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Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier is the seventh original online musical from Team StarKid. It has music by A.J. Holmes, lyrics by Kaley McMahon, and book written by Matt Lang, Nick Lang, and Eric Kahn Gale.

The musical parodies the 1992 Disney film Aladdin, telling the "true story" from the point of view of Ja'far, the Royal Vizier. It has several nods & homages to the musical Wicked, which similarly retells a popular story from the villain's point of view.

Twisted opened in Chicago's Greenhouse Theatre on July 4th and closed on July 28th as part of a limited run. The group put the entire musical up on YouTube on November 27, 2013. It was produced by StarKid Productions and directed by Brian Holden. The musical's cast recording debuted at No. 63 on the American iTunes Top 100 albums chart.

Plot Summary[]

ACT ONE[]

The play opens with Sherrezade, the story's narrator, telling the tale of a far away land. More specifically, a magic kingdom, one that prospered through it's commitment to two simple ideals: duty and devotion - the two D's. But then, the kingdom fell into the hands of an evil sultan and through his negligence, the kingdom fell to ruin, thus causing "the Happiest Place on Earth" to become "Da Crappiest Place on Earf". She then introduces the story's protagonist, a misunderstood man who wished to restore the kingdom to its former glory: the Royal Vizier, Ja'far. The scene then changes to Ja'far conversing with the villagers ("Dream a Little Harder"). In the scene, he is constantly harassed by the villagers, who blame him for all the kingdom's problems.

The Captain of the Royal Guard then appears, covered in fertilizer, and tells Ja'far that he and the other guards were chasing after a thief. Said guards were then killed in their pursuit of the thief, before finally falling into discount fertilizer, which resulted in even more guards either breaking their necks on impact or choking on shit. All of this... for a loaf of bread. Ja'far then tells the Captain about Prince Achmed who is coming from the land of Pik-zahr (Pixar) to extend the trade agreement between his kingdom and the Magic Kingdom. The Captain, upon hearing this, reveals how, earlier on, he saw the same thief throw a whip into the face of Achmed and proceeded to mock the Prince, saying that he'd never seen a horse with two rear ends. This concerns Ja'far and he asks for the name of the thief. The Captain reveals the name of the thief to be "Aladdin" and Ja'far declares that they must find the thief and have him arrested.

The two leave and Aladdin appears, talking about how he steals everything with no remorse for his actions ("I Steal Everything"). The scene then changes to Ja'far arriving at the palace, where he sees a furious Prince Achmed. He then shows Ja'far his pants, which are ripped, and his bare, bloody ass cheeks are exposed. He declares that instead of having breakfast with him like he was promised, the Princess instead had set a tiger upon him. Furious and humiliated, the Prince declares war on the Magic Kingdom. The Princess appears and Ja'far scolds her for her actions. He then leaves to fix her mistake, leaving the Princess to lament and sing her song about wanting everything and more ("Everything and More").

Ja'far tries to think of a way to stop the war, but soon finds out that all his assistant viziers have been killed by the Royal Guard, who were ordered by the Sultan to put the viziers into burlap sacks, beat them to death and throw them out of the highest tower in the palace. Furious, Ja'far snaps and destroys the room in his rage, but then finds a golden pendant, containing half of a scarab ("Sands of Time").

