Though Disney previously would not confirm rumors that “Aladdin” was coming to Broadway, the company has now announced a pre-Broadway tryout for the new musical in Toronto.
The production will play a nine-week engagement at the Ed Mirvish Theater from November 13 through January 12, 2014. The production is then scheduled to open at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway in the Spring of 2014.
Disney’s “Mary Poppins” currently occupies the New Amsterdam, and will close on March 3.
Though a previous version of “Aladdin” was staged in Seattle in 2011, Disney says the Toronto production will be new, “featuring a new script, tunestack and a wholly original design scaled to the Broadway stage and an epic story.” The new production will be presented in a two-act format, and retains music from the original 1992 animated feature by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Chad Beguelin wrote the new book as well as new lyrics.
Thomas Schumacher, of Disney Theatrical Productions, recently spoke about the new production and the state of Broadway with CNBCNews.
“If I look around Broadway right now, what I want to see is big production numbers,” he said. “I want to see lush environments. I want surprise. You want a lot of humor, which we will do. And you want heart.”
He also spoke about the closing of “Mary Poppins.”
“I could tell that ‘Mary Poppins’ was coming to a place where it wasn’t going to be self-sufficient,” he continued. “I can’t keep it alive artificially.”
Additionally, he said that Disney transformed the genie from a shape-shifting blue spirit to “a Cab Calloway-styled vaudevillian” character.
“I do feel pretty confident in what we’ve done with the genie,” Schumacher said. “When you buy a ticket and sit down in the theatre, you want the live experiences, not a film recreated.”
Image Courtesy of Disney