Catch Him at the Fabulous Fox Theater September 12-23
“It’s pure magic!” Paranada shares when asked about the show. It’s his Disney debut and although he has had other roles, including Baker in “Into the Woods” and Nicely in “Guys and Dolls,” you can tell he’s excited. In the show, Iago along with some of the other characters are transformed into humans. There are so many throws to old Broadway comedy, he says when asked about his favorite thing about playing this part. Iago and Jafar have quite the banter and rapport in their role as the tag team villains in the story.
The songs and dancing will entertain both children and adults, according to Paranada. Everything about the show is magical and colorful! There will be families of all kinds in the audience and the actor stresses that Disney’s passion for diversity is part of the excitement. He is proud to celebrate his Filipino heritage, stating, “It’s nice to see people like me on stage. Disney truly embraces cultural diversity.” In fact, he’s pleased to be taking over for another Filipino-American actor who played Iago previously and he considers it an honor. He knows he’s got big shoes to fill. When asked about the challenge of trying to “be the bird” that Gilbert Gottfried’s voice made famous, he laughs, saying that he plans to pay homage while adding his own flair.
This show is perfect for a child’s first theater experience. There are fireworks, sequins, embroidered and hand-painted costumes, quick changes and vocal and physical gymnastics. “Friend Like Me” becomes a 7-minute spectacular. The genie even breaks the fourth wall to interact with the audience. “Working for Disney is a dream come true! There’s not a night that goes by that I’m not grateful.”
Follow Jay Paranada at @jayparanada on IG.