Ja'far begins to think about his past, where he was once loved by the village, and teached them lessons on how to be kind to one another ("The Golden Rule"). After teaching the villagers the golden rule, he then goes to the palace and bumps into the Royal Vizier, who was a corrupt and evil man who only cared about money ("The Golden Rule (Evil Reprise)"). After the terrible encounter, the young Ja'far meets Sherrezade, who's ear had been cut off by a nobleman who didn't like her face. He then helps re-attach the ear. Sherrezade, appreciating this gesture, proceeds to tell Ja'far of the story of the Tiger Head Cave, a cave that is filled with wonders including a common oil lamp, which despite it's ordinary appearance, is actually the prison of a Djinn, a shapeshifter who will grant three wishes to anyone who rubs his lamp. She then hands him her golden pendant, with one half of a scarab embedded into it, which is actually one half of the key to the cave. She tells him that the cave was once sealed by two lovers who were then transformed into one golden scarab. The cave will only reopen when the two halves of the scarab become one, and the lovers are reunited once more. Ja'far finds her story to be beautiful and the pair quickly fall in love ("A Thousand And One Nights"). Years later, Ja'far takes his wife Sherrezade (who has just told him that she's pregnant) to the Sultan to talk about a land reform bill, but, after telling the story of how he made his penis an "innie", the Sultan falls in love with Sherrezade and has her taken to his harem. Before they are seperated, she gives him the golden scarab pendant, and says that they will be reunited, like the lovers in her story about the Tiger Head Cave.

Returning to the present, Ja'far reflects on his past and his mistakes, and mourns the death of his wife ("If I Believed"). The Captain then informs Ja'far that the Princess has run away. The Princess meets Aladdin, and is oblivious to his sexual desire for her. Aladdin then reveals that he is thirty-three, and the Princess is sixteen (which is a major red flag btw). He then talks about his past, and how he became an orphan ("Orphaned At 33)". They are caught by the royal guards, who throw Aladdin in prison and take the Princess home. The Princess becomes furious with Ja'far for imprisoning her "one true love".

Meanwhile, Ja'far retrieves the other half of the golden scarab from a corrupt merchant. He bails Aladdin out of jail to go to the Tiger Head Cave, but not before Aladdin reveals his true intentions: he doesn't love the Princess, he just wants to sleep with her. The Princess, Aladdin, and Ja'far all sing about what they want most, a happy ending ("Happy Ending"). Aladdin then tricks Ja'far and takes the lamp away from him. The act ends with Ja'far screaming in agony, as the thief rides off on a magic carpet, with the stolen lamp in his possession.

ACT TWO[]

We see Prince Achmed talk to his army, who mistakenly assume he slept with a tiger and congratulated on him for doing so (TIGER FUCKER, TIGER FUCKER, TIGER FUCKER). They then talk about how forgettable he is, but how he is also still special to them ("No One Remembers Achmed"). The army then marches offstage, to war.

The scene changes to the Princess' bedroom, where it is revealed that she is still mad at Ja'far and attempted to poison his drink (which is actually her way of asking him to talk to her). Ja'far and the Princess then have a heart-to-heart about Aladdin, and Ja'far warns her about him. To prove to Ja'far that she is responsible and capable of making her own choices, Jasmine comes up with solutions to the Magic Kingdom's problems, such as fixing the socio-economic inequality by making everyone in the kingdom a princess, like herself. Ja'far, still unconvinced, continues his talk with the Princess and warns her that a man's song is usually a way to trick young girls like herself into having sex with them, since a song is a dick in sheep's clothing ("Sheep's Clothing").

The Captain of the Royal Guard then interrupts them and tells Ja'far about a parade. Ja'far, speculating the parade was Aladdin's doing, leaves the Princess' room with the Captain. As soon as Ja'far and the Captain leave, Aladdin, after rubbing the stolen lamp and asking the Djinn inside to make him a prince, decides to visit the Princess, who immediately sees through his disguise, since he's just wearing different clothes. Aladdin then lies and tells her that he was actually a prince the whole time and that he was only pretending to be poor "just cause". This causes the Princess to find Aladdin a lot less attractive, due to the fact that he is no longer the cool rebel she thought he was. She then decides to ignores this fact and tries to get back on the high she had when they both first met. Aladdin then suggest that they go on a ride on his magic carpet, while also trying to make the Princess take her clothes off. Concerned, the Princess breaks the 4th wall and asks the audience if they think Ja'far was right about Aladdin, to which most of the audience agrees except for one guy in the back who says that he doesn't think so, to whom Jasmine agrees with. The Princess then goes on the carpet ride with Aladdin, where he then tries to subliminally make her want to sleep with him ("Take Off Your Clothes"), but is unsuccessful. The Princess then asks Aladdin to marry her, so he can stay and fight off Prince Achmed's army and save the Magic Kingdom. Aladdin then tentatively agrees.

