Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Disney Brings ALADDIN to Broadway 2014... and HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME Too?

After waiting years for this, Aladdin will finally be added to the list of Disney movies that have made the transition to Broadway. The New York Times reported that some anonymous Disney spokesman for this show said that Mary Poppins, which opened in 2006, will close in March 2013 to make way for renovations to the New Amsterdam Theatre. After said renovations, Aladdin may be able to come swooping in and open sometime in 2014.

This is not totally out of the blue, though. You may recall that Aladdin premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle two years ago, so it seemed only a matter of time before the official word on the Broadway show would come. That version included songs and whole elements which had been left out of the original movie. For instance, originally: Aladdin had some street rat friends who added a new dimension to the show, including singing the cut song "High Adventure;" Aladdin sang "Proud of Your Boy" in which the audience realizes he misses his mother; and Jasmine got a character-establishing solo, "Call Me Princess." All of these were added back in for the Seattle production.

But sources told BroadwayWorld.com that this will not be a copy/paste version of the 5th Avenue one, but they're adding in multi-award-winning set designer Bob Crowley. But he's the one who did the costumes for the Broadway version of Little Mermaid. Remember? He's the brilliant genius behind the secret to mermaids looking like they're swimming (or at the very least gliding) on stage: the Healys. Those shoes that all the cool kids wore a few years ago that had wheels on the bottom. But they're shoes which your local non-profit Putnam County Playhouse could have used for their dinky production of The Little Mermaid. With a budget the size of Disney's, that's not even close to impressive. He also directed the epic failure Tarzan the Broadway Musical. Let's just say it was so bad, that most people don't even realize it was on Broadway. But if they mess this one up like they did Little Mermaid and Tarzan, I'll be very disappointed.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame actually has already premiered in Germany, with a successful 3-year run (a record for Berlin), and there are some murmurings that it may be the next to appear on The Great White Way. But who knows? Considering Aladdin has a 2014 opening date, I've no doubt that it could be a long journey for Hunchback. And then there's Anastasia, which will be on Broadway as well, but contrary to popular belief, and despite tell-tale signs of Disney like voice talents of Angela Lansbury and Jim Cummings, it is definitely not a Disney movie.

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