At Wharton Center

‘A Whole New World’ with Aladdin

One of the most memorable parts of Disney’s Aladdin is the romance between Aladdin and Jasmine. With their shared feelings of being trapped in their current situations and desire to stay true to themselves, Aladdin and Jasmine have remained a beloved Disney couple since the film’s release in 1992.

It’s safe to say that many kids, including myself, grew up watching the movie with the hopes of finding their own Aladdin or Jasmine one day. For one couple, that dream came true, and they can be seen this week as the national tour of Disney’s Aladdin arrives at Wharton Center.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with married couple Colt Prattes (Kassim) and Angelina Mullins (Ensemble), two cast members from Disney’s Aladdin whose romance truly rivals that of Aladdin and Jasmine’s. For the past eight months, this duo has been touring the country together in one of Disney’s biggest blockbusters. Read how this power couple keeps their romance alive on the road and what it’s like to tour the country with your life partner.

Cami: When and how did you two first meet?

Angelina: The story starts about 10 years ago. We met during the revival of West Side Story on Broadway. We pretty much started dating right away, and it’s been a beautiful 10 years.

Cami: What were your paths to getting to Aladdin, and when did you find out that you would be touring the country together?

Angelina: I’ve been so fortunate to work with Casey Nicholaw, our choreographer and director, for a very long time. I’ve known Casey for about 14 years. He actually gave me one of my first huge gigs in the first national tour of Spamalot. I have a wonderful relationship with him. He’s a fabulous person on top of being so talented. When this tour came up, I wanted to be a part of it, and I’ve been touring with Aladdin for about three years now.

Colt: I actually joined about 8 months ago, at essentially the beginning of the third year. Angelina’s been out on the road with the show, and I would come out and visit when I wasn’t working in LA, where I was filming Dirty Dancing. The second year I had started filming a show for the Sundance channel called This Close, the first show ever written by and starring two deaf actors and writers. Since I know sign language, that was something I really wanted to be a part of and was blessed to be a part of it. Once that had all wrapped and I had a bit of down time, I reached out to Casey and said I would really like to be a part of Aladdin. Luckily, I was then given the chance to audition and I got the role. Now I get to tour the country with my best friend.

Cami: How has your relationship changed from working in separate cities to now being together all the time?

Colt: This is the second time one of us was touring and the other wasn’t. I toured with the popstar Pink for a couple years. Honestly, there’s nothing like touring the country with your best friend. It’s just the perfect thing. Being apart is hard, but it teaches you a lot about your relationship and what you need as individuals and what you need together. After being apart, this is really an amazing blessing.

Cami: Do you ever get the chance to go on dates while you’re on the road?

Angelina: Oh absolutely. I feel like our favorite time of day is after the show when we get to have a little date night, whether it be at a house or we go out and explore the town. We always make time to go on dates. We’re visiting the best cities in the country, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a date night at home.

Cami: Is being together constantly ever a challenge?

Angelina: Life is so much easier when we’re together. For us, we work best when we work and play together.

Colt: You still need your alone time. There are some days when I’ll go to the movies by myself, or we’ll work on separate projects. But we’re married—that’s why I asked her to spend the rest of her life with me. I want to be with her. I want to be around her. I just feel lucky.

Cami: How is Aladdin different from other shows you’ve been in?

Colt: Aladdin is an incredible show to be a part of, not the least because we’re together. This show is so magical and so beautiful. The costumes, the set design, what Casey and the creative team have done with this show is absolutely incredible. I don’t even have a word for it. It’s an honor.

Angelina: I think a special thing from our side of it, performing it every night—there are some shows you do that are beautiful in their own right, but sometimes they’re quite heavy or you can only do them for a certain amount of time because emotionally it’s draining. There’s something so special about Aladdin: you put on these unbelievable costumes, you get to deliver this message every night that is joyous and hopeful and has so many hidden meanings behind everything. You watch the faces of not only kids, but the adults, reliving their childhood and falling in love again. This isn’t just a kids’ show.

Colt: This isn’t a kids’ show at all. It’s kid-friendly, but it’s not a kid show. When people come to see it, they realize what an amazing date night it is. For two years, I got to watch Angelina in it every night. She’d be like, “Why are you coming back to see this show again?” And I’d be like, “Because it’s amazing and you’re incredible.” It’s been a blast.

Cami: What is your dream Broadway couple to play?

Colt: We’d love to play Lola and Young Jo in Damn Yankees. She’d be incredible as Lola, and I would love to be Young Joe just to watch her do that every night.

Angelina: You’re so sweet.

Cami: Looking forward, do you see yourself touring for a while more or do you see yourself settling down in New York or LA?

Colt: We’ve kind of always followed wherever the universe wants us to be, wherever the wind blows us, that’s where we go. We try not to make too many plans. We prepare for the future as best we can, but we’re going to be happy wherever we are as long as we’re together, so we’ll figure it out from there.

If you’d like to learn more about Colt and Angelina, they have a YouTube channel called Part of Love, where they create videos about love and relationship advice.

With direction and choreography by Broadway legend Casey Nicholaw and a score by iconic Disney duo Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, Aladdin is sure to be a spectacle that leaves East Lansing’s audiences feeling shining, shimmering, and splendid.

Don’t miss your chance to see Colt and Angelina onstage together in Disney’s Aladdin—playing at Wharton Center December 4-15, 2019. Tickets and information.

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