Genie is a character in Aladdin. Aladdin meets him after he rubs his lamp and is then offered three wishes. Genie wishes for freedom more than anything and Aladdin vows to get him his freedom after using his first two wishes. Genie helps Aladdin use his first wish to impress Princess Jasmine and his second to save his life, but Aladdin has second thoughts about setting Genie free because of his destiny to become sultan. When Jafar learns Aladdin's secret, he steals Genie's lamp and uses his own three wishes to make himself powerful. When Aladdin tricks Jafar into enslaving himself under a lamp's powers, Agrabah is saved and Aladdin sets Genie free, thus enabling him to marry the princess.
Genie plays a large, and notable role in the Broadway stage adaptation of the film, portrayed by James Monroe Iglehart. Since the show's debut in 2014, Iglehart's portrayal of Genie has received critical acclaim from audiences and critics, alike, winning a Tony Award for Best Actor and interestingly echoing the reception of Robin Williams' original portrayal of him back in 1992.
In this version, Genie replaces the Peddler famous for singing "Arabian Nights"; harkening back to the original concept of having the Peddler reveal to be him at the end of the first film. As such, he performs "Arabian Nights" and disappears until his iconic introduction in the Cave of Wonders.
Like in the original, Genie provides heavy comedy and fast-paced dialogue throughout the story, some of which includes pop culture references, self-aware humor, and fourth wall jokes. Notably, in the extended Broadway version of "Friend Like Me", he adds a medley of popular Alan Menken (the man behind the music of both versions of Aladdin) including Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Pocahontas.
On the day that the news arrived that Robin Williams had died, James performed the song "Friend Like Me," with the rest of the cast, at the end of the show as a tribute to the legendary actor.