Monday, June 24, 2013

Disney Brings FREAKY FRIDAY, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, & Many More to Broadway!

The folks at Disney Theatrical Productions constantly talk about the next hit Disney movie they want to take to the stage (much like Cameron Mackintosh's regular habit of discussing bringing every successful musical under the sun to the screen). According to a New York Times article by Patrick Healy, Disney's latest endeavors include Aladdin, The Jungle Book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, The Muppets, Father of the Bride, Shakespeare in Love, and Freaky Friday.

Aladdin had its first staging in Seattle two summers ago, and as I reported earlier this year, is slated to open on Broadway in early 2014 after its Toronto tryout which commences November 2013. So this is old news, but I needed to include it for the sake of continuity. Read all about it on my blog post from January!

The first staging of The Jungle Book is readying for its July 9 opening in Chicago. The show is directed by Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman with choreography by Tony-winner Christopher Gattelli. The high points of this production include mostly the fact that rather than producing it, Disney has given Zimmerman the rights to the material from the movie, some money, and basically just said, "Go!" It is possible that if this version succeeds, Disney will reclaim it. But they are exercising caution before putting no great stock in it at the moment. It appears that their reservations about the presentation lie in the unconventional methods of the director. She apparently begins work on the script at the first rehearsal and continues to work until opening night. So the future of The Jungle Book is totally up in the air right now. But watch this rehearsal of "The Bare Necessities."

I posted about the Hunchback of Notre Dame stage musical earlier this year, because it's likely the next Disney movie to hit the Great White Way (after Aladdin). Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz wrote some new songs for the German production back in 1999, which will be included in the American installment. Scott Schwartz (yes, the lyricist's son) will direct. I think this one is closer to Broadway because they have had a table read, which is more than can be said for most of the other movies on this list.

Some saint posted this bootleg of the entire production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame on YouTube. Below is a clip of "Someday," (or "Einmal" in German) my new favorite song. I think this was the credits song in the movie, but they put it into the musical for the stage version. I don't speak German, but the music is beautiful, nevertheless.

One of my favorite movies of all time, Freaky Friday, might also become a new musical. For this production, the Tony Award-winning creative team from Next to Normal (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey) is on board, which makes so much sense! I didn't realize that Freaky Friday was actually based on a novel by none other than composer Mary Rodgers, daughter of Broadway composing legend Richard Rodgers. And there has already been a musical made of Freaky FridayThe only official info I can find about it is from Mary Rodgers's bio on the R&H website, "A musical version, by Mary Rodgers and John Forster, was presented by Theatreworks/USA in 1991."

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland has been supposedly considered for a musical adaptation too, but there has been no further news since The New York Times article back in 2012 which just said that Rob Ashford was involved in a musical version which was in production.

The rumor mill has also turned up stage adaptations of Dumbo, a non-musical version of Shakespeare in Love, Father of the Bride (music: Joshua Schmidt, lyrics: Michael Korie), and some Muppets "project" (i.e., the 15-minute Muppets special at the New Amsterdam has potential to become full-scale). My favorite rumor, however, is that the revised version of Little Mermaid (which was just sad on Broadway, as I mentioned in a previous post) from Paper Mill Playhouse may have a Broadway mount. author: Sally Henry // Twitter: @BwayGinger // Facebook: 

Read More:
Aladdin and Hunchback of Notre Dame on stage
The Jungle Book at the Goodman Theatre
Mary Rodgers
Alice in Wonderland on the stage
The Little Mermaid at Paper Mill Playhouse Summer 2013


  1. Great article Sally! That's crazy, all those Disney musicals.. I think it's be sweet to see Hunchback on Broadway, or even Alice. I'd definitely want to see those.

  2. Hi! Just wanted to let you know re:hunchback. I've subtitled the bootlegged version in English. Full show here

  3. Thanks for stopping by! Oh yay subtitles! One of the Hunchback solos was performed (in English) at the Disney Expo last week to promote Hunchback coming to Broadway.