Breaking News: Disney's ALADDIN to Play Pre-Broadway Tryout in Toronto Starting November 2013; Broadway Spring 2014
We reported a few weeks ago that MARY POPPINS will close on Broadway on March 3, 2013 to make way for renovations at the New Amsterdam Theater, followed by its next tenant, and a musical adaptation of the company's 1992 animated film Aladdin, likely in the Spring of 2014.
Now, Disney Theatrical Productions has confirmed that Aladdin, a new musical based on the Academy Award winning animated film, will play its pre-Broadway engagement at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre(formerly the Canon) November 13, 2013 to January 12, 2014 and will open at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre in 2014. The show will feature music by Alan Menken; lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin with a book by Beguelin. Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph.
Casting, Broadway dates and ticket information for both Toronto and Broadway will be announced at a later date. To receive news about Aladdin in the coming months, please sign-up for email alerts at www.aladdinbroadway.com.
This will be the first staging of this full-length two-act Aladdin. Nicholaw and the writers had previously collaborated on a well-received pilot production of the musical at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre in summer 2011 mounted for a limited run with the goal of trying out new material and structure. Broadway will be an entirely new production featuring a new script, tunestack and a wholly original design scaled to the Broadway stage and an epic story.
Aladdin, adapted from centuries-old Arabian folktales including "One Thousand and One Nights," will feature a full Broadway score including the five beloved songs from the film.
The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, grossing over $500 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation) and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.
The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song "A Whole New World," which won the second of the film's two Academy Awards as Best Original Song. The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Aladdin will be designed by six-time Tony winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, three-time Tony winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.
The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer and hair designer Josh Marquette. The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who will also create the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly.
Previous live versions of the film, unrelated to the new Broadway production, have included Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure, regional productions of the show licensed last summer and versions of the script which have been available to schools for several years.
ALAN MENKEN (Composer). Theater: God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Little Shop Of Horrors, Real Life Funnies, Atina: Evil Queen Of The Galaxy, Kicks, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, Beauty And The Beast, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap Of Faith, Aladdin and Newsies. Film: Little Shop Of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Hercules, Life With Mikey, Lincoln, Home On The Range, Noel, Enchanted, Shaggy Dog, Tangled andMirror Mirror. Songs: Rocky V, Home Alone 2 and Captain America. Awards: 8 Oscars (19 nominations), 11 Grammys (including Song of the Year), 7 Golden Globes, Tony (plus 4 nominations), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics, Olivier and London's Evening Standard Award, Drama League. Honors: Songwriter's Hall of Fame, Doctorates from New York University and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
TIM RICE (Lyrics) has worked in music, theatre and films since 1965 when he met Andrew Lloyd Webber, a fellow struggling songwriter. Rather than pursue Tim's ambitions to write rock or pop songs they turned their attention to Andrew's obsession - musical theatre. Their first collaboration (lyrics by Tim, music by Andrew) was an unsuccessful show based on the life of Dr. Barnardo, the Victorian philanthropist, The Likes of Us. Their next three works together were much more successful - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Tim has also worked with other distinguished popular composers such as Elton John (The Lion King, Aida), Alan Menken (Aladdin, King David, Beauty and the Beast) and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Chess). His first new show for ten years, From Here to Eternity, with music by newcomer Stuart Brayson, co-produced with Lee Menzies, directed by Tamara Harvey, and with book by Bill Oakes, opens in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October 2013. He formed his own cricket team in 1973 and was President of the MCC in 2002. He recently wrote and presented a 52-part series for BBC Radio 2, American Pie,a trawl through the music and musicians of every American State. He has won several awards, mainly for the wrong thing or for simply turning up.
HOWARD ASHMAN (Lyrics), a native of Baltimore, moved to New York in 1974. A year later his play, The Confirmation, was produced at Princeton's McCarter Theater. A founder of the WPA Theater, he became its Artistic Director in 1977. At the WPA, he conceived, wrote and directed God Bless You Mr. Rosewater and Little Shop of Horrors (music by Alan Menken). Ashman also wrote and directed the musical Smile, which appeared on Broadway in 1986 (music by Marvin Hamlisch). Turning his talents toward animated musicals, Ashman was pivotal in the development of Disney's The Little Mermaid (Producer and Lyrics), Beauty and the Beast (Executive Producer and Lyrics) and Aladdin (Lyrics). Ashman's contributions to the revival of classic Disney animated musicals were perhaps best expressed by his colleagues who dedicated the film Beauty and the Beast to his memory: "To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul. He will be forever missed." His numerous awards include two Oscars, two Golden Globes, four Grammys, a Drama Desk and a London Evening Standard. He died in 1991 at age 40 from complications arising from AIDS.
CHAD BEGUELIN (Book and Lyrics) is a two-time Tony nominee for his work on the Broadway musical The Wedding Singer (Tony Award Nomination for Best Book and Best Original Score, Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Lyrics). He wrote the lyrics for the Broadway musical Elf, which broke several box office records at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. His play Harbor is being produced at Primary Stages this summer. Chad also wrote the book and lyrics for Judas & Me (NYMF Award for Excellence in Lyric Writing), The Rhythm Club (Signature Theater) and Wicked City (American Stage Company, Mason Street Warehouse). He is the recipient of the Edward Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyric Writing, the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Award and the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. Chad is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Dramatic Writing Program.
CASEY NICHOLAW (Director/Choreographer) co-directed and choreographed The Book of Mormon (2011 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his work as co-director). Other Broadway credits: Elf: The Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone (2006 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations) and Monty Python's Spamalot, directed by Mike Nichols (2005 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Choreography). Additional New York credits: for City Center Encores! - the highly acclaimed productions of Anyone Can Whistle and Follies (direction and choreography). He directed and choreographed the world premier of Disney's Aladdin at the 5th Avenue in Seattle. Upcoming projects: Tuck Everlasting (Broadway) and an episode of the hit NBC series "Smash."
BOB CROWLEY (Scenic Design) is an associate of the National Theatre. He has designed more than 50 productions in London for the National, Almeida, Donmar, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Ballet and Royal Opera House including Mary Poppins (London Evening Standard Award). In New York for Lincoln Center Theater: The Coast of Utopia (Tony, Drama Desk Awards), Carousel (Tony Award), Hapgood, The Invention of Love (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award), Twelfth Night (Tony nomination). The Public Theater: The Seagull. On Broadway: The Capeman (Tony nomination), The Iceman Cometh (Tony nomination), Sweet Smell of Success, Disney's Aida (Tony Award), The History Boys (Tony Award), Mary Poppins (Tony, Drama Desk Awards). In addition, he directed and designed Tarzan (Broadway, The Netherlands).