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Alright, so if you're anything like me, you may have a slight obsession with Broadway musicals. And by slight, I mean ginormous.
Now it's no secret that not everyone loves a musical, and if you're one of those people, I ask that you hear me out for the rest of this post anyway because these are not just any musicals. They're DISNEY musicals!
For this post, I'll be going through most of the shows that Disney has done on Broadway, providing a short summary, stellar cast members, and rating each show on its music. So pull out your favorite props and get your singing voice on for a trip through Disney's illustrious Broadway history.
Key: OBC = Original Broadway Cast
OAC = Original Australian Cast
WEC = West End Cast (London)
CBC = Closing Broadway Cast
1. Beauty and the Beast (1994):
Summary: Beginning at the Palace Theatre in April of 1994, Beauty and the Beast was the first Broadway adaptation. The show featured several new songs, including Home, Me, No Matter What, How Long Must This Go On?, If I Can't Love Her, Human Again, and eventually A Change In Me. The final performance took place at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 2007, and the show boasted 5,461 performances.
Notable Cast Members: Terrence Mann and the Beast (OBC), Susan Egan as Belle (OBC), Burke Moses as Gaston (OBC), Gary Beach as Lumiere (OBC), and Beth Fowler as Mrs Potts (OBC), Hugh Jackman as Gaston (OAC).
2. The Lion King (1997):
Summary: Debuting in July of '97 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minnesota, The Lion King was an instant stage success. The show officially opened on Broadway in November of the same year. The Lion King now holds the title of Broadway's fourth longest-running musical and won the Tony for Best Musical in 1998.
Notable Cast Members: Samuel E. Wright as Mufasa (OBC), Jason Raize as Simba (OBC), John Vickery as Scar (OBC), and Heather Headley as Nala (OBC).
3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2014):
Summary: With a very short run starting in February of 2014 and ending in April of 2015, Hunchback was as underrated a musical as the movie was. If you're a devoted reader of my blog, you may have noticed that The Hunchback of Notre Dame is my favorite underrated Disney movie, so the fact that this musical failed to move to Broadway saddens me greatly.
Notable Cast Members: Michael Arden (Big River, The Times They Are A-Changin’) as Quasimodo, Patrick Page (The Lion King, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark) as Dom Claude Frollo, Ciara Renée (Pippin, Big Fish) as Esmeralda, Andrew Samonsky (Little Miss Sunshine, The Mystery of Edwin Drood) as Captain Phoebus de Martin, Erik Liberman (Lovemusik) as Clopin Trouillefou.
4. Tarzan (2006):
Summary: Debuting on Broadway in May of 2006 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, Tarzan was another underrated Disney musical. Much of the musical served as press for Phil Collins, which is understandable. The production boasted 486 performances.
Notable Cast Members: Josh Strickland as Tarzan, Jennifer Gambatese as Jane, Shuler Hensley as Kerchak, Merle Dandridge as Kala, Chester Gregory II as Terk.
5. The Little Mermaid (2008):
Summary: Opening at the Lunt-Fontanne in January of 2008, The Little Mermaid is one of Disney's more popular stage adaptations. All songs in the movie are featured in the show, including nine new songs written by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater (dream team!). The show officially closed in August of 2009 with 685 performances under its belt.
Notable Cast Members: Sierra Boggess as Ariel (OBC), Norm Lewis as King Triton (OBC), Sherie Rene Scott as Ursula (OBC), Sean Palmer as Prince Eric (OBC), and Tituss Burgess as Sebastian (OBC).
6. Aladdin (2011):
Summary: First premiering in Seattle in July of 2011, Aladdin began in a number of cities before starting on Broadway in March of 2014 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Aladdin received ten new songs as well as retaining all the old favorites. The show is still running on Broadway today.
Notable Cast Members: Adam Jacobs as Aladdin (OBC), Courtney Reed as Jasmine (OBC), James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie (OBC), Jonathan Freeman as Jafar (OBC).
7. Mary Poppins (2004):
Summary: Originally adapted by Cameron Mackintosh (of Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera fame) in September of 2004, the show hit Broadway in November of 2006 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Mary Poppins closed seven years later after 2,619 performances, and embarked on tours all across the world.
Notable Cast Members: Laura Michelle Kelly as Mary Poppins (WEC), Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins (OBC), Gavin Lee as Bert (WEC/OBC).
8. Newsies (2011):
Summary: (Fair Warning, I REALLY REALLY love this show so I am about to get very excited) Okay so quick survey, who remembers the 1992 Disney movie titled Newsies that featured a very young and adorable Christian Bale? Well the movie that was box-office flop has now turned into one of Broadway's most popular musicals. Based on the book by Harvey Fierstein and with music by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, Newsies premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in September of 2011. It later opened on Broadway in March of 2012 at the Nederlander Theatre, and gave its final performance in August of 2014. The show has been nominated for eight Tonys, including Best Musical, and has won Best Original Score and Best Choreography.
Notable Cast Members: Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly (OBC), Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber (OBC), John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer (OBC), Capathia Jenkins as Medda Larkin (OBC and CBC), Ben Fankhauser as Davey Jacobs (OBC and CBC), Corey Cott as Jack Kelly (CBC), Liana Hunt as Katherine Plumber (CBC).
Kat Shambaugh: photographer, graphic designer, wannabe Disney princess. Computational Media major at the Georgia Institute of Technology.