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New Amsterdam Theater in New York City

Walt Disney Theatrical Productions, informally known as Disney Theatrical, is the stageplay and musical production arm of The Walt Disney Company. It advertises as Disney on Broadway in New York City.

The company has gained a reputation within the industry for creating professional and popular (both critically and financially) performances, starting with the acclaimed Beauty and the Beast in 1994 and most recently with The Little Mermaid in 2008. The company is led by Thomas Schumacher, and forms a part of one of the four units of The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Studio Entertainment. The division also manages Disney Live Family Entertainment, which incorporates Disney on Ice and Disney Live, produced by Feld Entertainment.


Animation adaptations

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Beauty and the Beast

The show began previews in New York City on March 9, 1994 and officially opened at the Palace Theatre on April 18, 1994. The musical was the first Broadway adaptation by Disney, based on the movie by Linda Woolverton and with music and lyrics by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Several new songs were written for the Broadway musical, including Home, a ballad sung by Belle which quickly became the signature song of the musical. It had a continuous run and the final performance took place on July 29, 2007 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to make room for another Disney production, The Little Mermaid. At 5461 performances, the show is currently the sixth-longest run in Broadway history.

It has been performed internationally first in Melbourne, Australia and has also been performed in London, Toronto, Kyoto, Seoul, Stuttgart, Sydney, Mexico City, Guayaquil, Johannesburg, Madrid, Moscow, Milan, Sao Paulo and has also toured around the USA and United Kingdom. In the Netherlands this production was co-produced by Joop van den Ende's Stage Entertainment. The production had new sets and costumes.

The Lion King

Lion King fallowed Buddy - The Musical at the "Theater im Hafen", Hamburg. The theatre was completly renovated, by Stage Entertainment, before Lion King made the move to Germany.

The show debuted July 8, 1997, in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Orpheum Theatre, and was an instant success before premiering on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theater on October 15, 1997 in previews with the official opening on November 13, 1997. On June 13, 2006, the Broadway production moved to the Minskoff Theatre to make way for the musical version of Mary Poppins, where it is still running.[1] It is now Broadway's ninth longest-running show in history. The show uses a range of theatrical techniques, and is not a conventional musical, yet is probably the most popular production Disney Theatrical have ever conceived and one of the most loved productions in the world. It has consistently been one of the highest grossing musicals on Broadway every week, always performing to nearly-sold out audiences. The production won the Tony Award for Best Musical at the 1998 Tony Awards.

Its popularity has spawned several additional open-ended performances around the world, including in London, Toronto, Hamburg, Scheveningen, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, Nagoya, Russia, Seoul, Johannesburg, Las Vegas and Taipei.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The show was based on the animated flim The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It premiered in Berlin, Germany in 1999. This was adapted into a darker, more gothic musical production, re-written and directed by James Lapine and produced by Stella Entertainment, in Berlin, Germany. Considered to be a great boost for tourists in Germany, the musical Der Glöckner von Notre Dame (translated in English as The Bellringer of Notre Dame) was very successful and played from 1999 to 2002, before closing. A cast recording was also recorded in German.


The show was based on the movie of the same name and the novel Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and debuted on Broadway on May 10, 2006 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The show was heavily publicized with Phil Collins and the lead actors promoting the new musical on several media shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Live with Regis and Kelly. After playing at the Richard Rodgers Theatre for over a year the show closed on July 8, 2007.[1]

On April 15, 2007 the musical debuted in Europe in The Netherlands as the successor of The Lion King in Scheveningen. A Broadway musical had never previously arrived in the Netherlands so soon after its Broadway premiere. Phil Collins was a special guest at the 2006 Johnny Kraaijkamp Musical Awards. There he announced the news that Tarzan was coming to the Netherlands. Due to the size of the Circustheater, the show was expanded beyond the original Broadway production.

In 2008 a new production opened in Germany. A casting show on TV called "Ich Tarzan, Du Jane" ("I Tarzan, you Jane") searched for actors for the roles of Tarzan and Jane.

