In a very pleasant piece of news concerning Disney’s most slithery villain, a stroke of casting genius will take place when Aladdin debuts its Broadway musical next spring. Variety reports Jonathan Freeman, who voiced Jafar in the original 1992 film, will play the character again in the stage adaptation. He previously played Jafar in a smaller-scale Seattle version of the play in 2011.
Freeman is no stranger to the stage, or even to Disney Theatrical. He played Grimsby in the original 2008 Broadway cast of The Little Mermaid, and also at different points onstage played Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast and Admiral Boom in Mary Poppins.
Additionally, this isn’t the first time that Disney Theatrical and Walt Disney Animation Studios have shared actors. (You didn’t know you’d be getting this much snazzy trivia, did you?) Broadway’s original Belle in 1994 was Susan Egan, who would go on to voice Megara in 1997’s Hercules. Samuel E. Wright, who voiced Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, later played Mufasa in the original Broadway cast of The Lion King in 1997. (That one’s a doozy!)
Aladdin opens March 1, 2014, in the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. Group bookings are now available.