Back at the palace, Ja'far consults with the Sultan, who confirms that Aladdin will marry the Princess, and he will bring his armies (which he obviously doesn't actually have). Ja'far tries to expose Aladdin as the thief he is, but Aladdin, not wanting his cover to be blown, tricks everyone into thinking Ja'far is actually a sorcerer. Ja'far, disappointed in the Princess for falling for Aladdin's lies, escapes using chemical reaction and steals the lamp from Aladdin while he is distracted. Ja'far successfully escapes and begins to ponder on what to do next. Just then, the spirit of a sea witch named Ursula appears. Ja'far then recognizes her and tells her that he knows her from Sherrazade's stories, to which Ursula replies, "You think you know me, as others think they know you, but there are two sides to every story". Ursula then continues, showing that she too have gone down this same, twisted path as Ja'far, being a genuinely good person who was misunderstood by many and died without anyone knowing the truth. Ja'far is then visited by several other spirits of previous "villains", who reveal that they too are all actually good (all except for Cruella De Vil, who genuinely wanted to make a coat out of puppies). After shooing Cruella offstage, Ursula then tells Ja'far that what he's experiencing is an unfortunate situation, but he does have a choice. She and the other "villlains" then dissapear, leaving Ja'far all alone to think. After much thought, Ja'far accepts the fact that he must take the "twisted" path in order to save everyone, and embraces the fact that he will be remembered as evil.

The next day, Prince Achmed and his army arrive at the Magic Kingdom, ready to enact war and end their tyrranical rule. The Princess however, confident in Aladdin's abilities, confronts Achmed's army and claims that "they'll never end their tyrannical rule!" She then calls out to Aladdin, but he doesn't show up. Achmed's army prepares to storm the palace and attack the Sultan, but before they could do so, Ja'far shows up revealing that he used his first wish from the Djinn to make him the new Sultan of the Magic Kingdom, so Achmed's army has to fight him instead. He then summons the Djinn again and wishes to become an actual sorcerer. His wish is granted and he begins to fight off Achmed's army, using his new magic powers.

The Princess, frightened, goes off to find Aladdin. Aladdin, after noticing Achmed's army, attempts to flee the kingdom, not caring about Jasmine (or his monkey) getting killed at all. Before he could do so however, the Princess finds him. The Princess tries to escape with him, but Aladdin doesn't care and attempts to sleep with her once again. It was at this moment that the Princess realized that Ja'far was right about Aladdin all along and tells him that she'll never have sex with him, angering him in the process. When Ja'far finds the two, Aladdin then takes the Princess hostage.

Because he loves her like a daughter, Ja'far then tells Aladdin not to hurt the Princess. Ja'far then remembers his own wife and how she died during childbirth after being impregnated by the Sultan and giving birth to the Princess. Just then, Ja'far realizes that Sherrazade, who was still pregnant when she was forced into the Sultan's harem, couldn't be impregnated by the Sultan, due to his inverted penis. Because of this, Ja'far is able to figure out that his and Sherrazade's unborn child was actually the Princess, meaning Ja'far was the Princess' real father all along. After this revelation, he asks Aladdin if he had loved anyone like family, which causes Aladdin to remember his parents, whom he unknowingly killed. It is then revealed that Aladdin was actually a psychopath with two personalities, one of which was responsible for killing his parents.

