Actor Lance Roberts, who originated the role of Jafar in Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular in Disney California Adventure, has spoken out about the announced closure of that show early next year.

When asked by Laughing Place for a statement on the news, Roberts said:

As an original cast member, I am forever grateful for the joy of performing Jafar for 7 1/2 years! The guests gave us so much love (even the “bad” guys!). I was proud to be a part of Disney’s continuing diversity in its casting. And most of all, In all my years as a performer on Broadway and around the world, I’ve never seen so many Dads and sons at the theater. I’m sure that they love the princesses, but Aladdin, the Musical spectacular gave them adventure with sword fights and chase scenes, a redeeming hero in Aladdin, a dastardly villain, a wise cracking henchman and improvised comedy from the Genie. I hope that they are able to fill that entertainment void with their new projects.”

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Roberts followed up this response with a photo of him as Jafar:

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Later, Roberts expressed a similar sentiment on this Facebook and Twitter, saying:

“So many feelings about the closing of Disney Aladdin: The Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure. It closes on January 10, 2016 after 14 years, 14,000 performances and over 14 million guests! I enjoyed my 7 1/2 years there and cherish the friends that I am honored to have. My thoughts are with those cast members who have families to support and wish them clear minds to make way for the good that will come. If you have been a fan of the show or have always thought of making the trip, GO. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. The story has been told for a thousand years on film, on television and currently in the hit show on Broadway BUT, this is a 25 million dollar extravaganza with live singing and dancing and glorious special effects that can’t be duplicated ANYWHERE else. I’ve returned since leaving the show and I still marvel at the carpet that soars over the audience and the elephant puppet by The Lion King’s Michael Curry. I look forward to the new jokes by the Genie and marvel at human carpets that tell stories without words. Because of scheduling, I probably won’t be able to make it back, but if you drop by, tell ’em Jafar sent ya and He wants that LAMP!!!!”

Since leaving the Aladdin show, Roberts has gone on to perform in many stage shows including The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway and made appearances in such films as This is Where I Leave You.

Aladdin  — A Musical Spectacular will close on January 10, 2016 to make way for an all-new musical inspired by the massive hit Frozen.