The Radio Tales production of “Arabian Nights: Aladdin and his Magical Lamp” was first broadcast via NPR on August 21, 2001. The program encompassed two half-hour installments that were distributed to NPR member stations as part of the NPR Playhouse cultural series. Since November 28th, 2002, the entire Radio Tales series has aired in reruns on the Sonic Theater channel (163) of the XM Satellite Radio service. The “Arabian Nights: Aladdin and his Magical Lamp” program debuted on the Sonic Theater channel on November 8, 2003.
The program was produced and script edited by series producer Winnie Waldron, who also served as the on-air host. Composer Winifred Phillips created over fifty-six minutes of music for the program, and also performed as the featured actress. “Arabian Nights: Aladdin and his Magical Lamp” was part of the sixth year of Radio Tales on NPR Playhouse.
The Radio Tales production of “Arabian Nights: Aladdin and his Magical Lamp” has been available in numerous formats and venues, including burn-on-demand CDs manufactured and distributed by MP3.com and Ampcast.com. Beginning in 2005, programs from the series, including the "Arabian Nights: Aladdin and his Magical Lamp” program, have been available for download via the Audioville.co.uk web site.
Long ago, there existed an empire of magic and mystery, where fantastic creatures could be found lurking in unexpected places, and glorious adventure awaited those with the courage to face the unknown. Soon a poor young man will find himself with endless opportunities at his fingertips -- if he but wish for his heart’s desire.
Aladdin is a mischievous boy who loves to waste time with his friends instead of working for his long-suffering mother. So when a mysterious magician claims to be his wealthy uncle and proceeds to shower him with gifts, Aladdin sees no reason to object. In time, however, the magician brings him to a cave in the wilderness and asks him to fetch a lamp from within – for the cave is under a spell that will only allow Aladdin to do so. He gives Aladdin a ring (to lend him courage, the magician says) and Aladdin goes into the cave and procures the lamp (stopping momentarily to collect a great many of the pretty ‘glass marbles’ he sees there). When he reappears at the mouth of the cave, the magician demands impatiently that Aladdin hand the lamp up to him. Aladdin, frightened by the magician’s anger, decides to step back and wait for his uncle to calm down. The magician’s anger swells beyond reason, and he uses his magic to cause a cave-in, trapping Aladdin inside.
In despair, Aladdin begins wringing his hands, accidentally rubbing the ring the magician had given him. A Jinni appears, saying that he is the slave of the wearer of the ring. Aladdin asks the Jinni to save him, and instantly Aladdin is transported out of the cave. He runs home to his mother and vows to act more responsibly from now on, offering to sell his new lamp at once. When his mother begins rubbing the dirt from the lamp, another Jinni appears, saying that he is the slave to the bearer of the lamp. Aladdin asks the lamp Jinni to prepare them an excellent meal. The Jinni immediately produces an enormous feast on golden plates. After finishing it, Aladdin sells the plates at the market, becoming instantly wealthy. While there, he sees the daughter of the Sultan and is smitten. Going to the palace, he offers the Sultan all of the ‘pretty glass marbles’ he found in the cave (which turn out to be priceless jewels) in exchange for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The Sultan agrees, on the condition that Aladdin build a palace worthy of her. Aladdin runs home, asks the lamp Jinni to build the palace, and instantly the work is done. Aladdin and the princess are married.
When the evil magician hears about all this, he returns to the town and walks the streets, shouting “New lamps for old!” The princess trades Aladdin’s lamp for a new one (not knowing Aladdin’s lamp is magical). Once he has his magical lamp back, the magician tells the lamp Jinni to transport Aladdin’s palace and princess to his home in Morocco, which is immediately done. When Aladdin realizes the palace and the princess are gone, he rubs the ring, and asks the ring Jinni to transport him to his missing palace. After Aladdin is transported there, Aladdin finds the princess, and asks the ring Jinni for a powerful poison. He hands the poison to the princess and they discuss a plan to rid themselves of the magician. When the magician returns, Aladdin hides, and the princess serves the magician wine laced with the poison. The magician drinks, and keels over dead. Aladdin takes the lamp from the magician’s robe, summons the lamp Jinni, and asks for his palace to be returned to its rightful place. Aladdin and the princess live the rest of their lives in contentment forever after.