Disney is actively considering bringing its new Elton John-Tim Rice musical Aida to the Palace Theatre in early 2000, confirmed producer Stewert F. Lane, who co-owns the Palace with the Nederlander Organization.
"Talks are currently underway," Lane told Playbill On-Line. The Palace is home to Disney's Beauty and the Beast, now in its fifth year. Disney's plan would involve its moving that musical to the Lunt-Fontanne, another Nederlander theatre. Titanic, the Lunt's present tenant, recently announced it would close on Mar. 28.
"I think with the rock nature of the material [in Aida], [Disney] thought the Palace more suitable with its second balcony, where it could sell cheaper tickets for younger audiences," said Lane.
The Nederlander Organization, speaking in the New York Times (Mar. 5), also affirmed that talks were indeed going forth with Disney.
The Nederlanders did not return calls for comment. However, executive vice-president Nick Scandalios told the Times that the organization was also considering booking the new revival of The Music Man or the new touring production of Evita into the Lunt for the fall. *
The Tony Award-winning musical, Titanic, will make its final journey Mar. 28 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. It will have a played 28 previews and 804 regular performances.
The matinee of Mar. 28 will be the final show of book writer Peter Stone and composer-lyricist Maury Yeston's musical about the 1912 maiden voyage of the "unsinkable" ocean liner -- a lurid, tragic subject many first called unsuitable, or unwritable, for the musical stage.
The production began previews Mar. 30, 1997, and opened Apr. 23 that year.
"It is difficult to describe the joy and pride we all feel for this show," said producer Michael David of Dodger Productions. "Titanic has challenged us, pushed us and enriched our lives in ways we never thought possible."
The show did not, however, enrich the producers' pockets. Producer David told the New York Times "a dignified leave-taking was better than staying too long." Although he wouldn't give an exact figure as to how much money was lost, David said Titanic made back more than half its initial investment.
Titanic won five 1997 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. 32 scenes comprise the two-act musical, which begins in Aberdeen, Scotland, 1912. Songs include "In Every Age", "The Largest Moving Object," "What A Remarkable Age This Is!", "Still," "Autumn," "No Moon," "I Give You My Hand" and "We'll Meet Tomorrow."
The production is directed by Richard Jones, with choreography by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, sets and costumes by Stewart Laing and lighting by Paul Gallo.
The first national touring company of Titanic launched in Los Angeles, with previews Jan. 5 for an L.A. run Jan. 10-Feb. 28. As producer David told the NY Times, "...These days, New York is really just the first chapter." The Titanic tour now continues through the following announced cities:
Mar. 3-21, 1999: Buell Theatre, Denver
Mar. 24-April 18: Fifth Avenue Theatre, Seattle
Apr. 22: Chicago
June 9: Boston
July 7: Washington, DC
August 24: St. Louis
September 7, 1999: Detroit
For tickets to Titanic at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, call (212) 307 4100.