Musicals for The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and more now in the works by Disney
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
Disney Theatrical Productions is working on a number of upcoming projects, it has been announced. The news follows the recent closure of Broadway's Frozen musical, which is still expected to transfer to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London's West End this autumn.
Disney allegedly working on a number of new musicals
The president of Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher, recently spoke with the New York Times about a number of upcoming stage products the company is developing.
The announcement comes after Disney's Frozen musical on Broadway was forced to close early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Schumacher, the closure of Frozen was also due to the fact that "three Disney productions will be one too many titles to run successfully in Broadway's new landscape."
What Disney musicals are coming to the stage soon?
It has been revealed by Schumacher that an all-new stage musical of The Jungle Book to be directed by Christopher Gattelli is in the works. The musical, based on Richard Sherman's film of the same name that was loosely adapted from Rudyard Kipling's novel, will also feature the same original songs by Sherman as well as a book by Rajiv Joseph.
A release date for The Jungle Book musical has yet to be announced. Also in the pipeline are stage adaptations for Hercules (which is being worked on by Robert Horn, Alan Menken, and David Zippel and premiered at the Delacorte Theater in summer 2019) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks — directed by Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison with songs by Neil Bartram and a book by Brian Hill.
Disney fans can also look forward to revised versions of Beauty and the Beast — which reunites the original creative team and opens sometime next year, location TBC — and The Princess Bride written by Bob Martin and Rick Elice and featuring songs by David Yazbek.
What Disney musicals are playing in the West End in 2020?
Frozen is still scheduled to open at the newly refurbished Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London this October and will run alongside both Disney's practically perfect Mary Poppins musical (which replaced Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre last year) and Disney's most successful musical of all time, The Lion King, which celebrates 21 years at the Lyceum Theatre later this year.
The Lyceum recently made headlines earlier this week when its orchestra pit took on 4 metres of water. Performances of The Lion King are expected to resume once the ban on mass gatherings is lifted and the coronavirus is no longer a threat.
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