Some of New York musical theatre's busier thespians have been drafted to perform in the workshop of a new Disney-backed musical now operating under the working title When You Wish.
Others who will be singing Disney favorites include Paige Price (Saturday Night Fever), Andrea Bowen, Patrick Collins Jr., Bradley Dean, Natascia Diaz with Tricia Paoluccio, Emily Hsu, Mandy Gonzalez, Jen Cody (Urinetown), Todd Anderson, Kelly Severson, Martin Moran (Bells Are Ringing), Derric Harris, Sebastian LaCause, Ben Schaeffer, T. Oliver Reid and Denton Tarver.
The creative team comprises Mark Dendy (choreography), Skip Mercier (sets), Constance Hoffmann (costumes) and Scott Zeilinski (lights). Paul Bogaev is the music producer, and some of the song titles in the workshop are "When You Wish Upon a Star," "Someday My Prince Will Come," "You'll Be My Heart" and "Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo."
As reported by Playbill On-Line April 18, Landau—who was once attached to the stage adaptation of Disney's Pinocchio—conceived the project. As the title (a shortened version of Jiminy Cricket's anthem "When You Wish Upon a Star") might suggest, the piece will incorporate existing songs from the Disney catalogue. Music from both films and stage works will be used, meaning the venture may possibly showcase tunes found only in the legitimate versions of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, as well as music from Elton John and Tim Rice's direct-to-stage musical Aida. According to sources close to the project, the musical is envisioned by Landau, who will also pen the book.
Murney has appeared in several musicals of the last couple New York seasons, all of which originated at Manhattan Theatre Club: Time After Time, the Andrew Lippa The Wild Party and A Class Act.
Sills is still best known for his derring-do in Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel. Since then, he has starred in the Encores! staging of Carnival.
Landau, an ambitious director who often takes a hand in the writing side of her projects, is best known for having directed and co-written the book for Floyd Collins. She had less success with Dream True, a collaboration with Ricky Ian Gordon which debuted at the Vineyard Theatre in 1998-99. Her play Space had its New York debut at the Public Theater in 1999. She also helmed the original musical The Ballad of Little Jo, at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where she is an ensemble member.
—By Robert Simonson