Last night, Alan Menken held an intimate performance as part of the ‘Destination D’ event at the Disneyland Resort, held by Disney D23, the official fan club of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS). After wowing the attending crowd with music from decades of his Tony, Grammy and Oscar-winning career (he holds the record for having the most Oscars (living)), he closed the show with ‘Proud of Your Boy,’ a song that was intended for the original 1992 film, but was cut due to story changes.
It was when introducing the song that Menken mentioned the musical is currently being tweaked for a Broadway run, according to reports from attendees. A new staged version of the musical was produced by Disney Theatrical and premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle last year, but no aspirations for Broadway were anywhere to be found — at best, a national tour; at worst, licensing to regional theater. Howard Ashman’s sister, Sarah, wrote about the musical on her tribute blog, Part Of Your World, and some of the changes that were incorporated into it that deviate it from the beloved animated film. In addition to ‘Proud of Your Boy,’ three other songs that were initially cut have been reinstated along: Call Me A Princess; High Adventure; and Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim, which brings along the three non-Aladdin characters with it.
After a brief run at The Muny in July, the musical is now in production at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Utah through mid-October and has managed to incorporate the use of 3D glasses for the Cave of Wonders and Genie’s ‘Friend Like Me’ song, courtesy of former Walt Disney Imagineer Geoff Puckett, according to the fan-based Aladdin Musical blog.
Still, prior to last night, there wasn’t so much as an inkling that it would soon find itself on the Great White Way. Actually, an inkling may in fact have been all there was, as a thread on Broadway World points to a cryptic message at the end of a recent video update from 5th Avenue Theatre (UPDATE – The upcoming musical in question was ‘A Christmas Story,’ so video removed):
Photo by @jellicle0
UPDATE #1 – 8/17/12 – Since there is so much interest in the article, we are now adding an audio recording from that evening’s performance in which Menken mentions the shift to Broadway. Had most anyone else said it, we would chalk it up to confusing Broadway as a generic theatrical production, but Menken probably knows the difference by now. So without further ado, here is Menken performing ‘Somebody’s Got Your Back’ and ‘Proud of Your Boy’ from Disney’s Aladdin:
As a post script, we have also received reports that employees at Tuacahn are freely talking about working closely with Disney Theatrical to bring the musical directly to Broadway.