Aladdin then tells Ja'far that he'll give him the Princess, if he gives him the Djinn's lamp. Ja'far agrees and Aladdin lets the Princess go. Aladdin then tries to get the lamp, but before he could do so, Ja'far uses his final wish to take the Djinn's place. This sets the Djinn free and transforms Ja'far into a powerful Djinn. Aladdin, upset that his plan had failed and terrified by Ja'far's new form, runs off.

Ja'far then gives his lamp to the Princess, as he trust her to do the right thing. Ja'far then tells the Princess that after he grants her three wishes, he and the lamp must return to the Tiger Head Cave. This upsets the Princess, but Ja'far assures her that even when he is no longer with her, she'll have the power to do great things, and that no matter what he'll always love her ("The Power In Me"). The Princess then rubs his lamp and makes her three wishes. She uses her first wish to end the war with Pik-zahr peacefully. She then wishes that the Magic Kingdom had a Sultan who would make it the happiest place on Earth again. She then sadly wishes that Ja'far didn't have to go, but he informs her that is one wish he cannot grant. So instead, the Princess uses her third and final wish to give Ja'far every happiness. Ja'far grants her wishes, and smiles fondly at his daughter, before returning to the Tiger Head Cave.

The Princess then receives word that the Sultan had died and, being his adopted daughter, she is now the new Sultan of the Magic Kingdom. She then receives word from the Captain of the Royal Guard, who says that Achmed's artillery just blew open a secret vault in the palace containing the lost treasure of Ali Baba. For her first act as Sultan, in order to save her kingdom from Achmed's army, the Princess decides to purchase the entirety of Pik-zahr in the name of the Magic Kingdom, using Ali Baba's treasure (7.4 billion drachma to be precise), to which Achmed happily sells. The Princess then tells Achmed that there is one condition to her buying his kingdom however: Achmed must bring new administrators from his land, with good ideas, to help the Magic Kingdom rebuild, but still respect their traditions and heritage. That way, the kingdom could return to its commitment to devotion and duty. Achmed agrees to these conditions, and everyone bows down to the Princess. The Princess then stops everyone from bowing and tells them that no one needs to bow to anyone else anymore, because, for her next act as Sultan, in order for there to finally be equality, the Princess declares that everyone in the kingdom is now a princess (including her former slaves, Aladdin's former pet monkey and the Captain of the Royal Guard). The Princess, the Captain and the citizens then all agree that it was all thanks to Ja'far, finally recognizing him as the hero he wanted to be. The Princess then walks off stage laughing with the palace staff and Achmed, who wonders what happened to Ja'far.

Ja'far is then shown back at the Tiger Head Cave, where Sherrezade greets him, saying that his wish for happiness was granted, bringing her back to reside with Ja'far inside his lamp. Sherrezade then tells Ja'far about how their daughter, the Princess, brought on the third prophesied golden age and saved the kingdom from ruin. Ja'far ponders at how Sherrezade knows this and Sherrezade reveals that the lamp can visually project future and past events. She then uses this function to show Ja'far what happened to Aladdin, where he learns that Aladdin is now a merchant (the same one from the beginning of the original movie) and has turned to unsuccessfully selling second hand goods. Sherrezade says that he does this until he is 55, where he is ironically killed by a thief over a loaf of bread. Ja'far then asks how their story ends, and Sherrazade says it doesn't. They happily kiss, and the cast all comes together as the musical ends ("Finale/A Thousand And One Nights Reprise").

Cast[]

In alphabetical order (by last name)

Actor (*) Character
Jaime Lyn Beatty Ursula / Ensemble
Jeff Blim Aladdin
Denise Donovan Bird / Cruella De Vil / Ensemble
Nick Gage Sultan / Djinn / Scar
Lauren Lopez Monkey / Maleficent / Ensemble
Robert Manion Gaston / Abdul / Baful / Ensemble
Alex Paul Captain Hook / Ensemble
Jim Povolo Captain of the Royal Guard
Dylan Saunders Ja'far
Rachael Soglin Princess
Meredith Stepien Sherrezade
Joe Walker Prince Achmed / Former Royal Vizier

