Archive for the ‘Disney Theatrical’ Category

The East Wind blows…

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

… Mary Poppins to a new destination instead of Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane, London, … to be exact: to the RONACHER theater in Vienna, Austria.

After London 2004, New York City 2006, Melbourne 2010, national tours in the UK and the USA as well as productions in Europe since 2008 as well as in Mexico City (2012) the musical presented by Walt Disney Theatrical and Cameron Mackintosh based on the Disney classic movie as well as the original books by P.L. Travers is going to have its premiere in a German translation in fall 2014 in Vienna.

The RONACHER is operated by “Vereinigte Bühnen Wien” (“United Stages Vienna”) which will also produce “Mary Poppins” at the theater. Walt Disney Theatrical already worked with Vereinigte Bühnen Wien in 1995 when they premiered the German language version of “Beauty and the Beast” at the RAIMUND theater in Vienna.

The rehearsals for the upcoming “Mary Poppins” production are expected to commence in summer 2014 with the premiere scheduled for “fall 2014″. Translation: if you are a musical performer and are fluent in German you could audition for the production. Currently auditions are scheduled for December in Vienna and two cities in Germany as the production’s casting director Yvonne Ritz Andersen is looking for performers for all(!) parts. You can find the casting notice online to check for details (please note: at this time there is no open audition scheduled, all performers require prior appointments).

At this time Vereinigte Bühnen Wien has not yet released any information regarding the show’s creative team and whether the production will use the script from London or the slightly reworked script developed later. However, usually Vienna does present the original productions as staged in London’s West End or on the Broadway.

The Sisters Are Doin’ It … in EUROPE

Friday, January 15th, 2010

In 1992 Whoopi Goldberg as loung singer Deloris hiding from mobsters by pretending to be a nun and in the course of the action turning the live of the convent she is hiding in up side down was a smash sucess at the boxoffice for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures – and till today the songs from the movie, such as  Mary Wells’ “My Guy” turned into “My God” make smiles magically appear when ever played. Considering the huge sucess of the movie (which resulted in a sequel in 1993) as well as the soundtrack, the infectious comedy and the great songs “Sister Act” was often mentioned as one of the movies that could be turned into Disney musical show … however, nothing happened and when something finally happened in 2006 Disney Theatrical wasn’t the one who did it. (more…)

Roy E. Disney Dies at 79

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Walt and Roy Roy Edward Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney, has died after loosing his battle against cancer. He died this morning. Roy has been a protector of the Disney brand, first helping his brother Walt to build the company and later in revolting against the powers  of two of the company’s chief executives from the Disney company. Roy has fought hard for the Disney values set by his brother over the years. Some of these battles brought great and wonderful results for the Disney company and himself. He has been the driving force to convince the company to invest in new technology for their animation department. He work on the new Fantasia movie and devoted 20 years of his life on making nature movies.

He will be truly missed, but remembered by many. Thank you Roy, for looking after the Disney magic.

Italy and a Musical rebirth

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Many of you might know that in the 15th century Italy gave birth to the “reneaisance movement”.Great landlords like De Medici, Pope’s and Kings shaked the world by commissioning Michelengelo, Raffaello, Leonardo and many others great forms of arts.one of these forms was Music.

For sure in the last 5 centuries music has evolved, but it has always had a certain link to theatres.In the last century theatres and music had a certain change in the way they where received thanks to Musicals, these wanted to unite dramatic opera’s to easier and lighter plots with less complex music.Great one’s like Andrew Llyod Webber and Cameron Mckintosh gave us classics like Phantom, Cats, Les Miserable as well as many others.

Any Disney fan would certainly say that Disney came into the game in an important way in the 1990’s, pulling out of their hat a few hits, and a few flops, but the few hits where really REALLY BIG hits!Lion King and Beauty and the Beast immediately come to mind!And With these Alan Menken, Disney legend and great composer, is at the center of it all.

He and his late partner, Howard Ashman, gave in the late 80’s and 90’s a deffinite (more…)

Congratulations to Mrs. Potts aka Angela Lansbury

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

… I know I am a bit late … but with Daisy and Donald both having birthday bashs I must have missed my deadline on this one – so here a belated but still heartfelt “CONGRATULATIONS!” to Angela Lansbury for winning her fifth Tony Award this past weekend in New York at the young age of 83 – this time for “best performance by a featured actress in a play” for her role in “Blithe Spirit” making her only the second woman to win five Tony Awards in her career.

