D23 Expo Goes to Broadway and Beyond!Whit Honea
The hits just keep coming! Guests attending the Disney D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, August 9 are in for a special treat: Broadway and Beyond!
Broadway and Beyond is a musical journey through the history of Disney Theatrical Productions on Broadway… and, if you guessed “beyond” then congratulations, you are paying attention!
The one night only performance features star performers Heidi Blickenstaff (The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast), Merle Dandridge (Tarzan® and Aida), Josh Strickland (Tarzan®), and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King), who will sing a collection of songs from their award-winning musicals in addition to other selections from the Disney on Broadway catalog.
Disney’s eight Broadway shows have grossed over $8.9 billion (with a “b”) dollars and have been enjoyed by over 124 million theatergoers. They’re good!
Here’s the official rundown from Disney Theatrical Productions:
The company’s inaugural production, Beauty and the Beast, opened in 1994. It played a remarkable 13 year run on Broadway and has been produced in 28 countries worldwide. In November 1997, Disney opened The Lion King, which received six 1998 Tony® Awards including Best Musical and is now the highest grossing show in Broadway history. The show continues in its 16th smash year, having welcomed over 68 million visitors worldwide. The Lion King can also currently be seen on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan, and in London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, and Sao Paulo.
Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida opened on Broadway next, winning four 2000 Tony® Awards, and spawning productions around the world. Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, opened in London in 2004 and established itself as one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge in recent years. The Tony Award®-winning Broadway production played more than six years at Disney’s New Amsterdam Theatre and can now be seen on tour across North America and in Mexico City.
Tarzan®, which opened on Broadway in 2006, is now an international hit with an award-winning production in its 6th year in Germany. In January 2008, The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway and was the #1-selling new musical of that year. Its success continues with three new productions around the world: Holland, Russia and Japan.
Two new critically acclaimed productions opened on Broadway in 2012, receiving seven Tony® Awards between them: Newsies, in its second year at the Nederlander Theatre, and Peter and the Starcatcher, now playing at New World Stages.
Other successful stage musical ventures have included King David in concert, the national tour of On The Record, several touring versions of Disney’s High School Musical, and Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin.
Its new musical, Aladdin, will open in Toronto in fall 2013.
I can’t believe that I am going to admit this, but I haven’t seen any of them—and I’m a Disney fan that loves the theater. I’ve even been in a few musicals over the years. It’s embarrassing. I really need to get out more.
Maybe I’ll start on Friday, August 9.
Are you going to Disney’s D23 Expo?