While on a flight from Europe to the U.S., she received the last-minute call due to the illness of the original Jasmine and an injured understudy.
It was a whole new world for Broadway actor Mikayla Renfrow when she got on stage to play Jasmine. The understudy for the musical "Aladdin" was on a flight from Europe back to the U.S. when she got the call to fill in for the role of the famous Disney princess. However, unfortunately, her flight got delayed, per ABC 7 New York. "I was four hours into my flight. Our Jasmine, Sonya [Balsara], had fallen ill. The other understudy in the building had an injury. That's what kind of pushed us into, 'Mik needs to get to the theater,'" Renfrow told Good Morning America. She had to overcome a series of obstacles, including deplaning, going through customs at JFK International Airport and making her way to Manhattan, which was more than a one-hour taxi ride away. She had to do all this before curtain call.
.@Aladdin understudy Mikayla Renfrow shared an incredible story of how her airline helped her make it from a plane to the stage after being called last-minute to go on as Jasmine!— BroadwayWorld (@BroadwayWorld) September 19, 2023
However, somehow it was a fairytale ending for the on-stage princess. She even had a genie on her side in the form of a Delta flight supervisor Leicha Richardson. "This was a Disney production and we were just going to make sure that we got the lead where she needed to be," Richardson said. The ensemble actress managed to make it to Broadway thanks to the Delta flight crew who booked her a Blade helicopter. As soon as Renfrow's Delta flight landed, she was taken back up in the air in her Blade ride. Within seven minutes, she got from JFK Airport in Queens to Manhattan.
Renfrow made it all in time to shine as Jasmine on stage at the New Amsterdam Theatre. There in the audience was Richardson who helped make it all possible. "We wanted to make it happen for Mikayla," He said. "You know, she's following her dreams." Renfrow was grateful for all the help she received from everyone around her to help save the show. "It was just a gift for [Richardson] to be there. I did the show for her. I wouldn't have been in the show without her," Renfrow said. "Thank you for everything."
Renfrow also shared her story on Instagram thanking everyone involved so she could live her dream. "Yes, it did happen. I’m still reeling from the day and the jet lag. But, wow Delta, Fly Blade, my family, Disney on Broadway and "Aladdin" pushed me through in ways I didn’t even know were possible. I couldn’t have stayed standing without my flight attendant, Leisha, and Captain Robert supporting me through the flight. Thank you Ben Davis for making sure I didn’t have a meltdown and started this whole adventure. Thank you to everyone who held me during that day, I’ll never forget it," she captioned a video montage of the entire incident.
Many people loved her story and especially the moment the flight attendant also came by to watch the show. @jennyandersonphoto wrote, "OMG not the flight attendant coming to the show!" "I am gagged at this!! Yes yes yes! The Delta attendant coming to the show to see you shine is everything!!!," @iammjscott commented. "Now that's a magic carpet ride!" added Aladdin's official Instagram handle.