Director Tina Landau will direct a workshop of a new Disney backed musical now operating under the working title When You Wish. The Manhattan workshop will run May 13-June 15.
Landau—who was once attached to the stage adaptation of Disney's Pinocchio—conceived of 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 will be envisioned by Landau, who will also pen the book.
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.
The workshop is a private affair and no casting has been announced. Other theatrical projects Disney has in the works include Pinocchio, directed by Julie Taymor, and the Harlem Globetrotters musical, Hoopz, with music by Jeanie Tesori and a script by Suzan Lori Parks.
—By Robert Simonson