Disney Broadway musicals are a popular choice among theatergoers of all ages. The first Disney production to star on Broadway was Beauty and the Beast in 1994. Since then, many other iconic Disney movies have followed suit and allowed countless fans to experience their favorite shows and musical numbers live. So, today we’ll take a look at the history of Disney Broadway musicals, as well as past and current shows.
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A Brief Overview of Disney Broadway Musicals
As we mentioned, Disney’s first Broadway show was Beauty and the Beast in 1994, which ran for 13 years and was quickly joined by other hits such as Aladdin, The Lion King, and Mary Poppins.
Disney Broadway musicals were founded as Walt Disney Theatrical in 1993, and since its inception, the division has garnered much success in the industry. These musicals are unlike other productions as they are known to include high-quality sets, costume designs, and production while creating an all-around magical atmosphere.
The musicals produced by Disney are some of the longest-running in Broadway history. For example, The Lion King began its run in 1997 and is still showing today. And while most people have seen a Disney movie at one point or another, seeing the adaptation on Broadway is an entirely different experience that really mesmerizes the audience and helps them enter a whole new world.
Current Disney Broadway Musicals
There’s always at least one Disney musical on Broadway at any given time, and currently, there are two. Let’s take a look at the shows now running:
AladdinBroadway Show in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
“Aladdin” replaced Mary Poppins on Broadway in 2014, and since that time, has become one of the highest-grossing Disney Broadway musicals of all time. Based on the 1992 Disney film of the same name, Aladdin depicts the fictional city Agrabah and a poor boy named Aladdin. After acquiring a magic lamp, he’s granted three wishes by a Genie who lives inside, and an exciting story ensues where Aladdin must thwart the evil Jafar and win the princess’ love.
The Lion KingBroadway Show in Midtown ManhattanOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
“The Lion King” has been a Broadway hit since it first aired in 1997 and is still going strong today. This popular Broadway show captivates the audience with the heart-wrenching story of Simba – the lion cub who witnesses the death of his father, King Mufasa. After running away, he grows up in the jungle, only to return home and face his uncle Scar to regain his rightful place on the throne.
Past Disney Broadway Musicals
Over the years, there have been many Disney musicals on Broadway. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones:
One of the biggest Disney movies of the past decade is Frozen, so it’s only fitting that it found its way onto Broadway. This musical features lyrics and music by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and is based on the 2013 Disney film. Since 2019, the Broadway musical “Frozen” has been on an American tour but has been paused since 2020 due to Covid-19. It’s set to launch again, beginning in Chicago, IL, on November 19, 2021, and will visit many cities through the end of 2022.
Beauty and the Beast
This classic Disney title is the 10th longest-running show in Broadway history. It ran for 13 years between 1994 and 2007 and was one of the most-loved shows as it was performed over 5,400 times on Broadway.
The story follows a cursed Prince who has to find his true love to turn back to his original human form. With the help (and love) from Bella, the Prince gets his happily ever after in the end.
This Disney Broadway musical borrowed elements from the 1964 film and the children’s books. “Mary Poppins” ran for six years from 2006 until 2013 and featured over 2,600 performances before being replaced with “Aladdin.”
The musical revolves around Mary Poppins, a magical nanny who goes on many adventures with Jane and Michael, the two children for whom she cares.
The Little Mermaid
Most adults today remember the childhood classic Disney movie The Little Mermaid, as it’s one of the company’s most endearing films. The beloved movie was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2008 and ran for one year until 2009. Yet, even though the show only stayed on Broadway for over a year, there were still 685 performances, making it a fan favorite Disney musical.
Though Broadway’s “The Little Mermaid” featured small storyline changes, the main idea was still the same. The story followed the mermaid Ariel and her life under the sea.
Similar to the Tarzan movie from 1999, the Broadway production depicted a young man raised in a forest. This show ran from 2006 until 2007 and aired over 480 times.
Other Past Disney Broadway Musicals
Here’s a list of other Disney movies that have been adapted to Broadway musicals:
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Winnie The Pooh
How many Disney musicals have been on Broadway?
In total, there have been 17 Disney musicals on Broadway. They include The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Tarzan, Aida, Frozen, Aladdin, Newsies, and more.
What age children are Disney Broadway musicals recommended for?
Most Disney Broadway musicals are recommended for kids ages five and older. However, this will vary by child, and you should use your discretion.
Which theater is home to Aladdin on Broadway?
Aladdin is shown at the New Amsterdam Theatre at Broadway & 42nd Street, New York City, NY.
Which theatre is home to The Lion King on Broadway?
The Lion King is shown at the Minskoff Theatre at 200 W 45th Street, New York City, NY.
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