PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Aug. 24-30: Rocky and Aladdin Set Broadway Dates, Jessica Lange Will Journey to Broadway

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30 Aug 2013

Alan Menken
Alan Menken

Disney Theatricals, which currently has two shows on the Broadway boards — The Lion King and Newsies — will soon have a third.

Aladdin, a new stage adaptation of the 1992 Academy Award-winning animated film musical, will open on Broadway March 20, 2014, at the company's flagship house, the New Amsterdam Theatre. Casey Nicholaw directs.

As previously reported, Aladdin will premiere Nov. 1 at Toronto's Mirvish Theatre for a run through Jan. 5, 2014. An earlier pilot version of the musical premiered at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre in the summer of 2011. While the Toronto production will reunite Nicholaw with several key members from the Seattle creative team, Disney promises a brand-new production of Aladdin that has been reshaped and redesigned since the 2011 stage premiere.

The stage production, which expands the 90-minute film into two acts, has music by Alan Menken and lyrics from the film by Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman (whose Broadway career, thanks to Disney, continues to soldier on some 22 years after his death), as well as new book and lyrics by Chad Beguelin.

Menken previously told Playbill.com that the stage production incorporates many ideas he and Ashman conceived for the 1992 film that never made it to the screen. Among them are a trio of Aladdin's friends, Omar, Babkak and Kassim, as well as a handful of early songs including "Proud of Your Boy."

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Wietske van Tongeren and Drew Sarich starred in the German production of Rocky the Musical
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Rocky, the new stage production that will arguably (hopefully) be the final chapter in the creative life of the film that gave Sylvester Stallone a career, has a home.

The show, which will feature a score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and a book by Thomas Meehan (fine team, that), will begin previews Feb. 11, 2014 at none other than the august Winter Garden Theatre. It will officially open on Broadway March 13, 2014.

The Winter Garden's longtime tenant, the hit jukebox musical Mamma Mia!, will transfer to the Broadhurst Theatre later this year.

The musical premiered far far away from the Winter Garden, in Hamburg, Germany, last fall. The German production stars Drew Sarich, the American actor who has had a prolific career on the German stage, starring there in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. If he gets the job on Broadway, it will be a real Rocky Balboa story.

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Jessica Lange is headed back to Broadway, and, as is her wont, it will be in a classic.

The Oscar winner has confirmed she will return to Broadway in a production of Long Day's Journey Into Night.



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