While it survived a near-hostile takeover from ‘Toy Story,’ Disney Creative Entertainment has now set its sights on the magnificent staged production of ‘Aladdin’ at Disney California Adventure’s Hyperion Theater (albeit more magnificent when the flying carpet scene isn’t deemed a safety hazard). And that, dear readers, brings us to speculate what will follow in Aladdin, Genie and Jasmine’s footsteps.
The Disneyland Resort has announced it is casting for a show at the Hyperion Theater and is seeking to fill some roles. The sad news is that DCE has become more sensitive about leaking too many details before things get official, but that has rarely stopped us from reporting and even sometimes being right. The evidence has been stacking up in ‘Newsies’ favor well before the new items presented below, namely Disney Parks registering a trademark for ‘Newsies’ for ‘entertainment in the nature of theater productions, as we first reported nearly a year ago. Next on our side is that if there’s one thing Disney Parks knows how to do, it’s exploiting a hot property (guess they really do know what they’re going to do today!) and, People, our ‘Newsies’ satchel has runneth over with the recent news that the Broadway limited run is now open-ended and no longer a limited run and the 20th anniversary edition blu-ray is due next month.
So what’s the news with ‘Newsies’ then? The casting notices that have been issued which are seeking males who happen to dance… who happen to tap dance.. with singing and tumbling abilities a plus. In addition, DCE is looking for female dancers who are ‘strong “show girl types”‘ with tap dancing a plus. Medda Larkin, perhaps?
In any case, we can probably expect to see more news and details on the upcoming production which is likely to start by end of this year/early next year within the next month or so.
As a point of interest, though it may seem peculiar that ‘Newsies’ would run as both a production on Broadway and as a ‘Broadway-style’ production inside the theme parks, it’s far from unprecedented. Most recently, Disney Theatrical debuted a new staged musical version of Aladdin while Disney Creative Entertainment’s ran in the parks and, of course, Beauty and the Beast found a home at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in its abbreviated form while a full-blown musical ran on several years for Broadway and throughout the world in permanent installations and tours.
UPDATE #1: 6/16/12 – It’s been pointed out by a commenter that the casting notices do explicitly say the performance is set for June 13, likely to be tied to the grand re-opening (though all we know of regarding a media event is on June 14). However with ‘Aladdin’ contracts set to expire by the end of the year, it’s still a strong possibility DCE is actively seeking a replacement for the show. More as it develops.