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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Disney’s Aladdin, a new Broadway musical, to open in Toronto

Opens at Ed Mirvish Theatre for Nine Weeks November 2013

Opening at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre in 2014

 (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, January 22, 2013) Disney Theatrical Productions proudly announces that Aladdin, a new musical based on the Academy Award® winning animated film, will play its pre-Broadway engagement at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon) November 13, 2013 to January 12, 2014 and will open at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre in 2014.

The show will feature music by Alan Menken; lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin with a book by Beguelin.  Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph.  

Casting, Broadway dates and ticket information for both Toronto and Broadway will be announced at a later date. To receive news about Aladdin in the coming months, please sign-up for email alerts at www.aladdinbroadway.com.

This will be the first staging of this full-length two-act Aladdin.  Nicholaw and the writers had previously collaborated on a well-received pilot production of the musical at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in summer 2011 mounted for a limited run with the goal of trying out new material and structure. Broadway will be an entirely new production featuring a new script, tunestack and a wholly original design scaled to the Broadway stage and an epic story.

Aladdin, adapted from centuries-old Arabian folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” will feature a full Broadway score including the five beloved songs from the film. 

The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, grossing over $500 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation) and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.  

The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards® as Best Original Song.  The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Aladdin will be designed by six-time Tony® winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, three-time Tony winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer and hair designer Josh Marquette.  The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who will also create the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly. 
Previous live versions of the film, unrelated to the new Broadway production, have included Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure, regional productions of the show licensed last summer and versions of the script which have been available to schools for several years.


ALAN MENKEN (Composer). Theater: God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Little Shop Of Horrors, Real Life Funnies, Atina: Evil Queen Of The Galaxy, Kicks, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, Beauty And The Beast, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap Of Faith, Aladdin and Newsies.  Film: Little Shop Of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Hercules, Life With Mikey, Lincoln, Home On The Range, Noel, Enchanted, Shaggy Dog, Tangled and Mirror Mirror.  Songs: Rocky V, Home Alone 2 and Captain America.  Awards: 8 Oscars (19 nominations), 11 Grammys (including Song of the Year), 7 Golden Globes, Tony® (plus 4 nominations), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics, Olivier and London’s Evening Standard Award, Drama League.  Honors: Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Doctorates from New York University and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

TIM RICE (Lyrics) has worked in music, theatre and films since 1965 when he met Andrew Lloyd Webber, a fellow struggling songwriter. Rather than pursue Tim’s ambitions to write rock or pop songs they turned their attention to Andrew’s obsession – musical theatre. Their first collaboration (lyrics by Tim, music by Andrew) was an unsuccessful show based on the life of Dr. Barnardo, the Victorian philanthropist, The Likes of Us. Their next three works together were much more successful – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Tim has also worked with other distinguished popular composers such as Elton John (The Lion King, Aida), Alan Menken (Aladdin, King David, Beauty and the Beast) and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Chess). His first new show for ten years, From Here to Eternity, with music by newcomer Stuart Brayson, co-produced with Lee Menzies, directed by Tamara Harvey, and with book by Bill Oakes, opens in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October 2013. He formed his own cricket team in 1973 and was President of the MCC in 2002. He recently wrote and presented a 52-part series for BBC Radio 2, American Pie, a trawl through the music and musicians of every American State. He has won several awards, mainly for the wrong thing or for simply turning up.

HOWARD ASHMAN (Lyrics), a native of Baltimore, moved to New York in 1974.  A year later his play, The Confirmation, was produced at Princeton’s McCarter Theater.  A founder of the WPA Theater, he became its Artistic Director in 1977.  At the WPA, he conceived, wrote and directed God Bless You Mr. Rosewater and Little Shop of Horrors (music by Alan Menken).   Ashman also wrote and directed the musical Smile, which appeared on Broadway in 1986 (music by Marvin Hamlisch).  Turning his talents toward animated musicals, Ashman was pivotal in the development of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Producer and Lyrics), Beauty and the Beast (Executive Producer and Lyrics) and Aladdin (Lyrics).  Ashman’s contributions to the revival of classic Disney animated musicals were perhaps best expressed by his colleagues who dedicated the film Beauty and the Beast to his memory:  “To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul.  He will be forever missed.”   His numerous awards include two Oscars, two Golden Globes, four Grammys, a Drama Desk and a London Evening Standard.  He died in 1991 at age 40 from complications arising from AIDS.

CHAD BEGUELIN (Book and Lyrics) is a two-time Tony nominee for his work on the Broadway musical The Wedding Singer (Tony Award Nomination for Best Book and Best Original Score, Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Lyrics). He wrote the lyrics for the Broadway musical Elf, which broke several box office records at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. His play Harbor is being produced at Primary Stages this summer. Chad also wrote the book and lyrics for Judas & Me (NYMF Award for Excellence in Lyric Writing), The Rhythm Club (Signature Theater) and Wicked City (American Stage Company, Mason Street Warehouse). He is the recipient of the Edward Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyric Writing, the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, the Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Award and the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. Chad is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Dramatic Writing Program.

