troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
X
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Theatre: Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier

The seventh full-length musical by Team StarKid, Twisted gives Aladdin the Wicked treatment, exploring the true story of Jafar. Along the way, StarKid both thoroughly lampoons and pays its respects to the many, many tropes popularized by Disney.

Jafar — or rather, "Ja'far" — is a hardworking, honest politician in a magic kingdom that has fallen on hard times. Corruption is rampant on all levels, crime is up (no thanks to the efforts of that thief Aladdin), and the kingdom is on the verge of bankruptcy. When the well meaning but naive princess angers the prince of the Kingdom of Pik-zahr, Ja'far remembers a tale told to him by his deceased wife of an all-powerful Djinn, hidden in a common lamp. To save the kingdom from certain destruction, Ja'far must do everything he can to get his hands on that lamp, even when the road gets a little twisted, to ensure a happy ending for all.

Twisted provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adorkable: Ja'far, in his youth, due to his incessant optimism, desire to please, and love of science. Especially evident around Sherrezade.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Here we see where Ja'far got the Scarab necklace, how he became Vizer, and where he got Iago
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The citizens of Agrabah give Ja'far this treatment, and then the other Disney villains do this to Cruella de Vil. To be fair, she deserved it.
  • Almost Kiss: Try as he might, Aladdin can't get the Princess to do more than cuddle.
  • Anachronism Stew: In the ancient Middle East, the exports of Agrabah include "trash-compacting robots", Prince Achmed has a toy Woody doll, and the Djinn quotes movies from thousands of years in the future.
    • Naturally, all of these are played for laughs.
  • Ascended Extra: Prince Achmed.
  • As You Know: "We mustn't let ourselves forget the saying every child born within the kingdom knows."
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Even wearing a mustache, Lauren Lopez looks beautiful.
  • Award Bait Song: Parodied during the credits by the pop version of "A Thousand and One Nights".
  • Ax-Crazy: Aladdin.
  • Badass Boast: Prince Achmed, while trying to figure out why no one remembers him.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Aladdin briefly goes through this until he loots a dead body.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Ja'far. He really just wants to return the kingdom to its golden age. He's just not very successful. Or appreciated.
  • Benevolent Genie: The Djinn is too annoying to be really helpful, but Ja'far becomes one of these at the end of the play.
  • Berserk Button: Don't imply that Prince Achmed fucked a tiger.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Prince Achmed becomes known as Tiger Fucker to his people.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Sultan, Aladdin, and Achmed.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Ja'far and Sherrezade in the finale.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ja'far can never be with his daughter again, just after they realized their relationship, and he'll go down in history as the villain of the story. But he gets his wife back thanks to her last wish, and they can view anywhere in time and space while waiting for someone else to find the lamp.
  • Blatant Lies: Aladdin, full stop. "I've never done this before."
  • Brainless Beauty: The Princess isn't exactly brainless, but she is very, very naive. She gets better.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Aladdin and Jasmine both talk to the audience before their carpet ride, and the camera even nods when Jasmine asks if it's a bad idea.
    • At the end the cameraman plays along with the "too close" gag from the film.
  • Brick Joke:
    • The Sultan's apparently random story about how he inverted his penis. Near the end, Ja'far realizes that because of this, he must be the Princess's real father.
    • Also, when the Princess says she wants to fix the socioeconomic inequality by making everyone a princess. When she becomes Sultan, she does just that, and it is extremely effective.
  • BSOD Song: The beginning of "Twisted", before the other Disney villains show up.
  • Butt Monkey: Ja'far, Prince Achmed.
  • The Caligula: The Sultan.
  • Call Back: Near the end, one of Achmed's guards references the opening song.
    Princess: Ja'far?
    Achmed: Ja'far?
    Guard: Ja'far!
  • The Cameo: The other Disney villains including Ursula, Scar, Gaston, Maleficent, and Hook show up during the title song to encourage Ja'far. Cruella de Vil shows up too, but isn't nearly as helpful.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: "One Jump Ahead" gets this treatment when guard talks about people dying in the chase.
  • Character Development:
    • Ja'far goes from a heavily idealistic, good-hearted man who just wants to make things better to a slightly jaded, still good-hearted man who does make things better, though it costs him his repudiation and humanity.
    • The Princess goes from a naive Spoiled Brat who falls for Aladdin's lies to a idealistic-but-not-stupid ruler who manages to be a good leader, and tells Aladdin to piss off.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The necklace Sherrezade shows to Ja'far, which is actually half the key to the Tiger-Head Cave.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Djinn is a deliberately over the top example. He only speaks in hackneyed movie references. Also, the Sultan who addresses his court by first telling them all how he gave himself an inverted penis, apropos of nothing.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: All over the place, especially the opening song.