A revamped tour version had previously been announced to debut in January 2009 in Atlanta at the Theatre of the Stars. The new production was supposed to feature the same music and book, and directed and choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, with scenic design by Kenneth Foy, aerial design by Paul Rubin and lighting design by Ken Billington.[2] This production has since been canceled due to a supposed mismanagement of funds by Theatre of the Stars.[3]

The Little Mermaid

The musical began Broadway previews on November 3, 2007 and opened on January 10, 2008 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, even through trouble due to the Local One stagehands strike, which ended on November 28, 2007. The world premiere took place at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center of the Performing Arts in Denver, Colorado. The show features all songs in the movie and will boast nine new songs written by Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. The book for the new musical is by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Doug Wright, with direction by Francesca Zambello, choreography by Stephen Mear, scenic design by George Tsypin, costume design by Tatiana Noginova and lighting design by Natasha Katz. Despite receiving mixed reviews by critics, the show's pre-broadway run in Denver has become the most successful tryout for a Disney musical by selling nearly 95,000 seats. The musical on Broadway opened to mixed reviews but with the audience response generally positive. [1]

The show features Chelsea Morgan Stock as Ariel, Norm Lewis as King Triton, Faith Prince as Ursula, Eddie Korbich as Scuttle, Drew Seeley as Prince Eric, Brian D'Addario and Major Curda as Flounder, and Rogelio Douglas Jr as Sebastian.

The musical closed on August 30, 2009 after 685 performances and 50 previews.[2].


In March 2010, Michael Riedel of the New York Post reported that Disney Theatrical was quietly working on a stage adaptation of the 1941 animated classic Dumbo. [3] The New York Times' Pat Healy expanded on Riedel's report, saying that the idea had been brought to Disney Theatrical by Stephen Daldry, the Tony Award-winning director of Billy Elliot the Musical. No composers, librettists, or designers are on board yet, and a Disney executive told Healy that the show will not be on Broadway during the 2010-2011 season as it is still in very early stages of development. [4] Riedel later reported, however, that Peter Darling, choreographer and Tony-winner for Billy Elliot was on board and that Disney had approached Stevie Wonder about writing additional songs for the musical. Wonder, he reported, had reservations based on the controversy surrounding the film about racial stereotypes. [5]. no casting has not been announced.

Live action adaptations

Mary Poppins

Cameron Mackintosh's stage adaptation of Mary Poppins had its world premiere at the Bristol Hippodrome starting with previews from September 15, 2004 before officially opening on September 18 for a limited engagement until November 6. The production then moved to the Prince Edward Theatre on December 15, 2004. It was announced in June 2007 that this production would close on January 12, 2008, after a run of more than three years.

A UK tour of Mary Poppins commenced in June 2008 and ended in April 2009.

It opened on Broadway on November 16, 2006, following a month of previews in the New Amsterdam Theater. A North American tour of the show began at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre in March 2009.

An Australian production will open at Melbourne's Her Magesty's Theatre in July, 2010.

A Dutch production will open in April, 2010 at the Circus Theater in Scheveningen.

High School Musical

The hit Disney Channel movie High School Musical was adapted for the stage in 2007. It had its world professional premiere at the Theatre of the Stars in Atlanta, Georgia. A US tour began on August 1, 2007 and ended on August 10, 2008. A West End production opened in July for a limited run. High School Musical has performed internationally in Spain, Netherlands, South Africa, and Australia.

High School Musical is licensed through Music Theatre International and has been performed by over 5,000 theaters throughout the world. Currently there is a Full Length version, One-Act Edition and JR one-hour version designed specifically for middle-school aged performers.

High School Musical 2

A stage version of the sequel movie High School Musical 2 was released as a stage version in October 2008. Like the original, the show exists in a full length version, One-Act Edition and a one-hour long JR version designed for middle-school aged performers and is licensed through Music Theatre International.

