UPDATE, 12:30 PM with Sydney info: The last of Alan Menken’s Disney collaborations with the late Howard Ashman (and with additional work from Tim Rice), the Genie tuner Aladdin has been a sell-out at Mickey’s Broadway showcase, the New Amsterdam Theatre, since previews began in February 2014. As it closes in on 700 performances, the show has rung up $122.4 million in ticket sales and been seen by more than 1.1 million people.
With a Japanese copy already running in Tokyo since May and the European premiere set for December in Hamburg, Disney said today that the musical, staged by Casey Nicholaw, has booked London’s Prince Edward Theatre, where it will begin performances on May 27, 2016. That’ll be followed in August with another far-flung opening, at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney.
The Prince Edward is one of eight West End houses in the Delfont Mackintosh Theatres Group, owned by producer Cameron Mackintosh. Although Disney and Mackintosh co-produced the stage musical adaptation of Mary Poppins, Sir Cameron will only be playing the role of landlord for Aladdin.
As on Broadway, the show is designed by Bob Crowley (An American In Paris, Skylight), with lighting by Natasha Katz (the upcoming School Of Rock), illusions by Jim Steinmeyer (Mary Poppins), costumes by Gregg Barnes (Something Rotten!) and sound by Ken Travis (Newsies). Trevor Dion Nicholas, currently playing Genie, will make his London stage debut in the role. Full casting will be announced at a later date.
“In 1992, Howard Ashman, Alan Menken and Tim Rice’s reimagining of the Aladdin tale became the biggest movie of the year around the globe,” said Disney Theatrical Productions chief Thomas Schumacher. “Now 23 years later, we are thrilled to fly Aladdin’s carpet to London where the show has found its ideal home in Cameron Mackintosh’s stunning Prince Edward Theatre.”
Following their stage and stage-to-film hit Little Shop Of Horrors, composer Menken and lyricist/book writer Ashman were chiefly responsible for Disney’s revival in musical animation with Beauty And The Beast and The Little Mermaid. Ashman died in 1991 of complications from AIDS.