Last month, a musical version of Disney’s beloved Aladdin opened on Broadway. By coincidence, I have at the same been hunting for props for our local middle school’s production of Aladdin, chosen as this year’s school musical. In the midst of combing through genie lamps, brightly colored fabrics and magic carpets, I stumbled upon accessories available for those seeking to grace their special celebrations — birthday parties, bridal showers, graduation parties, what have you — with a fun Aladdin theme, as well.
First, consider place card holders that are miniature versions of one of those lamps one might find sitting out in a desert somewhere, just waiting to be discovered so the genie inside may be released to grant a master’s fondest wishes. Grace your table with these, and you may even find a guest or two rubbing the lamps at their places, just in case.
Carry this theme further with genie-lamp centerpieces that incorporate larger-sized genie-style lamps found online, most of which are actually meant for incense burning rather than genie housing.
Keep the theme going with vibrant colors – reds, golds, blues, purples, yellows, greens — that will evoke the feel of a sultan’s palace. Of course carpets play a role here, as well. A magic flying carpet would be ideal, but finding one may be a challenge. If you happen to have a brightly colored rug or two, however, by all means make those part of the décor. Further enhance the look by draping panels of brightly colored fabrics around the room. You can find these as remnants at fabric and craft stores; watch for weekly coupons, which can make them even more affordable.
Finish the look with ornate place settings, which need not break the bank, since you may be able to find paper and plastic versions painted gold, designed to mimic authentic 24-karat versions of tableware.
And, finally, if you’re a fan of the animals in Disney’s Aladdin (I am), you may want to bring tigers and monkeys and parrots into the mix, as well — especially if your celebration happens to be a baby shower or a child’s birthday party. Now, I would advise against inviting a live tiger to join you (an homage to Jasmine’s Rajah – a personal favorite of mine), but if you happen to have a large stuffed tiger or a collection of small tigers (I do), consider placing them around the room as part of the décor, and/or offer toy tigers as favors. Same goes for monkeys, in tribute to Aladdin’s best friend Abu, and parrots (villain Jafar’s sidekick, Iago). Just use your imagination and bring the magic to the day.