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Original Jafar Jonathan Freeman to Depart Broadway's Aladdin; Dennis Stowe to Take Over

Freeman voiced the role of Jafar in the original animated film Aladdin.

Jonathan Freeman as Jafar (left) and Dennis Stowe as Jafar (right)
(© Deen Van Meer/Evan Zimmerman)

After thousands of performances, Jonathan Freeman will depart the Broadway production of Aladdin on Sunday, January 23.

Freeman has been associated with the role of Jafar for more than 30 years, voicing the iconic villain in the original 1992 animated film, its sequel, the animated series, and countless video games and theme park attractions. He was the only actor from the film to play their role on stage; his stage run began with the production's out-of-town tryouts in Seattle and Toronto in the early 2010s, before opening the show on Broadway in 2014.

While this is not a goodbye to the character — "villains never retire," Freeman joked with TheaterMania — he is proud of his long-standing tenure with the show. "I have satisfied my sense of guardianship," he told us.

Beginning January 25, the role of Jafar will be played by Broadway mainstay Dennis Stowe, an original cast member of Aladdin who has served as the role's standby since the production opened.