  • Continuity Snarl: Belle appears in the opening song, yet Beauty and the Beast is one of the stories to appear in the title song.
  • Costume Porn: A major step up from other Star Kid productions; they could actually hold up in a mainstream Broadway show.
  • Crowd Song: "Dream a Little Harder", "The Golden Rule", "No One Remembers Achmed", and the finale.
  • Dark Reprise: "The Golden Rule (Reprise)", as Ja'far's predecessor laughs at his attempts at political morality and sings about how money is the only "golden rule".
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • The Captain of the Guard. HEAVY on the deadpan.
    • Ja'far, especially after the main plot with the lamp gets going. Probably helps him cope.
  • Death by Irony: Aladdin becomes a merchant, and is murdered by a thief over a loaf of bread.
  • Determinator: Everyone in the kingdom hates Ja'far and nothing ever goes his way. Will that stop him from trying to fix the kingdom's problems with logic, reason, and elbow grease? Nope.
  • Disney Villain Death: Alluded to in "Dream a Little Harder":
    • "Or he'll plummet to his death/From a castle/A clock/Or a cliff!"
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Aladdin threatens the baker with death if he puts anymore raisins in his bread.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Twisted", though it takes a break from being this to call in some other Disney villains with similar unfair stories.
  • Economy Cast: The total number of actors is twelve and everyone except Ja'far and the Princess plays multiple parts, even Aladdin.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "TIGER FUCKER! TIGER FUCKER! TIGER FUCKER!"
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The other Disney villains can't get behind Cruella De Vil wanting to make a coat out of puppies. Although they're not exactly evil.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Princess, the Sultan, the Djinn, and thanks to copyright, all of the Disney villains.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: The Princess solves all the kingdom's problems by making every citizen a princess.
  • Evil Chancellor: Ja'far's predecessor. And everyone's opinion of Ja'far himself.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Aladdin, Achmed, the previous Royal Vizier, etc.
  • Expy:
    • The song "I Steal Everything" is this to "One Jump Ahead", and "Take Off Your Clothes" is one to "A Whole New World". The opening song is an expy of (and features a cameo from) "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast. "Everything and More" is a parody of Disney Princess I Want Songs, especially "Part of Your World". "The Golden Rule" sounds a bit like "The Bare Necessities" from The Jungle Book and "You've Got A Friend In Me" from Toy Story.
    • Many of the songs and their purpose in the story are also based on the inspiration source, Wicked. The bubbly soprano soloist in "Dream a Little Harder" sounds a lot like Glinda in "No One Mourns the Wicked", Ja'far's part in "Happy Ending" brings to mind "The Wizard and I" (the bridges are nearly identical), the title song bears similarities to "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished", as does "The Power in Me" to "For Good".
  • Faux Affably Evil: Aladdin.
  • Fauxshadow: "That was my bird, he has the ability to repeat words that others have spoken." This trick is never used to catch someone out later on.
  • Flat "What.": Ja'far in the opening song.
    Belle: I need six eggs!
    Baker: I want to fly!
    Ja'far: That's unrealistic.
    Ja'far: What?
  • Foreshadowing: When Ja'far heals Sherrezade's ear, she asks him coyly is he a sorcerer. This accusation will be a lot more serious next time her hears it.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: In the title song, Ja'far accepts that his fate is to be remembered as the villain of this story (thanks to Aladdin becoming the peddler from the start of the film), but all that really matters is that he did do the right thing.
  • Grief Song: "If I Believed".
  • Hail to the Thief: The parts of "Dream a Little Harder" where they really rip on Ja'far.
  • Heel Realization: Averted. Aladdin seems to be on the tip of one when his other personality rears its head. Doesn't really take, though.
  • Heroic BSOD: Ja'far undergoes this several times as his life and the kingdom fall apart, first (chronologically) after losing his wife and unborn child, then when his 2D staff is executed, and finally when Aladdin accuses him of being a sorcerer and causes him to be cast out by the Sultan.
  • Hurricane of Puns: It's Team Star Kid, but it's not quite as prevalent as it is in Holy Musical B@man.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • The Princess is a limousine liberal who keeps going on about how much more she wants out of life, while fully enjoying the perks of being a princess.
    • Not to mention this little gem. Keep in mind, Aladdin is 33 while the Princess is 16.
      Ja'far: You have no idea how much that girl means to me! I love her!
