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Backstage with Disney’s Aladdin at the NAC

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Disney's Aladdin, one of the most famous Disney stories of all time, has arrived in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre.

On Thursday, CTV News Ottawa had the exclusive opportunity to tour behind the scenes of this musical courtesy of Broadway Across Canada.

Senzel Ahmady, who plays Jasmine in the production, showed off her wedding dress, which is also the heaviest costume of the show.

"This skirt alone is 18 pounds," she said.

Ahmady’s role as a real life princess is a dream come true, but comes with pressure. 

"It definitely is a lot of pressure being in a show that people know so well. You know, they expect a lot when they come to watch the show, but I love our musical because it is for everybody. It is for people that grew up with Aladdin. It's for kids that are just now learning what the story of Aladdin is."

Disney's Aladdin Wardrobe Supervisor, Élisè Packee, is in charge of the 236 costumes in this production.

"All of these are hand-sewn and require a lot of maintenance. All of these crystals, all of the sequins hand-sewn. You'll notice that we have cute little dangles on the pants, kind of one of my favorite details," Packee said.

During the show, 38 of the 236 costumes are changed in less than a minute. 

Ahmady explained the quick-change process back stage.

"Okay, so the quick change starts and I'm running off stage and then I come in here and I undress and I get into my new costume. Then I change my shoes and then I walk over here. I’ll sit down at this seat right here, and I will get my wig changed or my crown changed, whatever the quick change calls for. And then I'll run back out here and go back on stage." 

Packee added, "Think of it like NASCAR and the pit crew. Only people, not cars."

The production requires 75 cast and crewmembers to keep the two and a half hour show entertaining for audiences. 

"I've been doing musical theater and singing my whole life and I went to college for musical theatre," Ahbady said. “And so it definitely was a trek to get here but I'm so happy that I'm here now."

Over 10 million audience members have watched this Broadway musical show over the course of its tour.

Disney's Aladdin takes the stage at the NAC until Sunday, March 26.

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