TV: Behind the Scenes with the Cast and Creatives of WHEN YOU WISH: THE STORY OF WALT DISNEY at Freud Playhouse

Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

When You Wish: The story of Walt Disney officially opened October 16 at UCLA's distinguished Freud Theatre following four successful previews (October 11 - 13). BWW TV's Los Angeles correspondents Michael Sterling and Jerry Evans were invited to visit with the cast and creative team as the world premiere musical was approaching its first preview performance. When You Wish is the first ever musical about Walt Disney who is considered not only one of the most universally celebrated, award-winning figures in entertainment history, but one of the greatest showmen on earth. The long anticipated project features an original score of 17 songs with Music and Book by Dean McClure; Direction by Broadway's Larry Raben; and Choreography by Lee Martino. Still an active performer, author and business man... film and television star, and former pop recording superstar Pat Boone co-produces When You Wish with Dean McClure and Robert Rudolph. Check out the video!

When You Wish tells the inspiring story of how a young dreamer became the Walt Disney who changed the world. The journey begins in 1906 with Walt as a six-year-old, drawing cartoons on the family toilet paper and concludes with his biggest dream of all, the opening of Disneyland in 1955. Roy Disney, Walt's older brother and business partner, serves as the story's narrator, taking us on a journey of struggle, heartache, and enormous triumph; including the opening and bankrupt closing of Laugh-0-Gram Studios in Kansas City; the formation of Disney Brothers Studios in Hollywood; the marriage of Walt and Lillian Disney; the departure of his best and closest animator Ub Iwerks; and the creation of a mouse named "Mickey" which ignited his career and the legacy that would forever be Walt Disney.

A cast of 20, including Broadway and National Broadway Tour performers, is led by Tim Martin Gleason (Sleepless in Seattle: The Musical Pasadena Playhouse, The Phantom of the Opera National Touring Company) as Walt Disney; and Andy Umberger (Silence! The Musical The Hayworth Theatre, Passion and City of Angels/Roundabout Theatre Company) as Roy Disney. Co-stars include Brandi Burkhardt (Hart of Dixie CW, Mama Mia! Broadway) as Lillian Disney, Melissa Fahn (Wicked Broadway and Pantages Theater) as Flora Disney and Edna Disney, Norman Large (Les Miserables Broadway, Star Trek) as "Character Man", and Louis Pardo (West Side Story San Francisco Symphony, Avenue Q 3D Theatricals) as Ub IWerks. Also featured are Kade Pait (Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards/Performer; the Lythgoe Family's A Snow White Christmas/Pasadena Playhouse) as young Walt; and Jake Davidson (Film: Mrs. Sweeney) who makes his Los Angeles theater debut as young Roy.Ensemble Members include Jennifer Brausell, Kate Harvey, Aurore Joly, Lorenzo King, David Michael Laffey, Morgan Marcell, Garett Marshall, Louis A. Williams (Dance Captain), Thomas Adoue Polk, Kirklyn Robinson, Nick Tubbs, and Salvatore Vassallo.

Musical Direction is by David Siebels; Scenic Design by Tom Buderwitz; Costume Design by Kate Bergh; Lighting Design by Tom Ruzika; Projection Design by Adam Flemming; Sound design by Philip G. Allen; Hair, Wig, and Makeup Design by Jenna Huffman; and Properties Design by John M. McElveney. Additional credits include Production Stage Manager John W. Calder, III, Assistant Stage Manager Cate Cundiff, and Casting by Michael Donovan, CSA and Peter Matyas, CSA.

Tickets, starting at $65, are on sale at, or by calling UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-825-2101. All performances will be presented at Freud Playhouse at UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

Previews of When You Wish are scheduled between October 11 - 13, 2013 with its official opening and run beginning October 16 and continuing through November 3, 2013.

Performances are at 8pm Wednesdays through Saturdays, with a 2pm matinee on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, please visit


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor