A whole new world... behind the curtains: A backstage look at Disney's Aladdin The MusicalCNET meets with "Aladdin" Production Stage Manager Jimmie Lee Smith, who reveals some of the behind-the-scenes tech that makes the show sparkle.
[MUSIC] I am the production stage manager here at Aladdin on Broadway. I manage everything upstage of the proscenium. There are 35 cast members that are on stage, but there are also another 60 Crew members back stage operating the show, those technicians do everything from manage the set pieces and the props to manage the lighting and the sound. The technology in this show is quite extensive, there's quite a few things that are operated from a wireless standpoint. There's lots of moving pieces both in the air, on the stage, and from beneath the stage. As a stage manager, it's our job to make sure that all of those things operate in concert together with the show and with the music, so that we have hopefully a technically Superior show to most anything that you've seen. We have a very sexy magic carpet that I can't tell you anything about, but it's really cool. [LAUGH] There's one point in Friend Like Me where we have forklifts operating at the same time. Some of them are going up, some of them are going down. These are our quick lifts. There are two of them in the show. These lifts travel at a rate that we have calibrated to about twelve feet per second. I'm pretty sure these were belt driven lifts. The lifts themselves are clear plexiglass downstairs so the technicians and the stage managers below the deck have full eyes on the cast member while they are in the lift. Both when we load them up and in their rate of travel. And there are cast members on stage dancing around when we open these holes up so there are stage managers on both sides of the stage as well as technicians watching just to make sure everybody's safe that nobody falls in the hole while we load the cast member up and then we give them lights to get them all ready to go. Ready [SOUND] [LAUGH] [SOUND]