Original productions


Based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, it tells the story of a Nubian slave who falls in love with an Egyptian captain. It was written by Elton John and Tim Rice. It began previews on February 25, 2000 and officially opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on March 23, 2000. Aida closed on September 5, 2004 and ran for a total of 30 previews and 1852 performances. The Broadway production won four Tony Awards including Best Actress (Heather Headley), Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Music. Since its run on Broadway, it has had a U.S. national tour and productions around the world.[4][5][6]


Hoopz is an original musical about the rise of the Harlem Globetrotters. A workshop held in June 2000 was co - directed by Kenny Leon and Savion Glover and choreographed by Glover. With a script by Reg E. Gaines, Hercules was to tell the true story of the team that helped break the color barrier in professional sports. The workshop combined the coordination and skillful handling of a basketball known to the Globetrotters with Glover's choreography.[7]

In December 2000, it was announced that Disney Theatricals had appointed a new creative team for the in-development musical. Glover, Leon, and Gaines "were dismissed after a recent unsuccessful workshop." New to the creative team were playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and director Marion McClinton.[8] As of 2003, although Jeanine Tesori and Suzan-Lori Parks had been in talks to compose music for the show, they ultimately did not work on the show.[9]

In an interview in September 2006, Thomas Schumacher, the president of Disney Theatrical Productions, said: "we gave up Hoopz and we gave up our rights to the Harlem Globetrotters. That was an issue of we had a limited window when we had the rights to make a musical out of it."[10]

On the Record

Debuting in November 2004, the show brought together sixty classic Disney songs from 1930 right up to 2004. They are woven together loosely by a storyline which is set in a recording studio with young (and old) performers using the songs to express their moods and the interrelationships among the characters they portray. The show played at the National Theatre in Washington D.C., as well as other theatres on a national tour.

Peter and the Starcatchers

Disney Theatrical Productions and La Jolla Playhouse (California) adapted Peter and the Starcatchers, which is a prequel to the Peter Pan story, into a play with music. The new play is written by Rick Elice, co-directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, and is based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It was produced as part of La Jolla Playhouse's Page to Stage program, and ran from February 13, 2009 through March 8, 2009.[11]

Complete List of Official Musical Productions produced or co-produced by Walt Disney Theatricals

Disney's Beauty and the Beast

  • 1993 Houston, Texas (Theatre Under The Stars) - Tryout
  • 1994-2007 Broadway, New York (Palace Theatre 1994-1999 / Lunt-Fontanne Theatre 1999-2007) - Premiere
  • 1995-1996 Los Angeles, California (Shubert Theatre)
  • 1995-1999 US National Tour 1 (including Seattle, Portland, Denver, Detroit, San Diego, Atlanta, Tempe, Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Boston, Washington D.C, Chicago)
  • 1999-2003 US National Tour 2 (including Philadelphia, Tampa, Orlando, Memphis, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Hartford, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Providence, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Tampa, Tempe, Tucson, Tulsa, Minneapolis)
  • 1995-1998 Toronto, Canada (Princess of Wales Theatre)
  • 1997 Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2007 Mexico City, Mexico
  • 1998 Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2001 São Paulo, Brazil
  • 1995 Tokyo, Japan (Akasaka Musical Theatre)
  • 1995-1999 Japan National Tour 1 (including Osaka, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Nagoya)
  • 2004 Japan National Tour 2 (including Kyoto, Osaka, Sendai, Sapporo, Fukuoka)
  • 1995 Melbourne, Australia (Princess Theatre)
  • 1997 Sydney, Australia (Capitol Theatre)
  • 2004 Seoul, South Korea
  • 1999 Beijing, China
  • 2008 Johannesburg, South Africa (Teatro at Montecasino)
  • 2009 Cape Town, South Africa (Artscape Opera)
  • 1997-1999 London, United Kingdom (Dominion Theatre)
  • 2002 Dublin, Ireland (The Point Theatre)
  • 2001-2003 UK National Tour (Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham, Southampton, Manchester, Edinburgh)
  • 1996 Vienna, Austria (Raimund Theater)
  • 1997 Stuttgart, Germany (Palladium Theater)
  • 2006 Oberhausen, Germany (Metropol Theater)
  • 2007 Berlin, Germany (Theater am Potsdamer Platz)
  • 1999 Madrid, Spain (Teatro Lope de Vega)
  • 2007 Madrid, Spain (Teatro Coliseum)
  • 2005-2006 The Netherlands National Tour (including Hoorn, Tilburg, Almere, Gouda, Den Bosch, Amsterdam, The Hague, Drachten,, Apeldoorn, Groningen, Oss, Breda, Roosendaal, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Scheveningen)
  • 2006 Antwerp, Belgium
  • 2008 Moscow, Russia (MDM Theatre)
  • 2009 São Paulo, Brazil - REVIVAL
  • 2010 Buenos Aires, Argentina - REVIVAL

