Will Disney’s Tangled And Hercules Hit The Stage Next?
As Disney and Broadway approach 20 years together in 2014, it’s no understatement to say that The Walt Disney Company has made a name for itself in New York on Broadway in the short time it has been present. Bringing to life some of the greatest theatrical productions ever, like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, Disney has had its share of success’ and failures while venturing onto the Great White Way’s stage. However, with The Lion King and Newsies running solid and Aladdin set to fly in from Toronto next spring, what is Disney looking towards for the future? While we cannot confirm anything for sure, we do have a much better idea of where they are looking next. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that Disney’s Tangled and Hercules may soon head to the stage!
The D23 Expo is a biennial exposition event held by Disney D23, the official fan club of The Walt Disney Company. The D23 Expo is one large Disney fan convention where the company “Brings all things Disney under one roof.” This year, the D23 Expo held a concert called The Disney Songbook featuring the music of Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken, two of Disney’s best known writers. D23 held a phone interview with the two days before the concert and allowed fans to ask questions to the two. Out of those questions, came one which seemed particularly exciting for the theatrical world.
Dave Parfitt asked: “Are there any Disney films you are dying to have made into a theatrical production?”
At first, both Menken and Sherman laughed and responded with “Sure!”. However, as the conversation continued, both men got the chance to talk about previous projects and future ones they are working on currently as well. Richard Sherman began talking about how The Jungle Book was now on its feet in Chicago and is next headed to Boston. He also mentioned he felt very lucky with the success of Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Regarding future projects, Sherman went on to say, “I have another couple of things, ya know? But I don’t want to talk too much until it’s a reality.”
When the conversation shifted to Menken getting a chance to talk, Disney fans jaws dropped as Disney’s most iconic songwriter mentioned project ideas fans have only been dreaming of for years. The first thing Menken goes on to say in the interview is, “It would be neat to see Hercules come (to the stage)“. He then continued on to reveal that Disney is working on adapting a production of Tangled as well. Menken says, “We are working on a cruise ship version of Tangled and who knows if that will find its way to the stage.” The last title Menken goes on to mention is Enchanted.
Alan Menken continued the conversation about stage productions mentioning why sometimes it takes longer for Disney shows to receive life on stage and why some, have not and may never make it to the stage as well. “There’s a limit to how many things… you don’t want to over do that particular thing.” Sherman strongly agreed to Menken’s statement and continued on by saying, “So many factors have to take place before it becomes a reality which is why I have always been nervous about talking about to many things unless they are really on the road to happening.” Funny enough, when Sherman asked Menken if he agreed, Menken responded by agreeing but then saying “Although I tend to be a little more of a blabber mouth sometimes.”
Where do we even start?!Let’s begin with Tangled. Wow! How exciting that Disney’s latest movie is already looking at getting treatment for the stage. Tangled was released by Disney in 2010 and tells the classic story of Rapunzel in a brand new style. The film features music by Alan Menken with lyrics written by Glenn Slater. Disney released Tangled to much criticism after changing the name of the classic fairy tale story from Rapunzel to Tangled, which they say reflected the new take on the story starring two leading characters, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. The film features songs such as “When Will My Life Begin?”, “I’ve Got A Dream”, “Mother Knows Best” and “I See The Light”.
Now, let’s jump to Hercules. The fact that Menken has even suggested he thinks it would be “neat” to see Hercules come to the stage is exciting for Disney and theatre fans. Hercules ranks among to top three Disney movies that fans consistently say they would love to see come to Broadway. Disney’s Hercules was released in 1997 and features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by David Zippel. The movie musical is based on the Greek mythological hero Heracles (known as Hercules in the movie) who is the son of Zeus, king of the Greek Gods. The movie features iconic songs such as “Go The Distance”, “Zero To Hero”, “I Won’t Say I’m In Live” and “A Star Is Born”.
Both of these Disney films would make solid productions for the stage. Tangled is a fantastic new rendition of an old classic fairy tale and shows that when Disney works to spice up some of the greatest stories we already know, they can come out with a real masterpiece. I’m glad Tangled will begin on a ship before it sees further stage life only due to the fact that music will more than likely have to be added if the show was to go onto a larger scale. As it stands now, the music from the movie would make the show long enough for a cruise ship production or even children’s theatre show If I had to guess. Hercules is something I believe Disney should absolutely invest in. Hercules, in my opinion, is very much like Newsies. The music from the movie itself and story carry such a strong production that the transfer to the stage would almost be flawless. However, Disney would have to absolutely add music, like it did with Newsies, if the production was to be produced on a much larger scale. Also, fans of Disney have been begging for Hercules to come to the stage for years. Imagine show stopping numbers like “Zero to Hero” and “A Star Is Born” coming to life on the Broadway stage. What is so great about Disney is that it has captured these timeless tales and turned them into Hollywood gold that are relevant to kids no matter what year they were originally released. That is why Disney is able to take its time with turning some of these classic movies into stage adaptations that will only go on to tell the story even better.
What do you think? Would you like to see Tangled or Hercules come to the stage? Are there any other Disney movies you think would make great musicals? Tell us what you think! Luner on Theatre is happy to bring you continued coverage of Disney and its latest theatrical news! Check out Luner on Theatre’s Disney Page for full coverage! For more information, visit Disney On Broadway’s Official Website. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!