Thursday, March 31, 2011

Broadway Buzz: Disney on Broadway

Beauty and the Beast was Disney’s first animated film to hit the Broadway stage in 1994. It played on Broadway for 13 years, until it closed in July 2007. The show was a great success and set a high standard for other Disney film to stage transformations. An international sensation,Beauty and the Beast has played in 21 different countries and is currently in Rome, Tokyo and now playing at the Fox Cities P.A.C.!

Beauty and the Beast 
may have paved the way, but Belle has been joined by some other Disney princesses and animated friends on Broadway. The Little Mermaid tackles living “under the sea” onstage. Ever ask yourself how can a mermaid “swim” across the Broadway stage? (psst! – roller-skates).
Broadway’s special blend of theater magic has The Lion King and Mary Poppins still drawing enthusiastic fans in on The Great White Way. Since 1997, The Lion King has had equally as difficult a task as The Little Mermaid in bringing animated characters to life. Since the animated film does not include a single human, nothing short of the best stage puppetry and creative design can transform humans into animals. Was everyone able to catch the show when it roared its way through the Fox Cities in 2007? I hope it’s in the “circle of life” for it to visit the Fox Cities again soon!
Even though “Mary Poppins” isn’t an animated film, bringing her magic to stage is also no easy task. Flying with an umbrella and tap-dancing upside-down are only a few of the tricks up the sleeves of Broadway’sMary Poppins! Get a lesson in tap on’s Ask a Star withMary Poppins’ stars Laura Michelle Kelly and Gavin Lee. I also think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Laura’s favorite Disney movie!
Keep your eyes on the horizon for the next big Disney production. Aladdin is premiering at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater this summer – maybe it’ll be Broadway’s next big Disney success! Which Disney favorite do you hope will come to the stage next?

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