Robin Williams: Watch the Broadway cast of 'Aladdin' honor the actor

Robin Williams starred as the Genie in the original 1992 film of 'Aladdin' and the cast of the Broadway adaptation of the musical recently honored him through song at one of their performances. Robin Williams died on Aug. 11.

The cast of the Broadway production of “Aladdin” recently honored actor Robin Williams during one of its performances. 

Williams, who died on Aug. 11, portrayed the role of the fast-talking, pop culture-referencing Genie in the 1992 movie that is the basis for the show. Actor James Monroe Iglehart, who is currently playing the Genie on stage and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for the role, was the one who led the tribute to Williams that took place after the show. 

“Yesterday, we lost one of the greatest – not comedians, but one of the greatest entertainers of all time,” Iglehart told the audience. “So we’re only going to do this once, because we don’t want to drag something on, because first and foremost, we want to give our hearts and our prayers and our thoughts to his family because he’s a husband and a father first, entertainer second. But for tonight… I want us to just sing a little bit of ‘Friend Like Me’ before we go.”

The audience sang a shortened version of the song and ended with cheering and applause, with many audience members giving Iglehart a standing ovation. Check out the full video.

Williams received widespread critical praise for his performance in “Aladdin,” which follows a peasant boy who lives on the streets but dreams of a better life and falls in love with a princess. When he rubs a lamp and finds that a genie can grant him three wishes, he believes his luck may have finally changed.

Christian Science Monitor movie critic David Sterritt singled out Williams for special attention in his review of “Aladdin,” writing that “typically for a Disney production… the movie's best fun arises not from its hero and heroine but from a secondary figure who helps them reach their goals: the hyperactive Genie, modeled directly on the hyperactive Robin Williams, who provides the character's voice. ‘Character’ is really the wrong word here, since this Genie is a one-person variety show of imitations, impressions, and Post-Modern pastiches whose voice and appearance can change in the twinkling of a Hollywood edit - mimicking children's favorites like Pinocchio, grownup icons like William F. Buckley Jr., and others too numerous to mention or even keep track of. Rarely have Mr. Williams's talents been put to better use, and all this without even showing his face!”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Robin Williams: Watch the Broadway cast of 'Aladdin' honor the actor
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today