      Aladdin: Oh... You love her? Dude, she's like half your age, you're a total pedo.
    • Belle telling Ja'far to "keep your fat face out of that motherfucking book." She is even reading a book herself while saying this.
  • "I Am Great!" Song: "I Steal Everything" for Aladdin and "No One Remembers Achmed" for Prince Achmed.
  • Incoming Ham: Gaston at the beginning of the title song. "Au contraire!"
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Ja'far's defining trait — no matter how much the world fights him, all he wants to do is make others' lives better, making "The Golden Rule" of treating all others the way he wants to be treated the central tenet of his life. Eventually, circumstances force him to make exceptions for the greater good, but the fact that, even after the Sultan took his pregnant wife into his harem, tried to arrest and kill him, and placed all the citizens of his kingdom in danger through his incompetence, he's still doesn't wish to betray him, is proof enough that he's really, really squeaky clean.
  • Informed Flaw: The citizens talk a lot about how ugly Ja'far is, but even in the costume, Dylan Saunders doesn't look half bad. Possibly a reference to how attractive his Dumbledore was said to be.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The entire kingdom will jump through as many logical hoops as necessary to blame everything on Ja'far.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Aladdin basically claims this as his life philosophy in "I Steal Everything". And boy, does it show.
    • The Princess pre-Character Development, the Sultan, and all the other government officials.
  • "I Want" Song: Parodied by Jasmine's first song. Not only are her desires ridiculous, but they're often contradictory.
  • Inspiration Nod: During the first song, Ja'far is reading Wicked.
  • Jerkass: Aladdin. "Jerkass" is an understatement. "Sociopath murderer pseudo-rapist" would probably be more accurate.
  • Large Ham: Prince Achmed and Ja'far's predecessor as the Royal Vizier (both played by king of ham Joe Walker). However, none of them could hope to match the hamminess of the other Disney villains.
  • Let's Duet: "A Thousand and One Nights", "Take Off Your Clothes", and "The Power in Me".
  • The Lost Lenore: Sherrezade
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Ja'far to the Princess.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Sherrezade doesn't honestly seem that bothered by losing her ear.
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "Dream a Little Harder" gives most of the characters present at least one solo line.
  • Memetic Sex God: In-universe, Prince Achmed, at least among his subjects. "You can pleasure sixty concubines in only an hour!" "Less!"
  • Missing Mom: During "Dream a Little Harder", a girl wonders why her mother had to die. As it turns out, everyone else's mothers are dead too. It's probably a reference to Disney's long history of heroes with dead parents.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The Captain walking in on Ja'far singing "A song is a dick in sheep's clothing!" to the Princess.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Cruella can't catch a break.
  • Nice Guy: Ja'far's defining trait, next to perhaps Only Sane Man.
  • No Song for the Wicked: Averted. Aladdin and Achmed both get songs, and then double-subverted by every song Ja'far and the other villains get to sing.
  • Only Sane Man: Ja'far.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Prince Ali getup from the film is mocked. "It is you, you're just wearing different clothes."
  • Phrase Catcher: "This is all your fault, Ja'far."
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Aladdin, the Sultan, and Achmed.
  • Race Lift: The show features a nearly all-white cast. This being Team Starkid, it gets an early Lampshade Hanging as one more thing to blame Ja'far for.
  • Reality Subtext: The story is one big metaphor for the relationship between Disney and Pixar, and the history of the Disney company itself.
  • Rebellious Princess: Like in the source material, the Princess does not want to get married and she wants to escape the palace, except she still wants to keep all the comforts that being a princess entails.
  • Reprise Medley: "Happy Ending" gives "I Steal Everything" and "Everything and More" a reprise at its climax.
  • Running Gag: The Captain's increasingly strained attempts to pin whatever just happened on Ja'far.
    • Before he ever shows up on stage, several characters (and the plot summary) make sure we know that the Djinn, in addition to his other attributes, is also really funny.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The entire point of "The Golden Rule (Evil Reprise)." Meanwhile, Ja'far prefers the Screw the Money, I Have Rules! route.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Aladdin.
  • Split Personality: Aladdin turns out to have one. One side's an arrogant, selfish dick, while the other one's an arrogant, selfish, murderous dick.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There are many references to Disney movies, especially in the opening song.
      Dream hard enough, my friend
      Ja'far will meet a violent end
      He could be skewered by a sailing ship
      Or hanged in tangled jungle vines
      Or eaten by hyenas
      Or he'll plummet to his death
      From a castle
      A clock
      Or a cliff
    • "Take Off Your Clothes" describes the leaves on the ground spellings something explicit... "SFX"? This is a reference to a controversy about the sky in The Lion King containing the word "sex", although the animators claimed it was an homage to the SFX (special effects) department.
