Sunday, 12 October 2014

Broadway News Round Up 19

Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed as Aladdin and Jasmine, Photo by Deen Van Meer

After the exciting news of Aladdin's upcoming Japanese Premiere and a special bonus episode of JMI's I Dream of Genie it's back to business as usual here with another news round up from the magical world of Agrabah.

Firstly, good luck to Marisha Wallace who is appearing in concert today at Illinois' The Little Theatre on the Square!

In the last news round up Adam Jacobs took Business Insider through a day in the life of a Broadway star, this time he talks about how he made it on Broadway and the road to becoming Aladdin.

In the interview Adam expresses an interest in teaching and on 9th November Adam will be taking part in A Class Act NY's Musical Theatre Workshop!  The event is currently sold out but it's always worth checking in case a space opens up.

Later this month the New World Stages will play host to the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's 26th Annual Festival of New Musicals.  Taking place from 23-24 October the annual event showcases the talents of emerging and established writers in 45 minute presentations featuring the talents of Broadway and off Broadway actors.  This year two of the productions feature cast members from Broadway's AladdinBeautiful Poison will feature Brandon O'Neill and Stu for Silverton will feature Don Darryl Rivera.  Both Brandon and Don made their Broadway debuts with Aladdin earlier this year, so it's great to see their talent being recognised and showcased in events like this!  Congratulations to you both!!

Next up is a series of fan made videos where the poster has created model version of the show's sets.  You can view the 4 videos at the following YouTube channel.  They're pretty cool!

It's been announced that Aladdin will be part of next year's Broadway Student Summit, a program by the Broadway Teaching Group that brings together theatre students and the cast and creative teams of some of Broadway's top shows.  Full details haven't yet been confirm but Aladdin's session dates are January 17-19th 2015.  Further information can be found here

James Monroe Iglehart and Adara Bryan, Photo by Playbill/Monica Simoes
Last Monday James Monroe Iglehart and #MyDreamDuet winner Adara Bryan took part in Celebrity Karaoke.  More details and photos can be found at Playbill and, even better, you can check out the videos!  James and Adara singing I Want You Back, James and Lena Hall sing Proud Mary and James, Lena Hall, Justin Guarini and Ramin Karimloo sing Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

The Daily Geekette posted a report from last month's Broadway Flea Market including the Aladdin table and the always awesome Don Darryl Rivera!

In 2012 I had the pleasure of seeing Aladdin at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Utah.  This year they're doing another Disney musical, The Little Mermaid.  I've mentioned this before but now Playbill posted photos from the show.  Being an outdoor amphitheatre means that the Tuacahn can do a lot of things that a traditional theatre can't, like flooding the stage to sail a ship across!  If you can go I'm sure this production will be every bit as magical as their Aladdin was so it's well worth the trip.  Here's a sneak peak;

Performances run until 18th October.

And now for something a little different...

As you know I'm a huge Disney fan and a huge Alan Menken fan so it should come as no surprise that I'm really looking forward to the upcoming US premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  I've mentioned it a few times on this blog (even going so far as to say it has the potential to be Disney's Les Miserables) and with the US premiere now only weeks away, I've decided to add a Hunchback section to these weekly news updates.

It's been a long time coming.  The original Berlin production ran from 1999-2002 and a US production has been talked about on and off ever since.  Now it's finally real.  Like Aladdin and Newsies before it, a Broadway production of Hunchback hasn't been announced but I fully believe that if the upcoming productions at La Jolla Playhouse and Papermill Playhouse do well then Quasimodo will be joining his Disney cousins on the Great White Way.

So first up in this new section!  Last month Stephen Schwartz spoke in depth with Broadway World about, well about everything really, including some comments on The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

And this week both Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken spoke with Playbill about re-imagining Hunchback for stage.  What stands out most to me is that for many years fans have speculated that the "trouble" Disney Theatrical have had with bringing Hunchback to America has been that the show (at least as it was in Berlin) is much darker than what is traditionally expected from Disney, yet here Alan is quoted as saying "It's emotionally deeper.  We're liberated from needing to ... reach a family audience as we did in animation.  Even though I believe this can reach a family audience, this definitely lives much more on the adult side of Hunchback."  They also confirm that the stage show has a different ending from the film.  Does this mean they're keeping the ending from the Berlin production or is this something new again?  We'll have to wait a few more weeks to find out!

In the interview Stephen Schwartz says that this new adaptation will feature about 10 new songs/pieces of songs, some of which come from Der Glockner Von Notre Dame and some of which were written especially for this new production.  I'm not even going to begin to speculate on this as the song list on Wikipedia for Glockner is much longer than the cast recording of the show, featuring numerous additional reprises.  What I am happy to say is that yesterday Jeremy Scott Lapp, the show's Associate Director, very kindly confirmed that the song Esmerelda is in the show!  I am so happy as it's probably my favourite song from the Berlin cast recording!  I've listened to it that much I practically hear it in English now.

So in honour of its inclusion I'm going to leave you tonight with a rare English performance of the song (I didn't even know this existed until yesterday!) from Epcot's Encore 2010 - Dream Our Dreams: A Musical Tribute to the Legacy of Disney

The US Premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is at San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse, running October 26th through December 14th 2014, and New Jersey's Papermill Playhouse, running March 4th through April 5th 2015.

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