(*) Bold names denote the actor's onstage Starkid debut

Crew[]

Orchestrator Andrew Fox
Music director Justin Fischer
Choreographer James Tolbert
Production supervisor Angela F. Kiessel
Set designer Jama McMahon & Emily Thomas
Costume designer June Saito & Yonit Olshan
Makeup & Wigs Lana McKinnon
Lighting designer Sarah Petty
Sound designer Mark Swiderski
Technical director Gordon Granger
Master electrician Julie Ballard
Fight choreographer Joe Moses
Assistant stage managers Ruby Summers & Kavin Chung
Wardrobe supervisor Jess Dumbroff
Marketing Jade Ingardona
Graphic design Jen Lang & Teia Smith
Puppets Russ Walko

Musical Numbers[]

Act I[]

Dream a Little HarderJa'far and Company

I Steal EverythingAladdin and Company

Everything and More – The Princess

Sands of Time/The Golden RuleJa'far and Company

The Golden Rule (Evil Reprise) – Royal Viziers

A Thousand and One Nights – Sherrezade and Ja'far

If I BelievedJa'far

Orphaned At 33Aladdin

Happy EndingJa'far, the Princess and Aladdin

Act II[]

No One Remembers AchmedPrince Achmed and Company

Sheep's ClothingJa'far

Take Off Your ClothesAladdin and the Princess

TwistedJa'far, Ursula, Scar, Cruella De Vil, Gaston, Captain Hook and Princess

The Power In Me – The Princess and Ja'far

Finale (A Thousand And One Nights Reprise) – Company

Development[]

Twisted was funded entirely via a Kickstarter campaign launched by creators Matt Lang, Nick Lang, and Eric Kahn Gale. The campaign opened with a fundraising goal of $35,000 and ended up raising $142,564.

A different version of "Take Off Your Clothes" was presented at Unsung Starkid at Stage 773.

References[]

There are many references to previous Disney and Pixar Movies. For example:

  • The Song "Take Off Your Clothes" refers to a moment in Aladdin when viewers mistakenly heard: "Good teenagers take off their clothes." The song pokes fun at many sexual references in other Disney movies including
    • The SEX incident from The Lion King where the words SFX are seen in the sky and are commonly read as SEX
    • The priest in The Little Mermaid is shown having a bulge in his pants that the general public believed to be an erection. Disney passed it off as his knee
    • On the original box art for The Little Mermaid, the golden castle is shown to have some "phallic" imagery depicting what was believed to be a golden cock
  • In the beginning, Ja'far bumps into Belle in a parody of her own opening song.
  • "Dream A Little Harder" is similar to "Belle"
  • Sherrezade references an early version of the song "Arabian Nights" when she says "Someone cut off my ear,  because they didn't like my face." Ja'far responds "But that's barbaric." Sherrezade replies, "Hey, it's home". Those were the original lyrics to Arabian Nights before they were changed to "Where it's flat and immense and the heat is intense" for the final cut of the song
  • There is a scene where Prince Achmed talks about his "Woody" and then pulls out a Woody doll, exclaiming, "Now he can't come with me to cowboy camp!" which is a reference to Toy Story 2, where Woody's arm is torn and Andy decides not to take him to camp.
  • Twisted also makes fun of the age difference between Jasmine and Aladdin with the song "Orphaned at 33." Stating Aladdin is 33 and Jasmine is 16.
    • This is also a jab that many Disney princesses are years younger than their love interests, including Belle and Adam, Rapunzel and Eugene, Snow White and Prince Charming, and Aurora and Philip.
  • "I Steal Everything" is similar to the song "One Jump Ahead"
  • Abu and Iago do not make many appearences in the musical, contrary to the film where they are prominent characters
  • Abu is called "Monkey" in the musical with lago being called "Parrot"
  • Ja'far did mentions Eric to Jasmine as a potential suitor, but Jasmine says "He fucked a fish" as a reference to The Little Mermaid, she also questions Philip as a suitor as he kissed Aurora while she was unconscious
  • At the climax, Ja'far tricks the Genie and gets him to move a building without a wish, much likes Aladdin did when he tricked Genie into getting him out of The Tiger Head Cave in the film.
  • In the song "Dream a little Harder" there are many references to Disney fims:
    • Belle appears, as Ja'far bumps into her reading a book
    • Songs from Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio are quickly referenced
    • The villagers say different ways that Ja'far could die, referencing famous deaths from Disney Villains, some of which who show up in the song Twisted. Those are Ursula, Scar and Gaston.
      • "Skewered by a sailing ship." Ursula was killed by Prince Eric with his sailboat in The Little Mermaid.
      • "Or hanged in tangled jungle vines." Clayton is killed after going after Tarzan.
      • "Or eaten by hyenas." Scar is killed by the hyenas in The Lion King.The line
    • "Or he'll plummet to his death" refers to the following:
      • "From a castle" Gaston dies from falling off of the Beast's Castle in Beauty and The Beast
      • "A clock" could refer to Ratigan falling from Big Ben in The Great Mouse Detective
      • "A cliff" could refer to when the Evil Queen get's thrown off a cliff by the seven dwarfs and/or when Maleficent is stabbed and her dead corpse falls down a cliff
  • "Everything and More" sang by the Princess is a reference to The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World".
  • "The Golden Rule" has a similar tempo and vibe to "Bare Necessities" from Disney's The Jungle Book and "You Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story.
  • Aladdin talks about swimming in money which is a reference to Scrooge McDuck swimming in gold coins.
  • The Genie is called a Djinn, and quotes many movies such as Austin Powers, Snakes on A Plane, Batman, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Jurassic Park and Dirty Harry

