cinderella Tea last year, the Magic Carpet Tea, sponsored by the Patriot Parent Association (PPA), gave children the opportunity to talk with “Aladdin” characters. Kids were able to get pictures taken with and request autographs from the seven leads and other cast members.

According to Director Laura Lang, the turnout was “terrific,” with 175 people attending the tea, about the same as last year’s Cinderella Tea.

Aladdin and Jasmine were two of the most popular characters for kids to take pictures with.

Fourth grader Coco Meyer said that her favorite part of the tea was “getting my picture with Aladdin and Jasmine.”

“I liked Jasmine because she was a princess,” kindergartener Annie Warren said.

Junior Lindsey McCumber, who played Jasmine, was ecstatic about the enthusiasm kids had towards her character. “At the Cinderella Tea I was the Evil Stepmother, so I got glares and all the girls avoided me, but now since I was Jasmine, it was honestly like they were meeting Hannah Montana, I felt so famous,” she said.

English teacher Celeste Smith’s granddaughter also joined the princess. “[My granddaughter] had such a great time. She was so excited to meet Jasmine and get her picture taken with her,” Smith said.

Sophomore Brady Fritz, who played Aladdin, felt great about what he could give to the kids, as well as the attention he got as Aladdin. “I liked making kids happy and changing their lives so now they can be like ‘whoa, I met Aladdin,’” he said.

Some characters were not as popular with the children. Sophomore Juan Cajigas, who played the evil Jafar, found that kids weren’t as eager to get their pictures taken with him. “I was a little nervous that the girls wouldn’t have the courage to come near me … It was nice to know that I placed smiles on others’ faces, except for the fact that I scared three little girls,” he said.

“Several of the little children were afraid and didn’t want their pictures taken with [Jafar], but all in all, I think the kids loved seeing all of the characters up close and personal,” Lang said.

Some of the kids were eager to receive autographs from the entire cast. “I got an autograph from Jafar, and the bird, and the genie, and Aladdin, and Jasmine, and the Magic Carpet,” third grader Kayla Adams said.

Junior Karly Horn, who played the Magic Carpet, had a tough time posing for pictures and signing autographs due to her costume. “It was hot and my arms hurt, but I’m kind of used to it at this point,” she said.

However, in the end Horn was pleased with the tea and how the children reacted to her. “All of the little kids wanted to take pictures with me … I kept telling them they could be like Jasmine and fly on the Magic Carpet,” she said.

Religion teacher Dave Huber took advantage of the Magic Carpet Tea and brought his wife and three daughters to meet the characters. “We went mainly for the girls to get a chance to meet the cast which is a really big deal for them,” he said. “I think [the Tea] is a great act of hospitality to be able to get pictures for free and meet the cast,” he said.

Lang agrees that supporting the Tea is “a good thing to give back to your community.”

In general, Lang is pleased with the results of the Tea. “From the smiles on [kids’] faces, I think they loved it,” she said. “The PPA would like to continue with this idea. I guess it just depends on what the shows are.”

Brianna Glase is the Online Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.