Aladdin (also was known as Aladdin: The Hero of Agrabah) is a major Off Broadway musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken that premiered at a community theater in Manhattan in 1987. It is considered by Disney fans as the precursor to the 1992 film Aladdin. Despite being an Off Broadway production, it was considered a critical success, becoming one of the most popular community productions of its time.
Aladdin: The Hero of Agrabah was produced out of anger and frusturation by Ashman after he unsuccessfully attempted to pitch the idea of a comedic animated film based on the Aladdin stories of the One Thousand and One Nights saga to Disney executives. Executives declined because the studio was not only well into production of The Little Mermaid, but that some of Ashman's ideas were considered "too dark" for a Disney film. Outraged, Ashman returned to New York in early 1987 and penned the entire musical over the course of three weeks. He said before his death that he wanted to get revenge on the studio. Next, he sat down with Alan Menken and wrote the score over the course of five days. All but five songs were eventually cut from the final film. They are Prince Ali and its reprise, A Magic Carpet Ride (which later became A Whole New World with different lyrics snd transposed into the key of D rather than G),