Disney Theatrical Productions Reveals Next Steps for Hercules and The Jungle Book Musicals, Aida Revival, More
The slate arrives on the heels of the announcement that Frozen would not return to Broadway following the coronavirus shutdown.
Following the news that the musical adaptation of Frozen would not reopen on Broadway once the industry reaches the other side of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Disney Theatrical Productions has offered a glimpse of what’s to come—at least on stages beyond New York’s theatre district.
The stage adaptation of Hercules continues to evolve after playing Central Park last summer as part of the Public Theater’s Public Works program. Lear deBessonet will return to direct the next iteration, with Tony-winning Tootsie book writer Robert Horn joining Alan Menken and David Zippel on the creative team.
A new stage adaptation of The Jungle Book is also in development, with Rajiv Joseph tapped to write the book and Richard M. Sherman composing (having written songs for the 1967 animated film with his late brother Robert). Christopher Gattelli will direct and choreograph; the Newsies Tony winner worked on a previous iteration of the title with director Mary Zimmerman.
Candice Edmunds and Jamie Harrison will now co-direct the world premiere of the Bedknobs and Broomsticks musical following the passing of Rachel Rockwell. Though previously set to premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the musical adaptation (featuring new material by Brian Hill and Neil Bartram in addition to the Sherman Brothers’ songs) now intends to launch in the U.K.
Also heading across the pond instead of its initial U.S. plans is the revival of Elton John, Tim Rice, and David Henry Hwang’s Aida. The new production, directed by Schele Williams, will premiere in Germany in spring 2022, as opposed to a 2021 North American tour launching at Paper Mill Playhouse. No word yet on new dates for a U.S. bow.
The four titles are in addition to the long-gestating stage adaptation of The Princess Bride, featuring a score by David Yazbek and a book by Bob Martin and Rick Elice, as well as an international revival of Beauty and the Beast.
Once productions can resume in the U.S., Disney will continue its touring production of Frozen, in addition to launching a new tour of Aladdin.