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THE JUNGLE BOOK to Travel Overseas Before Broadway?

Playing at 99% of capacity and poised to become the best selling musical in Goodman Theatre history, The Jungle Book recently extended by popular demand through August 18-marking the first time that three extension weeks have been added to a production in the Goodman's home on Dearborn Street. Now the show's success in Chicago might mean more productions internationally for the new Disney musical, however similarities to The Lion King might keep it from Broadway for a while.

Disney Theatrical Productions' Thomas Schumacher told Variey: "'Jungle Book' isn't 'Lion King,' but it does bump up against it, and we have to be careful of that." Instead of a Broadway transfer, there is interest in bringing the show to Europe first, "either as a licensed replica of the Zimmerman staging or as a separate production of the musical's book, score and orchestrations."

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The Jungle Book is a new music- and movement-filled adventure chronicling young Mowgli's coming-of-age in the animal kingdom. Director Mary Zimmerman's adaptation is based on Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling's 1894 collection of stories set in the Indian jungle and Walt Disney's 1967 animated film. With its anthropomorphic cast of singing and dancing jungle animals, The Jungle Book fuses the movie's best-loved songs with original Indian-inspired music. Legendary Academy Award and Grammy winner Richard Sherman-whose numerous songwriting credits with brother Robert B. Sherman include the motion pictures The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Aristocats-collaborates on this production, providing Music Director Doug Peck access and permission to adapt songs that Sherman and his brother wrote for the film, plus never-before-heard material. Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli and Chicago-based Hema Rajagopalan-founder and artistic director of Chicago's Natya Dance Theatre-combine elements of classical Indian dance forms with jazz, tap and more to enhance the storytelling.

Disney Theatrical Productions proudly partners with Goodman Theatre to bring Mary Zimmerman's vision to theatrical life. A division of The Walt Disney Studios, DTP was formed in 1994 and operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

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