Disney’s hit animated film Aladdin will be heading to Broadway next year.
Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Group, said that the play will build on the 1992 film and will include new songs by Alan Menken, who wrote the score for the film. It will also include new characters and some magic tricks.
“If I look around Broadway right now, what I want to see is big production numbers. I want to see lush environments. I want surprise,” Schumacher said. “You want a lot of humor, which we will do. And you want heart.”
The Aladdinmusical will be directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, who previously worked on The Book of Mormon and The Drowsy Chaperone. Bob Crowley (Mary Poppins) will design the set, and Chad Beguelin (Elf the Musical) has written the story and a few song lyrics.
Aladdin will premiere at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto in November for nine weeks. It will then head to Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre — which is currently occupied by Mary Poppins — in 2014. Its predecessor will be ending its six-year Broadway run in March.
One of the biggest challenges adapting Aladdin for the stage was how to portray the genie. Instead of appearing in a spirit-type form as he did in the film, he will be look more like a “Cab Calloway-styled vaudevillian,” according to NPR.
“I do feel pretty confident in what we’ve done with the genie,” Schumacher said. “When you buy a ticket and sit down in a theater, you want the live experience, not a film recreated.”
Will you be going to see Aladdin on Broadway?