Besides Disney and Pixar references, the show is full of Wicked homages and references

  • "Happy Ending" performed by Ja'far, Aladdin and the Princess have some very similar parts to Wicked's "The Wizard and I".
  • In "Dream a Little Harder", the solo part sung by Alex Paul is a take on Glinda's soprano vocals in "No One Mourns the Wicked".
  • In "Dream a Little Harder" in the bookshop, Ja'far mentions how in the book he's reading a story about " a misunderstood witch who's really not wicked at all. She's just green" refrencing the main character in Wicked
  • "A Thousand and One Nights" strikes a resemblance to "As Long As You're Mine" from Wicked, however it's also a general version of basically any Disney love song.
  • The song "Twisted" which features a multitude of other Disney villains, is most notably a great transformation of "No Good Deed" and "Defying Gravity". Both songs are from Wicked.
  • "The Power in Me" is a version of "For Good", Wicked, sang by both Ja'far and the Princess near the end of the show.

Trivia[]

  • The official recording includes Jim Povolo corpsing when Rachael tells xem "No high five"
  • During the last show, Lauren accidentally leaned on a light switch during "And how does our story end", which caused the lights to go on during "It doesn't"
  • Brian describes being harder on Meredith than the other actors because they were dating, to avoid the appearance of playing favorites
  • The Langs and Brian Holden had created the name Starkid for the A Very Potter Trilogy and meant to use a different name for the company in Twisted. However, it turned out Eric Kahn Gale create the Kickstarter page for Twisted under the name "Starkid Productions" so they stuck with it
  • The trailer's announcer is voiced by Jonathan Freeman, Jafar's original actor who's also played him on Broadway


Team StarKid Musicals
A Very Potter Musical
2009
A Very Potter Sequel
2010
A Very Potter Senior Year
2012
Me and My Dick
2009
Starship
2011
Holy Musical B@man!
2012
Twisted
2013
Ani: A Parody
2014
The Trail to Oregon!
2014
Firebringer
2016
The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals
2018
Black Friday
2019
Nerdy Prudes Must Die
TBA


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