First it was Dumbo and Newsies, now Disney Theatrical has gone on to register a slew of domain names which — at times — makes you wonder which films didn’t make the cut. Granted the registration of a domain name doesn’t guarantee the project will ever see the stage, but so far, Disney Theatrical has proved to live up to its promises which should make the staged versions of some of these choices interesting to say the least. So without further ado, on with the show:
Aladdin (AladdinOnTour.com); Alice in Wonderland (AliceInWonderlandBroadway.com, AliceInWonderlandOnBroadway.com, AliceInWonderlandOnTour.com, WonderlandOnTour.com); Calendar Girls (CalendarGirlsOnBroadway.com); Citizen Ruth (CitizenRuthOnTour.com, CitizenRuthTheMusical.com); Coyote Ugly (CoyoteUglyTheMusical.com); Father of the Bride (FatherOfTheBrideOnBroadway.com, FatherOfTheBrideOnTour.com); Flamingo Kid (FlamingoKidOnTour.com, FlamingoKidTheMusical.com); Freaky Friday (FreakyFridayOnBroadway.com, FreakyFridayOnTour.com, FreakyFridayTheMusical.com); Hunchback of Notre Dame (HunchbackOfNotreDameOnBroadway.com, HunchbackOnTour.com); Jungle Book (JungleBookTheMusical.com); Nightmare Before Christmas (?) (NightmareOnBroadway.com, NightmareOnTour.com, NightmareTheMusical.com); Pirates of the Caribbean (?) (PiratesOnBroadway.com, PiratesOnTour.com); Pollyana (PollyanaBroadway.com, PollyanaOnTour.com); Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (RomyAndMicheleOnTour.com); Shakespeare in Love (ShakespeareInLoveBroadway.com, ShakespeareInLoveOnBroadway.com, ShakespeareOnTour.com, ShakespeareTheMusical.com); Sister Act (SisterActOnTour.com), Step Up (StepUpOnBroadway.com, StepUpOnTour.com, StepUpTheMusical.com); Toy Story (ToyStoryOnBroadway.com, ToyStoryOnTour.com); Yellow Submarine (YellowSubmarineBroadway.com, YellowSubmarineOnTour.com).
It’s also worth noting that many of these projects have either already been translated to the stage including Citizen Ruth and Calendar Girls and that other projects have been known to be in the works for some time including Father of the Bride and Flamingo Kid.
Back in January of 2009, we became aware that Disney Theatrical was working on a staged version of Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry.
More recently, however, Variety reported that there may be talks between Disney and the New York Theater Workshop to produce an Off-Broadway edition of the play in the Workshop’s 2011 season.
But now, although not as numerous as the Dumbo and Newsies projects that Disney Theatrical has confessed to, domain names have been registered for the Peter and the Starcatchers play and some of them have their sights aimed pretty high including a touring production.
The new domains that you will no longer be able to get your hands on include: PETERANDTHESTARCATCHERSONBROADWAY.COM, PETERANDTHESTARCATCHERSONSTAGE.COM, PETERANDTHESTARCATCHERSONTOUR.COM, PETERANDTHESTARCATCHERSTHEPLAY.COM, STARCATCHERSONBROADWAY.COM, STARCATCHERSONSTAGE.COM, STARCATCHERSONTOUR.COM, STARCATCHERSTHEPLAY.COM
Could a Kingdom Keepers musical be far behind?
You might want to sit down for this one. This week has been busy on the Disney domain registration front. First we brought some very widely received news about several domains registered by Walt Disney Studios for potential upcoming projects, DreamWorks titles in the works and a possible name-change for Secretariat.
Then it’s reported that Disney Theatrical is working on a staged musical production of Dumbo. Today, we catch a glimpse of another project Disney Theatrical is apparently working on: Newsies. The 1992 Christian Bale vehicle was a major flop for the Disney Studios but eventually became somewhat of a cult hit on video.
No doubt this is going to make an awful lot of folks very, very happy if Newsies does manage to finds its way to Broadway, or the musical theater anywhere and Disney Theatrical is working hard to eliminate any doubt that either new proposed show will conduct a national tour, at least through the domain registration process.
Registered yesterday, we have: NEWSIESBROADWAY.COM, NEWSIESMUSICAL.COM, NEWSIESONTOUR.COM, NEWSIESTHEMUSICAL.COM and NEWSIESTICKETS.COM. On the Dumbo front, Disney has now registered the following domain names: DUMBOMUSICAL.COM, DUMBOONTOUR.COM DUMBOTHEMUSICAL.COM and DUMBOTICKETS.COM.
The New York Post reported earlier today that Disney Theatrical Productions is quietly working on a new Broadway musical based on the 1941 Disney animated classic Dumbo.
According to the article, Broadway director Stephen Daldry was approached for the project and was in talks prior to things breaking down and that the production company is continuing its search for a director to help bring Dumbo to the stage.
