I looked up at the stage, admiring the simplistic yet colorful sets. A Palace resided on one side, while a cave was on the other. The Sky was green with a tint of blue and seemed magical.
The lights dimmed, and the music began to play. The stage began to fill with people, dressed in clothes of Arabian nature. For you see, we were about to enter Aladdin’s universe.
However, one would not take long to realize the actors in this production were different. A kind of difference that is often frowned upon or misunderstood. The majority of this cast was disabled. Disabled either by deafness, blindness, mental intellect and many others.
This was the Detour Theatre Company, which aims to give the experience of theatre to those who may not otherwise get the chance. I watched with the most curiosity and fascination as the musical went forward and the actors were animated, excited, and happy.
Occasionally, an actor might forget a line. But, the director, Sam, prompted them with usually just one word, and they would continue on as if nothing had fazed them. Aladdin himself had difficulty speaking, but he did his best and was in character the entire time.
Aladdin came to an end and HONK began. The Ugly Duckling who was misunderstood. But soon became a swan of absolute beauty and embraced his uniqueness.
The Duckling’s Mother was blind, but was a true actress and had a singing voice that is record- worthy. The Frog danced with the most energy and heart. The entire company finished the production asking us all to join them in ‘A Whole New World,” with smiles and waves.
And, then, I began to think. I began to realize.
Anything is possible.