Friday, 21 January 2011
3 Wishes to be exact
Well, this was originally intended to be the second post on this blog, but then I found the casting calls and they started selling tickets, so this opinion piece kinda took a back seat to the actual news.
As everyone now knows, the Seattle run of Aladdin: The New Stage Musical is a pilot production to launch the show as a licensed production through MTI, and not a preview run for an eventual Broadway production.
I know a lot of people, myself among them, have been disappointed by this news, so this piece is going to look at my "wishes" for what will happen during/after this pilot production.
Wish 1 - Seattle Cast CD
At first I thought this was a real long shot as the show is only going to run for a month, but the more I think about it, this could be a real possibility. A lot of shows in the UK, including the 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Miserables last year, have started doing live recordings instead of studio recordings. Add to that the fact that MTI have accompaniment CDs for all their Disney shows (you can hear clips from Aladdin Jr. on their website), and it makes sense that Disney would want to record their cast as the "demo" CD to guide the professional and amateur groups who are going to perform the show in the future. If they don’t, then Disney or MTI are going to have to get other people in to do the CD to go with the show materials, so it makes sense to just record the Seattle cast whilst they’re performing the show.
Ok, I admit it’s reaching a bit, but it’s certainly not impossible. High School Musical On Stage (also developed to be licensed out) never received a CD, but then HSM didn’t have the amount of changes Aladdin is going to have. This is their best opportunity to get a professional recording of the "lost" Howard Ashman songs, and I just hope Disney take it!
A CD might be more of a certainty if wish 2 comes true...
Wish 2 - An Official Disney Tour
If Aladdin does well (and there’s no reason to believe it won’t) then it’s possible that Disney will want to do their own professional tour before allowing other professional groups to license the show through MTI.
I believe the same thing happened with High School Musical - developed primarily for licensing out to schools, the show was so successful that Disney did their own official tour. Add to this the fact that Disney registered the domain www.aladdinontour.com early last year (along with a LOT of other potential show domains) then this looks like a VERY good possibility if Seattle goes well. In fact, I’d probably say an official tour is more likely than a Seattle Cast CD.
As much as I hate the fact that this show isn’t Broadway bound, I’d be very happy if Disney did an official tour next year. Plus this being a touring production would hopefully mean it would come to the UK sooner rather than later. Beauty and the Beast has been touring here for years since ending its West End run, but neither Tarzan or The Little Mermaid have made the leap across the pond to the West End. A touring production could skip the West End and hopefully open in the UK within a year or two of the US Tour if the show is successful.
And if a tour happens it certainly makes the chances of cast recording much more likely!
Wish 3 - DVD
Saving the most unrealistic for last! As the show isn’t Broadway bound and Disney is only planning to license the show out for others to perform after the Seattle run, I’d love to see a recording of the Seattle production released on DVD/Blu-Ray.
Realistically I know this won’t happen, especially as there’s a very good chance Disney will do an official tour if Seattle goes well, but I can dream!
The 20th Anniversary DVD/Blu-Ray rumoured to be coming next year would be the perfect place to showcase this, allowing people to see the original version of the story that never made it to the screen.
Well, those are my 3 wishes... I guess someone else will have to free the Genie, I’m off to watch Aladdin!