The Genie’s magic has done it again! The Broadway production of “Aladdin” has been nominated for five 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. This comedy, based on the 1992 Disney movie of the same name, took stage at the New Amsterdam Theatre this spring and will run through at least August 31.
“Aladdin” is certainly not the first Disney film to lead to a stage adaptation. Here are six other Disney hits that have been reinterpreted on Broadway’s stages.
The Lion King
Truly the king of Disney shows on Broadway, “The Lion King” has been running on its stages since 1997. After more than 6,000 performances, it has brought in more than $1 billion and is the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history. Its elaborate costumes and enormous puppets set a breathtaking scene. In 1998, this impressive show was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won six of those categories, including Best Musical.
Winner of Best Score and Best Choreography Tony Awards in 2012, “Newsies” has welcomed about one million audiences member to the story of young newspaper sellers in New York City during the 1890s. Loosely based on the Newsboys Strike of 1899, Disney’s film version was released in 1992, and the live show has been running at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre for the last two years.
The Little Mermaid
In 2008 and 2009, Broadway went “under the sea” for 685 performances of “The Little Mermaid” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. The 1989 film’s soundtrack, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, was supplemented with new songs by Menken and Glenn Slater. Translucent materials and creative lighting were used onstage to create the appearance of a watery world. The production was nominated for two Tony Awards in 2008.
The only musical on this list to get its start in the UK, “Mary Poppins” premiered on Broadway two years after its 2004 West End debut. Broadway’s 30th longest-running show, “Mary Poppins'” final performance was held in 2013. The New Amsterdam Theatre where the production ran would next become home to this year’s Tony nominee, “Aladdin.” Like its successor, Mary Poppins itself was nominated for multiple Tony Awards, and the play won in the category of Best Scenic Design in 2007.
Beauty and the Beast
Disney’s “tale as old as time” made the leap to the Broadway stage just three years after its 1991 screen debut. After 5,461 shows, the production closed in 2007. It was the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history. “Beauty and the Beast” was nominated for nine Tony Awards in 1994 and won in the Best Costume Design category.
More to Come?
There’s a good chance that 2013’s wildly popular Disney film, “Frozen,” will be coming to Broadway one of these days. There’s no set date for this project, but rumor has it that talks are in progress. And with a soundtrack that hit the number-one spot on the Billboard chart, what’s not to love about a Broadway version of this movie? Here’s hoping we hear “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Let It Go” on stage sooner, rather than later.
Meghan Ross is a freelance writer covering all things home and living. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.