Disney Aims to Musicalize "Father of the Bride" and "Freaky Friday" for the Stage

News   Disney Aims to Musicalize "Father of the Bride" and "Freaky Friday" for the Stage
Disney Theatrical Productions has a full plate of new musical projects rolling out toward Broadway and stages across the world, including Playbill.com's previously reported news of a musical adaptation of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland."

Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis in the 2003 film,
Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis in the 2003 film, "Freaky Friday." Photo by Walt Disney Pictures

Broadway-aimed projects include musicals of "Father of the Bride" with Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza, Women on the Verge…) at the helm; as well as a previously reported stage musical of "Dumbo" with Billy Elliot's Tony-winning director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling attached. Variety reports that new Dumbo creative team members include Aida and Mary Poppins designer Bob Crowley and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon ("The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay"), who is authoring the book.

Variety also shed further light on creative team members for "Alice in Wonderland," which Playbill.com first reported. Addams Family puppet designer Basil Twist has been approached to bring the fantastical creations to life, and Beauty and the Beast set designer Stan Meyer is also on board.

Productions aimed toward professional and amateur licensing include a musical stage adaptation of "Freaky Friday," with a book by "Friday Night Lights" writer Bridget Carpenter and a score by Ryan Scott Oliver. Memphis director Christopher Ashley will likely helm a developmental production at the La Jolla Playhouse next season.

Tony Award-winning Metamorphoses director Mary Zimmerman will write and direct "The Jungle Book." A timeline is not in place for a developmental production of the work.

Disney previously announced separate productions of Aladdin and Newsies, which will receive full professional debuts prior to being released as licensing properties. Disney also indicates that its hit Off-Broadway production of Peter and the Starcatcher, which opened to raves at the New York Theatre Workshop, will also go the licensing route. The company is also said to be re-exploring The Little Mermaid, with book writer Doug Wright retooling his original script, and director Glenn Casale (Peter Pan) and designer Crowley on board for a European bow. The Alan Menken-Stephen Schwartz-scored musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a 1999 hit in Germany, is also said to be getting another chance, with Scott Schwartz (Golda's Balcony) directing.

Disney has already re-packaged The Little Mermaid as part of Music Theatre International's Broadway Junior series; and crated a Winnie the Pooh Kids, with musical contributions by Will Van Dyke. Both productions debuted during the Atlanta Junior Theatre Festival in January. The works are not yet available for licensing.

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