And what a career she already had … and I am not just talking about her Disney career as star of the 1971 animated / live action feature “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, being the voice of Mrs. Potts and performing the original version of the title song “Beauty and the Beast” of Disney’s now already classic animated feature (which btw she also performed as part of the live telecast for the opening of Disneyland Paris on its Central Plaza) or starring in the tv show “Murder, She Wrote”. Long before that (and still on-going) she has been one of the great dames of Broadway creating amongst others the title role in Jerry Herrman’s Mame (and recoridng the original version of “We Need A Little Christmas”) as well as Mrs.Lovett in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeny Todd. And I am not even going to talk about her various hits on the big screen thanks to Hollywood.

Elton John’s AIDA in Germany

Friday, April 10th, 2009

In it’s 15 year history Walt Disney Theatrical Productions has had its fair share of hits, flops and “also-runs” – despite the perception that can still be encountered outside theatrical circles, that WDTP is a power house landing hit after hit. One of their shows that must be placed somewhere between a flop and an also-run is Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA. After the incredible success of THE LION KING on stages around the world, WDTP asked composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice to repeat the wonder. Chosen was a re-working of the classic opera AIDA. However, the show never really got running fighting problems from the pre-opening release of the concept album with pop stars, through a tumultous prolonged try-out period in which the complete staging was revised and further on – not even winning several Tony awards could make it a true Broadway hit in the terms of prior shows of WDTP. In the end the show never made it to London’s West End, the other capital of musicals in the world. But that is a story for another time… today it is time to talk about an upcoming production of the show…

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Are you D23?

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

d23membershipToday Disney’s new club D23 has been revealed. It’s the first day you can become a member and order the magazine and its benefits via the D23 website (although some issues of the first magazine already found their way onto some news stands days before the official release date). You can read all about it on the official site: D23 – The Official Community for Disney Fans.

The membership will cost you $74,99, but if you live outside of the USA you have to add a heavy postage cost of $57,95 on top of that. There is also some exclusive collectables already on offer on the web. For example the very first pin of a special 10 pin charter year series. On the pin you’ll find Tinker Bell. The pin is priced at $19,95, but if you want Disney to send it to Europe it will cost you about $45 more for shipping. $45 for shipping one pin? (imagine paying that for 10 pin releases) That doesn’t sound like something anybody can justify. A real shame… Maybe some items will be sold inside the park too. Like that some of use can save on overrated postage costs.

Never the less, I am very excited about the magazine and the special welcome gift and hope to be part of one of the conventions in the future as I am D23… Are you?

Picture copyrights Disney

Disney’s Secret “D23” Revealed Early

Friday, March 6th, 2009

d23magD23 was a little secret project of Disney which was going to be revealed on 10 March, a little over 4 days when you check the countdown clock on the official site. Nothing much was know, but speculation took place on many blogs and forums. But the secret is out a little early as some fans where able to find out what D23 stands for. D23 start out as a magazine and will be released on March 10. The magazine will be available in shops, and that’s how people found out about what D23 is. Some shop already got the first issue, together with the issue they probably also got some information on the release date and when they are allowed to sell it. Not everybody reading this information, just putting the magazine on their shelves early, and fans lucky enough to be near one of those shops got an insight on D23 early.

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Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Mickey Mouse turns 80 today as he celebrates his very first oficial appearance in the Steamboat Willie short released on 18 November 1928. While this day will be remembered as Mickey’s Birthday, it wasn’t his very first short he appeared in. Before Steamboat Willie there was Crazy Plane and The Gallopin’ Gaucho, however it was Steamboat Willie that found its first distributor, hence making it the debut of Mickey. It is only after showing Steamboat Willie that the two previous works got the attention they deserved.

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Las Vegas and the King

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

As the Los Angeles Times reports (http://www.vegasblog.latimes.com) the Las Vegas hotel and casino Mandalay Bay (http://www.mandalaybay.com) just announced that Disney’s Lion King will takeover the large theater of the complex from the current tenant “Mamma Mia” in 2009.