CASEY NICHOLAW (Director/Choreographer) co-directed and choreographed The Book of Mormon (2011 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his work as co-director). Other Broadway credits: Elf: The MusicalThe Drowsy Chaperone (2006 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations) and Monty Python's Spamalot, directed by Mike Nichols (2005 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Choreography). Additional New York credits: for City Center Encores! – the highly acclaimed productions of Anyone Can Whistle and Follies (direction and choreography). He directed and choreographed the world premier of Disney's Aladdin at the 5th Avenue in Seattle. Upcoming projects: Tuck Everlasting (Broadway) and an episode of the hit NBC series “Smash.”

BOB CROWLEY (Scenic Design) is an associate of the National Theatre. He has designed more than 50 productions in London for the National, Almeida, Donmar, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Ballet and Royal Opera House including Mary Poppins (London Evening Standard Award). In New York for Lincoln Center Theater: The Coast of Utopia (Tony, Drama Desk Awards), Carousel (Tony Award), Hapgood, The Invention of Love (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award), Twelfth Night (Tony nomination). The Public Theater: The Seagull. On Broadway: The Capeman (Tony nomination), The Iceman Cometh (Tony nomination), Sweet Smell of Success, Disney’s Aida (Tony Award), The History Boys (Tony Award), Mary Poppins (Tony, Drama Desk Awards). In addition, he directed and designed Tarzan (Broadway, The Netherlands).

GREGG BARNES (Costume Design). Broadway credits include: Kinky Boots, Follies (2012 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Henry Hewes Award), Elf, Legally Blonde (2007 Tony nomination, 2010 Olivier nomination), The Drowsy Chaperone (2006 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Award, Olivier nomination), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Flower Drum Song, (Tony nomination), Side Show, Bye, Bye, Birdie, To Be Or Not To Be. Other New York credits: Sinatra (Radio City Music Hall), The Wizard of Oz (Madison Square Garden), Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, Pageant (The Blue Angel and London’s West End- Olivier Nomination), The Kathy and Mo Show, Eliot Feld’s Behold the Man, and Anyone Can Whistle, No No Nanette, Du Barry Was a Lady, Follies, Sweet Adeline (Encores). National tours: Legally Blonde, The Drowsy Chaperone, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Flower Drum Song, Disney’s On the Record, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Regional credits include: Robin and the Seven Hoods, Lucky Duck, Hay Fever, Suds (the Old Globe Theater), Aladdin (Fifth Ave. Theater) Minsky’s (Ahmanson Theater, L.A. Drama Critics Award) Mame, Follies (The Kennedy Center), Allegro at the Signature Theatre (Helen Hayes Award), and Flower Drum Song at the Mark Taper Forum (L.A. Outer Critics Award, Garland Award), and productions at Arena Stage, Glimmerglass Opera, June Opera Festival of New Jersey, and Paper Mill Playhouse. He was recipient of the Theatre Development Fund’s Irene Sharaff Young Master Award and faculty at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts from 1982-2002.

NATASHA KATZ (Lighting Design) has designed extensively for theatre, opera and dance. Recent Broadway: Once (Tony Award), Sister Act, Follies, Elf, The Addams Family, The Little Mermaid, The Coast of Utopia: Salvage (Tony Award), A Chorus Line (revival), Spelling Bee, Tarzan, Aida (Tony Award), and Beauty and the Beast. Other designs: Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland (Royal Ballet), Buried Child (National Theatre, London), Cyrano (the Met), Carnival of the Animals (NYCB), Don Quixote (ABT), EFX (Las Vegas), concerts for Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret and Tommy Tune.

KEN TRAVIS (Sound Design). Broadway Designs: A Christmas Story the Musical, Scandalous, Newsies, Memphis, The ThreePenny Opera, Barefoot in the Park, Steel Magnolias. Numerous New York and regional theaters and companies including: The 5th Avenue Theater, McCarter Theater, Seattle Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, LA Center Theater Group, Guthrie Theater, KC Rep, Dallas Theater Center,  Playwrights Horizons, The New Group, NYSF Public Theater, CSC, Signature Theater NYC, SoHo Rep,Vineyard Theater, The Civilians, Mabou Mines, and national and international festivals and tours.

JIM STEINMEYER (Illusion Design) has been called “the celebrated invisible man,” by the The New York Times for working behind the scenes and designing the illusions for famous magicians and Broadway shows. He was a designer and consultant to Doug Henning, working on two of his Broadway shows, and special deceptions for Ricky Jay, David Copperfield, Siegfried and Roy, and magicians around the world. He created Mary Poppins’ special magic in Disney’s Mary Poppins and the Beast’s transformation in Beauty and the Beast. He’s also created magic for numerous regional and off-Broadway shows, including the Mark Taper Forum’s Pippin and Arena Stage’s The Fantasticks. For television, Jim produced and wrote the 1997 A&E television special “The Story of Magic,” the first documentary history of the art, and for Channel 4 in Great Britain, “The Secret Cabaret.” He’s worked as a concept designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, and is the author of numerous books on the subject, including the Los Angeles Times Bestseller, Hiding the Elephant, The Glorious Deception, and The Last Greatest Magician in the World. His next book, published this spring by Penguin, is a history of the composition of Dracula, titled Who Was Dracula? He lives in Los Angeles, with his wife, television producer Frankie Glass.

