Disney Launches 'Toy Story' Musical Aboard Cruise-Line

The Orlando Sentinel reports Disney executives have announced a multi-million-dollar musical version of Toy Story to debut in April aboard the Disney Wonder cruise ship.

Following the success of Finding Nemo – The Musical currently playing Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Toy Story will be a short and smaller-scale musical production aboard the resort ship's 1000-seat theatre.  The company has been in rehearsal in a downtown Toronto space.  Toy Story –The Musical will launch from Port Canaveral in preparation for its April debut. "The cast and crew has a two-week, at-sea rehearsal period to work out technical aspects such as flying and the appearance of The Claw in a pivotal scene with the alien dolls inside an arcade game at Pizza Planet," states the article.

Stefan Novinski directs a cast of 16.  Anne Hamburger, executive vice president of Disney Creative Entertainment, will produce. The creative team also includes John Lasseter, the Oscar-winning director/creator of the Toy Story films; and designer Michael Curry, the Tony Award-winning co-creator of the puppets used in Broadway's The Lion King, developed the inflatable costumes used in the new mini-musical.

In order to translate the computer animated characters into real-life, some toys have been transformed into inflatable puppets, or face-characters played by actors.  Projections will be used as backdrops.  "Rex, Hamm and Slinky (one actor in the head, one actor in the tail) have movable parts, including blinking eyes, raise-ready eyebrows and mouths, controlled by the performers inside," explains the article, "Mr. Potato Head is outfitted with a nose, mustache and ears that eject plus a spinning hat."

Noel Orput portrays Buzz Lightyear opposite Geoffrey Tyler as Woody.

The musical will include familiar songs like Randy Newman's "You've Got A Friend In Me," plus new songs penned by married composer-lyricist team Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda (part of the Brooklyn-based group GrooveLily) entitled "To Infinity And Beyond" and "Make a Little Noise"

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