Disney presents The Lion King

  • 1997 Minneapolis, Minnesota - Tryout
  • 1997 Broadway, New York (New Amsterdam Theatre 1997-2006/Minskoff Theatre 2006) - Premiere
  • 2000-2001 Los Angeles, California (Pantages Theatre)
  • 2009 Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Theatre)
  • 2002 US National Tour (Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Worth, East Lansing, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Tampa, Houston, St. Louis, Memphis, Columbus, Boston, Providence, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C, Arizona, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit)
  • 2007 Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2000 Toronto, Canada (Princess of Wales Theatre)
  • 2001 Canada National Tour (Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton)
  • 2003-2005 Sydney, Australia (Capitol Theatre)
  • 2005-2006 Melbourne, Australia (Regent Theatre)
  • 2006 Seoul, South Korea (Charlotte Theatre)
  • 2008 Taipei, Taiwan
  • 1998 Tokyo, Japan (Shiki Theatre)
  • 1999 Japan National Tour (Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Sapporo)
  • 2006 Shanghai, China
  • 2007-2008 Johannesburg, South Africa (Teatro at Montecasino)
  • 1999 London, United Kingdom (Lyceum Theatre)
  • 2001 Hamburg, Germany (Theater im Hafen)
  • 2003-2006 Scheveningen, The Netherlands (Fortis Circustheater)
  • 2007-2010 Paris, France (Théàtre Mogador)
  • 2010 Madrid, Spain (Teatro Lope de Vega)
  • 2011-2020 Phoenix, Arizona (Phoenix Theatre)

Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame

  • 1999-2002 Berlin, Germany (Theater am Potsdamer Platz)

Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida

  • 1998 Atlanta, Georgia (Alliance Theatre) – Tryout
  • 1999 Chicago, Illinois (Cadillac Theatre) – Tryout
  • 2000-2004 Broadway, New York (Palace Theatre) - Premiere
  • 2005 US National Tour (Tampa, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Hartford, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Raleigh, Rochester, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Tempe, Tucson, Tulsa, Washington, D.C)
  • 2003 Toronto, Canada
  • 2002 Osaka, Japan
  • 2004-2006 Japan National Tour (Kyoto, Fukuoka, Tokyo)
  • 2005-2006 Seoul, South Korea
  • 2002-2004 Scheveningen, The Netherlands (Fortis Circustheater)
  • 2003-2005 Essen, Germany (Colosseum Theater)
  • 2005-2007 Germany National Tour (Berlin, Leipzig, Bremen, Frankfurt, Munich)
  • 2005 Bregenz, Austria
  • 2006 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2008 São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2009 Békéscsaba, Hungary

Disney’s On The Record

  • 2004-2005 US National Tour (including Cleveland, Chicago, Louisville, Ordway, Philadelphia, Richmond, Detroit, East Lansing, Indianapolis, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Fort Myers, San Antonio, Houston, San Diego, Denver, Washington D.C, Boston)

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh present Mary Poppins

  • 2004 Bristol, United Kingdom (Hippodrome Theatre) – Tryout
  • 2004-2008 London, United Kingdom (Prince Edward Theatre) – Premiere
  • 2008-2009 UK National Tour (Plymouth, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff)
  • 2010 Scheveningen, The Netherlands (Fortis Circustheater)
  • 2006 Broadway, New York (New Amsterdam Theatre)
  • 2009 US National Tour (Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Dallas, Tampa)
  • 2010 Melbourne, Australia (Her Majesty's Theatre)

Disney presents Tarzan

  • 2006-2007 Broadway, New York (Richard Rodgers Theatre)
  • 2007-2009 Scheveningen, The Netherlands (Fortis Circustheater)
  • 2008 Hamburg, Germany (Theater Neue Flora)
  • 2009 US National Tour (cancelled)

Disney’s High School Musical

  • 2007-2008 US National Tour (Chicago, East Lansing, Buffalo, Atlanta, Rochester, Columbus, Cleveland, Baltimore, St. Louis, Appleton, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Raleigh, Des Moines, Little Rock, Tucson, Memphis, Nashville, Washington, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Spokane, Portland, San Jose, Costa Mesa, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Denver, Salt Lake City)
  • 2008 Canada National Tour (Toronto, Vancouver)
  • 2008-2009 UK National Tour (including Manchester, Liverpool, Bromley, Nottingham, Wimbledon, Stoke-On-Trent, Woking, Norwich, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Leeds, Plymouth, Crawley, Southampton, Hull, Newcastle, Brighton, Canterbury, Northampton, Leeds, Sunderland, Salford, Southend, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast, Derry)
  • 2009 Ireland National Tour (Dublin, Killarney, Castlebar)
  • 2008 London, United Kingdom (Hammersmith Apollo)
  • 2008-2009 Spain National Tour (including Bilbao, Benidorm, Madrid, Zaragoza, Malaga, Barcelona, Seville, Vigo Granada, Valencia, Castelon, Murcia, Alcoi)
  • 2009 The Netherlands National Tour (Hoorn, Zoetermeer, Tilburg, Almere, Nijmegen, Gouda, Den Bosch, Amsterdam, The Hague, Drachten, Dordrecht, Veenedaal, Zaandam, Heerlen, Dronten, Rotterdam, Ijmuiden, Amsersfort, Hoogeveen, Uden, Middelborg, Roermond, Alkmaar, Rijswijk, Apeldoorn, Groningen, Oss, Breda, Roosendaal, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Enschede, Venlo, Venray, Leuuwarden, Utrecht)
  • 2008-2009 Italy National Tour (including Bologna, Milan, Rome, Mantova, Brescia, Ravenna, Pisa, Genova, Ancona, Brindisi, Fermo, Bari, Pordenone, Assisi, Montecatini, Firenze, Trento)
  • 2009 Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 2008 Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2008-2009 Australia National Tour (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide) [All cities after Sydney cancelled]

Disney’s The Little Mermaid

  • 2007 Denver, Colorado (Ellie Caulkins Opera House) – Tryout
  • 2007-2009 Broadway, New York (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre) - Premiere
  • 2010 US National Tour

Peter and the Starcatchers


  1. ^ "Disney's 'Tarzan' to close July 8 on Broadway". USA Today. 24 June 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2009. 
  2. ^ Gans, Andrew (2008-01-04). "Revamped Tarzan Will Debut in January 2009 in Atlanta". Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  3. ^ Hetrick, Adam (2008-12-01). "American Musical Theatre of San Jose Cancels Productions of 42nd Street, Tarzan and Closes Doors". Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  4. ^ Ehren, Christine and Simonson, Robert."Aida Bids Addio to Los Angeles, Travels on to Boston, Philly, Chicago in 2002",, January 5, 2002
  5. ^ Aida, accessed August 6, 2009
  6. ^ Aida tour, accessed August 6, 2009
  7. ^ Simonson, Robert."Disney's Hercules, Helmed by Leon and Glover, May Workshop in Spring 2000",, 1999
  8. ^ Simonson, Robert.Disney's Musical Hoopz Gets New Creative Team",, December 30, 2000
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Hoopz Musical Still in Development, Minus Parks and Tesori",, December 31, 2003
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew."PLAYBILL.COM'S BRIEF ENCOUNTER with Thomas Schumacher",, September 19, 2006
  11. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Can He Fly? Disney and La Jolla Will Test Wings of Starcatchers — a Peter Pan Prequel",, July 28, 2008


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