The lead role of Aladdin is a wish come true, writes Sally Clark.
AINSLEY Melham has moved a long way from his home town of Bathurst in country NSW. He is now in New York, where he is recreating his performance as Aladdin in Broadway’s production of this Disney spectacular. It is an incredible opportunity that not only sees Melham realising a childhood dream but also places him back on stage with his original co-stars, Michael James Scott (Genie) and Ariel Jacobs (Princess Jasmine).
Melham originally trained at the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts and spent a few years as a principal cast member of the iconic children’s pop group, Hi 5. He starred as Aladdin for three years in Australia, performing in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. “I was wrapping up my time with Aladdin at the end of the Perth season, and was planning to move onto other projects, when the team from New York called and asked me to relocate for six months to play the role on Broadway,” he explains. “Of course I said yes! Mostly it was about good timing and fortune.
“It is honestly a dream come true. It’s so surreal to walk up to the theatre each day, see my face on the front of it and be reminded that I’m the lead in a Broadway musical. Some days I still don’t believe it’s a reality.” . . .
This is an extract from an article in the June/July issue of Dance Australia, out now! Buy Dance Australia at your favourite retail outlet, or online here... OR never miss an issue by subscribing here.
Pictured top is Ainsley Melham as Aladdin. Photo: Deen van Meer.