Initially meant to be released earlier this year on blu-ray, the home video release of Dumbo has been postponed to an unspecified date in 2011, which would not only help mark the film’s 70th anniversary, but would also provide some room in the bonus features for a teaser on the Broadway production should the project find its
wings ears and take flight.
On this morning’s episode of The View, Whoopi Goldberg announced she will be appearing in the Broadway production of The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre for one night only. During the evening performance on January 14, 2010, Goldberg will make a series of surprise cameos throughout the popular musical. Her rehearsal experience is being recorded to air as a special presentation as part of The View next week.
Goldberg is no stranger to either the stage, nor The Lion King, having originated the character of Shenzi the hyena.
Update: 1/14/10 – ABC has informed us that the behind-the-scenes segment will air on The View on Wednesday, January 20.
It’s being widely reported that Disney Theatrical has opted to close the show with August 30 being the final performance after an almost two year run in an effort to avoid losses during the ‘slowdown season.’ Tickets for performances sold beyond August 30 are eligible for a refund.
Sierra Boggess, who originated the role of Ariel, has recently left the show after extending her intial performances.
It is expected that there will be a touring production of the musical commencing late 2010.
Last night, Disney’s D23 simultaneously held events for members in New York and Chicago during a presentation of the Disney Theatrical version of Mary Poppins. For the price of a regular ticket, D23 members were offered preferred seating for the actual performance, offered merchandise discounts, complimentary merchandise (in New York, this was a copy of the DVD) and a backstage experience complete with a meet & greet.
This also happened to be my first time seeing the show. Since it opened, the show has received a lukewarm reception at best and I had heard it all – the house was a star, the show’s plot takes a sharp departure from the film and there are scenes that get downright creepy (although scary is usually the adjective I hear).
Overall, I can’t say I loved the show. When it was hot, it was hot. When it wasn’t, it wasn’t. That said, I never once had to look at my watch – the show maintained a decent pace and it certainly doesn’t hurt that it had the Sherman Brothers songs to constantly look forward to and, of course, Mary Poppins herself. Truth is, this show could have been the worst (and it’s absolutely not), but nobody would have been able to pull it off besides Disney.
I won’t review the show, but I do want to say three things: Jane Carr as Mrs. Brill is Mrs. Brilliant; some of the visuals were amazing, such as the Let’s Go Fly a Kite scene and Bert walking around the stage (quite literally) during the Step in Time performance (the whole performance itself really); and the creepy/scary scene is highly understated – a part of me died during that scene.
But I digress, on to the event itself.
After the show, we were led through a door off to the side which led us right to on stage where D23 took a couple of the obligatory group photos with the members plus Scarlett Strallen (Mary) and Adam Fiorentino (Bert) in costume, followed by a quick meet & greet in which the two primarily signed the showbills.
We were then briefly filled in on the historic New Amsterdam theatre, which the Walt Disney company had faithfully restored (see the show’s official site for the theatre history). The guide then pointed out the house which was positioned in its spot at the back of the stage and started going over some of its features as well as how a few things were done. He wouldn’t reveal how a few tricks were done in the show, most notably the one in which Mary continues to pull things out of her seemingly bottomless carpetbag, but the truth is, it’s one of stage magic’s most basic principles (in fact, Michael Banks even exposed it a bit as he went to move his hands under the table to show there was ‘nothing’ there). I don’t feel like spoiling how it or the dog on the cart is done, but if you have a real basic understanding of illusions, it’s as good as explained.
We were then led towards the exit, where a few other things were pointed out such as a wall where celebrity attendees could leave a message for the cast and some other odds and ends decorating the backstage area including some left overs from the theatre’s previous occupant, the Lion King.
I apologize for the lack of quality with the images, I might as well not post anything at all, but I was so sure that they wouldn’t allow photography that I didn’t bother lugging around my dSLR for the day. Invaluable lesson learned.
In fact, a public plea: If anyone from D23 or Disney Theatrical manages to come across this, I implore you to allow me to come back for the experience (minus the meet & greet if not possible) so I can better the photo library. Otherwise, please try to enjoy:
The following are a list of events being held for D23 members in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City, San Francisco and Burbank. Remember that your D23 membership card will be required to attend all events. Visit http://www.d23expo.com for more details. Read more…
All next week, Live with Regis and Kelly will feature a Broadway musical each day. First up will be the cast of Mary Poppins which promises to have Kelly Ripa donning the nanny’s wardrobe and learning how to fly.
Cast members from Disney Theatrical’s The Little Mermaid will offer a discussion and performance at the Lincoln Triangle Barnes and Noble (1972 Broadway) in New York City on May 7 at 4 pm. The appearance also features a book signing by Michael Lassell, author of the behind-the-scenes book ‘Little Mermaid: From the Deep Blue Sea to the Great White Way.’