Since 1994, Disney Theatrical Productions have been transferring classic animations to the stage, but sadly, not all of them have made it to London.
Here is our roundup of the top 10 Disney Theatrical Productions.
10. The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1999
Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz first premiered in Berlin back in 1999. The show has since been performed in US theatres including San Diego, New Jersey and Utah. The Hunchback of Notre Dame has not been seen on Broadway or in London’s West End.
9. Tarzan – 2006
Tarzan with music and lyrics by Phil Collins opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2006. Based on the 1999 film of the same name, Tarzan has never transferred to London’s West End but has played Germany, Philippines, Sweden and the Netherlands.
8. The Little Mermaid – 2007
The Little Mermaid with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glen Slater opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 2007. This show replaced Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Sierra Boggess made her Broadway debut in the title role, this show has never transferred to London.
7. Newsies – 2011
20 years after the live-action film was released Newsies was adapted for the stage and made its Broadway debut at The Nederlander Theatre in 2012. With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman Newsies ran on Broadway for over 1,000 performances. This show has not yet transferred to London.
6. Mary Poppins – 2004
Mary Poppins opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2004 starring Laura Michelle Kelly in the title role and Gavin Lee as Bert. The production then transferred to Broadway opening in 2006 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Mary Poppins returned to The Prince Edward Theatre in London this year and you can buy tickets to the show with Encore Radio here.
5. Aladdin – 2011
Recently playing at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, Aladdin premiered on Broadway back in 2014. Aladdin flew into London’s West End back 2016 with Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie, Dean John-Wilson as Aladdin and Jade Ewen as Jasmine. Aladdin closed in August 2019 to make way for the return of Mary Poppins.
4. Aida – 2000
Following the success of The Lion King in 1994, Disney bought the rights to an illustrated storybook by Leontyne Price based on Verdi’s opera Aida. They offered the new animation feature to Elton John and Tim Rice, however, the pair were reluctant to begin another film project but instead suggest turning Aida into a stage musical. Aida opened on Broadway in 2000 and ran for four years winning four Tony Awards. This musical has never transferred to London.
3. Frozen – 2017
Opening at the Drury Lane Theatre later this year, Frozen is the most recent production by Disney Theatrical. With music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Frozen is currently playing at the St. James Theatre.
2. Beauty And The Beast – 1994
Beauty and the Beast was the first musical under the umbrella of Disney Theatrical Productions and opened on Broadway in 1994. The show then transferred to the West End opening at the Dominion Theatre in 1997. The London production won the Olivier for Best New Musical in 1998 and closed in December 1999.
1. The Lion King – 1997
Celebrating 21 years in London’s West End, The Lion King is still playing to audiences at the Lyceum Theatre. The musical first premiered on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre in October 1997 before moving to London in October 1999. You can buy tickets to The Lion King in London with Encore Radio here.