Disney Theatrical Looks to Disney, Miramax, Tim Burton and The Beatles for Inspiration

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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:

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Is Disney’s Peter Pan Prequel Headed for Broadway?

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.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Disney Theatrical Working on ‘Newsies’ for Broadway

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.

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NY Post: Disney Theatrical Hoping ‘Dumbo’ Will Soar on Great White Way

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.

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Report: Whoopi Goldberg Performs One Night Only in The Lion King on Broadway

This past Thursday, actress, comedienne and co-host of ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg took the stage at the Minkskoff Theatre to perform in Disney’s The Liong Kingfor one night only.

The night’s special performance was introduced by Disney Theatrical president and producer Thomas Schumacher who first talked about how there have been over 10,000 shows produced in Broadway’s history and that out of those, only eight have gone on to host more than 5,000 performances and that The Lion King had just become number nine (which it did back in November). After noting that director Julie Taymor was also in the audience for the evening’s performance, Schumacher then went on to explain that the performance was being taped for The View and outlined the three cameos Goldberg would be appearing in throughout the show.

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D23 Announces Schedule of Exclusive Member Events for 2010

janD23: The Official Community for Disney Fans today unveiled a host of special events that have been designed especially for its growing worldwide membership base.

Among the exciting offerings for 2010 are exclusive D23 one-year anniversary parties at the Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort, free “50 and Fabulous” film screenings at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, and a special 40th anniversary celebration event to honor the Walt Disney Archives.

“In our first year, D23 created some truly memorable event opportunities for our members, and this year we plan to outdo ourselves with a mix of all-new events and encores of fan favorites,” said Steven Clark, head of D23. “D23 Members are going to have more opportunities than ever to be part of the Disney magic through the events we have planned in 2010, and we hope they’ll be as excited as we are to experience them alongside their fellow members.”

D23 Members will receive notification of special events and reservation times via e-mail, and all events are offered on a space-available basis. More details on events, and on becoming a D23 Member, can be found at www.disney.com/D23.

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Whoopi Goldberg Returns to Broadway in Disney’s The Lion King for One Night Only

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.

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D23 Announces Special Mary Poppins Event in Los Angeles with Special Guest

On January 22, Disney Theatrical Productions invites D23 Members to attend a special performance of Mary Poppins at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Members will receive a 20% discount on select seats in various seating locations throughout the theatre as well as a voucher good for 20% off all merchandise at the show.

Members will also get an exclusive post-show experience with the Mary Poppins cast and a top-secret surprise guest. D23 won’t say who it is, but only that he appeared in the original film. Could it be Dick Van Dyke? Maybe, but our money is on the man with a wooden leg named Smith.

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‘Mary Poppins’ Touring Company to Offer Free Performance in Los Angeles December 4

LOS ANGELES — Four actors that are currently appearing in the West Coast premiere of “Mary Poppins” (which is being presented at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre) will perform songs from Broadway’s perfectly magical musical in a special free performance at The Grove in Los Angeles on Friday, December 4, 2009, at 3 p.m. Gail Bennett, playing the role of Mary Poppins, and Dominic Roberts, playing the role of Bert, will be joined by Katie Balen and Carter Thomas who play Jane and Michael Banks (respectively).

In addition to the performance the actors will answer questions from Mark Wallengren of KOST (103.5 FM). The performance will take place at 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles – in The Park.

“Mary Poppins,” a co-production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, opened on Broadway on November 16, 2006. Based on P.L. Travers’ cherished stories and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film, “Mary Poppins” the stage play features the Academy Award®-winning music and lyrics of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The stage production has been created, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who has written the book, and the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who have composed new songs and additional music and lyrics.

Olivier Award-winning director Richard Eyre leads the award-winning creative team, with co-direction and choreography by Tony® and Olivier Award winner Matthew Bourne. “Mary Poppins” features set and costume design by Tony® Award winner Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Olivier Award winner Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and music supervision by David Caddick. The tour’s creative team includes Tour Director Anthony Lyn, Associate Choreographer Geoffrey Garrett, and Music Director James Dodgson.

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