The final curtain for “Mamma Mia” will drop in January allowing the technical crew enough time to bring in the mechanic elements and set pieces for Disney’s worldwide smash hit. Previews are scheduled to start April 20, 2009 followed by the official premier on May 2nd. Pre-sales donor seem to be open at this time and no date could be found so far.

The show will be presented as an exact copy of the original Broadway show, just as all over the globe. With this decision Disney differs from many prior stage musical productions in Las Vegas which often were not only restaged but underwent major changes to the script shortening the shows (e.g. Phantom of the Opera or Starlight Express). However those were trailblazers for stage musicals I. Las Vegas and the huge success of “Mamma Mia” might have convinced Disney Theateical that theirfull show will be accepted by the regular visitors of Las Vegas as well – ad those have changed a lot in the recent years.

So if you are planning a visit to Disneyland Anaheim as of next spring you now have an extra reason to consider a side-trip to Las Vegas, don’t you think??

The Lion King in London

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

It’s one of those Disney movies that is and will be loved for many years: The Lion King. It’s no surprise the movie has been adapted for the stage so many times. For example at Disneyland Resort Paris which has its own version.

Another version has been on the Lyceum Theatre stage in London. The production has gone into it night year and to celebrate BBC has release some great rehearsal pictures of the actors and the amazing looking masks they wear during the show. To see a collection of 8 pictures follow the link to the BBC In pictures: The Lion King pages.

Picture copyrights BBC.co.uk

Me Tarzan, You Jane, Who Viewer?

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

As an add-on to my earlier review of the third episode of “Me Tarzan, You Jane” I have to report about the ratings of the episode – and those are even worse than the actual tv show. While the show was able to gain some ground from an entertainment point of view it seems the tv audiences have given up on it – and who couldn’t understand this considering the first two episodes? The third episode managed to attract pretty much the same number of viewers as thes econd episode, to be “exact” 1.37 million viewers (in all age groups) equaling a total marketshare of 4.4% (see report by Quotenmeter).

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Me Tarzan, You Jane – episode 3

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I promised it (or should I say: I threatened it?) – I would review the third episode of what in the meantime can only be called the failed attempt to promote the Disney stage musical TARZAN in Germany … the casting show “Ich Tarzan, Du Jane” (Me Tarzan, You Jane). Enough introduction…

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Me Tarzan, You… hey anyone out there??

Monday, March 10th, 2008

It started out bad and has become worse – at least rating wise. Past Friday the second episode of the casting show “Me Tarzan, You Jane” was broadcasted on Sat.1 in Germany. And the search for the future Tarzan and Jane in the German premiere of Disney’s musical version of its animated hit movie “Tarzan” managed to loose parts of its way too small audience. From a total of 1.54 million viewers (5.0% of the market) the show went down to 1.35 million viewers, equaling only 4.4% market-share – as Quotenmeter reported. Whatever one personally thinks the show has to be considered a bomb by now. The German media business website DWDL even calls it a “megaflop”.

This is especially true if one considers that the second episode was the last episode covering the actually auditioning phase. Starting this Friday the “recall”-phase will beginn, in which the jury reduces the number of contestants during singing and dancing classes before viewers will be entering the game later-on in live shows. If the successful German version of “Pop Idol” is anything to go by, ratings have a tendency to go down (at list a bit) once the auditioning phase and the more serious recall-phase starts. If this trend should show up for “Me Tarzan, You Jane” it might spell doom for the show, as there isn’t much of a viewer-base to loose audience from in the first place. Just for comparison: the 5th season the German version of “Pop Idol” past Saturday had its first live show (after the auditioning and the recall recaps) and even with a slight downturn in the numbers it sill managed to attract more than three times as many viewers as “Me Tarzan, You Jane”: 5.15 million viewers (17.3% market share) according to Quotenmeter.

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Queer Villains at Disney?

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Let’s get this out of the way first: besides families animated Disney features and the theme parks always have had a notable amount of gay fans. But while some minorities regularly raise a ruckus about their underrepresentation or any supposed to be “inacceptable” representation there has been but a peep from the GLBT corner – and when was it that you saw a character in an animated Disney feature that would be a member of the GLBT team?

[Keep reading after the break … especially if you want to find one of the best spoofs ever of a scene from Aladdin!!]

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