If Beauty and the Beast hadn’t entirely enamored the critics, Disney’s next foray into producing Broadway musicals would end up being both an audience and critical success. The Lion King found director/playwright/developer/puppeteer Julie Taymor reimagining the 1994 animated film for the Broadway stage, using breathtaking the different parts of the world theater picture to bring alive a host of animal character types and their habitat of the African savanna. The Elton John-Tim Rice score, a beloved already, Oscar-winning series of pop hits, was augmented by tracks with more traditional African rhythms and styles by other composers.
Opening on Broadway at the recently renovated New Amsterdam Theatre on October 15, 1997, The Lion King continued to win the very best Musical Tony Award for the growing season. The musical, which used in the Minskoff Theater eventually, is still operating on Broadway and keeps the record for the third-longest-running Broadway musical of all time.
The show will soon enjoy its 9,000th performance. Having successfully brought two of their animated film strikes to the stage, Disney’s next attempt at a Broadway musical will be a much more challenging one: an original musical. Though it was predicated on the opera of the same name, Aida would feature brand-new materials, including a rating by Elton Tim and John Rice, and a book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang.
Essentially a tragic love tale in regards to a Nubian princess enslaved by the Egyptians who falls in love with a military captain who is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s girl. The love triangle demonstrated a perfect structure for a pop musical, and Aida, despite blended reviews, was a hit. The opening at Broadway’s Palace Theater on March 23, 2000 where it ran 1,852 performances. Aida earned 4 Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Actress in a Musical (Heather Headley), but was overlooked for a nomination in the Best Musical category inexplicably.
Not every creation is likely to be a winner, and though there is much to recommend about Disney’s stage adaptation of their 1999 animated film strike Tarzan, the show would battle to find an audience. Tarzan as a film had not been a musical exactly, though there were some tunes by music superstar Phil Collins that commented on the action and two that were straight sung by characters within the story. For the stage creation, Collins wrote additional tunes, and David Henry Hwang the book, crafting the story plot into a far more traditional musical that told the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel about an orphaned young man raised by apes.
Tarzan opened at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theater on, may 10, 2006 where it received tepid reviews at best. The show ran 486 performances, over a 12 months holding on for just, but never recouping its investment. Tarzan was completely overlooked at the Tony Awards, however the show has which can have a strong shelf life in regional theaters and high schools.
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Fairing slightly much better than Tarzan was The Little Mermaid, which opened at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theater on November 3, 2007, where it got a solid run of 685 performances. Under the path of Francesca Zambello, clever tries were designed to recreate the undersea world of the much loved animated film, especially well remembered for its tuneful Alan Howard and Menken Ashman score.
Menken, with Glenn Slater, came up with some fun new tunes, and playwright Doug Wright arranged to rework the screenplay for the stage. To simulate swimming, actors discovered to glide along on wheeled footwear called “Heelys.” THE TINY Mermaid received two Tony Award nominations, for Best Best and Score Light Design but, year in a competitive, arrived home empty-handed.
After a lackluster couple of outings on Broadway, Disney returned with a vengeance with the enormously successful stage version of an unlikely property. Disney’s 1992 film musical Newsies had tanked at the box office and, this day too, remains one of the studios lowest-grossing films of all time. However, through home video and frequent play on television, Newsies developed a cult following and a generation of fans emerged for this musical with a captivating score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman.