In Broadway news this week, there's good news for shows like Holler If Ya Hear Me, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. Plus, the countdown till the Tony nominees is on!
Holler If Ya Hear Me Gets a Star
Last July, it was announced a musical based on the music of Tupac Shakur would be heading to Broadway. Alas, there was no date, just a vague time frame and the knowledge that Tupac's music was the catalyst behind the production. Recently, the show not only got a firm debut date (June 19, 2014, with previews beginning May 26, 2014), but the cast was announced, too. Renowned slam poet, singer, and actor Saul Williams will take the title role in Holler If Ya Hear Me, alongside other Broadway veterans, such as Christopher Jackson (After Midnight), Saycon Sengbloh (Fela!), and Ben Thompson (Matilda). Tonya Pinkins, John Earl Jelks, Joshua Boone, and Dyllon Burnside round out the cast.
It's here, it's here, it's finally here! It's possible you weren't as excited about Aladdin debuting on Broadway at the TicketNetwork.com team, but we're pretty thrilled the show will make its debut tonight. It seems like just yesterday we were announcing the new show and musing over the leaked details.
Tonight, Aladdin — the next Disney musical to grace the Great White Way — begins its previews at New Amsterdam Theatre. Adam Jacobs will star in the lead role of Aladdin, while Jonathan Freeman plays Jafar; James Monroe is Genie; and Courtney Reed will play Jasmine. Buzzfeed provided a sneak peek of what these characters will look like on stage, and it looks just as great as we imagined.
But we'll stop gushing now. Instead, we'll leave it at this: break a leg, Aladdin!
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With Aladdin slated to make its Broadway debut in little more than a month, as well as the confirmation that "Frozen" will be the next film to be adapted for the theater stage, I can't help but think of what other films from the beloved company would do well on stage. To be clear, to me there is a difference between a story simply being adapted for the theater and the Walt Disney production company taking one of its films and making it a Broadway hit. In the latter scenario, there is something magical that happens when the finished product is ready for the stage.
Here are four other films I'd like to see turned into productions that could rival The Lion King and Mary Poppins.
Alice in Wonderland
What the 1951 film lacks in songs, it more than makes up for in visual effects. The mad tea party, the shrinking and growing of Alice, the magical forest, and the Queen's court would all make incredible sets on stage. Then there are the characters, such as the White Rabbit, Cheshire cat, Caterpillar, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Mad Hatter and March Hare, and the Queen of Hearts, who would be fun to see live. The costumes would be bright, over-the-top, and probably a bit like a Dr. Seuss book.
After the announcement that Broadway is willing to take a chance on a show like "Rocky the Musical," it's not too surprising to learn that "Back to the Future" is the latest famous film to get an on-stage adaptation.
The musical will celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Back to the Future" starring Michael J. Fox. It is slated to open in London's West End come 2015, with a possibility for it to also make an appearance on Broadway.
Robert Zemeckis will write the plays book, along with Bob Gale and Jamie Lloyd, while music and lyrics will be composed by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard. Lloyd, who will also direct the show, said, "The production will include illusions, skateboarding and many other surprises that will capture the spirit of the film but freshly interpret it for a new audience."
Relive the trailer behind the cut!
If you're a fan of Disney's newest animated film, "Frozen," you're in luck — a musical adaptation is heading to Broadway. Bob Iger, Walt Disney CEO and Chairman, confirmed the announcement yesterday.
"Frozen," which took a Golden Globe award for Best Animated Film at this year's show, is said to be in early development for the stage. According to Iger, who spoke to Fortune magazine about the endeavor, "We're not demanding speed. We're demanding excellence."
The Disney film has already been a huge hit since its release Nov. 27. The film features the voices of Kristen Bell, Broadway star Idina Menzel, Johnathon Groff, Josh Gad, and Santino Fontana. Its soundtrack features 22 different pieces, making it a perfect story to adapt to a Broadway musical. The title song, "Let It Go," is performed by Idina Menzel (who you may remember as the original Elphaba in a little-known musical called Wicked); "Let It Go" has received a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and a Critics' Choice Award for Best Song.
With Disney debuting its latest Broadway production, Aladdin, come March, and with this one in the works, it seems like the company will continue to morph its kid-friendly films into Broadway successes.