    • There are several shout outs to Wicked, down to Ja'far reading Wicked in the opening scene.
    • Likewise, Ja'far's relationship with the Princess is similar to Elphaba's relationship with Glinda, with the added twist of him being her father, a shout out to the Wizard being revealed to be Elphaba's father.
    • The Princess's whole arc is also very similar to arc Glinda goes through in Wicked.
    • The ending is nearly identical to the ending of Wicked, with Ja'far/Elphaba being remembered as a villain while Aladdin/the Wizard is remembered as a hero. Ja'far/Elphaba can never see the Princess/Glinda again, but the Princess/Glinda is now in charge of the land and becomes a great ruler while Ja'far/Elphaba lives out their days with their love (Sherrezade/Fiyero).
    • Ja'far creating a smoke bomb is a bit Breaking Bad.
    • Prince Achmed notes that some of the Magic Kingdom's greatest exports over the last ten years produced by Pik-zahr include toys, exotic fish, trash-compacting robots, and "other such incredibles."
    • There's several lines taken straight from Disney of course.
  • Somewhere Song: The Princess sings about going to live somewhere... exactly like the palace she lives in now.
  • Speaks in Shout-Outs: Everything the Djinn says is a reference, usually to a movie. It's revealed that inside the lamp he is outside of time, so he can watch all the movies which haven't been made yet. The references he makes bewilder all the characters.
  • Street Urchin: Aladdin is a subversion in this show. He steals way more than he needs, issues death threats, and many more things that make him unlike a lovable "street urchin" stereotype. He's also 33 years old, meaning that the "urchin" part has long been untrue.
  • Subliminal Seduction: Aladdin attempts an incredibly unsubtle one on the Princess. She's JUST smart enough to see through it. The song also references several real accusations that have been lobbed at Disney movies, and even gives the real explanations to the ones that have them: the priest in The Little Mermaid has knobby knees, and the dust cloud in The Lion King spells "SFX."
  • Talking Is a Free Action: As Ja'far is escaping from the Sultan and his guards, he explains to the audience, at length, how he is using a scientifically understood chemical reaction to create a cloud of smoke. Despite this, his escape is mistaken for sorcery.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: "Here's Johnny!"
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Or rather, "Then let them think I'm evil." Ja'far's epiphany in the title song is that he should stop worrying about what people think of him, and just do the right thing so at least they'll still be alive to hate him.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Turns out the Disney villains were actually good guys with bad repuations. Except Cruella De Vil. She's quite evil.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The finale version of "A Thousand and One Nights".
  • Villain Song:
    • "The Golden Rule Reprise", "No One Remembers Achmed", "I Steal Everything", and "Orphaned at 33".
    • "Twisted" is a subversion, but it's sung by some of Disney's greatest villains.
    • Villainous Lament: Subverted by "Twisted", where all the characters lament having been cast as villains.
    • Villain Love Song: "No One Remembers Achmed" has a part where Achmed says he will try to win Jasmine's heart by killing all citizens of Agrabah. "Take Off Your Clothes" may also count, even though Aladdin's just trying to get into Jasmine's pants.
  • The Villain Sucks Song: The citizens singing "Dream a Little Harder" think that Ja'far sucks, but he isn't actually a villain at all.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The bird disappears halfway through the first act, though he does have a spot in the final song.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: "Twisted" ends up as one, as the stories of other Disney villains cause Ja'far to realize that it doesn't matter how history will view him, just that he did the right thing.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The mouse has many of the names in the show trademarked, but StarKid works around this.
    • Aladdin's name existed prior to the Disney movie, so the Team could theoretically get away with this one.
    • According to the credits, Jafar's name is actually Ja'far.
    • Jasmine is only called "The Princess."
    • The Genie is only called "The Djinn."
    • Abu is only called "Monkey."
    • Iago is never referred to by name at all, except in the credits as "Bird."
    • The Cave of Wonders is only called "The Tiger-Head Cave."
      • Though this doesn't stop Aladdin from declaring "I will plunder her cave of wonders."
    • The credits call Ursula "The Sea-Witch."
  • Written by the Winners: Revealed to be the case with almost every Disney villain. Except Cruella De Vil, who the others are disgusted to learn really did want to skin a bunch of puppies.

Twilight: Los AngelesTheatrical ProductionsTwo Gentlemen Of Lebowski

alternative title(s): Twisted
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
54074
44