Broadway’s ‘Aladdin’ dedicated its Tuesday night performance to the late Gilbert Gottfried who passed away yesterday after a long battle with a rare disease.
The comedian was known for several film and television roles – but none more so than the Scarlet Macaw Iago in the classic animated film version of ‘Aladdin,’ released in 1992.
The tribute from the New York theater community came at the end of last night’s curtain call when Don Darryl Rivera, who plays Iago in the production, stepped forward to address the audience.
“Tonight we would like to take a moment to celebrate the life of a comedy legend. A funny man with an indelible voice. The man who breathed life into Iago for the animated film, Mr. Gilbert Gottfried,” Rivera said, as seen in the video posted to the show’s official Youtube account.
“Along with five other actors from around the world, I have the privilege of bringing Iago to life on stage and I think one of the main reasons this character is who he is is because of what Gilbert has. brought to the animated film: his comedy and that voice.”
Rivera also revealed that he previously had the pleasure of meeting the former “Saturday Night Live” and “Problem Child” star on the show.
“The curtain had just come down, and Gilbert goes up some wings and he put his arm around me and we took some pictures,” Rivera said. “But then I pulled this out, the ‘Aladdin’ VHS, and his eyes lit up like it was the magic lantern itself. He signed it for me and it’s still one of my most prized possessions.
The production’s official social media accounts also paid tribute to the late artist.
“We dedicate tonight’s performance to the amazing Gilbert Gottfried,” the Twitter tribute read. “Thank you for your voice, your talent and your influence in Agrabah.”
New York Post