Disney's THE LION KING and NEWSIES to Offer New Accessibility Services on Broadway
G-PASS is an organization focused on bringing new waves of audiences to the Broadway theatre with groundbreaking computerized systems by Tony® Award–winning Sound Associates Inc., creators of the original Infrared Listening System. G-PASS develops and implements accessibility services to theatre patrons who are deaf, blind, or non-English speaking. With Sound Associates Inc.'s exhaustive research and development, G-PASS has been able to utilize the latest technologies to reach the widest audience.
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Disney Theatrical Productions, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, was formed in 1994 and operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. Worldwide, its eight Broadway titles have been seen by over 103 million theatergoers, grossed over $7.4 billion and have cumulatively run a staggering 189 years. With 15 productions currently produced or licensed, a Disney musical is being performed professionally somewhere on the planet virtually every hour of the day.
The company's inaugural production, Beauty and the Beast, opened in 1994. It played a remarkable 13-year run on Broadway and has been produced in 28 countries worldwide. In November 1997, Disney opened The Lion King, which received six 1998 Tony® Awards including Best Musical and recently became the highest grossing show in Broadway history. The show continues in its 16th smash year, having welcomed over 66 million visitors worldwide. The Lion King can also currently be seen on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan, and in London's West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, and Madrid. When it opens in Brazil in March 2013, the show will have been translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese) and performed in 15 different countries on five continents.
Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida opened on Broadway next, winning four 2000 Tony® Awards, and spawning productions around the world. Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, opened in London in 2004 and has established itself as one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge in recent years. The Tony Award®-winning Broadway production opened in 2006 at Disney's New Amsterdam Theatre, where it continues to delight audiences. Mary Poppins can also be seen on tour across North America and in New Zealand.
Tarzan®, which opened on Broadway in 2006, is now an international hit with an award-winning production in its 5th year in Germany.
In January 2008, The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway and was the #1-selling new musical of that year. Its success continues with three new productions around the world: Holland, Russia and Japan.
Two new critically acclaimed productions opened on Broadway in 2012, receiving seven Tony® Awards between them: Newsies, at the Nederlander Theatre, and Peter and the Starcatcher, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
Other successful stage musical ventures have included King David in concert, the national tour of On The Record, several touring versions of Disney's High School Musical, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin and the premiere of the stage adaptation of Aladdin at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
In addition, DTP licenses stage performance rights to more than a dozen Disney musicals around the world through Music Theatre International.