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FranklyHANK: 'Aladdin' Opens & Jane Lynch's New Gig

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The Genie has arrived and oh what a genie he is. Disney's "Aladdin" officially kicked off its North American tour in Chicago last night. (WLS)

The Genie has arrived and oh what a genie he is. Disney's "Aladdin" officially kicked off its North American tour in Chicago last night (April 19, 2017) to a packed house and two well-deserved standing ovations. Adam Jacobs, who originated the title role on Broadway, takes the lead once again with an amazing performance.

Anthony Murphy plays Genie and "brilliant" doesn't even begin to describe his performance. You relish every second Murphy is on-stage and when he disappears (as genies often do), you cannot wait for his return. Chicago native Jonathan Weir plays Jafar and he is deliciously evil in the role. Isabelle McCalla plays Jasmine, her first major production and tour, and she delights in the role. The costumes are breath-taking with more than 330 of them in the show, all hand-made with more than 2,000 different fabrics and trims. The sets are glorious, vibrant, and literally bring the animated classic to life.

This show is definitely one for the entire family. Disney's "Aladdin" plays the Cadillac Palace Theater through September 10, 2017. Tickets are available at BroadwayInChicago.com.

SPEAKING OF "ALADDIN"

Disney is currently working on a live-action version of the 1992 animated film. Guy Ritchie is set to direct and now we are hearing a big name may be playing the genie...Will Smith. No release date is set for the film and no cast announcements have been made; however a recent casting notice said rehearsals would begin this month with principal photography happening July 2017-January 2018. Personally speaking, I think Smith would "kill it" in this role.

JANE LYNCH GOES GLOBAL
Dolton native Jane Lynch is about to take on her biggest project yet... the Earth! Lynch will host "Earth Live" for National Geographic Channel and NatGeo Wild on July 9, 2017. The global event will simulcast in 171 countries and 45 language and feature the best of the animal kingdom in real-time. Lynch will host from a studio in New York along with animal expert Chris Packham as viewers witness locations across six continents.

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