JOSH MARQUETTE (Hair Design).  Broadway/Off-Broadway:  Kinky Boots, The Book of Mormon (and West End), Dogfight, The Best Man, Elf, The Drowsy Chaperone (and West End), To Be Or Not To Be, Pig Farm, The… Trailer Park Musical, Altar Boyz, Mamma Mia!  West Coast:  Aladdin, Robin & the 7 Hoods, Peep Show, Minsky’s, Vanities.  Other NY:  Show Boat at Carnegie Hall, Encores!  No, No, Nanette & Follies, numerous Juilliard productions.  National Tours:  The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chaperone, Barbie Live!  Television: “30 Rock.”

MICHAEL KOSARIN (Music Supervisor/Music Director) has worked steadily on Broadway for thirty years, on the original Broadway productions of Nine, Grand Hotel, Secret Garden, King David, Mayor, A Chorus Line (and conducted the international tour), Triumph of Love (for which he composed two songs), Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast (and supervised all productions worldwide), Leap of Faith, Sister Act, and, most recently, Newsies. He has extensive film work as well, having conducted the orchestra and arranged vocals for such films as Tangled, Pocahontas, Hercules, Home On The Range, Enchanted, and many others. He won the 2005 Emmy Award for his work on the musical film A Christmas Carol for which he also provided the underscore – and did music direction and underscore as well for Once Upon a Mattress and The Music Man (Emmy nomination). Kosarin, who has two Grammy nominations, has also concertized and recorded a great deal, including albums with greats Carly Simon and Barbara Cook, and has guest conducted such symphonies as the Orchestra of St. Lukes. As composer, he has written for children’s shows Sesame Street, Wonder Pets, Third and Bird (BBC), and Johnny and the Sprites.

DANNY TROOB (Orchestrator). His career as a musician includes composing, orchestrating and conducting. Some early credits: Pacific Overtures, The Baker’s Wife (dance music), Big River (music supervision, Drama Desk Award). Orchestrated the animated features Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas. More recently - Dr. Zhivago in Australia, Newsies on Broadway. Shrek everywhere. He currently is orchestrating Richard Rodgers’ Cinderella for Broadway.

GLEN KELLY (Dance Arrangements). Music supervisor and arranger for The Producers,Young Frankenstein and Mike Nichols' Death Of A Salesman. He also arranged music for The Book Of Mormon, A Christmas Story, The Scottsboro Boys, Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone, Beauty and the Beast, The Frogs, Steel Pier, and A Christmas Carol. For NYCB, he arranged the music and co-wrote the libretto for Double Feature. Future projects: The Nance, and Bullets Over Broadway.

DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, was formed in 1994 and operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.  Worldwide, its eight Broadway titles have been seen by over 124 million theatergoers, grossed over $8.9 billion and have cumulatively run a staggering 195 years.  With 15 productions currently produced or licensed, a Disney musical is being performed professionally somewhere on the planet virtually every hour of the day. 

The company’s inaugural production, Beauty and the Beast, opened in 1994. It played a remarkable 13 year run on Broadway and has been produced in 28 countries worldwide. In November 1997, Disney opened The Lion King, which received six 1998 Tony® Awards including Best Musical and recently became the highest grossing show in Broadway history.  The show continues in its 16th smash year, having welcomed over 66 million visitors worldwide.  The Lion King can also currently be seen on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan, and in London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, and Madrid.  When it opens in Brazil in March 2013, the show will have been translated into eight different languages and performed in 15 different countries on every continent except Antarctica. 

Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida opened on Broadway next, winning four 2000 Tony® Awards, and spawning productions around the world.  Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, opened in London in 2004 and established itself as one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge in recent years. When the Tony Award®-winning Broadway production closes in March, it will have played 2619 performances and more than six years at Disney’s New Amsterdam Theatre. Mary Poppins can also be seen on tour across North America and in New Zealand.

Tarzan®, which opened on Broadway in 2006, is now an international hit with an award-winning production in its 6th year in Germany.  In January 2008, The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway and was the #1-selling new musical of that year.  Its success continues with three new productions around the world: Holland, Russia and Japan.

Two new critically acclaimed productions opened on Broadway in 2012, receiving seven Tony® Awards between them: Newsies, at the Nederlander Theatre, and Peter and the Starcatcher, which will move to New World Stages in March.

Other successful stage musical ventures have included King David in concert, the national tour of On The Record, several touring versions of Disney’s High School Musical, and Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin.

In addition, DTP licenses stage performance rights to more than a dozen Disney musicals around the world through Music Theatre International.

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