A Whole New World for Broadway?

Disney fans and theatre lovers celebrated in early January at the annoucement that the Walt Disney Company was planning on staging a World Premiere production of a new Disney musical based after the popular hit movie, Aladdin.

However, should they be celebrating something else as well?

While Disney has actually steered people towards the idea of it, rumors are circulating about the production, which will premiere at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, that it is Broadway Bound.

Disney has released a statement saying the Seattle production “is not being groomed for a Broadway future”. The question I bring up though to argue this statement is then why invest so much? Disney has already announced big names working on the production such as Alan Menken who wrote the original score, Tim Rice who wrote the original lyrics, Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot, Elf The Musical) as the director and choreographer and Chad Beguelin who will be writing a new book.

It doesn’t make sense to me to invest Broadway names and use a regional Broadway theatre to stage a world premiere production of a show that isn’t headed to Broadway. Right? The movie which premiered in 1992 was the most successful movie released that year and is one of many Disney movies many believe should be adapted for the stage. So why not give it a chance? Maybe Disney will and plans on moving the production but isn’t telling anyone yet. Who knows. Disney might just have some magic up their sleeve that we don’t know about yet.

The world premiere of Disney’s Aladdin will premiere this summer at the Seattle 5th Avenue Theatre featuring a new book by Chad Beguelin and never before heard songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Time Rice.


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