MUSKEGON — The Penguin Project of Muskegon Civic Theatre will stage the musical “Aladdin Jr.” Oct. 20 and 21 at the Frauenthal Theater in downtown Muskegon.
Performances at the historic, 1,725-seat Frauenthal will be 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 and 3 p.m. Oct. 21.
Tickets are available at the box office of the Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western. They are $10 apiece, plus a box office fee.
Produced by MCT and the No More Sidelines organization, The Penguin Project affords live performance opportunities to children, teenagers and young adults with special needs.
Penguin Project artists have a wide spectrum of needs including Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and ADHD. Participation in the program enhances social skills, communication skills, and self-esteem.
Last fall the two performances of “Annie Jr.,” the first Muskegon production of The Penguin Project, drew around 1,200 people.
This year’s show has received a huge boost from Women Who Care of Muskegon County, the philanthropic group that supports a variety of causes in West Michigan. Woman Who Care has donated $25,400 to The Penguin Project.
The Penguin Project uses abridged, or junior, versions of Broadway musicals that are professionally modified for young performers.
“Aladdin Jr.,” is based on the 1992, Academy Award-winning Disney movie and subsequent, 2014 Broadway show of the same name. The familiar story is about a street urchin who discovers a magic lamp, and the genie inside the lamp grants him three wishes.
Among the almost 30 performers appearing in “Aladdin Jr.” will be Luke Lewis as the Genie, Cherokee Frost in the title role, Michael Groustra as Babkak, Kyle Sweetwood as Omar, Maddie Dukes as Jasmine, Hannah Hunter as Kassim, Ali Stone as Isir, Kylee VanTol as Manal, Kassidy White as Rajah, Dakota VorenKamp as Sultan, Tommy Sutton as Jafar, Kate Hunter as Iago, Chris Sturgis as the Shop Owner, Ben Dandron as Razoul, Desiree Jahndi and Micah Koens as Guards, Audrey DeVries Nicky Pryor and Olivia Moulton as Beggars, Aaron Hunter as the Apple Vendor, Stephanie Miller as the Fortune Teller, Christian Preston as Abdullah, Lindsay McCarthy, Hannah Bevans and Sebastian Craigie as Attendants, Alex Kimble as Spooky Voice, Alivia Blair as Cave of Wonders, Samuel Stroud as Kaleem and Dante Kitchen as Hakim.
Each performer appears on stage accompanied by a mentor. Mentors for “Aladdin Jr.” are Sophie Recknagel, Isaac Varela, Miah Lipps, Alison Mastee, Bella Rae Resterhouse, Madison Ball, Emma Dibble, Riley Trygstad, Keeley DeLora, Sophia Ross, Wyndham Ross, Carly Califf, Allison McGovern, Jamelle Sargent, Lauren Vanderplow, Deserra Davis, Caleb Sobolewski, Kenna Ross, Kialynn VorenKamp, Malia Swartz, Laura Schluentz, Liz Swainston, Jenna Stovall, Anna Prince, Grace Prince, Krista Kroll, Jack Trygstad, Audrey White, Laura Kimble, Summer Biesiada, Collin Schoels, April Bowlin, Chloe McLouth, Rebecca Peterson and Christal Booker.
Nationally, The Penguin Project last year received the 2017 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. The award is the nation’s highest honor for programs like The Penguin Project.