CONFIRMED: ‘Muppets on Broadway’ in Disney Theatrical’s Sights

Nearly a year ago, we speculated that Disney Theatrical may have been working on creating a staged production involving the Muppets. Fast forward to last month (via today) and Variety is reporting that Disney Theatrical has in fact taken steps towards making it a reality.

According to the article, a fifteen minute segment was produced last month at the New Amsterdam Theatre, the future home of ‘Aladdin’ — another story we helped to break.

The article quotes Disney Theatrical head Thomas Schumacher as acknowledging the move, qualifying it was effectively a proof of concept to see if something more substantial would be feasible. It goes on to quote Schumacher as being ‘intrigued’ by the potential of bringing the Muppets to the stage.

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D23 Expo: Disney Theatrical to Provide Star-Studded History of Disney Theater with ‘Broadway and Beyond’

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is thrilled to announce a special theatrical performance, Broadway and Beyond. Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions will host a musical journey into Disney’s history on Broadway and beyond at the D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event. The performance features an all-star line-up, including Heidi Blickenstaff (‘The Little Mermaid’), Ashley Brown (‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’), Merle Dandridge (‘Tarzan’ and ‘Aida’), Josh Strickland (‘Tarzan®’) and Alton Fitzgerald White (‘The Lion King’), who sing beloved songs from the award-winning musicals they starred in as well as classic tunes from the Disney on Broadway catalogue.

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‘Aladdin’ Confirmed for Broadway, Spring 2014

'Aladdin' on Broadway TeaserDisney Theatrical today officially confirmed what we have been reporting for some time — a staged musical adaptation of Aladdin is headed to Broadway for the 2014 season.

We have been talking about a staged adaptation by Disney Theatrical for nearly three years now, prior to its original incarnation at the 5th Avenue Theater in 2011. Since then, it has had several runs around the world and has consistently been edited as it continued to meet mixed reviews. Its reported lackluster performances fueled doubts when we relayed composer Alan Menken’s informal announcement last summer that it would in fact be headed for Broadway. Even after a reported leak which led to confirmation that ‘Mary Poppins’ would see its final Broadway curtain call on March 3, Disney Theatrical was slow to acknowledge that ‘Aladdin’ was waiting impatiently in the wings.

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CONFIRMED: Disney’s Aladdin is Broadway-Bound

We had been talking about Disney Theatrical producing a musical based on Disney Animation’s Aladdin for years, so it came as little shock to us when the production became fully realized at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater in early 2011.

Since then, the show has been re-tooled and has played at various regional theaters, but it wasn’t until a special private event for members of Disney’s official fan club, Disney D23, last summer, that we had any inkling that it was destined for Broadway (in truth, we believed a touring production would be as far as the plans went).

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Report: Free ‘Inside the Lion King’ Exhibit Opens in New York for Limited Time

Inside the Lion King - Giraffes, Zazu, Ostriches

On November 13, 1997, Disney brought the staged, musical adaptation of its animated smash, The Lion King, to Broadway. Fifteen years later, it is now the the fifth longest-running musical in Broadway history, contains to sell out nightly and consistently has one of the top box-office intakes out of the dozens of theatrical offerings on Broadway alone.

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‘Newsies’ to Offer Free Performance in New York City on November 2

Disney's 'Newsies' on BroadwayDisney Theatrical’s ‘Newsies’ has announced that it will be taping a performance on the morning of Friday, November 2 as part of the CBS Thanksgiving Parade special.  The cast will perform ‘King of New York’ to a very lucky, intimate crowd of just 75 ‘fansies’ at the Nederlander Theatre located at 208 W 41st Street in Manhattan, between 7th and 8th Avenues.

According to the event page from their official Facebook page, the taping will occur between 10 am and 11:30 am and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis only, with lines forming at 9 am. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Report: Alan Menken Says ‘Aladdin’ Heading to Broadway

Alan Menken performs 'Proud of Your Boy' at Disney D23 Destination DLast 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.

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Speculation: Muppets May Take Manhattan via the Broadway Stage

Disney's 'The Muppets' Title Treatment ©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.It will be the quintessential example of life imitating art, but we have learned that Disney Theatrical may have intentions of bringing the Muppets to the theater with possible Broadway and national tour.

It was the third Muppet film, Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), in which Kermit the Frog wrote a musical titled ‘Manhattan Melodies’ and gained aspirations to bringing it to the Great White Way. Hilarity ensued and so did the Muppet Babies.

The speculative news comes once more via secretive domain name registrations. Amongst several new registrations are THEMUPPETSONBROADWAY.COM and THEMUPPETSONTOUR.COM. Although there is nothing in the actual registrations to tie them directly to Disney, we have reasons strong enough to report them as likely being legitimate.

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‘Newsies’ Original Cast Recording on Sale for $5.99

'Newsies' Original Cast RecordingThe MP3 downloadable version of the original cast recording of ‘Newsies’ is now available to own for $5.99 for a limited time on Amazon.com.

The musical, which made its debut on Broadway earlier this year, is nominated for a total of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Harvey Fierstein), Best Original Score (Alan Menken, Jack Feldman), Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Jeremy Jordan), Best Direction of a Musical (Jeff Calhoun), Best Choreography (Christopher Gattelli), Best Orchestrations (Danny Troob) and Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel).

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‘Newsies,’ ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ Make Headlines Catching 17 Tony Nominations

Disney's 'Newsies' on Broadway Disney’s limited Broadway run of its new musical ‘Newsies’ (based on the film) racked up an impressive eight Tony Award nominations including ‘Best Musical.’ The announcement was made earlier today by Kristin Chenoweth and Jim Parsons during the annual nominations ceremony.

For the coveted title of ‘Best Musical,’ ‘Newsies’ will be competing against ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It,’ ‘Once’ and ‘Leap of Faith,’ with the latter two also having been based on films. ‘Leap’ and ‘Newsies’ also share the music composition talents of Alan Menken.

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