Disney films usually are full of amazing songs, vivid characters and beautiful storylines so naturally they are a perfect fit for the West End stage. There have been many brilliant Disney musicals in the West End and Broadway in the past 20 years and I’m sure there will be many to come including next year’s West End addition, Aladdin. Let’s take a look at some of the most successful Disney musicals and what makes them so special!
Perhaps the most successful Disney musical of them all, The Lion King is the 4th longest running show on Broadway and has been running since 1999 in the West End. The Lion King is world renowned for its incredible music, penned by Elton John, and its legendary stagecraft. The show captures everything you want from a Disney production, vibrancy, captivating music and a whole lot of heart and soul.
Beauty and the Beast
Despite closing in 2007, Beauty and the Beast is still the 9th longest running production on Broadway. Its combination of love, transformation and talking crockery make it accessible and appealing to all audiences. Some may dislike this sort of formulaic box ticking musical but, for me, it signifies the guaranteed family entertainment that Disney is famous for.
This was another really successful musical back when it was running, this time because of its stellar cast especially Laura Michelle Kelly as Mary. Kelly dazzled as the magical nanny and even won the Olivier Award for her performance. There were sadly no dancing penguins in this musical but a true Disney classic nonetheless.
Aladdin originally opened in Seattle in 2011 before its move to Broadway in 2014. It picked up 5 Tony nominations, including a win for James Monroe Iglehart (Genie) for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. The musical contains all the songs of the film, plus several more that were either cut from the original film or new material. It became very popular and continues to entertain audiences in New York each night. Here’s the exciting part … Aladdin is coming to London in 2016! That’s right, the West End has got its wish and soon the magic carpet will be flying across the Atlantic Ocean to entertain British audiences.
I’m really excited for Aladdin to make its mark in the UK because if it’s like any of Disney’s other musical offerings, then we’re in for a real treat! Make sure you get your hands on tickets as soon as they become available!
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