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THE LITTLE MERMAID Opens in Moscow at the Rossia Theatre, 10/8

The Moscow production of THE LITTLE MERMAID will open tonight, on the 175th anniversary of the first publication of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. This marks the first musical production to play the newly-renovaTed RossIA Theatre on Pushkin Square, now the largest theatrical venue in Moscow.

Along with the critically-acclaimed Holland production, THE LITTLE MERMAID in Moscow is one of two premiere productions of an entirely original version of the show. The production is being helmed by a creative team including director Glenn Casale (Beauty and the Beast) and set and costume design by five-time Tony® Award winner, Bob Crowley (Tarzan, Mary Poppins, Aida) who join composer Alan Menken, lyricist Glenn Slater and book writer Doug Wright.

The production features a local, all-Russian cast and is produced by Stage Entertainment in collaboration with Disney Theatrical Productions. The producers’ previous collaboration in Moscow, Beauty and the Beast, was a great success, running for two years with an audience of over 400,000 Muscovites.

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 15th smash year, having welcomed over 65 million visitors worldwide. The Lion King can also currently be seen on tour across North America and the U.K., and in London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo and Madrid.

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 Germany.

In January 2008, The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway and was the #1-selling new musical of that year. Its success continues with its recent European debut in Holland.

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.

Two new critically acclaimed productions opened on Broadway this season, receiving seven Tony® Awards between them: Newsies, at the Nederlander Theatre, and Peter and the Starcatcher, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

In addition, DTP licenses stage performance rights to more than a dozen Disney musicals around the world through Music Theatre International.

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